Lazio vs Fenerbahce Europa League Preview: Biancocelesti have mountain to climb

Fenerbache player

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

LAZIO

Marchetti
Gonazalez, Biava, Cana, Radu
Ledesma
Candreva, Mauri, Hernanes, Lulic
Klose
FENERBAHCE

Demirel
Gonul, Yobo, Korkmaz, Ziegler
Kuyt, Topal, Meireles, Topuz
Baroni,
Webo

Goals from Pierre Webo and Dirk Kuyt last Thursday mean Fenerbahce are firmly in the driving seat ahead of the second-leg of this Europa League quarter-final.

Lazio will need all of the cutting edge they can muster in their quest to produce a comeback and progress to the semi-finals of the competition.

Their cause was dented somewhat in the first leg by the sending off of midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, meaning the Biancocelesti will be without his services at the Stadio Olimpico.

The game will also be played behind doors as part of Lazio’s punishment for repeated episodes of racist behaviour from supporters – the latest incident coming in February’s last-32 clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Fenerbahce will be without the injured Emre and Moussa Sow, while defender Bekir Irtegun is suspended.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Lazio have won six, drawn one and lost two of their clashes with Turkish opposition.
  • The Biancocelesti last reached the quarter-finals of a Uefa competition back in 2002-2003 when they beat Besiktas in the last eight of the Uefa Cup.
  • Lazio striker Libor Kozak is the top goalscorer in this season’s Europa League, with eight goals in nine appearances.
  • Fenerbahce are unbeaten in five Europa League away games and have not conceded in their last four matches on the road in Europe.
  • Fener have now reached the quarter-finals of all three major Uefa club competitions – Champions League (2007/2008), European Cup Winners’ Cup (1963/1964) and this season’s Europa League.
  • Only two clubs have overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit in the knock-out phase of the Europa League.

Newcastle vs Benfica Europa League Preview: Hosts’ Europa League hopes hang in the balance

Cisse

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

NEWCASTLE

Krul
Simpson, Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gutierrez

Cabaye, Anita
Marveaux, Sissoko, Gouffran
Cisse
BENFICA
 
Arthur
Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Melgarejo

Matic, Martins
John, Lima, Gaitan
Cardozo

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew faces a lengthy absentee list ahead of Thursday’s crunch Europa League clash, with Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Mathier Debuchy (cup-tied), Davide Santon (hip), Cheikh Tiote (hamstring) and Haris Vuckic (knee) all set to miss the game.

Elsewhere, long-term absentee Ryan Taylor is targeting a return in time for the derby game against Sunderland on Sunday, but Fabricio Coloccini and Massadio Haidara are for a place on the bench against the Portuguese outfit after suffering from back and knee strains respectively.

Benfica boss Jorge Jesus faces very few injury worries ahead of the return leg, with Eduardo Salvio remaining a doubt after picking up a knee problem shortly prior to the first leg between the two sides.

  • Newcastle have beaten Metalist Kharkiv and Anzhi Makhachkala in the knockout stages so far, both by a solitary 1-0 aggregate scoreline.
  • Papiss Cisse has now scored four goals in the 90th minute this season after his last-gasp winner against Fulham.
  • The Senegal striker, along with Shola Ameobi, is the Magpies’ top scorer in the Europa League with three goals each.
  • Alan Pardew’s side have conceded just once at home in six games in the competition this term – that goal coming during the 1-1 draw with Maritimo in November.
  • Oscar Cardozo  is Benfica‘s top goalscorer this year with 28 goals, six of which have come in Europe.
  • The Portuguese outfit have scored 107 goals so far this season in all competitons.
  • They currently sit four points clear ahead of Porto at the top of the domestic league and are unbeaten in 25 games since the start of the season.
  • Jorge Jesus’ side have won their last eight games in a row going into the clash.
  • Benfica’s last five quarter-finals against English opposition have all resulted in elimination.

Barcelona vs Paris Saint Germain 2nd Leg UCL Preview: Vilanova’s side counting on Camp Nou boost

Villa and Messi

 

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is racing to recover from a hamstring strain in time for the crunch encounter against Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou.

Cesc Fabregas is likely to be preferred in attack if Messi fails to return, while Pedro is also in contention for a starting berth after recovering from a calf injury.

Blaugrana boss Tito Vilanova may deploy either Sergio Busquets or Alex Song in central defence in place of the inexperienced Marc Bartra to counter the attacking threat of the visitors.

PSG captain Thiago Silva is expected to play despite missing the weekend win at Rennes with a bruised knee.

Thiago Motta (groin) and Alex (thigh) should also be fit, but Blaise Matuidi is suspended after picking up his third booking of the competition in the first leg.

  • Barcelona are on a 20-match unbeaten run at Camp Nou in the Champions League, winning 16, since a 2-1 defeat against Rubin Kazan in October 2009.
  • The Blaugrana‘s overall home record against French opposition is W5, D1, L1, with their most recent encounter against a Ligue 1 club ending in a 5-2 second-leg victory over Olympique Lyonnais in the 2008-09 Champions League round of 16.
  • Barcelona have gone on to win 18 of 23 European ties in which they have drawn the first leg away from home.
  • Paris Saint-Germain have won three of their four away matches in the Champions League this season.
  • The Ligue 1 leaders have never lost a two-legged European tie to Spanish opponents before. Their overall away record against clubs from Spain is W4, D1, L3.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic  is the only player to have scored for six different clubs in the Champions League: AC Milan, Ajax, Barcelona, Inter, Juventus and PSG.

Juventus vs Bayern Munich 2nd Leg UCL Preview: Die Roten to reach third semi-final in four years

Nicolas Anelka

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

JUVENTUS

Buffon

Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini
Padoin, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Peluso
Vucinic, Quagliarella
BAYERN MUNICH

Neuer
Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Martinez, Schweinsteiger
Robben, Muller, Ribery
Mandzukic

Juventus will be without Stephan Lichtsteiner and Arturo Vidal for the second leg clash in Turin following their first-leg bookings, as the Bianconeri look to overturn a 2-0 deficit against newly-crowned German champions Bayern Munich.

The bulk of the Old Lady’s starting XI were rested at the weekend which means there could be up to seven changes to the side that beat Pescara 2-1. Gianluigi Buffon should return, while Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini are welcomed back from their domestic suspensions, meaning the back four that has served Juve so well this season will be unchanged.

Federico Peluso is likely to start ahead of Ghanaian Kwadwo Asamoah, who has suffered indifferent form since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations. Simone Padoin could fill the right wing-back slot while Paul Pogba is in contention to start in place of the suspended Vidal.

Mirko Vucinic has fully recovered from illness but Sebastian Giovinco will miss the match after being stretchered off on Saturday, leaving Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri to battle it out for the remaining place upfront.

Javi Martinez is available again for Bayern after being suspended for the first leg, but Toni Kroos injured his adductor in Munich which means there is likely to be a reshuffle in attack, with Arjen Robben wide on the right, Thomas Muller drifting inside to occupy the No.10 role and Franck Ribery wide left.

Mario Mandzukic was rested against Frankfurt at the weekend but he is likely to start again against Antonio Conte’s men.

  • Juventus’ 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the first leg encounter ensured their 18-game undefeated sequence came to an end in the Champions League.
  • The Bianconeri have not lost in their last five games at Juventus Stadium and Emmanuel Cascione’s strike at the weekend for Pescara ended Juve’s 465-minute run without conceding at home.
  • Juventus managed a 2-0 comeback earlier in the group stages when they came from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw against Chelsea. Fabio Quagliarella  got the equaliser 10 minutes from time.
  • Bayern Munich wrapped up their 22nd Bundesliga (23rd title) with a record six matches to spare thanks to their 1-0 win over Frankfurt on Saturday.
  • Die Roten have won 13 of 14 away games in their domestic league this season, conceding only twice and their only away defeat in the Champions League was a 3-1 loss to BATE Borisov.
  • Bayern have won 14 of their 15 games in 2013, with the defeat to Arsenal in the second-leg of their last 16 clash their only loss so far this year.

Borussia Dortmund vs Malaga 2nd Leg Preview: Last-four place up for grabs

Reus celebrating

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

DORTMUND

Weidenfeller
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Bender, Gundogan
Reus, Gotze, Grosskreutz
Lewandowski
MALAGA
 
Caballero
Gamez, Lugano, Demichelis, Antunes
Toulalan, Camacho
Joaquin, Baptista, Isco
Saviola

Borussia Dortmund are set to receive a fitness boost in the form of Mats Hummels, who failed a fitness test to face Augsburg on Saturday but is likely to have recovered for the Malaga game to replace Felipe Santana in defence.

Sven Bender may get the nod ahead of Sebastian Kehl alongside Ilkay Gundogan in midfield, while Jakub Blaszczykowski is in a race to recover in time to replace Kevin Grosskreutz.

Malaga, meanwhile, will be without Weligton and Manuel Iturra, who both picked up costly yellow cards in the first leg of their meeting with Dortmund.

The likes of Sergio Sanchez, Francisco Portillo, Seba Fernandez and Pedro Morales are all expected to drop to the bench

  • Dortmund have drawn the first leg of a knock-out match on eight occasions and qualified six of those times.
  • Jurgen Klopp’s side are the only remaining unbeaten side in the competition following Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over Juventus.
  • BVB have won all four of their home games this season in Europe, conceding just once in the process.
  • Malaga have progressed on both occasions that they have been held at home in European competition, against Leeds and AEK in the 2002-03 Uefa Cup.
  • Manuel Pellegrini is bidding to take a debutant team to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the second time, having done so with Villarreal seven years ago.
  • The Andalusians have won just one game away from La Rosaleda in Europe this season, however.

Galatasaray vs Real Madrid 2nd Leg Preview: Terim’s side face mammoth task after first-leg mauling

Ronaldo Celebrating

 

Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz is ruled out of the Champions League quarter-final second leg clash against Real Madrid through suspension.

Centre-back Dany Nounkeu also misses out after picking up a yellow card in the first leg, but Albert Riera and Selcuk Inan return to the side after being suspended for Saturday’s win over Mersin Idman Yurdu.

Real Madrid duo Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso are both banned for the trip to the Turk Telekom Arena.

Boss Jose Mourinho has no fresh injury concerns and is likely to field his strongest possible line-up as he looks to build on a 3-0 advantage from the first leg.

  • Galatasaray have won just once at the Turk Telekom Arena in the Champions League this season but have suffered only two defeats in their last 13 European home outings.
  • The Turkish outfit’s home record against Spanish opposition is W5, D2, L5, with the most recent victory being a 3-2 success against Real Madrid in the 2000-01 Champions League quarter-final first leg.
  • Galatasaray have scored fewer goals (11) and conceded more (12) than any other side still involved in the Champions League.
  • Real Madrid are on a 12-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W10, D2).
  • Los Blancos have progressed in 41 of 54 European ties in which they have won the first leg at home, including all seven when they initially triumphed 3-0.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo  is the Champions League top scorer with nine goals in as many games.

Manchester United vs Manchester City EPL Preview: Only pride at stake for Mancini’s men with title race all but over

Wayne Rooney

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

MANCHESTER UNITED

De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
Valencia, Giggs, Carrick, Young
Rooney
Van Persie
MANCHESTER CITY

Hart
Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Barry, Toure
Milner, Tevez, Silva
Aguero

Sir Alex Ferguson is still without Darren Fletcher, who is out for the season, but full-back Rafael is expected to return from a groin injury.

However, there could still be a place for Phil Jones or Chris Smalling at right-back, though the experienced pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are expected to start at centre-half.

Up front, Sir Alex’s wealth of options means Chicharito, Danny Welbeck or Shinji Kagawa could be in contention to start ahead of Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie.

The visitors, meanwhile, are still without injured full-back Maicon (knee) but could welcome Micah Richards (knee) and Jack Rodwell (hamstring) back in time for Monday’s clash.

Out-of-favour defender Joleon Lescott is likely to continue on the bench for Roberto Mancini’s men, though City’s top scorer in the Premier League Edin Dzeko could be in contention for a starting place.

  • Manchester United are on course for a record 21st domestic title. City pipped them to the post last year, winning their first title in 44 years but United now look set to regain the trophy with a 15-point lead.
  • The Red Devils can do the double over City with victory on Monday after a 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the season.
  • Robin van Persie  is Manchester United’s top scorer with 23 goals in all competitions this season, but he has not netted in his last nine games for the club.
  • Sir Alex’s men have not finished outside of the top three since 1991. They have also finished at least second in their last eight consecutive league campaigns.
  • Manchester City have lost just once in their last seven games in all competitions.
  • City have scored 15 fewer goals than United this season, subsequently making their goal difference weaker than that of their cross-city rivals by 10.
  • Away form has been the biggest problem for Mancini’s men, with City suffering three defeats and five draws on the road. In stark contrast, the Premier League champions have only lost once and drawn three times at the Etihad, amassing 11 wins.
  • Manchester City have beaten the Red Devils 16 times at Old Trafford in their history, though they have lost to United 36 times at the same ground.