With only a couple of group stage games left, it looks very much as if there might be four English sides entering the knockout stages of this season’s UEFA Champions League. Here’s a quick preview for this week’s games involvingÂ the EnglishÂ clubs.
Braga v Arsenal (7:45, Sky Sports 4)
Braga didnâ€™t play at the weekend but despite only losing once at home in the Portuguese league this season, itâ€™s their away form thatâ€™s been letting them down â€“ they havenâ€™t won in the league since April. After losing to Shaktyar Donetsk in their last game, Arsenalâ€™s qualification isnâ€™t as straightforward as it was and itâ€™ll be interesting to see how they cope after their home defeat at home to Spurs on Saturday lunchtime.
Chelsea v Zilina (7:45, Sky Sports 2)
Group Fâ€™s whipping boys suffered a rare away defeat at 2nd place Senica on Saturday but having lost all their Champions League group games this seasonÂ Zilina wonâ€™t Â even qualify for the Europa League. Having alreadyÂ booked their spot inÂ next round, a Chelsea win looks a formality but after their recent run of poor form they might want to put on an exhibition against the Slovakian champions â€“
if Marseille can beat them 7-0, then Chelsea could easily equal that.
Rangers v Man United (7:45, ITV)
Apart from losing 3-0 at home to Hibs a couple of weeks ago, Rangers have a pretty formidable record at Ibrox; compared with last seasonâ€™s disaster at group stage (three home defeats), beating Bursaspor and drawing with Valencia indicates that Walter Smithâ€™s side have worked out how to play in the UCL but they need to beat United to stand any chance of qualification for the next round. Unitedâ€™s loss to Bayern Munich earlier this year was their first away defeat in the Champions League since May 2007 and despite supposedly not being at their best, theyâ€™re still undefeated in the Premiership and only need a point to qualify for the next round.
Spurs v Werder Bremen (7:45, Sky Sports 2)
Spursâ€™Â win at Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime was the first time theyâ€™d won at either the Emirates or Highbury since Herbert Chapman was Arsenal manager May 1993 and they should be clear favourites for this game.Â Bremen lost 4-0 at Schalke 04 on Saturday and are currently only four points outside the relegation places in the Bundesliga with the second worst defensive record in that competition this season; if Spurs win â€“ and they should – then theyâ€™re through.