Tuesday, March 19, 2019
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UCL PREVIEW: City, Barca look to bounce back

UCL PREVIEW: City, Barca look to bounce back
October 21
13:28 2014
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Manchester City look to bounce back from dropping points against Roma at the Etihad in their last UEFA Champions League (UCL) game when they face familiar foe, CSKA Moscow, in Khimki on match-day three.

It is deja vu for both sides because, for the second campaign running, they meet at the same stage and at the same venue.

The Barclays Premier League champions visited CSKA on October 23 last year and came from behind to win 2-1 through two Sergio Aguero goals. They also won the return fixture 5-2 on match-day four.

Will lightning strike twice on the same spot in Moscow on Tuesday?

Barcelona lost to Paris Saint-Germain and will be looking to go back to winning ways when they host an Ajax side still seeking their first win in Group F.

Below are the match backgrounds to Tuesday’s key games

CSKA V CITY

  • Leonid Slutski’s side are still without a point in Group E after defeats by Roma (1-5) and Bayern Munich (0-1).
  • CSKA’s reverse to Bayern means they have won just one of their last six UCL home games – and that was played in St Petersburg, against Viktoria Plzen last season, owing to the condition of their Moscow pitch.
  • CSKA’s home record against English opposition is W2 D0 L3. Igor Akinfeev, Aleksei Berezutski, Vasili Berezutski, Sergei Ignashevich, Georgi Schennikov and Alan Dzagoev are all survivors of CSKA’s last home victory over Premier League opposition – 2-0 against Aston Villa (3-1 on aggregate) in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32.
  • The Russian club lost the 2005 UEFA Super Cup 3-1 to Liverpool in Monaco.
  • Like CSKA, City are seeking their first win in Group E after losing at Bayern Munich (0-1) and drawing with Roma (1-1).
  • City had never faced Russian opponents before taking on CSKA last term.

BARCELONA V AJAX

  • Barcelona’s defeat in Paris on September 30 was their earliest loss in a UCL campaign since 2001.
  • Including their 1-0 victory over APOEL in their Group F opener, Barcelona have lost just one of their last 28 home UCL matches.
  • The Blaugrana have never lost at home to Dutch opponents. Their record is W4 D3 L0.
  • With their 1-1 draw at APOEL last time out, Ajax are now without a win in their last eight away matches in the UCL – a run stretching back to a 2-0 victory at Dinamo Zagreb in October 2011.
  • Frank de Boer was playing – and his brother Ronald scored – when Ajax last won in Spain, a 3-2 extra-time success at Club Atletico Madrid in the 1996/97 UCL quarter-finals.
  • Ajax have lost six of their last seven matches in Spain, drawing the other. Their home victory over Barcelona last term was their first against any Spanish club since 2003/04.
  • Their overall record in Spain is W5 D2 L9.

ROMA V BAYERN

  • Roma opened their Group E campaign with a 5-1 home success over CSKA Moscow – their biggest UCL victory in eight years and joint biggest win ever in the competition.
  • Their home record against Bundesliga teams is W7 D1 L3.
  • Francesco Totti has played against Roma’s last four Bundesliga opponents, starting with Karlsruher in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup. He has yet to lose a home tie against a German outfit.
  • Bayern are chasing a third straight victory in Group E after back-to-back 1-0 wins over Manchester City and CSKA.
  • The Reds have lost just one of their last 11 UCL away games.
  • On their last visit to Italy, Bayern triumphed 2-0 at Juventus in the 2012/13 quarter-finals (agg 4-0). Their overall away record against Serie A opposition reads W6 D3 L9.

CHELSEA V MARIBOR

  • Chelsea are facing a side from Slovenia for the first time in European competition.
  • They won at Sporting Lisbon on match-day two, Nemanja Matic making a goal scoring return to Lisbon, to go two points clear at the head of the section. On match-day one, the 2012 champions drew 1-1 at home to Schalke 04.
  • Competing in their 13th group stage campaign and 12th in a row, the London side have won their section in eight of their last 11 campaigns, qualifying as runners-up in two other years.
  • Jose Mourinho lifted the UEFA Champions League with Porto (2004) and Inter (2010) and is bidding to become the first head coach to win the European Cup with three different teams.
  • A year ago, Maribor lost 3-1 at Wigan Athletic in the UEFA Europa League group stage. Their 2-1 home win was their first victory in six matches against English sides: their record is W1 D1 L4 (W0 D0 L3 in England).
  • It was also the first win by a Slovenian club against English opposition in nine UEFA club competition meetings (W1 D2 L6).
  • Maribor rescued a 1-1 draw against Sporting in their first Group G match, through substitute Luka Zahovic’s added-time header, and then led in Gelsenkirchen through Damjan Bohar before Schalke equalised.
  • In their previous group stage appearance 15 years ago, Maribor finished in fourth place with four points, winning 1-0 away against Dynamo Kyiv and drawing 0-0 at Bayer Leverkusen.
  • Maribor have lost just one of their last seven European away games.

THE FIXTURES

GROUP E

CSKA v Man City

Roma v Bayern Munich

GROUP F

Apoel v PSG

Barcelona v Ajax

GROUP G

Chelsea v Maribor

Schalke v Sporting

GROUP H

BATE v Shakhtar Donetsk

Porto v Athletic Bilbao

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