UCL PREVIEW: City, CSKA, Roma in win-or-bust ties

UCL PREVIEW: City, CSKA, Roma in win-or-bust ties
November 25
11:55 2014

Bayern Munich have already sealed top spot in Group E but Manchester City need a positive result against the champions of Germany to revive their fading UEFA Champions League (UCL) ambitions.

City must win or hope the early game between CSKA Moscow and Roma finishes as a draw to remain in contention.

CSKA will look to avenge the 5-1 opening-night defeat in Rome when the sides meet again in the Russian capital, with each targeting second spot in the group.

CSKA, buoyed by victory at the Etihad last time out, sit level on four points with Roma but need to beat the Giallorossi to usurp them in second place.

Roma will secure qualification if they beat CSKA and City fail to defeat Bayern.

Below are the match backgrounds to Tuesday’s key games.


  • City lost to a last-minute goal at Bayern on Match Day 1 and are still without a win in the group.
  • Beaten 2-1 at home by CSKA last time out, the English title holders have posted only two victories in their last nine home fixtures in the UCL.
  • City risk elimination at the group stage for the third time in four attempts. They reached the last 16 last term but finished third in their group in 2011/12 and fourth in 2012/13, when they failed to win a game.
  • City’s home record against Bundesliga opposition is W3 D2 L1.
  • Bayern secured their biggest European away win in their last fixture on the road – 7-1 at Roma on Match Day 3.
  • The Bavarian side have lost just one of their last 13 UCL away games.
  • They have won four and drawn one of their last five matches in England – including the 2013 UCL final against Borussia Dortmund.
  • Their overall record away to English teams is W5 D8 L6.



  • CSKA are seeking to qualify for the last 16 for the third time in six years.
  • Including this campaign’s defeat by Bayern (1-0) and draw with City (2-2), CSKA have won just one of their last seven UCL home matches – 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 Italian sides is W2 D1 L4. They have actually won more away games against Serie A opposition (three in eight matches).
  • Roma are chasing a first away victory in Group E after drawing at City (1-1) and losing at Bayern (2-0). They have won at least one away game in each of their preceding four group stage campaigns.
  • The Giallorossi won on each of their three previous trips to Russia and their overall record against Russian opponents is W6 D0 L1.

APOEL v Barcelona

  • APOEL’s three defeats have been by a 1-0 scoreline – including their Match Day 1 loss at Barcelona – but they have found the net only once, making them the group stage’s joint-lowest scorers along with AS Monaco.
  • APOEL have never beaten Spanish opposition. Their home record against Liga visitors is W0 D4 L2.
  • APOEL’s last home game against a Spanish side brought a 3-0 defeat by Real Madrid in the 2011/12 UCL quarter-final first leg (aggregate 8-2).
  • On November 25, 2009, APOEL earned a 1-1 home draw with Club Atletico Madrid in the UCL group stage.
  • Barcelona have had mixed fortunes on the road this term, losing at PSG (3-2) but winning at Ajax (2-0) last time out.
  • The Blaugrana have won three and lost five of their last ten UCL away matches.
  • Barcelona have faced Cypriot opposition twice before – both in the first round of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. They knocked out Apollon Limassol FC in 1982/83 (8-0h, 1-1a) and AEK Larnaca FC in 1996/97 (2-0h, 0-0a), with current manager, Luis Enrique playing in both legs of the latter tie.



  • The French team are looking to advance as group winners for the third year running.
  • With their 1-0 victory over APOEL last time out, PSG made it 31 matches unbeaten at home in UEFA competition (21 wins, 10 draws). This run dates back to a 4-2 reverse to Hapoel Tel-Aviv in the UEFA Cup group stage in November 2006.
  • Prior to their 1-1 draw at Ajax on match day one, PSG’s sole meeting with Eredivisie opposition was a 4-0 home success over FC Twente in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage.
  • Ajax are aiming to secure the consolation of third place in their section for the fifth season running in the UCL.
  • Ajax have lost three and drawn one of their last four matches in France – their most recent trip bringing a 0-0 draw at Olympique Lyonnais in the 2011/12 UCL group stage.
  • Ajax’s overall record in France in W4 D2 L4. Their last victory away to Ligue 1 opposition was a 2-0 success at Lyon in the 2002/03 first group stage.
  • This term marks the 20th anniversary of Ajax’s last UEFA Champions League triumph.


  • Schalke appointed Roberto Di Matteo as coach on October 7 following the departure of Jens Keller. It is the Italian’s first role since leaving Chelsea in November 2012. That came just six months after he had led the west London outfit to UEFA Champions League glory with a penalty shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich in the Germans’ own stadium.
  • Schalke have won 10 of their last 20 European home games, with five draws and five defeats. On Match Day 3, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting converted an added-time penalty to give them a dramatic 4-3 victory over Sporting Lisbon after the visitors had first taken the lead and then retrieved a 3-1 deficit to level.
  • Schalke went in front in the return against the Lisbon team only to lose 4-2, a defeat which left them with just a one-point advantage over Sporting in second position.
  • The Konigsblauen have not won in their last five home fixtures with English opponents, losing three and drawing two. Their home record against English sides is W3 D2 L3.
  • The Blues won 1-0 at Sporting on Match Day two, Nemanja Matic making a goalscoring return to Lisbon. After overwhelming Maribor 6-0 at home, they were then held 1-1 in Slovenia yet are still three points clear in the section.
  • Chelsea’s overall record against Bundesliga opposition is W9 D5 L4. After the UCL final triumph, they played Bayern again 15 months later in the UEFA Super Cup in Prague, succumbing 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
  • Chelsea’s last defeat against German opposition was a 2-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen on November 23, 2011; they went on to win the competition.
  • Chelsea, in their 13th group stage campaign and 12th in a row, have topped their section in eight of their last 11 seasons, qualifying as runners-up in two other years.
  • Jose Mourinho lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy with Porto (2004) and Inter (2010) and is bidding to become the first manager to win the European Cup with three different teams.


Group E

CSKA v Roma

Man City v Bayern Munich

Group F               

Apoel v Barcelona

PSG v Ajax

Group G              

Schalke v Chelsea

Sporting v Maribor

Group H              

BATE v Porto

Shaktar Donetsk v Athletic Bilbao



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