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Champions League preview


Champions League preview


Manchester City host the Spaniards of Villarreal on Tuesday night as the Champions League resumes this week.

Sergio Aguero returns from injury to spearhead the strike force as City look to pick up their first win of Group A.

Although flying high at the top of the English Premier League Roberto Mancini’s men have only garnered one point in their first two games in Europe.

Mancini said: ‘‘First of all we need to get the three points, this is very important, Villarreal are a good team, they are used to playing in the Champions League for many years in the last ten years and it will be hard because they play football very well. It is not important if we play well or not well, it is important we win this game.’‘

Villarreal go into the game with serious injury concerns.

Coach Juan Carlos Garrido will be without the services of Brazil striker Nilmar, midfielders Marcos Senna, and Javier Camunas, Marco Ruben and Angel.

Garrido has therefore been forced to call up three players from the youth side.

Ahead of the third round of matches Bayern lead the group on six points with Napoli second on four – those two square off at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples.

Trabzonspor are surprise Group B leaders in their debut champions league season – The Turkish side travel to Moscow to face CSKA who are languishing at the bottom of the pile.

French champions Lille, like CSKA, are hunting their first win of this campaign and host Inter who will play their 100th champions league match Tuesday.

Three times winners Manchester United are in away action at Romanian champions Oţelul Galați. United have defender Nemanja Vidic back in the fold after a calf injury but Rio Ferdinand has been left at home.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are in third spot in Group C following draws against Benfica and Basel, who in turn face off in Switzerland.

Real Madrid once again play Lyon in Group D.

The pair have met each other eight times in the competition since 2005 – Lyon having won three and drawn.

Although Real won the last clash between them the French side have become somewhat of a bogey team for the Spaniards and coach Jose Mourinho is taking nothing for granted.

“Lyon is a serious team, tactically very good, strong in defence, good on the break and dangerous from free kicks, They don’t have Juninho any more but they have Gourcuff and Kallstrom.”

Lyon, who have been a constant thorn in Real’s side in Europe, have struggled for consistency on the domestic stage of late.

For Tuesday’s match coach Remi Garde has Clément Grenier, Cris, Ederson and Yoann Gourcuff return from injury.

Jérémy Pied is out with an ankle problem while Anthony Lopes joins long term absentees Lisandro and Yannis Tafer after surgery on a broken leg.

Real lead the group on a maximum 6 points Lyon are second on four while bringing up the rear are Ajax and Dinamo Zagreb who resume hostilities in Croatia.

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