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Champions League: round two


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Champions League: round two

The second round of group matches in the Champions League begins on Tuesday.

Chelsea travel to Steaua Bucharest who after a 3-0 defeat to Schalke in their opener prop up the bottom of the table.

Although the Blues aren’t far behind after also losing their opener.

Juan Mata – who has been overlooked by boss Jose Mourinho of late – will start Tuesday’s game but Belgian international Kevin de Bruyne has been left in London after failing to impress ‘the Special One’ who reached boiling point after being questioned on his recent decisions.

He said: ‘‘I try to be honest with Juan (Mata) and say that he is going to play tomorrow because of what he did in training and because what he did in the last matches he played. With Kevin (de Bruyne) it’s the same. He is not selected because I didn’t like the, the match he played against Swindon and I didn’t like the way he was training, but you have this tendency: you only ask about the guys that are not selected.”

Mourinho eventually walked out of the news conference after being irritated by the questions.

Basel who beat Chelsea in their first match host the Germans of Schalke in the other Group E game at St Jakob Park.

Arsenal are without a host of first team players including Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Abou Diaby.

But Tomas Rosicky returns from a hamstring injury as the Gunners entertain high flying Napoli and their all-too familiar coach in former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez

Wenger was full of praise for Benitez saying: “I think he’s a top class manager and he has proven that, so when you are confronted with his teams you know that it will be always difficult. But we are up for it, we want to do it and I feel we have the confidence to do it”.

Napoli head to the Group F tie at the Emirates unbeaten in all competitions under Benitez.

The Italians will have added confidence after kicking off their campaign by beating last year’s runners up Borussia Dortmund in their opener two weeks ago.

Dortmund host Marseille in the other Group F encounter.

Paulo Fonseca will oversee his first European home game at the helm of Porto on Tuesday night when the Portuguese side host on-form Atletico Madrid in Group G.

Both sides enjoyed opening wins with Fonseca’s men beating Austria Vienna and the Spaniards downing Zenit St Peterseburg 3-1.

Ajax host seven times champions AC Milan in Group H.

Frank de Boer’s men will be spurred on by their 6-0 mauling of Go Ahead Eagles last weekend, although Milan present a much tougher ask

After losing 4-0 to Barcelona in their first game Ajax can ill afford another setback.

Barca will be without world player of the year Lionel Messi while Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Carlos Puyol also miss out as the Spaniards take on Celtic in Glasgow.

Group H is the first ever group to boast four former European champions.

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