Preview: Can Tottenham turn the tie around?
Dnipro does not have domestic competition to worry about due to the current break and will thus come into this tie with a full set of players to choose from. Yevheniy Konoplyanka’s late penalty has left Tottenham with a deficit to overcome at home. A 1-0 loss to Norwich will not have helped their confidence. They sit six points behind Liverpool at this point in the Premier League table in fifth.
The goal of the season is to finish in the top four; the loss to Norwich will not have helped.
Sherwood can perhaps get the support of the crowd once again by helping his side turn the tie around at White Hart Lane. Erik Lamela, Kyle Walker, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Younes Kaboul, Vlad Chiriches and Etienne Capoue are all out for Spurs.
Preview: Napoli hopeful of avoiding an upset
The Swans considering their recent form should have been no match for a high flying Napoli side which occupies the third position in the Serie A. However much for their stature the Partenopei were tested to their limits when they faced Swansea in the first leg in Wales. The Jacks performed admirably and were unlucky not to have emerged victorious in the first leg.
To Napoli’s advantage, they have a manager who has quite a pedigree in European competitions. The Spaniard has thrice led his teams to European success once in the Champions League and twice in Europe’s second tier competition.
Preview: Big ‘La Decima’ test in Germany for Los Blancos
Tickets for the Last 8 of the UEFA Champions League are at stake and Real Madrid are hoping to grab them but so do Schalke. Jens Keller affirmed in the build up to the showdown:
“We can't play without showing bravery. We have to find a balance between defence and attack.
“There is no doubt that Real Madrid has an incredible team, but we're not that bad. It all depends on how the team plays as a whole.”
Preview: Drogba set to face former team for the first time
Having spent eight glorious years at Stamford Bridge the Ivory Coast international will now go against his former club for the first time. The 35 year old has established a legendary status at the Stamford Bridge having amassed an impressive 157 goals in 341 appearances for the Blues. His farewell to the club was nothing less than a fairy tale with Drogba winning the Champions League for Chelsea with his last touch after he scored the winning penalty in the final against Bayern Munich.
Preview: The Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium is not an easy place to play
If Manchester United came across this fixture last season, analysts would likely expect a victory for the Red Devils. But with the way things have been going for United after Sir Alex Ferguson, no match is a guarantee anymore.
David Moyes’ side continues to struggle with consistency, and a meeting with the Greek champions promises to be another difficult fixture.
Trailing Liverpool by 11 points in the Premier League, the chances of United claiming a Champions League spot for next season are slim. So they are left with hoping for a serious let down from the teams above them, or they will have to claim the UCL title.
Preview: Can Dortmund replicate last season’s performance once more in the Champions League?
The fact that the UEFA Champions League has an established order is no secret. Let us take a look back to demonstrate just that. In 2008, Manchester United and Chelsea contested the final. In 2009 United took on Barcelona, one of the previous season’s semifinalists, in the final. In 2010, two teams from former hierarchies, Inter Milan and Bayern München, contested the final. In 2011, once again United and Barca took center stage. In 2012, Bayern lost out dramatically on home soil to Chelsea.
And then in 2013, Bayern was finally crowned against Borussia Dortmund.
Preview: Can Hannover trouble Bayern?
Tayfun Korkut’s side have reason to believe they can trouble the Bavarians. Hannover sides managed to do that quite a few times until Bayern became almost untouchable. Last season, both meetings were utterly one sided. Bayern won in the Allianz Arena, 5-0, and 1-6, at the current HDI, but formerly, AWD Arena. Korkut has managed to turn the side into one of the best home teams in the league since taking over.
He will be without Andre Hoffmann due to an unfortunate case of tonsillitis. Hannover’s inspirational captain, the American Steven Cherundolo, Didier Ya Konan, Felipe and Christian Pander are all out as well. On the other hand, he might have Mame Biram Diouf ready for this one. Bayern meanwhile might use this match to finally give Bastian Schweinsteiger his first ninety minutes since his return to the squad. Pep Guardiola will have to make do without the services of Holger Badstuber, Xherdan Shaqiri and Franck Ribery.
Preview: Tottenham looking for third straight league win
Spurs have pulled off some impressive showings in the league recently and aim to displace Liverpool from the top four with only three points separating the two sides. After being subjected to a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Man City at the White Hart Lane, Tottenham have responded well and are undefeated in league games in the last three matches.
In their last Premier League outing the Lilywhites produced a splendid performance defeating Newcastle by a 4-0 score line and will be hoping to make a repeat of that.
Preview: Liverpool back on the pitch after being out during a European week
Champions League football; these are the three words resounding on the minds of Liverpool’s board, management, players and supporters worldwide. The five-time European winners have been out of the continent’s most prestigious competition for too long. However, they are on track to fulfilling their dream of a Top Four finish in the Premier League this season.
Fired up for Sunday’s fixture at home to Swansea City, striker Luis Suarez explained to Liverpool Echo:
We are 2 years away from the 2016 UEFA European Championship which will be staged in Michel Platini’s country, France. It’s time for the continent’s 53 other footballing nations to know which teams they will affront in the qualifying campaign.
For the first time in the history of the tournament, there will be a total of 24 participants instead of the traditional 16-team format used since 1996. This means that only 30 teams will suffer the fate of missing out on Euro 2016 while 23 others will win tickets to France. T
he UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying draw on February 23 will produce eight groups of six teams (from Group A to Group H) and a last section (Group I) of five teams—in total, nine groups.
Preview: Barcelona have not won at the Estadio Anoeta since 2007
Tata Martino's squad responded well to critics and doubters on Tuesday, when they defeat Manchester City at the Etihad. They will now have to turn their attention to La Liga, where they will be trying to break a streak of winless matches.
Saturday's meeting between these two clubs will be the fourth time they have gone head-to-head this season. This La Liga match will also be the Catalan's second visit to Basque Country in 10 days.
Their last meeting on February 12th ended in a one goal draw, but the Blaugrana already had a 2-0 aggregate lead. Messi gave the visitors the lead in the first half, but a goal from Griezmann in the 87th minute gave Sociedad something to smile about.
Preview: Eagles hopeful of continuing good run
Palace have performed admirably under manager Tony Pulis having lost just once at home under the management of the Welsh international. The Eagles have also won three of their last four Premier League games with the only defeat coming at the hands of second placed Arsenal.
Their antics have allowed them to climb to the 15th spot in the table and Pulis’ men will be hoping to distance themselves from the relegation zone with another three points on Saturday.
Preview: Can Mirko Slomka help HSV survive?
Hamburger SV has a clock in their stadium; the clock has been ticking continuously since 1963. The club from the North of Germany was one of the founding members of the Bundesliga and has never been relegated. Even Bayern has spent less time in the Bundesliga as they were not a founding member. This season has seen everything at the club fall apart.
HSV started with Thorsten Fink in charge but eventually, he had to part ways with the side because of just how poor they were doing. Bert Van Marwijk, a massively experienced coach, was then appointed. And last week, even Van Marwijk’s time came to an end. Mirko Slomka has now been charged with saving the dinosaurs of the Bundesliga from extinction.
Preview: Gunners hoping to respond after disappointing European outing
Arsene Wenger’s men will consider themselves unlucky after losing out to defending European Champions Bayern Munich at the Emirates on Wednesday. The Gunners began the match brightly forcing Manuel Neuer in making some fine saves early in the match.
However an injury to left back Kieran Gibbs followed by a red card to goalkeeper Wojciech Szenczy turned the tide into Bayern’s favour who punished the North London side by scoring two goals. The match also saw record signing Mesut Ozil produce another disappointing performance in an Arsenal shirt.
Preview: Can Everton win once again against Chelsea?
A goal in the middle of the match by Steven Naismith saw Chelsea succumb to an excellent Everton side earlier in the season. Everton has produced against the teams ahead of them in the table this season, barring the recent loss to Liverpool of course. However, they have been off form as of late, if a win against Swansea in the FA Cup is excluded. A 1-0 loss to Spurs relegated them to sixth and pushed them behind fourth placed Liverpool by eight points.
Table topping Chelsea is the last side to remain unbeaten at home in the Premier League this season. Personally, Jose Mourinho has gone 73 home games unbeaten in the English Premier League. As manager of Chelsea he has never lost a home game. He will welcome John Terry back into the team but David Luiz is set to miss out due to a muscle problem. Marco Van Ginkel is also still out.
Preview: City hoping to gain momentum in title race
Last time the Citizens played in the Premier League was two weeks back when they bored a 0-0 stalemate against Norwich City. Since then the Etihad side has had a league encounter against Sunderland postponed due to adverse weather conditions and now see themselves trailing Chelsea by three points. If Pellegrini's men succeed in winning both their match tonight as well as the match in hand, they can displace Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea from the top of the table having a much superior goal difference.
Preview: Tricky warm-up for Real before Schalke meeting in Europe
“Today Realmadrid.com embarks on a passionate adventure and you are invited to take part,” the club stated on its newly-designed website on Thursday. On the pitch, meanwhile, the Spanish giants have been doing remarkably well in 2014 but they are yet to win their first major trophy since lifting the 2012 Spanish Supercup at Barcelona’s expense.
It has been a quiet week for Real Madrid in terms of fixtures while La Liga rivals Barcelona and Atletico engaged in Champions League Last 16 action away from home. Could Los Blancos benefit from their week-long rest and guarantee themselves a massive result this Saturday?
Preview: Can Tim Sherwood’s side pick up an away win against Spurs' former boss, Juando Ramos’ side?
Dnipro has not played a match since losing to ACF Fiorentina in December as their domestic league is on its break. This means they do not have any injuries to worry about. This also means that they lack match practice. Tottenham is on the other end of the spectrum having had several matches in the past two months as the Premier League entered the busiest part of its schedule. Tim Sherwood’s players should not have to worry too much though – they are an expensively assimilated team as Juande Ramos pointed out according to UEFA’s official website:
Preview: Juve eyeing a strong performance after Champions League humiliation
The Bianconeri were sent packing from the Champions League after finishing behind Real Madrid and Galatasaray in the group stages and now find themselves competing in Europe’s second tier competition.
Even though Antonio Conte’s men have been the best side in Italy by a margin, currently leading second placed AS Roma by nine points, their performances in Champions League were weak and uninspiring which resulted in their eventual knockout.
Preview: Arsenal welcomes Bayern Munich to the Emirates exactly one year later
Arsenal’s last meeting with Bayern Munich had a positive outcome, despite the English side having been eliminated from the Champions League. The away goal rule placed a dark cloud over a brilliant performance from the Gunners at the Allianz Arena.
That 0-2 victory offered Arsene Wenger’s side a breath of fresh air. They began to believe in themselves, and went on to finish strong in the Premier League.
Bayern Munich now returns to the Emirates, where they defeated the Gunners 1-3 last season. Oddly enough, the first leg last season took place on February 19th, which is the same date of this season’s first leg at the Emirates. But will the result repeat itself?