Champions League Wednesday preview: Arsenal can advance, Liverpool need kick-start

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Take a look at the breakdown of all the Champions League action taking place today as Matchday 5 comes to a close.

Zenit vs. Benfica kicks off at 12 p.m. ET, while all other matches are set for a 2:45 start.

GROUP A:

Atletico Madrid vs. Olympiacos

Atletico can advance with a win today as they host Greek champions Olympiacos. The Greeks stunned Atletico with a 3-2 win earlier in the group stage, and Atletico will be eager to avenge the loss as they have won 19 of their last 21 European matches at home. A win for Olympiacos would shock many and send them level on points at the top of Group A.

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Malmo vs. Juventus

Juventus has dropped both of its matches away from home in group play, a trend they will look to reverse in Sweden this afternoon. The Serie A leaders have been absolutely dominant in Italy as they hope to earn three points against Malmo, who they beat 2-0 earlier in the competition.

GROUP B:

Ludogorets vs. Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers has said a win for the Reds could turn their season around, and that’s exactly what they need. Liverpool have lost three straight league games and three straight European matches, looking like a shell of the team that finished second in the Premier League last season. A loss for Liverpool and a result for Basel against Madrid could see the Reds eliminated from the competition.

FC Basel vs. Real Madrid

With Real Madrid already into the knockout rounds, Carlo Ancelotti has chosen to rest Pepe and Sami Khedira for their match in Switzerland. Unfortunately for Basel, Cristiano Ronaldo will still be in the lineup. The Spanish giants are riding a 14-game win streak and will look to steamroll their Swiss opposition once again, as they defeated Basel 5-1 on matchday one.

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source: Getty Images
Andre Villas-Boas will try to lead his Zenit side to a home victory.

GROUP C:

Zenit vs. Benfica

Zenit defeated a ten-men Benfica earlier in group play as the Portuguese champions will travel to Russia with revenge on their minds. Tied at the bottom of the group with four points, goal differential could come into play in a very tight Group C. It’s going to be a cold one in St. Petersburg with temperatures expected below freezing at kick-off.

Bayer Leverkusen vs. AS Monaco

A win for Leverkusen means they will advance as the winners of Group C, making three points massive for the German side. However, it was Monaco who came out victorious in their last meeting, a 1-0 result in September. With Monaco resting some players over the weekend in anticipation for this match, a good fixture is in order at the BayArena.

GROUP D:

Arsenal vs. Borussia Dortmund

The Gunners only need a point to advance as they host Dortmund, the most perplexing side in Europe. The German side has struggled enormously in the Bundesliga, yet remains undefeated in Champions League play. Arsenal have also seen their fair share of struggles, as many are calling for a new manager to replace Arsene Wenger. The top name floating around as a possible replacement: Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp.

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Anderlecht vs. Galatasaray

The two teams at the bottom of Group D have slim chances of advancing to the knockout rounds, but are technically still in the running. Galatasary have struggled in Turkey’s Super Lig, but that has added only more concern for Anderlecht, with their manager Besnik Hasi saying “A wounded animal can be very dangerous.”