UEFA Champions League preview: Arsenal-PSG duel for group

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
0 Comments

The penultimate day of the UEFA Champions League group stage for 16 clubs comes Wednesday, with the groups still undecided.

A star-studded affair will help settle Group A, with Paris Saint-Germain paying a visit to Arsenal. Both teams are level with 10 points, and drew the first match 1-1 in France. Looking ahead in case of another 1-1 draw, the Gunners have a three-goal lead in differential, and finish at Basel. PSG will host Ludogorets Razgrad.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants it now.

[ MORE: How have national team coaches fared in 2nd stints? ]

“[Topping the group would mean] that we have done the job until the end in a convincing way,” Wenger said. “When you play 1-1 away from home and then you play at home it’s a luxury to be qualified after four games.”

Group B could still be won by a trio of teams, and only Benfica has a place in either the UCL or Europa League knockout rounds clinched. Napoli hosts last-place Dynamo Kyiv with a chance to separate itself from Benfica and Besiktas, who meet in Turkey. Besiktas is in third, a point back of both Napoli and Benfica.

Barcelona feels pretty good about its chance to go through with a two-point lead on Group C’s second place side Manchester City and a five-point advantage on Borussia Monchengladbach. Barca is in “Paradise” against Celtic, and can clinch the group with a win and a Gladbach defeat of Manchester City. Of course, the latter will still be buoyed by its decisive home win over Barca on the last match day.

City will be without Vincent Kompany again, this time for weeks after another knee injury.

We know Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich are headed onto the knockout rounds, and Atleti holds a three-point lead on Bayern for the seeded spot headed into Wednesday’s visit from PSV Eindhoven. The Dutch side opens the day level with last place Rostov on a single point, and only one will head to the Europa League. Rostov hosts a Bayern Munich side that lost an emotional Die Klassiker to Borussia Dortmund at the weekend.

Schedule
Rostov vs. Bayern Munich — Noon EDT
Celtic vs. Barcelona — 2:45 p.m. EDT
Atletico Madrid vs. PSV Eindhoven — 2:45 p.m. EDT
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Manchester City — 2:45 p.m. EDT
Besiktas vs. Benfica — 2:45 p.m. EDT
Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Basel — 2:45 p.m. EDT
Napoli vs. Dynamo Kyiv — 2:45 p.m. EDT
Arsenal vs. Paris Saint-Germain — 2:45 p.m. EDT

Follow @NicholasMendola