As we enter the fourth round of games for this season's Champions League group stages there's certainly an air of anticipation to be felt.
To make good of the fact that literally every point counts now there's more than one humdinger of a tie to be seen this week, and so GMS contributor Mikael Hemlin has offered a preview of what can be expected from each group during tonight's round of fixtures.
Manchester City FC (ENG) - PFC CSKA Moscow (RUS)
- Manchester City continue to struggle on the biggest stage. The English outfit have so far only managed to claim two points but, although they have a poor record so far, they have to be considered as clear favourites in this game.
Bayern Munich FC (GER) - AS Roma (ITA)
- The devastating 7-1 loss is fresh in Roma's memory and on top of that they will be playing in Germany on Wednesday. Even if the Italians went up as leaders of Serie A last week, beating the strongest team in the world on their field is a seemingly impossible task.
Paris Saint Germain (FRA) - APOEL FC (CYP)
- The Parisians almost dropped points against APOEL in Cyprus two weeks ago, but managed to retain the group lead thanks to a late goal from Edinson Cavani. It will be exciting to see how the Cypriots fare when away from home.
- Cristiano Ronaldo can embarrass Liverpool on way to record tonight
- Cesc Fabregas wants Champions League triumph with Chelsea
AFC Ajax (NED) - FC Barcelona (SPA)
- Barca have had a rough week that opens a lot of questions for discussion within the organization. The Blaugrana's defence seemed reliable at the start of the season, but it has been heavily penalised by teams with players of higher quality. Wether or not Ajax are one of those teams remains to be seen.
Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR) - FC Schalke 04 (GER)
- The previous game between these two teams made for excellent viewing. The culmination showed 4-3 in favour of Schalke, who still have yet to lose in this year's Champions League. For Sporting, the loss was another set back.
The team currently sits last place in the group, and their results are frustrating for anyone who supports them.
NK Maribor (SLO) - Chelsea FC (ENG)
- The last edition of this match up was a savage beat down from Chelsea. This time the game will be played in Slovenia, but considering the story of the last game, that won't affect who comes away with the points.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) - FC BATE Borisov (BLR)
- Out of all the humiliations from the previous round, this was the most brutal one. The score sheet showed 7-0 in favour of the away team after full time, and Luis Adriano became the second player ever, after Lionel Messi, to score five goals in a single UCL game.
Hopefully the thrashing won't repeat itself, but the direction in which the points most likely will go should not be much of an argument.
Athletic Club (SPA) - Porto FC (POR)
- Athletic Bilbao has followed an amazing season with, so far, a really disappointing one. They are currently in a very modest 11th place in the La Liga, and it is not looking better in the Champions League.
Porto, on the other hand, have started their Champions League campaign in good fashion, with seven points after the first half of the group stage. This match will be played on Athletic's new stadium in Bilbao, where they're usually very strong. Anything can happen.
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