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What Arsenal and Liverpool need to do - Champions League preview

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With the final round of games in the 2014/15 Champions League group stages upon us, there are only a few final positions to sort out before the draw can be made for the round of 16 - where the fun really starts.

Of the Premier League interest on the Tuesday fixtures, Liverpool's are in a tight spot with regards to knockout qualification while a win for Arsenal could give them an unlikely bonus for the February fixtures.

We have a comprehensive preview of tonight's matches in Groups A, B, C and D - all you need do is read on to get the fill lowdown on the ramifications...

Group B

Real Madrid v Ludogorets

Real have already won Group B with an impressive nine-point lead of second-placed Basel. 'Los Merengues' will have to face the Bulgarian side without James Rodriguez (calf).

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Luka Modric (thigh) and Sami Khedira (head) are out; Sergio Ramos will also miss the match after picking up three yellow cards.

Ludogorets are currently bottom of the group, level on points with third place Liverpool and are vying for a place in the Europa League. The side will be without Roman Bezjak (groin); Mihail Alexsandrov (muscle strain) remains a doubt.

Liverpool v Basel

Liverpool have to beat Basel to finish second in Group B, however they could end up fourth if they drop points against the Swiss side and Ludogorets beat Real.

The Reds’ tie will be made more difficult by the continued absence of Mario Balotelli (hamstring) and Daniel Sturridge (thigh). Mamadou Sakho (thigh) will also miss out along with Jon Flanagan (knee).

Basel are still without long-term absentee Ivan Ivanov (knee), striker Giovanni Sio (knee) is Basel’s other casualty.

Group A

Juventus v Atletico Madrid

Juventus need a point against Atletico to guarantee qualification from the group but will have to do it without Kwadwo Asamoah (abductor) and Andrea Barzagli (ankle) as well as Romulo, Martin Caceres and Kingsley Coman (all knee).

Atletico, who have already qualified, are going into the match without Miranda (hamstring) and Cristian Ansaldi (ankle).

Olympiakos v Malmo

The Greek champions can go into this game knowing that a win could see them into the knockout rounds, should Juventus fail to pick up a point against Atletico.

Olympiakos will be without Jimmy Durmaz (thigh) and Luka Milivojevic (knee).

Malmo’s only casualty is Erik Johansson who will miss out after his red card against Juventus.

Group C

AS Monaco v Zenit

Monaco are without the suspended Ricardo Carvalho for this match. Layvin Kurzawa (hamstring) and Geoffrey Kondogbia (thigh) are also out of the match.

Zenit can field a full strength side with the exception of Russian striker Alexander Kerzhakov (foot).

The Russians could top the group if Bayer Leverkusen fail to pick up a point against Benfica; Monaco are second in the group, one point ahead of Zenit and a point behind Leverkusen.

Benfica v Bayer Leverkusen

Benfica are without Luisao and Andreas Samaris who are both suspended.

Leverkusen have their own share of injury problems, Kyriakos Papadopoulos (shoulder), Stefan Reinartz (cheekbone), Giulio Donati (shoulder) and Lars Bender (stomach) are all set to miss the match.

A win for Leverkusen will guarantee them top spot in the group but a point will be enough to secure qualification.

Group D

Galatasaray v Arsenal

The Turkish side will finish bottom of the group regardless of the result but will have to do so without Blerim Dzemaili (hamstring) and the suspended Selcuk Inan.

Arsenal however are without David Ospina (thigh), Mesut Özil (knee), Abou Diaby (Calf), Theo Walcott (groin) and Jack Wilshere (ankle).

Nacho Monreal (ankle), Mikel Arteta (calf) and Tomas Rosicky (thigh) are also doubts for the game.

The Gunners are guaranteed qualification to the next round but need to win this match and hope Dortmund drop points against Anderlecht to top the group.

Borussia Dortmund v Anderlecht

Experienced midfielder Sebastian Kehl (rib, thigh) will miss the match along with Marco Reus (ankle) and Sokratis Papastathopoulos (leg).

For the Belgians, Matias Suarez (knee) has been ruled out along with Bram Nuytinck (toe); midfielders Steven Defour (calf) and Andy Najar (thigh) are doubts for the game.

Anderlecht will finish third in the group regardless of results but a point will be enough for Dortmund to guarantee top spot.

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
James Rodriguez
Liverpool
Real Madrid
Arsenal
Football

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