Tag Archives: League

Arsenal face Barca in Champions League

Arsenal will face holders Barcelona in the Champions League final 16.

Chelsea have been drawn against Paris St-Germain for the third consecutive season, whilst Manchester City face Dynamo Kiev.

Roma versus Real Madrid and Juventus, last year’s beaten finalists, against Bayern Munich are two of the standout matches in the draw.

1st legs are scheduled to take spot on 16-17 and 23-24 February. Return legs are on 8-9 and 15-16 March.

The winners of each group, which includes Chelsea and Manchester City, are at home in the second legs, even though Arsenal will host their very first leg.

Barcelona v Arsenal is a repeat of the 2006 final, which the Spanish champions won 2-1 thanks to two late targets in Paris.

PSG, who are 17 points clear at the leading of the French league, knocked Chelsea out on away goals at this stage last season, whilst the Blues beat them on the exact same rule in the quarter-finals the earlier year.

Dynamo Kiev beat Manchester City in the 2010-11 Europa League final 16, with striker Mario Balotelli sent off for the English side.

The first leg in Kiev will be played in an empty stadium, as Dynamo Kiev had been punished following racist attacks on fans in the course of a group game against Chelsea.

The draw for the quarter-finals will be held on 18 March with the semi-final line-up drawn on 15 April.

Draw in full

Gent v Wolfsburg

Roma v Actual Madrid

Paris St-Germain v Chelsea

Arsenal v Barcelona

Juventus v Bayern Munich

PSV Eindhoven v Atletico Madrid

Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg

Dynamo Kiev v Manchester City

Leicester cannot win league – Mahrez

Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez has dismissed his team’s chances of winning the Premier League, despite getting leading.

The Foxes narrowly avoided relegation last season but are two points clear at the summit soon after 15 games.

But Mahrez, who took his purpose tally to 11 with Saturday’s treble at Swansea, is more concerned at getting the eight more points needed to attain 40, a total generally sufficient for survival.

“I never think we can win the league,” the 24-year-old told BBC Planet Service.

“We just require to get the 40 points and then soon after that we will see.”

Current top six

The Algeria international’s form, along with that of 14-aim group-mate Jamie Vardy, has been instrumental in Leicester’s rise.

“I am not surprised because I knew I could do the items that I have done,” Mahrez added.

“Football is just self-assurance. When you start off scoring and you carry on it offers you a lot more self-assurance so perhaps that has helped me.”

Don’t take me for a ‘sucker’

Marseille president Vincent Labrune reportedly dismissed the idea  of the French club signing Mahrez when the player was recommended to him as a potential target in December 2014.

“Do you genuinely believe that Leicester players now have a place at Olympique Marseille?” Labrune is quoted as saying. “I never place up with men and women taking me for a sucker.”

“He thinks what he thinks. I know what I am, I know what I’m carrying out in the football, I know what I can do,” Mahrez mentioned.

“The individuals who do not know football – I do not want to speak about them.

“Everyone’s not going to really like you. Often some people adore you, some individuals hate you, some men and women do not like your football. That’s life so I do not care, I do not mind.”

Where does the group leading after 15 games finish?

Season Team Final position Season Group Final position

1993

Norwich

3rd

2005

Chelsea

1st

1994

Man Utd

1st

2006

Chelsea

1st

1995

Man Utd

2nd

2007

Man Utd

1st

1996

Newcastle

2nd

2008

Arsenal

3rd

1997

Arsenal

3rd

2009

Liverpool

2nd

1998

Man Utd

2nd

2010

Chelsea

1st

1999

Aston Villa

6th

2011

Man Utd

1st

2000

Man Utd

1st

2012

Man City

1st

2001

Man Utd

1st

2013

Man Utd

1st

2002

Liverpool

2nd

2014

Arsenal

3rd

2003

Arsenal

2nd

2015

Chelsea

1st

2004

Chelsea

2nd

2016

Leicester

?

Who can qualify in Champions League?

Thirteen into seven just won’t go.

As the group stage of the Champions League comes to an finish this week, 13 sides are in the operating for the seven remaining spaces in the knockout rounds.

Manchester City are among the nine teams who have ensured their progress prior to Tuesday and Wednesday’s final games, but fellow Premier League sides Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea all have work to do.

With the ranking of teams finishing level on points decided on their head-to-head records just before objective distinction, BBC Sport looks at the picture in every group.

Group A – Real & PSG by means of

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale scored when Real Madrid won the Champions League in 2014. How far can they go this time?

Currently certified: Real Madrid, Paris St-Germain

Out of contention: Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo

This week’s fixtures: True Madrid v Malmo, Paris St-Germain v Shakhtar Donetsk (each Tuesday, 19:45 GMT) Live text commentary on BBC Sport site and app

European giants PSG and True have secured their locations in the knockout phase, with Real also wrapping up that all-essential group winner’s spot.

All that is left to play for in Group A is third place and a spot in the Europa League. Shakhtar lead Malmo on head-to-head record thanks to a four- win in Lviv in November. The Ukrainian side will take third spot unless Malmo acquire much more points than them on Tuesday. At the Bernabeu.

The Swedes have finished bottom of their Uefa group on both previous occasions – in the Champions League last season and in the Europa League in 2011-12.

Group B – United need a win

Morgan Schneiderlin of Manchester United

Manchester United could have secured qualification final time out against PSV but have been held to a – draw

Already qualified: No one

Can nevertheless qualify: Wolfsburg, Manchester United , PSV Eindhoven

Out of contention: CSKA Moscow

This week’s fixtures: PSV v CSKA Moscow, Wolfsburg v Manchester United (each Tuesday, 19:45 GMT) Live text commentary on BBC Sport internet site and app. Complete match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

Manchester United have left themselves with a lot of work to do to qualify from a wide-open Group B.

United head to Germany needing a win to secure qualification, with a draw not enough if PSV Eindhoven beat CSKA Moscow in the night’s other game. The only way a point will be adequate for Louis van Gaal’s side to progress is if PSV do not win at property to CSKA.

Wolfsburg will top the group if they beat United, but will also qualify with a draw regardless of final results elsewhere. A United win could see the German side eliminated though.

PSV will be motivated by the understanding that if they do win, they are certainly through. A PSV draw will be adequate for them to finish second if Manchester United drop.

Whoever finishes third out of United, PSV or Wolfsburg will enter the Europa League.

Group C – Smooth sailing for Benfica and Atleti

Already qualified: Benfica, Atletico Madrid

Out of contention: Galatasaray, Astana

This week’s fixtures: Benfica v Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray v Astana (both Tuesday, 19:45 GMT) Reside text commentary on BBC Sport web site and app

Benfica and 2014 runners-up Atletico Madrid are already through and a point from their showdown in Lisbon on Tuesday will be enough for the hosts to prime the group.

Galatasaray – whose only win so far came against Benfica – will take third spot and a Europa League spot unless they lose at home to Astana of Kazakhstan.

Group D – City hope to prime the group

Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero’s last-minute winner in Monchengladbach in September was a essential moment in the group

Currently certified: Juventus, Manchester City

Out of contention: Borussia Monchengladbach, Sevilla

This week’s fixtures: Manchester City v Borussia Monchengladbach, Sevilla v Juventus (both Tuesday, 19:45 GMT) Live text commentary on BBC Sport internet site and app

In spite of losing home and away to Juventus, Manchester City have safely secured passage from Group D and will be hoping for a assisting hand in a bid to finish prime. Following becoming knocked out by Barcelona in every of the final two seasons, Manuel Pellegrini will be keen to win the group and avoid one more big hitter.

To finish prime, City need to have to beat Borussia Monchengladbach at the Etihad and hope that Sevilla beat last year’s finalists Juve in Spain. Any other mixture of outcomes will see the Italian side take leading spot.

Sevilla have won the Europa League for every single of the final two seasons and will be back in the competitors if they win and Monchengladbach do not beat City.

Group E – Who will join Barca in final 16?

Currently qualified: Barcelona

Can nevertheless qualify: Roma, Bayer Leverkusen, BATE Borisov

This week’s fixtures: Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona, Roma v BATE Borisov (each Wednesday, 19:45 GMT) Reside text commentary on BBC Sport site and app

Even with an injury to talisman Lionel Messi, holders Barcelona have cruised through the group, sewing up top spot easily with Luis Suarez scoring 5 objectives in five games. Opponents Leverkusen require to beat Barca and hope that Roma do not win at home to BATE Borisov to take second spot.

Conversely, Roma will definitely progress with a victory. BATE will go by way of if they win and Leverkusen drop points.

Group F – Like 1989, Gunners want a two-objective win…

Currently certified: Bayern Munich

Can nevertheless qualify: Olympiakos, Arsenal

Out of contention: Dinamo Zagreb

This week’s fixtures: Olympiakos v Arsenal, Dinamo Zagreb v Bayern Munich (each Wednesday, 19:45 GMT) Reside text commentary on BBC Sport site and app. Full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

The only group capable of difficult El Clasico ? Bayern Munich shrugged off a two- defeat at the Emirates to make it by means of to the final 16 effortlessly and have won Group F.

The question is, can Arsenal join them? The Gunners can qualify in second spot with a greater head-to-head record than Olympiakos. They want a win in Athens that ‘beats’ Olympiakos’ 3-2 win in London in September. For example two-, four-two – although as a 3-two win would also be very good sufficient for Arsenal to go via on all round objective distinction, in practice they would go by way of with any win apart from 1- or 2-1.

Michael Thomas

“Thomas! Right at the finish!” – Michael Thomas wins the 1988-89 league title with an injury-time goal for Arsenal at Anfield

They have history of winning by a two-objective margin when it matters. “It is up for grabs noooowwwww…”

Group G – Blues want a point

Already certified: Nobody

Can nevertheless qualify: Porto, Chelsea, Dynamo Kiev

Out of contention: Maccabi Tel Aviv

This week’s fixtures: Chelsea v Porto, Dynamo Kiev v Maccabi Tel Aviv (each Wednesday 19:45 GMT) Live text commentary on BBC Sport internet site and app

Willian

Willian has scored four cost-free-kicks in the group already

Chelsea’s fate in Group G is clear – they need a point from their meeting with Porto at Stamford Bridge to safe a place in the final 16.

The winner of that match will prime the group.

Dynamo Kiev – who face whipping boys Maccabi Tel Aviv – will be sure of a location in the final 16 with a win thanks to a superior head-to-head record against Porto.

If Kiev win and Chelsea and Porto draw, all 3 teams will finish on 11 points. Their fate would then be decided by their three-way head-to-head record – with their group benefits against every single other converted into a mini-league – and it would be Porto who finish third and head into the Europa League.

Group H – Important managerial debut for Neville

Gary Neville

Gary Neville created his entrance as Valencia head coach at a news conference final Thursday

Currently qualified: Zenit St Petersburg

Can nevertheless qualify: Gent, Valencia

Out of contention: Lyon

This week’s fixtures: Gent v Zenit, Valencia v Lyon (both Wednesday, 19:45 GMT) Reside text commentary on BBC Sport website and app

Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has dominated Group H, with his Zenit St Petersburg side holding the only 100% record in the competitors. Zenit have long since sewn up leading spot in the table – but can Gary Neville steer Valencia by means of?

Neville, 40, will become the 1st English manager to take portion in the Champions League group stages since Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham reached the quarter-finals in 2011 when he takes charge for the house match against Lyon on Wednesday.

The stakes could hardly be greater. Win, and Neville’s new team will attain the last 16 – providing that Gent do not beat Zenit at home.

A draw is no great for Neville, even if Gent drop, as the Belgians hold the upper hand in their head-to-head record.

Women’s Big Bash League set to commence

Australia pace bowler Holly Ferling will be in action for Brisbane Heat on the opening day

The inaugural Women’s Big Bash League gets beneath way in Australia on Saturday – with nine existing England players signed up by the eight franchises.

The WBBL, a Twenty20 tournament, will run until the final on 24 January.

It starts with a double-header in Melbourne’s Junction Oval as Brisbane Heat, with England’s Lauren Winfield and Kate Cross, take on Melbourne Stars whose squad includes Natalie Sciver.

It is played in parallel with the men’s Large Bash which starts on 17 December.

Eight of the 59 WBBL games will be shown on Australian free of charge-to-air television, with several games grouped about weekends with totally free entry for spectators.

England vice-captain Heather Knight was named as Hobart Hurricanes skipper