Champions League Preview

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by Andy Blair, Chief Sports Correspondent

The Champions league returns tonight after the winter break. With the group stages over it gets down to business now with the knockout stage of the competition.  The four British clubs each have a difficult test to see if they can make it to the next round.

On Tuesday Claudio Ranieri makes a return to Stanford Bridge as his Juventus side take on Chelsea.  And Liverpool have the unenviable challenge of a trip to the Santiago Bernabéu to face a Real Madrid team hitting form in La Liga.  In other games tonight, Bacelona travel to Lyon to take on the French champions and Athletico Madrid host Portugal’s Porto.

On Wednesday evening Arsenal welcome Roma, who are currently lying 6th in Serie A, to the emirates stadium.

[caption id=”attachment_1875” align=”alignleft” width=”150” caption=”Fergie is likely to enjoy Mourinho’s mind games”][/caption]

At the same time, Manchester United head to Italy for the undoubted tie of the round to take on Inter Milan at the San Siro.  With both teams top of their respective domestic tables, United as current European and World Champions and Inter heading for a 4th consecutive Serie A title, the stage is set for a titanic battle.  Manchester United have a poor record at the San Siro, with one draw and five defeats from their six previous matches.  The mind games have already begun between old foes Mourinho and Ferguson, with the Inter coach suggesting United won’t be able to play their usual brand of attacking football in Milan.

Elsewhere on the Wednesday evening Villarreal host Greeks Panathinaikos at the Madrigal stadium and Bayern München travel to Portugal to take on Sporting in Lisbon.

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