Champions League Preview and Predictions

Champions League Preview – Tuesday 16th February

AC Milan v Manchester United

Winning the group is said to be an advantage in the Champions League. You play your first knock-out stage game away and it is against one of the group runners up. However, when that team is AC Milan, a team that has won the tournament 7 times and reached the final on another 4 occassions, the so-called advantage is hard to find.

United travelled to Milan without Nemanja Vidic who is yet to play in 2010. Sir Alex Ferguson will have to decide between Wes Brown or Jonny Evans to partner Rio Ferdinand. United are also without Ryan Giggs and Anderson as they prepare to face a team who have edged them on all four occasions they have met in a two-legged European tie.

Milan will be happy to welcome back Alexandre Pato but they will be without Maro Borriello. After being left out of the lastest Brazil squad, Ronaldinho will be hoping to prove a point on the European stage.

Probable Line Up’s

Milan (4-3-3): Dida, Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Favalli; Gattuso, Ambrosini, Pirlo; Beckham/Huntelaar, Pato, Ronaldinho

Manchester United (4-3-3): Van Der Sar, Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Fletcher, Scholes, Valencia, Carrick, Nani; Rooney

My Prediction : Milan 1 United 0

Goal: Pato

Can United win in the San Siro or will it be another disappointment for Ferguson’s men? State your predicitions!

Lyon v Real Madrid

For once, it won’t be Ronaldo who is centre of attention for tomorrow nights match. Nor will it be Kaka. In fact, when the two teams walk out at the Stade Gerland, the focus of the stadium will be on Karim Benzema. As if it was by fate that Chelsea drew Inter and Jose Mourinho, similarly, it was inevitable that Lyon would draw Real Madrid and open up the opportunity for the Golden Boy to return home.

The 22-year old had been suffering from a muscle injury but has recovered in time and has travelled with the squad. Real will be without the in-form Guti, Rafael van der Vaart and Christoph Metzelder.

Lyon have beaten Madrid on both of their previous two visits to France but they will be well aware that this improved team (£250million) will be a lot stronger than the teams they faced before.

Lyon go into the match on the back of a mixed run of recent results. In their last five fixtures in all competitions they have recorded two wins, two defeats and a draw. Real will be buzzing after their win, combined with Barcelona’s first loss of the season, reduced the gap at the top of La Liga to just two points.

Claude Puel has already expressed his concern at the stomach bug that forced Anthony Reveillere to pull out of their weekend fixture. There are fears that the bug could spread in the camp before kick-off. Lyon will be looking to Lisandro Lopez who, having been rested at the weekend, will be out to show that he is the one to fill the void left by Benzema.

Probable Line Up’s

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas, Ramos, Albiol, Garay, Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Lass, Kaka, Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuain

Lyon (4-4-2) : Lloris; Reveillere, Cris, Boumsong, Cissokho; Toulalan, Kallstrom; Govou, Pjanic, Delgado; Lisandro

My Prediction: Lyon 1 Real Madrid 3

Goals: Lisandro, Ronaldo, Higuain x 2

Will Lyon be able to stop the might of Real Madrid? Will Benzema score on his return? State your predicitions!