Sunday, September 24, 2006

Champions League Matchday 2: What's on TV Tuesday

Group G
Arsenal v. Porto

2:30 pm EST
Setanta Sports

Arsenal meet up with Porto at Emirates Stadium in Matchday 2 of the Group Stage. Coming off of their first win at Old Trafford in four years, the Gunners see a Porto side that holds a 3 point lead in the Portuguese Superliga and looks to win its first CL game away from home to English opposition.

Porto need to score its first goals of this year’s competition, after a goalless draw against CSKA Moscow. Arsenal look forward to having captain Thierry Henry back from injury, despite Gilberto's excellent run as captain in their 2-1 defeat of Hamburg

If Arsenal didn’t have enough problems - despite their first multi-goal win at the Emirates against a bottom-of-the-league Sheffield United in the Premiership - apparently Porto has an 18-year-old phenom named Anderson that Chelsea and Barca are vying for.

Matchday 1 Results:
Porto 0-0 CSKA Moscow []
Hamburg 1-2 Arsenal []
Matchday 2 Previews:
Arsenal looking to mark Wenger landmark with win [Yahoo! Sports]
Arsenal aim to create new fortress []

Group F
Benfica v. Manchester United

2:30 pm EST

The Red Devils look to avenge their 2-1 loss to Benfica last year as they visit the Stadium of Light after a thrilling 3-2 defeat of Celtic at Old Trafford in Matchday 1. United are looking for Rooney to find his form after lackluster performances in their 1-0 loss to Arsenal and 1-1 draw with Reading in league play.

Benfica find themselves sitting in 12th place in the Superliga and look to repeat a victory that saw them knock out Ferguson’s side last year, the first time United failed to reach the knockout round in 11 years. Ferguson will be keen to ensure a repeat of last year does not happen, which may prove difficult, according to Rui Costa.

Matchday 1 Results:
Man Utd 3-2 Celtic []
Copenhagen 0-0 Benfica []
Matchday 2 Previews:
Queiroz and Ronaldo plot revenge on Benfica [Malaysia Star]
United out for revenge []

Group F
Celtic v. Copenhagen

2:45 pm EST
Setanta Closed Circuit

You may have to hit your local for this one, pitting Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic against Danish Superliga co-leaders Copenhagen. After defeating Rangers in the first Old Firm of the SPL season this weekend, Gordon Strachan is keen to pull his squad from the bottom of Group F after a devastating loss to his Manchester United at Trafford. Copenhagen have their hands full going into the Celtic Park, but coach Stale Solbakken reckons his side, who qualified for the Group stage by knocking out former champions Ajax in the qualifying stage, has a chance.

Matchday 1 Results:
Man Utd 3-2 Celtic []
Copenhagen 0-0 Benfica []
Matchday 2 Previews:
Celtic seek home comforts []
Copenhagen can win at Celtic and Benfica says Solbakken [Yahoo! Sports]

Group E
Real Madrid v. Dynamo Kiev
5:00 pm EST (delayed)
ESPN Classic, Setanta Sports

Both Dynamo Kiev and Real Madrid look to pull themselves from the bottom of Group E , where both sit with no points. Real Madrid repeated their embarrassing result from Matchday 1 of last year’s CL campaign, letting Lyon carve up their multi-million euro spine of central defense. Fabio Cannavaro, who had a hand in conceding both goals in their 2-0 defeat in Stade de Gerland, claims lack of match fitness, but troubles are nothing new to the Spanish side.

Real are co-leaders in a tight top-half of La Liga, and were dealt a blow when famous Beckham rival Cicinho sustained knee ligament damage this weekend. Chain-smoking, cheeseburger-eating, chipmunk look-alike striker Ronaldo is unready to return from knee surgery, but Ruud van Nistelrooy, Mahamadou Diarra and Jose Antonio Reyes are playing well in league play.

Co-leaders of Ukraine’s premier league, Dynamo Kiev were soundly defeated by Steaua Bucharest on Matchday 1, and will be missing Ukrainian internationals Sergei Rebrov and Ruslan Rotan due to injury. They face a Real side that are hungry to legitimize their star-signings from the summer transfer window, and have been on a poor run of form in Europe since winning it all in 2002. The Ukrainian side definitely face a challenge going into the Bernabeau, but Fabio Capello’s side haven’t felt like strong favorites in a while.

Matchday 1 Results:
Lyon 2-0 Real Madrid []
Dynamo Kiev 1-4 Steau Bucharest []
Matchday 2 Previews:
No margin for error in Madrid []
Real and Dynamo look to bounce back at Bernabeu [Yahoo! Sports]

Group H
Lille v. AC Milan

7:00 pm EST (delayed)
ESPN Deportes

Lille will hope for home advantage as they face an AC Milan side that is just beginning to dig itself out of its points penalty, sitting near mid-table in the Serie A standings. With 10 out of 12 possible points in league play, Milan are building momentum, especially after a 3-0 win over AEK Athens in Matchday 1. With new signing Yoann Gourcuff, veteran Filippo Inzaghi and Brazilian international Kaka getting onto the scoresheet, the Rossoneri are playing as if to prove they belong after the drama of the Italian match-fixing scandal.

For the Lille, their position in Ligue 1 is similar to Milan's, but the French side are suffering a bit of a goal drought, and are coming off of a 4-1 defeat to Ligue 1 leaders Lyon over the weekend. While still in good position within Group H, after dropping points to Anderlecht, a win would see them head to top of the group.

Matchday 1 Results:
Anderlecht 1-1 Lille []
AC Milan 3-0 AEK Athens []
Matchdsay 2 Preview:
Lille look for goalscoring salvation []


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