Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 06:40 GMT 07:40 UK
Champions League lowdown
Champions League trophy
Britain's three representatives all won on Tuesday night in the Champions League and more of the same is the order of the day in the forthcoming fixtures for Chelsea and Liverpool.

BBC Sport previews the four groups ahead of Wednesday's matches, paying particular attention to the opponents of the two English clubs.

GROUP A

  • Barcelona, Chelsea, Levski Sofia and Werder Bremen

    FIXTURES (Wednesday)
    Levski Sofia v Chelsea
    Werder Bremen v Barcelona

    One round down and already the cream of the crop has risen to the top after Barcelona and Chelsea won their opening fixtures at home.

    It is now more than a month since Werder won a game so Barca, who lead the way in La Liga, will be confident of maintaining their 100% record - as will the Blues at minnows Levski Sofia.


    Chelsea

  • Chelsea's next opponents

    Who are they?: History-makers. Levski Sofia are the first Bulgarian team to reach the group stages of the Champions League.

    European record: Last season was pretty special when they reached the last eight in the Uefa Cup. But facing Barcelona, Chelsea and Werder Bremen in the Champions League is even better, even if Levski did lose their opener 5-0 at the Nou Camp.

    How did they get here?: The Bulgarian champions beat Sioni Bolnisi and Chievo in the qualifying rounds.

    Ones to watch: Elin Topuzakov is Bulgaria's answer to John Terry and the skipper's marshalling of his defence, which has not conceded a goal domestically in seven games this season, will prove crucial. Levski have kept 12 cleans sheets in their last 16 European home games.

    Recent form: Like Chelsea, Levski are top of the table at home - where they have not lost a game. They have won both matches since the opening-round hammering in the Champions League and top the Bulgarian league by a point.

    Did you know?: When master marksman Andriy Shevchenko scores, Chelsea lose. But the Ukrainian hitman will be confident of breaking that run for a Blues side who have won only one of their last eight away games in the Champions League.

    They say: "I'm sure the team will give their best. Everyone works for each other. We don't have big stars but we have a team and that's why we have done so well. There is no pressure on us at all."
    Stanimar Stoilov, Levski Sofia manager

    GROUP B

  • Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Spartak Moscow and Sporting Lisbon

    FIXTURES (Wednesday)
    Inter Milan v Bayern Munich
    Spartak Moscow v Sporting

    The two heavyweights from Germany and Italy, who qualified as domestic champions, are the favourites to go through.

    But Inter, who top Serie A, had a shocking opening display at Sporting and an improvement is imperative against Bayern - or they will be playing catch-up.

    Since their opening 4-0 win against Spartak, the German champions have lost the services of Owen Hargreaves because of a broken leg but fellow midfielder Mark van Bommel is in good scoring form.

    GROUP C

  • Bordeaux, PSV Eindhoven, Galatasaray and Liverpool

    FIXTURES (Wednesday)
    Bordeaux v PSV Eindhoven
    Liverpool v Galatasaray

    After one round of matches it is as you were following four blanks and two goalless draws.

    Liverpool and Bordeaux will reflect on those away draws with satisfaction - if they can pick up three points this time out.


    Liverpool

  • Liverpool's next opponents

    Who are they?: Almost the definition of footballing intimidation at home with the infamous 'Welcome to Hell' greeting. But on the road it is heaven for their hosts. Galatasaray have won only two of their last 19 Champions League away matches.

    European record: They beat Arsenal to lift the Uefa Cup in 2000 but this is the first time they have made the group stages of Europe's premier tournament in three seasons. Their best showing came in 2001 when they made the quarter-finals.

    How did they get here?: By winning the Turkish Superleague in nail-biting circumstances. They went into the final round of matches level on points with Fenerbahce. While they won, their rivals could only draw. Cue a first title in four years and a place in the Champions League qualifiers where they beat Czech side Mlada Boleslav.

    Ones to watch: Turkish international legends Hakan Sukur and Hasan Sas provide attacking threat in a side that has an international flavour, courtesy of two former Premiership players, Japanese midfielder Junichi Inamoto and Cameroonian defender Rigobert Song.

    Recent form: A first defeat of the season at the weekend led to Galatasaray dropping to sixth in the Turkish league after seven games. The loss came on the road where they are yet to win this season.

    Did you know?: Liverpool have failed to score in their last five Champions League games - their worst run in the competition.

    They say: "I think in front of their own supporters the players can run a bit faster. For us it is good to play at Anfield and see our supporters behind us - I think that is the best thing. To win against Galatasaray can make a big difference for the rest of the competition."
    Rafael Benitez, Liverpool manager

    GROUP D

  • Olympiacos, Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk and Valencia

    FIXTURES (Wednesday)
    Shakhtar Donetsk v Olympiacos
    Valencia v Roma

    Roma and Valencia started their campaigns with resounding wins and now go head-to-head in Spain in an effort to open up a decisive gap in the group.

    Former Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes leads the scoring charts after his hat-trick at Olympiacos and he has also scored twice in four Primera Liga matches to help Valencia to third spot behind Barcelona and Real Madrid on goal difference.

    Roma warmed up for their trip to Spain, where they have lost only once in five Champions League visits, with a comfortable 4-0 win at struggling Parma. And their nine Serie A goals have been scored by nine different players.



  • SEE ALSO
    Arsenal 2-0 FC Porto
    26 Sep 06 |  Europe
    Celtic 1-0 Copenhagen
    26 Sep 06 |  Europe
    Benfica 0-1 Man Utd
    26 Sep 06 |  Europe


    RELATED BBC LINKS:

    RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
    Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
    Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

    Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us