UEFA Champions League updates: 4-10 November

Updates from all 32 UEFA Champions League clubs.

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by UEFA.com newsdesk - 04/11/2013
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One of just two sides, along with FK Austria Wien, to have scored zero goals in this season's UEFA Champions League, RSC Anderlecht have endured a humbling campaign so far. Their 5-0 home loss to Paris Saint-Germain last time out was their third consecutive defeat in the competition, and lying fifth in the Belgian top flight they are hardly firing on all cylinders domestically either.

Despite their form, coach John van den Brom still believes Anderlecht can finish at least third in Group C, but for that to happen they will have to open their scoring account soon – and preferably tonight at the Parc des Princes. What better time, then, for club record signing Aleksandar Mitrović to prove he can make the difference in big games?

Signed from FK Partizan for €5m in the summer, the 19-year-old boasts the highest scoring rate in the Eerste Klasse this term, finding the net every 89 minutes on average. Not bad for a new arrival still in his teens, but Mitrović has proved less effective against stronger opponents and missed Anderlecht's best chance to score in the UEFA Champions League when his penalty against Olympiacos FC was saved. He then attracted criticism for looking to swap shirts with Zlatan Ibrahimović at half-time two weeks ago – when his team were trailing 3-0 – so he will surely be motivated to prove his worth this evening.

Assuming, of course, that any chances fall his way.

 

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After Manchester City FC's two seasons of disappointment in the UEFA Champions League group stage, The Guardian notes that tonight could bring an altogether different outcome. "Manchester City could be only 90 minutes away from the great leap forward of the sheikh Mansour project," says the paper, adding: "Five years after the sheikh made City the billionaires in blue, the failures of the past two years will be forgotten if Manuel Pellegrini's side win, with only the unlikely scenario of a thus far pointless FC Viktoria Plzeň winning all of their last three games able to stop them."

 

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This morning's Spanish papers are in general agreement that Real Madrid CF will face two distinctive tests against Juventus tonight, those in attack and defence. In the former category, Madrid are predicted to flourish. "Europe's most fearsome forward line look to seal qualification," explains Marca alongside an accompanying photo of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. AS, meanwhile, offers a pull quote from Juve coach Antonio Conte who says, "Madrid are devastating going forward." 

Most agree, however, that there are "doubters," with Marca explaining that. "Juventus will examine Madrid's questionable defensive system." El País reminds its readers that Carlo Ancelotti’s side have "conceded seven in their last three games," a figure that it says, "reveals a defensive problem." The Spanish daily does offer hope in the form of Raphaël Varane (pictured), "a defender barely out of adolescence but who already has the serene poise of a grand master." High praise indeed for a 20-year-old who will be expected to provide a calming influence at the back for the visitors later. 

 

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PlayStation are providing the prizes for this season's UEFA Champions League official Fantasy Football game, so make sure you remember to update your team before tonight's deadline to maintain your chances of picking up some choice rewards.

PS Vitas are up for grabs for individual matchday winners, as well as prizes for round winners, so even if you have not got involved yet there is every chance you can still be a winner.

Click here to head over to the Fantasy Football page now to tweak your lineup, and if you need a helping hand, UEFA.com's team of Tipsters will point you in the right direction.

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As is tradition at Parken for UEFA Champions League matches, the FC København faithful will make a tifo before tonight's match against Galatasaray AS, but rather surprisingly the away supporters have also announced that they will perform a choreography. On matchday one the home supporters here at Parken created a magnificent tifo with the words at the bottom reading "A club that belongs amongst the stars". A win is desperately needed tonight if København are to still be amongst the stars when the knockout phase kicks off in the new year.

 

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Luciano Spalletti, FC Zenit coach: 


We will be in excellent condition. For us it makes no difference how the Portuguese play as we are thinking about how to win. I've seen all of Porto's recent games and I think they are a very strong team who continue to enjoy success every season despite the loss of some important players. It doesn't matter how they have played recently, the only thing that is important is what happens on the pitch. They will come to get the three points and we need the same thing. Let's wait and see who gets what they want. For a strong team there is no obstacle – not even rain or snow should stop us from playing our own game.

 

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Luciano Spalletti, FC Zenit coach: 


Skilful players can play a decisive role. I think that when playing against other teams at this level, both have a number of talented individuals and it is the tactical nuances that decide the outcome. The result will also be determined by the mentality and the team spirit shown.

 

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FC Viktoria Plzeň's sporting director Pavel Kuka is a well-known person in Germany, as he played for 1. FC Kaiserslautern, 1. FC Nürnberg and VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. In 1997, he even scored against FC Bayern München and won the championship with promoted Kaiserslautern at the end of the season 1997/98.

"Well, that was a long time ago. You cannot compare the Bayern of that time with the team now," said Kuka in an interview with TZ. "It is a team from another planet now, their players are sometimes unstoppable."

Regarding the rematch today, Kuka stays realistic: "We don't expect a big surprise," he said. "Nevertheless, we have to fight, win more duels and run more – though you are actually running all the time against Bayern."



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The Daily Telegraph reports on Manchester City FC boss Manuel Pellegrini’s assertion that it will be "useful" for goalkeeper Joe Hart to have a spell out of the first team. "Pellegrini confirmed that Romanian goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon (pictured) will retain his place against CSKA Moscow," it says. "Hart’s decision-making, rather than his technical abilities, is understood to be Pellegrini's main area of concern, so he has been dropped in an effort to rebuild his confidence on the training ground and ease the mental strain of being scrutinised whenever a goal is conceded."

City posted their biggest league win since 1987 when dismantling Norwich City FC 7-0 on Saturday and The Independent adds: "The match cannot fail to be a more testing examination of Costel Pantilimon's ability than Saturday's 7-0 massacre of Norwich which saw Joe Hart's understudy given precisely one serious shot to save, which may in any case have been going wide."

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UEFA.com newsdesk

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Marcos Prieto, Madrid

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  • Which team has completed the most passes? Who has scored the most goals? Check out the statistics section.
  • Who can qualify? Who will be eliminated with a defeat? Here are the latest standings.
  • UEFA.com's enhanced history portal looks back at every season of the European Cup and you could win final tickets by voting in our poll.
  • Check out the UEFA Champions League video section for interviews with some of the biggest names in football.
  • Lisbon will stage its first European Cup final since 1967 at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on 24 May. Learn more about this season's final venue.

Fan confidence

See how fans felt about their club on matchday 4

  • f3Ajax

    Ajax

  • f2Anderlecht

    Anderlecht

  • f4Arsenal

    Arsenal

  • f4Atlético

    Atlético

  • f2Austria Wien

    Austria Wien

  • f4Barcelona

    Barcelona

  • f3Basel

    Basel

  • f5Bayern

    Bayern

  • f3Benfica

    Benfica

  • f3Celtic

    Celtic

  • f5Chelsea

    Chelsea

  • f2CSKA Moskva

    CSKA Moskva

  • f4Dortmund

    Dortmund

  • f4Galatasaray

    Galatasaray

  • f4Juventus

    Juventus

  • f2København

    København

  • f3Leverkusen

    Leverkusen

  • f4Man. City

    Man. City

  • f4Man. United

    Man. United

  • f2Marseille

    Marseille

  • f3Milan

    Milan

  • f4Napoli

    Napoli

  • f3Olympiacos

    Olympiacos

  • f5Paris

    Paris

  • f1Plzeň

    Plzeň

  • f3Porto

    Porto

  • f4Real Madrid

    Real Madrid

  • f3Real Sociedad

    Real Sociedad

  • f3Schalke

    Schalke

  • f3Shakhtar Donetsk

    Shakhtar Donetsk

  • f3Steaua

    Steaua

  • f4Zenit

    Zenit

Your confidence

  • Hopeless!

  • Bag of nerves

  • Anybody's game

  • We have the edge

  • Surefire win!

Overall fan confidence  
  • Hopeless!
  • Bag of nerves
  • Anybody's game
  • We have the edge
  • Surefire win!

Votes are closed for matchday 4. Vote on the next matchday to win great prizes!

Least confident fans

Plzeň

Most confident fans  

Paris

Standings

Last updated: 06/11/2013 01:06 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   

Competition statistics

Matches played: 64

Goals scored
182 Total
2.84 Match average
Total attempts
1587 Total
24.8 Match average
on target
921 Total
14.39 Match average
off target
665 Total
10.39 Match average
blocked
303 Total
4.73 Match average
against woodwork
42 Total
0.66 Match average
Corners
638 Total
9.97 Match average
Offsides
287 Total
4.48 Match average
Yellow cards
235 Total
3.67 Match average
Red Cards
9 Total
0.14 Match average
Fouls committed
1719 Total
26.86 Match average
Fouls suffered
1639 Total
25.61 Match average
Passes
73005 Total
1140.7 Match average
completed
55224 Total
862.88 Match average
Last updated: 01/08/2014 06:22 CET
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