All the latest from the build-up to this month's last 16 second legs.
Galatasaray AŞ enjoyed an emphatic victory in the Turkish Super League as they aim to build a head of steam before a return to UEFA Champions Leaue action against Chelsea FC on Tuesday 18 March.
The Turkish champions flexed their attacking muscles on Saturday against Akhisar Belediyespor, cruising to a resounding 6-1 victory. Didier Drogba opened the scoring with a powerful header from a corner, and Alex Telles drilled in at the near post to make it two. The former Chelsea striker pounced on a loose backpass to double his tally, then laid on a simple back-post finish for Burak Yilmaz.
Mehmet Akyüz pulled a goal back for the visitors, but it was a brief halt in momentum before Bruno Mezenga's own goal put Galatasaray 5-1 up. An unmarked Wesley Sneijder completed the rout.
Further to UEFA.com's blog about great players never to have won the UEFA Champions League, FC Barcelona's former Arsenal FC midfielder Cesc Fàbregas falls into that category.
Real Madrid CF defender Álvaro Arbeloa is expected to miss the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg against FC Schalke 04 on 18 March with a knee injury. The right-back will reportedly be sidelined for around three weeks after club medics discovered a problem with the 31-year-old's right kneecap. Arbeloa's misfortune opens the door to an extended run in the team for right-sided defender Daniel Carvajal. Madrid lead Schalke 6-1 following the first leg in Germany on 26 February.
Who is the greatest player never to have won the UEFA Champions League? Have your say now.
Paris Saint-Germain FC's coach Laurent Blanc says that Edinson Cavani will be rested for PSG's trip to SC Bastia on Saturday. Cavani scored on his comeback from a hamstring injury in the 2-0 win against Olympique de Marseille on 2 March. Blanc also hinted at resting right-back Gregory van der Wiel and bringing in Christophe Jallet, who has been out for six weeks with a back problem. Blanc said: "Gregory has played in everything in 2014 because of Christophe's injury, so it might be time for him to take a rest."
Jack Wilshere will miss the second leg of Arsenal FC's UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie with FC Bayern München after being ruled out for six weeks due to a broken foot.
The 22-year-old midfielder sustained the injury early in England's 1-0 friendly win against Denmark on Wednesday. According to a club statement: "Following initial scans carried out by the FA [Football Association] on Wednesday night, further investigation by Arsenal’s medical team has discovered a crack to a small bone in Jack's left foot – the navicular, an area of his foot which has not been previously injured. Jack will now require a period of approximately six weeks' rehabilitation, before starting to regain his match fitness."
Arsenal travel to Munich on Tuesday in attempt to overturn a 2-0 deficit, a trip for which they were already without the injured Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey plus suspended goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny.
Club Atlético de Madrid forward Diego Costa accepted that gaining a foothold in the Spanish national team would take time after the 25-year-old made his debut for La Roja in their 1-0 win at home to Italy at the Vicente Calderón on Wednesday.
"First games are not easy," Costa said after Pedro Rodríguez's 63rd-minute strike proved to be enough for Vicente del Bosque's side. "I am happy, but I know I can give a lot more. I hope to go to Brazil but I must continue working. [I need] to adapt to the rhythm of the team while gaining the necessary confidence," the striker concluded. Atlético’s Juanfran and Koke remained on the bench during last night's international.
It was a good night on the international front for FC Barcelona's Neymar and Pedro Rodríguez. The Brazilian bagged a hat-trick in Brazil's 5-0 demolishing of South Africa in Johannesburg to take his tally with the Canarinho to 30 goals in 47 games, while Pedro registered the only goal in Spain's 1-0 victory against Italy in Madrid.
Elsewhere, Lionel Messi insisted he was fine after cameras picked up the 26-year-old vomiting on the pitch at the National Stadium in Bucharest where Argentina were held to a 0-0 draw by Romania. "It's something that always happens to me; it has happened when I have [been playing] with my club too," the Argentina captain explained. "He was heaving a bit but drank some water and the incident passed quickly," his coach Alejandro Sabella added.
Real Madrid CF's international contingent begin arriving back at team headquarters today – on the day of the club's 112th birthday. Cristiano Ronaldo returns as Portugal's all-time leading scorer with 49 goals having registered twice in his country's 5-1 win against Cameroon, with club-mate Fábio Coentrão also finding the net in the Leiria friendly. Elsewhere, Karim Benzema gave France the lead in a 2-0 triumph against the Netherlands while Gareth Bale was on target and offered two assists in Wales's 3-1 home victory against Iceland.