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Bayern and Arsenal walk tightrope

Published: Tuesday 25 November 2003, 16.08CET
FC Bayern München and Arsenal FC are among the sides risking elimination tonight. features

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Published: Tuesday 25 November 2003, 16.08CET

Bayern and Arsenal walk tightrope

FC Bayern München and Arsenal FC are among the sides risking elimination tonight.
FC Bayern München "have their backs to the wall", according to their coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, and they are not the only ones as the scramble for places in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage intensifies tonight.

Lucky seven?
Of the 16 teams in action only Juventus FC are certain to progress in the competition but seven other sides could join them, results permitting. Olympique Lyonnais, Celtic FC, Internazionale FC, FC Dynamo Kyiv, AS Monaco FC, RC Deportivo La Coruña and Real Sociedad de Fútbol all go into their matches knowing the night could end in celebration. As ever, will bring you live text and audio commentaries of the games together with video highlights.

Under pressure
For German champions Bayern and English Premiership leaders Arsenal FC, however, it could all end in tears. Bayern travel to Celtic third in Group A, just two points behind leaders Lyon. But defeat in Glasgow combined with a Lyon victory away to RSC Anderlecht would send both Lyon and Celtic into the last 16.

Difficult night
Celtic's imposing home form suggest a difficult evening for the Bavarians: Martin O'Neill's men are unbeaten at Celtic Park in 63 matches in all competitions stretching back to August 2001. Bayern failed to get past the first group stage last season but coach Hitzfeld said: "It's often been the case that when Bayern have their backs to the wall, we show a strength that wasn't there before."

Arsenal 'have to win'
In Group B, Arsenal visit Internazionale chasing their first away victory in Europe since this corresponding week last year. The London side's manager, Arsène Wenger, said: "We have to win if we want to stay in the competition." Arsenal are bottom of the section, three points behind leaders Inter. Second-placed Dynamo Kyiv travel to FC Lokomotiv Moskva in the group's other game and wins for Inter and Dynamo would see them through.

Monaco need a draw
Monaco need only a draw at home to PSV Eindhoven to be sure of progressing from Group C. Second-placed Deportivo, meanwhile, will look to bounce back from their 8-3 humbling by Monaco last time out when they welcome AEK Athens FC, the section's bottom team, to the Riazor. Javier Irureta's men will qualify if they win and PSV lose.

Real chance
There is only one match in Group D following the decision to postpone Galatasaray SK's game with Juventus until 2 December. Real Sociedad head to Olympiacos CFP knowing an away win will secure them second place in the group.

Last updated: 27/11/03 14.11CET

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