The UEFA Champions League group stage passes the halfway point on Matchday 4 and there is much to live up to in the reverse fixtures following a dramatic series of encounters last time out.
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The UEFA Champions League group stage passes the halfway point on Matchday 4 with much to live up to in the reverse fixtures after a dramatic series of games last time out.
Fresh from stunning holders FC Barcelona at Camp Nou, FC Rubin Kazan have the chance to repeat the feat at the Centralniy Stadium, with a place in the knockout phase now a realistic ambition for Kurban Berdyev's Russian champions. On their competition debut, Rubin surprisingly share top spot in Group F with Barcelona and FC Dynamo Kyiv, who host an FC Internazionale Milano side that has not won in the UEFA Champions League for over a year following their 2-2 draw with the Ukrainian champions last time out.
In contrast, rivals AC Milan are finding their form following a terrific 3-2 win against Real Madrid CF. Pato was the Rossoneri hero at the Santiago Bernabéu with a pair of goals and he will again hope to outshine his compatriot Kaká on the latter's return to San Siro. Both sides are level at the top of Group C with six points, with Olympique de Marseille and FC Zürich, who meet at the Stade Vélodrome, three points adrift. Olympique Lyonnais, Chelsea FC, Manchester United FC and Sevilla FC all still boast perfect records and will advance should they win again. Lyon recorded one of their greatest European results by beating Liverpool FC at Anfield and another point against the five-time European Champion Clubs' Cup winners would leave Rafael Benítez's side right up against it in Group E.
Only Madrid have scored more than high-flying Sevilla, who welcome VfB Stuttgart to the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium in Group G following an impressive 3-1 away win over the Bundesliga side. Chelsea are the only team yet to concede a goal and their 4-0 triumph over Club Atlético de Madrid proved the final straw for Abel Resino. He was dismissed after that match, leaving new coach Quique Sánchez Flores to pick up the pieces in Group D. Resino was not the only coaching casualty following Matchday 3 either. Juande Ramos's short stint at PFC CSKA Moskva has come to an end since their 1-0 defeat by United and his replacement Leonid Slutski faces a UEFA Champions League baptism of fire at Old Trafford. CSKA are third in Group B, a point behind VfL Wolfsburg, who travel to Beşiktaş JK.
Elsewhere, Arsenal FC and Olympiacos FC could both seal their progress in Group H with wins against against AZ Alkmaar and R. Standard de Liège respectively, while in Group A FC Bayern München will be looking to avenge their Matchday 3 defeat at FC Girondins de Bordeaux knowing another defeat could prove costly. Laurent Blanc's side top the section on seven points, two ahead of Juventus who are away to Maccabi Haifa FC.