Saturday 29th Everton vs Manchester United from Goodison Park, Liverpool
This weekend's Premiership action kicks off early with the reigning champions Manchester United
visiting Everton. One statistic that is incredible really interesting is that the toffees have lost
to United a total of 28 times in the Premier League era.
Saturday 24th Manchester City vs Everton from the Etihad Stadium, Manchester
City's fast start to this season has cooled a little with Roberto Mancini's men dropping two points
away at Fulham last weekend, and it was especially disappointing being 2-0 up and letting a two
goal lead slip.
Group E Bayer Leverkusen vs Valencia from the Bay Arena, Leverkusen
Both of these clubs are looking at this game like a final being that they both meet twice in the
next two weeks, and will go a long way in deciding who will join Chelsea in the knockout phase of
Group A Napoli vs Bayern Munich from the Stadio San Paolo, Naples
The Italian hosts are currently the best side in Serie A, according to Bayern head coach Jupp
Heynckes. He believes that Napoli do not play the traditional Italian way, and instead of setting
up a side to be broken down and hit on the counter, they're a team with a lot of attacking options
and have shown that so far this season.
Group A Bayern Munich vs Manchester City from the Allianz Arena, Munich
No question, this is the match of the day with the Bavarian giants, who have had a fantastic start
to this season both domestically and on the continent, against the blue half of Manchester.
Group E Chelsea vs Bayer Leverkusen from Stamford Bridge, London
The big story in this one to kick off this season's group stage for both clubs is the return of
former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack to Stamford Bridge as a player for Bayer Leverkusen.
The time has finally come for the biggest sporting event in 2011. We couldn't have asked for two
better teams in this final with the best of Spain going up against the best of England. Both sides
won their first European Cup at the old Wembley Stadium, Manchester United back in 1968 under the
late Sir Matt Busby, and Barcelona back in 1992 under Dutch legend Johan Cruyff.
It's been a very good UEFA Champions League season with a dream final for most fans, and neutral
fans at that. You can also definitely say that from a marketing perspective, you couldn't have
asked for a better final, maybe a Barcelona vs Real Madrid final arguably, but we already saw that
in the semi finals.
Tottenham vs AC Milan from White Hart Lane, London (Tottenham lead 1-0 on
In what was a very dramatic first leg for not only the football that was played, but also the
handbags that took place at the end of the match, sets up a great platform for how this second leg
will turn out.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma from the Donbass Arena, Donetsk (Shakhtar lead 3-2 on
The Ukrainian hosts are up for this one, and are ready to fight according to manager Mircea
Lucescu. The 3-2 win in the first leg at the Stadio Olimpico was a massive result, giving Lucescu's
side three away goals and one foot in the quarter finals.
Kobenhavn vs Chelsea from Parken Stadion, Copenhagen
Already the Danish champions have made history by becoming the first Danish side to play in the
knockout rounds. Of course similar to a few clubs who's domestic league shut down, Kobenhavn are no
different and they say the break has actually helped them prepare for this challenge.
Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk from the Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Not one of the most glamorous ties on paper for various reasons, it should be an interesting one
nonetheless. The hosts are coming off two defeats in a row, and their first home defeat since April
2010 with a 2-0 loss to Napoli.
The world's best club competition returns today with two very tasty first leg match-ups, and
this is where it really starts to get exciting seeing the big boys go against each other. Today, we
see AC Milan hosting Tottenham, and Raul making his return to Spain with Schalke taking on
Today is the last day of the group stages, and while a good number of teams have already secured
qualification to the next phase, there are still some tasty matches on tap, and qualification spots
on the line.
Group E Bayern Munchen vs FC Basel from the Allianz Arena, Munich
Even though top spot in the group is already secured for the Bavarian giants, trainer Louis van
Gaal believes they should play to win regardless because it can in some ways kick start their
season and help them domestically, as it's been a struggle.
Group A Inter Milan vs FC Twente from the San Siro, Milan
The pressure is firmly on Inter and manager Rafa Benitez in this one. The defending champions are
going through a rough patch as every club does during a season, and the club have dropped to sixth
in the Serie A.
The group stage is almost wrapped up in this seasons tournament, some teams have already
qualified for the knockout phase and looking to be top seeds when the draw for the last 16 takes
place, while others will be scrapping for their lives to make it into the next round.
Group E Basel vs Roma from St. Jakob-Park, Basel
This group looks to have it's winner all set in Bayern Munchen walking away with the lead, while
the other three teams are all level on three points each. This makes today's clash between the
Swiss champions, and Claudio Ranieri's boys all the more important.
Inter Milan vs Tottenham from the San Siro, Milan
This should be a good one where former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez goes against Harry Redknapp
and the club who beat the Spaniard's old club to the final Champions League spot last season.
(Editor's Note: sorry we're a tad late on this today...life happens!)
Here is part two of the second round of matches that take place today.
Tottenham vs FC Twente from White Hart Lane, London.
Harry Redknapp's boys will be looking to get their first home win in this competition after giving
up a two goal lead a fortnight ago in Bremen.
The second day of matches kicks off today with some very interesting ties on slate. After the
opening round of fixtures we didn't really learn too much, and confirmed what we already know after
some of the big boys thrashing a few minnows.
Will Lionel Messi and Argentina live up to expectations?
By Geoff Reid
This particular group intrigues me, not because it contains Messi, Maradona and company, but
because it has gone under the radar in terms of attention with Group C getting most of it on both
sides of the Atlantic for obvious reasons, and Group G being classed as the "group of death.
Arsenal looks to get back on track. (Getty Images)
By Geoff Reid
Arsenal vs Swansea from the Emirates Stadium, London
So many question marks heading into this one for Arsenal. Will their new signings work out? Of
course the answer to that will take some time, and we'll see over the course of the season, not
just one game.
Liverpool and Arsenal headline this week in the EPL. (Getty Images)
By Geoff Reid
Saturday 20th Sunderland vs Newcastle United from the Stadium of Light, Sunderland
The first northeast derby of the season comes from the home of the black cats where Steve Bruce's
side take on Alan Pardew's magpies.
Group F isn't great but don't sleep on Paraguay. (Getty Images)
By Geoff Reid
This group is one that should not give us any real surprises on paper, but then again you really
never know because it's the world cup. The Italians are defending champions and will be favorites
to top the group even though they haven't looked like champions in their warm up matches.
Injuries are an issue in Group D, just ask Germany about them. (Getty Images)
By Geoff Reid
Group D didn't have that necessary appeal that other groups had as the draw was made with the
average person believing Germany would cake walk through this group with a three way battle for
second place and a shot at the last 16.
First of all apologies for being away for a while. I took a break during the world cup to
specifically enjoy it and getting back into the regular routine is a tough thing to do!
With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement agreed upon and put in place, several things got
tweaked, including the Designated Player rule and this was a good thing because when the rule was
first announced and was code named the ‘Beckham Rule' because lets face it, it was designed
around signing him, the whole buzz around the rule was lost this time a year ago.
Can Humberto Suazo lead Chile out of Group H? (AP)
By Geoff Reid
When the draw for the groups were first announced, Group H didn't raise any eyebrows
in-particular and it looked as if European champion Spain would top the group with a three way
battle for second place and a shot at the last 16.
First of all, apologies for being away a while. Busy time of year for all of us the last few
weeks and life gets in the way. This time of year the game domestically really starts to get
exciting with the MLS Combine, followed by the Superdraft and NSCAA Convention before clubs head
into their respective pre-seasons.
We're into our final day of the group stages this season, and for the most part there's not a
heck of a lot to play for apart from seeing which sides will win their groups and who will finish
runner up. The winners will be seeded teams when the draw takes place for the last 16.