Midweek football brings a lot of optimism for a number of England’s top clubs as the respective sides look to achieve their own form of success on Europe’s top footballing stage.
Spartak Moscow v Chelsea (Group F, 17:30)
Chelsea return to the scent of their Champions League final heartache a few seasons ago as they look to continue their bright start to the season with a strong showing against Russian side Spartak Moscow. Boss Carlo Ancelotti will still be without star man Dider Drogba who is absent through illness, while Solomon Kalou could return to the side after overcoming a thigh injury.
Arsenal v Shakhtar Donetsk (Group H, 19:45)
Arsenal welcome Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk to the Emirates as they look to stamp their authority on the group and move clear at the top. One problem boss Arsene Wenger will have to contend with is the return of former Gunners star Eduardo, who moved from North London to Shakhtar for around £6 million last season.
The Gunners will receive a large boost with the likely return of captain Cesc Fabregas who has recovered from a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined for over a month.
Inter Milan v Tottenham (Group A, Wednesday, 19:45)
Boss Harry Redknapp takes his side to the San Siro to face Rafa Benitez’s Inter Milan in what will be one of the biggest European games for the North London side in their history. The White Hart Lane clubs uphill task is made all the more difficult with the absence of star man Rafael Van Der Vaart through suspension after he was dismissed against FC Twente. England international Jermaine Defoe is still out with injury, meaning that Robbie Keane could get the opportunity to feature against his former club.
Manchester United v Bursaspor (Group C, Wednesday, 19:45)
Manchester United will be looking to banish the recent demons which have haunted the club and put on a good display in front of the Old Trafford crowd against Turkish side Bursaspor. While the future of England international Wayne Rooney is unknown amidst talk of him wanting to leave the club, boss Alex Ferguson will have to do without the former Everton youngster who is unavailable after suffering an ankle injury in training earlier today.
It is thought that Ferguson will stick with his attacking force from their 2-2 draw against West Brom at the weekend with Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov leading the line for the Red Devils.
Napoli v Liverpool (Group K, Thursday, 18:00)
After a disappointing 2-0 defeat away to Everton in the Merseyside derby, boss Roy Hodgson will be hoping the Anfield club can continue their strong European performance and gain another three points as they travel to Italy to face a difficult Napoli side.
Hodgson will be hoping star man Fernando Torres can put in a strong performance to improve not only the confidence of the Spaniard but also the fans and new owner John W. Henry ahead of their Premier League game against Blackburn at the weekend.
Man City v Lech Poznan (Group A, Thursday, 20.05)
Manchester City go into the game against Polish side Lech Poznan full of confidence after a 3-2 victory away to newly promoted Blackpool moved Roberto Mancini’s side up to second in the Premier League.
Both sides are sitting at the top of the table with one win and one draw in their opening two games and City fans will be hoping their side secure all three points against Proznan with a large amount resting on the large shoulder of Carlos Tevez, whose recent form has seen the Argentinean score 7 goals in 8 Premier League games so far this season.
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