Monday, 7 December 2015

the Champions League injuries and suspensions

Alexis Sanchez, Wayne Rooney and the Champions League injuries and suspensions
Both Arsenal and Manchester United will be missing key players in must-win games as they attempt to qualify for the knockout stages in the final round of matches
It's the final round of fixtures in the Champions League, with the fortunes of several sides hanging in the balance.
Arsenal go to Olympiacos in a fixture they must win handsomely if they are to progress, while the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Roma and Valencia all face a fight for a spot in the last 16.

Here, Sportmasta rounds up the players each team is missing through injury and suspension...
 It's the final round of fixtures in the Champions League, with the fortunes of several sides hanging in the balance.

PSG v SHAKHTAR DONETSK



There is nothing riding on this match for the hosts, who are guaranteed to finish second, and so they may rotate against opponents who must win to secure a place in the Europa League.

PSG should be able to welcome back Marco Verratti, who started training again at the end of last week, but will sweat over the fitness of both Gregory van der Wiel and Javier Pastore, who both missed the weekend win over Nice.

Maksim Malyshev is one of the few concerns for Shakhtar, who are a squad in good health. He is a doubt as he is lacking match practise, while Oleksandr Gladkiy is suffering from a hamstring problem.


REAL MADRID V MALMO



Real Madrid have already won Group A and do not have too many issues to consider before they host Malmo on Tuesday. Centre-backs Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane will miss this match, as will Dani Carvajal.

Meanwhile, Malmo, who need at least a point if they are to finish third, have plenty of trouble. Rasmus Bengtsson and Markus Rosenberg are both banned, while Guillermo Molins is injured. Defender Kari Arnason and goalkeeper Johan Wiland are out, with the latter of these problems particularly worrying as second string shot-stopper Zlatan Azinovic is sidelined.


WOLFSBURG V MANCHESTER UNITED



It is a do-or-die match between Wolfsburg and Manchester United, with the winner set to top the group while the loser may find themselves in the Europa League.

The hosts come into the match in good shape; only Luiz Gustavo is carrying an injury of note, and the Brazil international midfielder may be fit to take part.

Louis van Gaal's men are not so fortunate. They have a slew of problems to contend with, including Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones in the rearguard. Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia are absent from the midfield, while in attack Wayne Rooney has been ruled out already.

PSV v CKSA MOSCOW



While the stakes are high for PSV, who know a win will take them into the knockout stages, CSKA will leapfrog them into third with a victory.

The hosts are without Luciano Narsingh and Maxime Lestienne in attack, while Jetro Willems and Menno Koch from a defence that is also deprived of Santiago Arias, who is banned.

The Russians also have problems in their rearguard, where Vasili Berezutski will be absent along with Georgi Schennikov while Roman Eremenko is missing in the midfield.
GALATASARAY v ASTANA



Already eliminated, these sides meet in Istanbul seeking to secure a Europa League spot, with the winner taking the prize.

Neither side has any particular selection difficulties, with the hosts missing Jason Denayer and Hamit Altintop, while their opponents have a fully fit squad.


BENFICA v ATLETICO MADRID



Top spot in Group C is on the line at the Estadio da Luz, with a draw sufficient for the home side to claim top spot after winning 2-1 in Spain back in September.

Nelson Semedo, Luisao and Silvio Pereira are absent from the home side's back line, while they must also plan for the game without Eduardo Salvio.
Diego Simeone's men are waiting on Jackson Martinez but will definitely not have Thiago Mendes available.

MANCHESTER CITY v BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH



If Manchester City are to have any hope of finishing top of Group D, this is a match they must win.

Manuel Pellegrini's injury headaches are well documented. Sergio Aguero may well miss this match, while Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Samir Nasri are absent.

The visitors, meanwhile, are on a high after defeating Bayern Munich at the weekend but have plenty of problems of their own. Nico Schultz, Martin Stranzl, Alvaro Dominguez, Patrick Herrmann and Andre Hahn are out, while there are doubts over Ibrahima Traore.


SEVILLA v JUVENTUS



Europa League champions Sevilla have not made the most of their chance in with the big boys and the best they can hope for is a return to the competition they won last term.

They are without Beto Pimparel, Nico Pareja, Daniel Carrico and Marco Andreolli. Gael Kakuta is also unavailable, while Benoit Tremoulinas and Ever Banega are doubtful.

Juve, who played on Friday night, have a strong squad available. Hernanes is banned, while fellow midfielders Simone Padoin and Kwadwo Asamoah are out. Checks are required on Sami Khedira and Martin Caceres.

BAYER LEVERKUSEN v BARCELONA



Bayer Levekusen face the daunting task of having to beat Barcelona to have any chance of securing a place in the last 16, though the Catalans are already assured of top spot in Group E.

Only a handful of injury problems trouble the hosts, who will miss Lars Bender, Charles Aranguiz and Tin Jedvaj.
Dani Alves is banned for the visitors, who are without the injured Douglas and Rafinha. Meanwhile, Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan are not registered. Sergio Roberto and Jeremy Mathieu are questionable.

ROMA v BATE



Roma need a victory to progress in the Champions League - but they host opponents who know that if they claim the three points they stand a decent chance of advancing.

The hosts are still without Francesco Totti and Kevin Strootman, while Vasilis Torosidis is out, too. There are doubts over Mohamed Salah and Gervinho.

BATE have no urgent problems, though key midfielder Igor Stasevich will have surgery on an injury after this fixture.

DINAMO ZAGREB v BAYERN MUNICH



There is nothing to play for in this Group F encounter, with the hosts already guaranteed fourth and their opponents secure in first.

Armin Hodzic
and Arijan Edime are absent for Zagreb, along with defender Gordon Schildenfeld.
Pep Guardiola, who saw his side lose for the first time this season in the Bundesliga on Saturday, has chronic problems, including a suspension to defender Holger Badstuber. Douglas Costa, David Alaba, Thiago Alcantara, Arjen Robben, Mario Gomez and Juan Bernat are all sidelined.


OLYMPIACOS v ARSENAL



Olympiacos' 3-2 victory in London means that they can afford to lose to Arsenal in a low-scoring game by a one-goal margin and still progress.

The Greeks approach the match in better physical shape. David Fuster and Jimmy Durmaz are sidelined for them, while there are doubts over Felipe Pardo, Giannis Maniatis and Andreas Bouchalakis.

Arsenal's issues are well publicised. Along with Alexis Sanchez, Arsene Wenger will not be able to count upon a host of starters, including Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla. Tomas Rosicky is also out.

DYNAMO KIEV v MACCABI TEL AVIV



With a place in the last 16 within reach, the home side know that a victory over the Israeli outfit will be sufficient for them to reach their target. Domagoj Vida will miss the match and Danilo Silva is doubtful.

Maccabi, who have lost their five previous games and are simply seeking to save face, are without the suspended Tal Ben Haim and the injured Dejan Radonjic.

CHELSEA v PORTO



Chelsea must avoid defeat against Jose Mourinho's former club if they are to secure a passage to the last 16.

The Stamford Bridge side will have a strong unit of players to select from, with only Ramires and Radamel Falcao set to miss out, though there are also some worries over John Terry, who has had ankle problems of late.
Porto could be in the happy position of having a full squad to select from, though Dani Osvaldo missed their win over Pacos de Ferreira on Saturday with a knee problem.


VALENCIA v LYON



Gary Neville takes charge of Valencia for the first time on Wednesday, aware that a win against eliminated Lyon may not be even enough to see his side into the next stage.

He takes charge of a squad riddled with problems. Diego Alves, Shkodran Mustafi, Alvaro Negredo, Rodrigo and Antonio Barragan all missed the loss against Zenit a fortnight ago, but they are joined by Sofiane Feghouli, Lucas Orban and Andre GomesRuben Vezo is banned.

For Lyon, Nabil Fekir remains out due to serious injury, while Mathieu Valbuena is unlikely to play after sustaining an injury late in Saturday's shock 2-0 home loss to Angers. Gueida Fofana is another long-term concern, while the defence will be patchwork as Samuel Umtiti, Christophe Jallet and Rafael are all out, and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is a doubt.
 

GENT v ZENIT ST PETERSBURG



Kalifa Coulibaly's dramatic winner in Lyon a fortnight ago has put Gent on the verge of qualification, but they must overcome a Zenit side seeking to finish the group stage with a perfect record.

Rami Gershon and Tomas Matton are missing for the hosts, who will also have to wait on the fitness of Lasse Nielsen, Brecht Dejaegere and Danijel Milicevic, whose fine free kick against OL brought his side back into the game.
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