A couple of huge UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg fixtures take place on the evening of Wednesday 23rd February 2011, in two matches which see some European giants make their first play in the knockout phase of this season’s competition.
Inter Milan v Bayern Munich – Kick-Off (CET) 20:45
UEFA Champions League 2010 winners, Inter Milan of Italy, face perennial challengers, Bayern Munich, in the opening of this two legged knock-out encounter at the San Siro.
Inter have not enjoyed a season up to last year’s heady standards, but still possess riches in their squad which will worry even Bayern.
Bayern are currently in third in the German Bundesliga, 13 points from the league leaders, so will view the UEFA Champions League as one of their best chances of silverware this season. Inter are much closer to domestic success, only five points behind bitter rivals AC Milan in third place in Serie A, but, as the holders, they’ll want to acquit themselves better than they did in their Group, where they finished runners up to Tottenham Hotspur.
Bayern may come out looking for an away goal this evening, though there is also, with so much at stake for these two big sides, a chance of a cagey affair here.
Marseille v Man Utd – Kick-Off (CET) 20:45
Another European giant, Manchester United, is in action this evening, as they travel to France to take on Marseille.
United are unbeaten in the UEFA Champions League 2011 after winning Group C, while Marseille were beaten twice in Group F, which was won by Man Utd’s Barclays Premier League rivals, Chelsea.
United will miss defender Rio Ferdinand, midfielder Ryan Giggs, Jonny Evans, Anderson and Michael Owen, who are all injured for this match. Chris Smalling will start alongside Vidic in the centre of defence.
Marseille may find it more difficult to capitalise upon this new look defence as their top-scoring striker, Andre-Pierre Gignac, will miss this match with a groin injury.
United, like Bayern in their match, will probably look to pick up at least one away goal on the counter attack: with players like Nani, Rooney and Berbatov in good goalscoring form recently, there’s a good chance Man Utd will be able to get at least one; whether Marseille can trouble them at the other end will be the intriguing question of the match, and the tie.
UEFA Champions League 2011 Round of 16 Fixtures – Wednesday 23rd February 2011
- Inter Milan v Bayern Munich – Kick-Off (CET) 20:45
- Marseille v Man Utd – Kick-Off (CET) 20:45