DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Jermaine Jones and Schalke will try to strengthen their hold on Group B when they host ailing Arsenal while Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland face a difficult trip to face Juventus.
FC Schalke 04 - FC Arsenal
Jermaine Jones should be starting in the midfield for Schalke on Tuesday, who will be looking to lengthen their lead in Group B when Arsenal come to visit.
Schalke made history two weeks ago when the teams met in London, beating the gunners by a 2-0 score for not only the first German club win on English soil in the Champions League in more than a decade, but also inflicting Arsenal with their first-ever European loss in the Emirates stadium.
Despite having suffered a shock loss in Gelsenkirchen over the weekend at the hands of Hoffenheim, the Königsblauen will be confident of their chances to beat Arsenal, who are enduring their worst-ever start in English Premier League play in the Arsene Wenger era.
Their 2-1 loss to Manchester United on Saturday left them in seventh place with 15 points to their name after 10 games, and put their largely toothless attack and one-dimensional play squarely on display.
Schalke had won five straight across all competitions prior to Saturday's 3-2 loss at Hoffenheim, and fully expect that the rare collapse is nothing but a mere blip in the radar.
Schalke could be missing Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos to a facial injury, and will definitely be without Christoph Metzelder, who is ailing with a pulled muscle.
Arsenal have left Aaron Ramsey in London while he recovers from a groin injury, and Theo Walcott is questionable as he recovers from illness.
Juventus - FC Nordsjaelland
After gaining a somewhat surprise draw against Juventus in Copenhagen two weeks ago, Michael Parkhurst and the Wild Tigers will be hard-pressed to repeat the feat when the teams face off again in Turin.
The game comes at a crucial juncture for The Old Lady, who could see their hopes of qualifying for the knockout round take a huge hit with anything but a win.
They are currently in third place, and with Chelsea looking to be likely favorites to beat Shakhtar Donetsk in Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, are facing the likely prospect of entering the final two games of group play with still at least a one-point deficit behind the English team and the Ukrainians.
Shockingly, they are still winless through three group games, however hosting a Nordsjaelland team that has only secured one point through their first three, picking up the win should be in the cards.
The Wild Tigers have little hope of climbing out of last-place over the final three games of the group, but if their 1-1 draw against Juventus two weeks ago is any indication, they could possibly play spoiler to the hopes of the three teams above.
For Nordsjaelland, Lasse Petry was left in Denmark as he still recovers from injury, however team captain Nicolai Stockholm is probable to take the field as it appears the slight injury which pulled him out of their weekend game is only minor.
Juventus will likely be without Mirko Vucinic, who is fighting a calf injury.
Sacha Kljestan might feature for Anderlecht on Tuesday evening when they try to climb out of last place in Group C against visiting Zenit St. Petersburg.
Oguchi Onyewu will be a bench option for high-flying Malaga, who could feasibly secure first place in Group C should they beat their hosts AC Milan on Tuesday.