It will be make or break for many teams in the UEFA Champions League on matchday four with some clubs needing victory to keep their hopes alive and others looking to confirm their place in the knockout stage with two games to spare.
FC Porto, Málaga CF, FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC have 100% records in their respective groups and will seal a knockout berth if they make it four wins out of four. However, the two teams yet to get off the mark, GNK Dinamo Zagreb and LOSC Lille, as well as a number of sides who have just one point, know they are in danger of being eliminated if they do not begin the return fixtures on a positive note.
Group A (FC Dynamo Kyiv v FC Porto; Paris Saint-Germain FC v GNK Dinamo Zagreb)
• Jackson Martínez's double against Dynamo Kyiv, including a 78th-minute clincher, paved the way for a 3-2 victory in Portugal that preserved Porto's 100% opening to the section after wins at Dinamo (2-0) and at home to PSG (1-0).
• Dinamo have recorded one victory in seven visits to France, losing three of the other six games. Their solitary success came in the 1989/90 UEFA Cup preliminary round first leg when they won 1-0 against AJ Auxerre through Davor Šuker's late goal, although they went down 3-1 at home in the return. They have lost on their last two trips to France, including a 2-0 reverse against Olympique Lyonnais in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage.
Group B (FC Schalke 04 v Arsenal FC; Olympiacos FC v Montpellier Hérault SC)
• Schalke have been beaten in their last two home contests with English sides and have not scored in three. They succumbed 2-0 to both Manchester United in the 2010/11 semi-final first leg and Manchester City FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage. Their home record against English teams reads W3 D1 L2.
• Olympiacos are in their 14th participation in the UEFA Champions League and will be hoping at least to match their feats of both 2009/10 and 2007/08 when they reached the round of 16.
Group C (RSC Anderlecht v FC Zenit St Petersburg; AC Milan v Málaga CF)
• Undone 3-0 at home by Málaga on matchday two, John van den Brom's Anderlecht are seeking a first UEFA Champions League victory in nine years at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. They have lost eight and drawn two of ten group stage fixtures in the competition since a 1-0 win against Olympique Lyonnais in November 2003.
• Málaga have yet to concede in five UEFA Champions League matches, having overcome Panathinaikos FC 2-0 on aggregate in the play-offs. In their brief European history Málaga have also compiled a strong away record, winning six and losing just one of ten games.
Group D (Manchester City FC v AFC Ajax; Real Madrid CF v Borussia Dortmund)
• Manchester City have won 14 and drawn four home matches in UEFA competition since September 2008, although Ajax can take heart both from their 3-1 matchday three success against City and from having won at Manchester United eight months ago.
• Including their 3-2 triumph over City on matchday one, Madrid have won seven straight home fixtures in the UEFA Champions League, scoring 27 goals. Meanwhile, Dortmund were beaten in all three games on the road last term and have not won a UEFA Champions League away match since 2003 at AC Milan.
Group E (Juventus FC v FC Nordsjælland; Chelsea FC v FC Shakhtar Donetsk)
• Juventus have drawn their last nine outings in UEFA competition, having registered six draws in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage. They were two goals behind at Chelsea on matchday one before recovering to 2-2, and fought back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at home to Shakhtar before posting an identical scoreline away to Nordsjælland.
• Shakhtar's colours have been lowered on three of their four visits to England. They avoided defeat only in a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32, having won the home first leg 2-0; they went on to lift the trophy.
Group F (Valencia CF v FC BATE Borisov; FC Bayern München v LOSC Lille)
• BATE have lost all seven encounters with Spanish opponents and have failed to score in the last six, shipping 17 goals. Away from home they have conceded ten goals and notched only one – a late retort in their first game, away to Villarreal CF in a 2007/08 UEFA Cup first-round tie when the score was already 4-0.
• Bayern have prevailed in their last two home matches against French opposition, and won seven of their first eight against Ligue 1 visitors, losing just one; in between, however, they failed to win in four (D2 L2). Bayern also defeated Olympique de Marseille 2-0 home and away in the quarter-finals, and overcame Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 at home and 3-0 away in the 2009/10 semi-finals.
Group G (SL Benfica v FC Spartak Moskva; Celtic FC v FC Barcelona)
• Felled by Barcelona in Lisbon on matchday two, Jorge Jesus's Benfica have now lost two on the bounce at home in UEFA competition following their 1-0 reverse to Chelsea in last season's quarter-finals. They have never before suffered three straight home defeats in Europe so will want to avoid an unwanted first against Unai Emery's visitors.
• With that 2-0 triumph at Benfica, Barcelona have won 12 and lost only three of their last 25 UEFA Champions League away assignments.
Group H (CFR Cluj 1907 v Galatasaray AŞ; SC Braga v Manchester United FC)
• Galatasaray have not taken three points on their travels in the competition since September 2002, when they prevailed 2-0 at PFC Lokomotiv Moskva. Including the narrow 1-0 reverse at Manchester United in September, they have lost eight and drawn one of nine away games since.
• José Peseiro's men let slip an early two-goal lead to go down 3-2 at Old Trafford last time out, yet have won their last four home meetings with English opposition. Nonetheless, their previous display at the Estádio Municipal de Braga this season was a 2-0 loss to CFR Cluj in September.
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