Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United return to Champions League action this week.
Here, the PA news agency looks at the teams the four English clubs are up against as the competition’s group stage comes to an end.
Liverpool will defend their 100 per cent Champions League record on Tuesday against Serie A’s new leaders. AC Milan took over top spot in the Italian title race by beating Salernitana 2-0 on Saturday as Napoli slipped up against Atalanta. Milan led 2-1 at Anfield in September before losing 3-2 and their last-16 qualification ambitions looked over after picking up only one point from four games. But a 1-0 win at Atletico Madrid on matchday five has given them hope, and victory over Liverpool could see them sneak into the knockout stages. England defender Fikayo Tomori and former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could both start at the San Siro.
Manchester City go in search of an eighth successive win on Tuesday against an RB Leipzig side that sacked manager Jesse Marsch on Sunday. Former RB Salzburg boss Marsch, who succeeded Julian Nagelsmann at the start of the season, was dismissed after a third consecutive Bundesliga defeat at Union Berlin. Leipzig are 11th in the Bundesliga and will not be playing Champions League football after Christmas. Leipzig have taken just four points from five Champions League games and were beaten 6-3 by City in their September opener. Assistant coach Achim Beierlorzer takes charge of the team on Tuesday.
🟡⚫️ What a moment for Young Boys!— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 14, 2021
Revenge is on the menu for Manchester United at home to Young Boys on Wednesday. Cristiano Ronaldo scored away to the Swiss champions in September, but United slid to an embarrassing 2-1 defeat after Aaron Wan-Bissaka had been sent off. It was United’s opening defeat of the season and the first sign that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Old Trafford reign was about to unravel. Ralf Rangnick is in charge now and this will be the German’s first Champions League game at United. Young Boys, with former Huddersfield boss David Wagner at the helm, are already out and have won only once in eight games in all competitions.
Zenit St Petersburg
The Zenit players took to the pitch at the Gazprom Arena this evening accompanied by dogs from local shelters looking for a new home 🐶💙pic.twitter.com/bjFTvntw3i— FC Zenit in English✨ (@fczenit_en) December 3, 2021
Chelsea’s opponents Zenit St Petersburg end their Champions League campaign having won hearts across social media with a video that went viral. Walking out before Friday’s Russian Premier League game against FC Rostov, every Zenit player held a dog in their arms in an attempt to get the puppies adopted from local shelters. Zenit’s Champions League campaign has gone to the dogs with just four points from five games and no chance of a run out in the new year. The Russian champions, who count Croatia’s former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren and giant Russia striker Artem Dzyuba as their best-known players, lost 1-0 at Chelsea in September.
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