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Wednesday's Champions League ties

Villareal vs Manchester City: Group A - A last gasp winner from Sergio Aguero (pictured) at The Etihad a fortnight ago finally breathed life into a disappointing Champions League campaign so far for the blues in direct contrast to their Premiership form. City finally have options in attack now too with Mario Balotelli’s ban served, and the Italian is likely to be pitched straight into battle against the Spaniards, who have practically no hope of progress and are now also without leading scorer and talisman Guiseppe Rossi. City have failed to win away in each of their last five European trips but will probably need to break that run to keep pace with Bayern and Napoli who face each other in Germany.

Manchester United vs Otelul Galati: Group C - United too have struggled a little so far in the competition but should take a big step towards the last 16 tomorrow with a second win over the Romanian minnows. The Reds are injury hit with Cleverley, Smalling and Young absent and captain Vidic suspended, Fergie may blood some youngsters into Champion’s league action. United, unbeaten in nine home European games will expect that to continue against an outfit with no points and only one goal scored so far.

Best of the rest: Lyon vs Real Madrid: Group D - Mourinho’s men, 100% so far will seal their progress with a win in this familiar looking fixture but the French team could prove formidable opposition needing a result themselves to keep pace with Ajax (who take on Dinamo Zagreb) in the likely battle for second place. In Group B Inter Milan can keep a stranglehold on top spot and put paid to Lille’s progress with a win at the San Siro, the other game sees Trabzonspor face CSKA with both sides level on four points.

By Phil Nicholas


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