Tuesday Champions League Open Thread

Denis Doyle

Juventus host Real Madrid in search of their first win of the group stages on a typically busy Tuesday night in the Champions League.

Today doesn't have the most interesting fixtures of the week, but there's still plenty to play for in each of the groups in action. Depending on the result in Bayer Leverkusen v. Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester United could all but seal progress into the knockout stages from Group A with a win in San Sebastian. Real Sociedad are yet to earn a point despite entering as the dark horse for many, and United are playing passable football at the right(ish) time. Similar story in Group B, where Real Madrid could deal a major blow to the hopes of Juventus--who haven't won yet in the group stages--with a win in Turin while also ensuring their qualification. Copenhagen currently sit bottom of the group, but a win would see them draw level on points with their visitors and, depending on the result at Juventus Stadium, leapfrog the Old Lady.

Olympiakos and Benfica will continue to slug it out in Group C, as they're level on points and meet again in Athens. If there's a winner they'll be alone in second place behind PSG, who should ease past Anderlecht at home and leave themselves with little to do over the final two rounds of group play. The big story in Group D is unfortunately not an on-field one, as the pre-match hype between Manchester City and CSKA Moscow has focused on the racist abuse of Yaya Toure. Mandatory reading on the topic from John Barnes, who should be supreme ruler of any and everything:

Tackling racism is a long and complicated process but one thing's for sure; it cannot be solved by banning a player or closing part of a stadium. The problem is wider than that and if football really cared those involved in the game, players in particular, would worry less about one-off incidents like what happened to Touré when he played for Manchester City in Moscow and more about what is going on around them. Perceptions need to change and for that to happen, education needs to be pushed as the only way forward.

The football in Group D could see City extend their three point lead over CSKA and join Bayern as the favorites to advance; the holders visit Viktoria Plzen in a match that should see them extend their perfect start to group play.

Selected viewing options:

Real Sociedad v. Manchester United: Fox Sports 1 (US), ITV (UK)
Juventus v. Real Madrid: Fox Sports 2 (US), Sky Sports 4 (UK)
Machester City v. CSKA Moscow: Sky Sports 2 (UK)

All matches start at the customary 7:45 GMT/2:45 EST kickoff, so check your local listings for other ways to watch and please feel free to share any legal viewing options that you should come across. Links to illegal streams will be removed and be accompanied by a warning, and repeat offenders will be banned and forced to communicate in text-speak only.


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