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Champions League

Champions League guide: Groups E-H

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The rest of Britain's finest take to the field

Celtic, Chelsea and Man United are in action tonight. Check out our guide to their groups, plus last year's losing finalists and their pals...

 

GROUP E

Chelsea

The somewhat improbable holders are ranked third by Uefa, which is at least two places too generous. Likely to become a better, more adventurous unit than last season, but impossible to see a repeat performance. Atletico Madrid showed them to be a work in progress in the Super Cup, so no further than the quarter finals.

Editor's letter

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There’s more than one way to skin a cat – and Chelsea found one that involved parking a bus

The Chelsea team of a few years ago could quite easily have won the Champions League. Indeed, it probably should have done. Yet this one, with players suspended, injured or just plain old, was the one that managed it.

Champions League Final: Bayern's road to the Allianz

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Via a two-legged playoff victory over Zurich, Bayern found themselves in Group A’s ‘group of death’ against Villarreal, Napoli and Manchester City. They progressed with games to spare, undefeated until the final game at the Etihad – where a 2-0 defeat couldn’t stop them topping the group.

Round of 16

Champions League Final: Chelsea's road to the Allianz

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A stuttering group campaign saw Andre Villas-Boas’ Chelsea scramble through in the final game, a routine 3-0 home win over Valencia. They still topped Group E, a point ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, so should, theoretically, have been dealt a more manageable last 16 encounter.

Round of 16

Napoli 3 Chelsea 1 February 21
A ragged defensive display in Naples left Chelsea’s hopes hanging by a thread. Mata opened the scoring, only for Lavezzi (two) and Cavani to fire the Italians into a healthy lead.

Champions League Final: expert view

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Talksport's Andy Gray assesses each team's chances.

“You can’t go to the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich and not be underdogs, but I don’t think Chelsea are bothered. They went to the Nou Camp as underdogs and won with 10 men, and there’s no reason to think they can’t do the same again.

Champions League Final: know your enemy (part II)

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Bayern's likely midfield and forward line...

Champions League Final: know your enemy

Bayern's likely starting XI - starting with the goalkeeper and back four...

Champions League Final: why Chelsea can unpick Bayern

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In both Germany and in England, perceived wisdom has it that Bayern Munich will start tomorrow night’s Champions League final as overwhelming favourites. For three good reasons. They are playing on home soil. They have the stronger team. And they will miss their suspended players less than Chelsea will miss theirs.

Champions League Final: Operation Allianz

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When Chelsea take on Bayern in Munich tomorrow, few expect the Blues to stop Die Roten adding a fifth star* above their club crest. But, says German football writer Uli Hesse, the Londoners have little to fear...

*Pedants: you are of course correct, the stars on Bayern's shirt relate to Bundesliga titles won, not Champions Leagues. We are calling this 'artistic licence' – never let the truth get in the way of a great cover.

Premier League: different hopes

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Saturday April 28
Wigan v Newcastle
DW Stadium, 3pm

Sunday April 29
Chelsea v QPR
Stamford Bridge, Sky Sports 1 1.30pm

Tottenham v Blackburn
White Hart Lane, Sky Sports 1 4pm

While the spotlight focuses on Monday’s Manchester showdown, there are matters to be settled elsewhere in the table – and this weekend is going to go a long way to doing just that.

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