FC Utrecht vs Liverpool

FC Utrecht vs Liverpool Preview


FC Utrecht coach Ton du Chatinier admits Liverpool pose far tougher opposition than the Celtic team they beat before.

But the Dutchman, with a little help from the other half of the Old Firm, hopes his side will draw inspiration from playing the five-time European champions.
Utrecht dispatched Celtic 4-0 on home turf in their Europa League play-off, having been 2-0 down from the first leg at Parkhead.
Liverpool may currently be struggling in the Barclays Premier League but they have not lost to Dutch opposition since their first encounter in 1966 when Ajax won 5-0 in Amsterdam.
Du Chatinier knows tomorrow's Group K encounter will be tough, especially as counterpart Roy Hodgson has brought almost a full-strength squad.
As a result they have explored every avenue available to them in their preparations, including assistant manager Jan Wouters calling in a favour from his former Rangers boss and current Birmingham manager Alex McLeish.
"Liverpool are a better team than Celtic, with all respect," said the Utrecht boss.
"We have asked people in England and Jan has spoken to Alex McLeish.
"We've watched Liverpool's home game against Steaua Bucharest (a 4-1 win) and the match at Manchester United (a 3-2 defeat)."
Du Chatinier's squad will watch the second half - undoubtedly the better 45 minutes as they fought back from 2-0 down - of Liverpool's defeat at Old Trafford again tonight.
But the squad have an air of confidence as they are unbeaten at the Stadion Galgenwaard in four European games, having not conceded in the last three.
And the manager does not expect to have to motivate his players.
"There's no need to show my players pictures of Rambo (the Sylvester Stallone character who is an expert in one-man warfare)," added Du Chatinier.
"The motivation of playing Liverpool will be enough.
"I am anxious to know what my team will do but that is normal, I'm not afraid."
Ghanian midfielder Nana Asare will miss tomorrow's game through injury but striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who has scored six times in seven Europa League matches, will play.
Liverpool manager Hodgson will not guarantee striker Fernando Torres a starting place tomorrow but admits his presence in the squad is something of an insurance policy.
The Spain international has not featured in Europe this season - sitting out the four qualifying matches and one Group K encounter - but travelled to Holland with a virtually-full strength squad.
Only Steven Gerrard, who is being rested, and Daniel Agger, who has had an MRI scan on a groin problem which has not responded to treatment, missed the trip.
But Hodgson said it should not be assumed Torres would automatically take his place up front but revealed he had learned a harsh lesson after the Carling Cup exit to League Two side Northampton.
A week ago the Reds boss gave his first-choice side the night off but then saw a second-string lose on penalties.
Hodgson admitted that, in hindsight, it would have been worth having some quality players in reserve - hence the presence of Torres and most of the first team.
"The mere fact he is here does not mean he will be in the starting XI," said the 62-year-old.
"When you are playing against Northampton and it is 1-1 and you are not playing very well you are desperate to change the game.
"You look around you and realise you have given all the quality players time off to prepare for the game on Saturday and you would like desperately to bring on maybe one of those players - that is one of the things that has affected my thinking."


Man City vs Juventus

Man City vs Juventus Preview


Juventus veteran Alessandro Del Piero expects a tough test against Manchester City in the Europa League.

Del Piero, 35, has vast experience of playing against English sides over the years and he knows City will be fired up for the clash in front of their own fans at Eastlands.
Speaking ahead of a training session tonight, he said: "Manchester City are in excellent shape and it will be very hard for us. It always is when you are in England.
"They have invested heavily and one of the reasons they can be successful is that they have a great squad of players."
Juventus, like City, are in transition with a new coach in Luigi Del Neri, who was appointed in May, and are struggling to get going in Serie A.
Del Piero said: "We have a good base to build on and are at the beginning of a journey. Hopefully we our results will improve as time goes on."
Juventus face a crunch match against Inter Milan on Sunday but Del Neri is thinking only of their Group A meeting with City.
He said: "I am only interested in tomorrow not the following match. We will see then if we have improved.
"A new team always make mistakes. You not only need to fix the problems but also to focus on what you do well."
City defender Micah Richards could come into contention against Juve after a hamstring injury.
Shaun Wright-Phillips is doubtful with a knee problem while Wayne Bridge and Aleksandar Kolarov remain absent.
City manager Roberto Mancini expects Mario Balotelli to return to the squad at the end of next month
Balotelli is sidelined with a knee injury and the striker said he would be out for eight weeks.
However Mancini revealed: "He is in Italy today and his knee is okay. I think he may be ready at the end of October, in four to five weeks."
Veteran midfielder Patrick Vieira is hoping to claim a place in Mancini's team after saying he was "frustrated" at his lack of game time.
Vieira, 34, arrived in January from Inter Milan following a season with Juventus.
He said: "It has been frustrating. Like everyone else I want to play more often and be more involved. I know how strong the team is, especially in the midfield.
"I want to play more than one game a month. I will get my chance, I know that because the season is really long. I want to show the manager he can count on me.
"Every competition is really important because we all want to play. As City have not won a trophy for years lifting one would be good for the club."
Vieira believes City are becoming a team to fear.
He said: "We have beaten Liverpool and Chelsea who are seen to be part of the big four. That just shows how strong we are. There is still a long way to go but we believe in ourselves.
"We know how good we are. Now we have to win games week in, week out. We have to show it on the pitch."



Inter Milan vs Werder Bremen

Inter Milan vs Werder Bremen Preview


Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf will be without three key players for the Champions League tie at Inter Milan.

Claudio Pizarro, Clemens Fritz and Torsten Frings have all been ruled out of the match at the San Siro and Schaaf admits the already difficult task of beating the cup holders has been made even harder.
"These injuries hit us hard," he said on the eve of the game. "In view of our upcoming challenges, these losses mean a drop in quality for the team."
The trio are not only doubtful for tomorrow, but also the Bundesliga clash with Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend.
"We hope that all three get back as soon as possible, but there is the risk that they will miss the next two games," added Schaaf.
Their loss is just the latest setback in what has been a difficult start to the season for the northern Germany side.
Sunday's derby triumph over Hamburg was only their second win of the season while they drew their Champions League opener against Tottenham.
But tomorrow's match is arguably the toughest in their group.
"Inter are the clear favourites and it is impressive what this team is capable of," he said.
Schaaf can however welcome Petri Pasanen back into his defence after he missed the derby with Hamburg due to injury.
Inter boss Rafael Benitez is wary of Werder despite their mixed form.
He said: "Werder Bremen are a team with a strong mentality and experience, it will certainly be a difficult game.
"I don't know the Werder Bremen coach personally but I do know that he has experience and quality.
"Every team in the group drew their first match, so everyone wants to win now. There's more pressure than before. However, we have the belief that we can win."
Benitez has question marks over forwards Diego Milito - the scorer of both goals in last season's final win over Bayern Munich - and Goran Pandev.
"We will see tomorrow when we do another training session," said Benitez when asked whether the pair would be fit.
Returning to the squad for tomorrow's clash is Brazilian midfielder Mancini.
"He's an experienced player, it's important for him and us that he has a chance to play," said former Liverpool boss Benitez.


Panathinaikos vs Copenhagen

Panathinaikos vs Copenhagen Preview


Copenhagen boss Stale Solbakken hopes his side will be able to carry their good form into the clash with Panathinaikos.

The Danish champions moved seven points clear of nearest rivals FC Midtjylland at the top of the Superliga with a 3-0 victory over their rivals at the weekend.
They are also bidding for a second consecutive victory in Group D after an impressive 1-0 win over Rubin Kazan two weeks ago.
Solbakken said: "We're managing to play at a consistent high level week after week, and if we can continue the streak we will be hard to beat.
"There'll come times of crisis but so far we've got enough extra energy for the European matches."
Solbakken will also draw on the spirit that saw his side come through tough Champions League qualifiers against Rosenborg and BATE Borisov.
"We had the knife at our throats against BATE Borisov and Rosenborg but we made it through," he added.
Copenhagen do have injury problems to worry about, though, with captain and central defender Solvi Ottesen ruled out for up to six weeks after fracturing his arm in the league victory over Brondby.
Martin Bergvold (knee) and Morten Nordstrand (thigh and groin) are long-term absentees.
It is three seasons since Panathinaikos and Copenhagen last met, in a UEFA Cup group match.
The Greeks came out on top on that occasion thanks to a goal from Dame N'Doye, who will also be involved this time around - playing for the other side.
The Senegalese striker is looking for a second Champions League goal after netting the winner against Rubin Kazan.
For Panathinaikos, tomorrow's match represents a chance to put behind them their opening match against Barcelona.
The Greeks took the lead against Europe's most feared team but still came out on the wrong end of a 5-1 defeat.
Injuries have also taken their toll this week with Sidney Govou, Cedric Kante and Giourkas Seitaridis all ruled out of the Athens clash.
France striker Govou has a thigh problem while Kante fractured a finger during Panathinaikos' league win over Panionios at the weekend and Seitaridis has suffered a setback in his recovery from a muscle problem.
Nikos Spyropoulos (knee) and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (right foot) could return but Antonis Petropoulos (groin) is also out.


Valencia vs Manchester United

Valencia vs Manchester United Preview


Manchester United aim to avoid getting caught up by a strike in Spain and set up their own blockade against Valencia instead.

The country is set to come to a standstill on Wednesday in protest at savage cuts being imposed by the government to try and balance the books in one of Europe's most debt-ridden economies.
As a former trade unionist in the Glasgow shipyards, Ferguson is well versed in politics and reacted jovially when asked whether he was concerned about getting caught up in the action tomorrow.
Of far more concern to the Scot is shoring up a defence that has leaked nine goals in its five Premier League games, which means the return of Rio Ferdinand has not come a moment too soon.
"Rio is much fitter now," said Ferguson.
"He has had plenty of training, a couple of reserve games and matches against Rangers and Scunthorpe.
"He was out for five months so he still probably needs another game or so.
"But the important thing is he is coming back and we look forward to having him back."
Ferguson claimed to still be undecided about whether to select Ferdinand or Jonny Evans to feature alongside skipper Nemanja Vidic at the Mestalla.
Yet if that were true, it would be an odd situation given Ferguson left Ferdinand out of Sunday's clash with Bolton purely because he does not have the strength yet to get himself through two arduous tests in the space of four days.
Merely by missing that Scunthorpe encounter to watch Valencia in action personally against Atletico Madrid last Wednesday, Ferguson was underlining the importance of what will be United's 19th away game against Spanish opposition, from which they have emerged victorious just once, against Deportivo La Coruna in 2002.
"When you look at that statistic, obviously it is the hardest place for us to go," he said.
"Spain has produced cup-winning teams for years. You have to recognise that.
"The standard of Spanish football has been good for as long as I can remember, so we have a tough game tomorrow. We are all aware of that.
"But that is the great thing about the European Cup. You are going to face the best teams from Spain, Germany and Italy.
"That is what makes it such a fantastic tournament."
With Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs all ruled out, Ferguson has some tricky selection posers to solve.
Darron Gibson has tended to be used in Europe recently, so he is in contention for a midfield spot, possibly ahead of Michael Carrick, who has only just returned after an Achilles complaint and is badly lacking match practice.
Valencia winger Juan Mata claims the injuries to Rooney, Scholes and Giggs will make the home side's task no easier.
"Facing Manchester United is always difficult, regardless of whether they have a series of injuries to important players or not," said Mata, whose side hammered Turkish champions Bursaspor 4-0 away from home in their Group C opener as United drew 0-0 with Rangers.
"However, I think that they have a big enough squad to be able to have a good chance in this game.
"They have some top players, so even though Giggs, Scholes and Rooney have been ruled out they will be adequately replaced. It is always difficult to play against them and those who play will be giving 100%."
The Spanish side go into the game sitting top of the Primera Division table, ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid and defying the critics who predicted they would struggle to compete following the loss of David Villa and David Silva in the summer.
"The truth is that we are in good form, above all in terms of confidence," said Mata.
"We also have results in our favour as the start of the season is going very well. That helps in these types of games."


Tottenham vs FC Twente

Tottenham vs FC Twente Preview


Harry Redknapp backed the misfiring Aaron Lennon to shake off his slump ahead of Tottenham's clash with FC Twente.

England winger Lennon has failed to hit the heights since returning from almost four months out with a groin injury back in April, enduring a miserable World Cup and a poor start to the current season.
The 23-year-old has found himself substituted in most of his club's games this term, while he has also been frozen out by national team boss Fabio Capello.
Spurs manager Redknapp must decide whether to start Lennon in tomorrow night's Group A clash or play the in-form Rafael van der Vaart out wide.
But regardless of his team selection against the Dutch champions, Redknapp is certain Lennon will eventually come good.
"He's had the injury and he had a quiet World Cup, really," Redknapp said.
"I think he's getting over the injury from last season. But he's a matchwinner on his day and it's very hard to be consistent when you play out in that wide position, when you've got to beat people every week and people expect you to get the ball and go whizzing past full-backs, cross balls.
"Full-backs now are as quick as wingers, they get tight, they stop you getting the ball.
"You've got to work very hard to get on the ball now when you play in that wide position.
"It's not always easy but he'll come good."
Despite his concerns over Lennon, Redknapp's real worry tomorrow night lies at the back, where he has just one fully fit recognised centre-half in Sebastien Bassong.
He may risk captain Ledley King, but if not, Vedran Corluka will continue in the heart of defence.
Redknapp believes his current injury worries have not helped his side as they have struggled to balance their Champions League and Barclays Premier League commitments.
"The biggest problem you have is probably getting the players up for the Premier League games after the Champions League," said Redknapp, whose side have won just two of their six league matches this term.
"You have to juggle around your team, I've found and when you keep changing your team, it makes it difficult to get continuity.
"We've had to do that an awful lot - change the team - probably through injury more than anything, especially in the back."
And FC Twente boss Michel Preud'homme is intent on exposing Tottenham's "pain points" at White Hart Lane.
"You find pain points, pain points for the other team, points where you can hurt them," said the former Belgium goalkeeper, who succeeded Steve McClaren as Twente manager this summer.
"That's how we approach every game."
Preud'homme urged the Dutch champions to "be smart" in their approach to tomorrow's match, adding: "It's about putting pressure on and avoiding pressure at the right moments.
"Obviously, Tottenham are at home, so they will try to apply pressure.
"Playing smart will certainly mean that you have to try to avoid this pressure."
That will not mean being defensive, according to the man who masterminded a 2-2 draw with European champions Inter Milan in Twente's opening group game.
"It's in our nature to play football, not to kill the game," said Preud'homme, who was expecting a partisan but fair atmosphere on and off the field tomorrow.
"Intimidation is a big word; it sounds quite negative," he said.
"I choose to use words like home advantage or motivation.
"They'll obviously use that same weapon as we do; we also use the support of our fans.
"But we have players with a lot of international experience. They should be used to this kind of atmosphere."
He added: "The Champions League is made in a way that intimidation has to stay in the rules.
"Tottenham is a football-playing team, not a kicking team."
Twente, who won the Eredivisie for the first time in their history under McClaren last season, are set to be without injured left-backs Bart Buysse (ankle) and Dwight Tiendalli (leg).


Ajax Amsterdam vs AC Milan

Ajax Amsterdam vs AC Milan Preview


Ajax coach Martin Jol has lauded Zlatan Ibrahimovic as "the best striker in the world".

Ibrahimovic spent three-and-a-half years at Ajax earlier in his career before spells at Juventus, Inter Milan and Barcelona.
He is now back in Italy and has made a promising start to his second spell at the San Siro.
Jol is certainly wary of the impact Ibrahimovic could make against his men as they look to bounce back from losing 2-0 to Real Madrid in their Group G opener.
He said: "It will not be easy as AC Milan and Real Madrid are at the same level.
"Ibrahimovic is the best striker in the world.
"In addition, Robinho is unpredictable and you know what Ronaldinho can do when he gets time on the ball.
"It will be hard but we are at home, at the ArenA and we don't lose there very often.
"We will have to play like we did in the first half against FC Twente on Saturday.
"We have a chance."
Jol will have midfielders Rasmus Lindgren and Eyong Enoh available after both men were passed fit.
There is not such good news for Jol's Milan counterpart Massimiliano Allegri, who is without Alexandre Pato and Massimo Ambrosini.
And he is expecting a difficult encounter in Amsterdam.
He said: "Our match against Ajax is very important, it will be a tricky game.
"They are strong at home, they're a good team with a lot of good, young skilled players.
"This match is very important regarding our qualification from the group."
Milan come into the game after edging past Genoa in Serie A on Saturday night - Ibrahimovic scoring the only goal after 49 minutes.
"I want to see Milan play like we did against Genoa: determined to win, while paying attention at the back," added Allegri.
"However, we have to play better than on Saturday and I'm sure we will."
Allegri has overseen steady progress so far but he is impressing vice-president Adriano Galliani, who is eager to focus on results at this stage.
He said: "First of all, Milan have to be solid rather than entertaining.
"We have to win titles, we are not at a fun fair.
"Hopefully we will win tomorrow."



Auxerre vs Real Madrid

Auxerre vs Real Madrid Preview


Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Karim Benzema will start in their Champions League clash with Auxerre.

Madrid have only netted eight times in six competitive matches this season despite creating numerous chances and Mourinho admitted after Saturday's goalless draw at Levante his team's poor form in front of goal was a concern for him.
Mourinho has started with the same attacking quartet of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil for the last four matches but Benzema, who last made the first XI against Osasuna a fortnight ago, will get the chance to shine tomorrow against his countrymen.
"Benzema is working well. It's time to give him more confidence. He will start tomorrow," said Mourinho, who is also confident his side will soon be taking full toll of the chances they have been creating.
"Building a team has many stages and my team is doing well in every aspect, but it isn't scoring goals, or at least it isn't scoring enough for the chances it gets. The goals will come, there's no problem."
Regarding tomorrow's match with Auxerre, where Madrid will look to build on their 2-0 win over Ajax in their opening Group G match, the Portuguese was quoted as saying on his club's website: "We have three points and we want to try and continue on from the positive start that we had against Ajax.
"Real Madrid are in a difficult group. There are teams in the other groups who more typical of the UEFA Cup than the Champions League, but we haven't had this luck.
"Between Ajax, AC Milan and Real Madrid they have won 20 European Cups. And Auxerre are a representative of French football, which is always very strong.
"We want points. If they are three points, great, that's what we're here for. But in this competition all the points are positive."
Mourinho was also quizzed on his decision to leave Pedro Leon out of his squad for the trip to France.
Leon impressed as a second-half substitute against Levante and Spanish media had speculated the summer signing from Getafe could start against Auxerre.
The 23-year-old did not even make the 20-man travelling party, though, leading to several questions during tonight's press conference - something Mourinho took a dim view of.
Clearly unimpressed at being pushed on the exclusion of Leon, Mourinho answered a third and final question on the subject before promptly leaving the press conference.
"I don't have to justify his absence. If the president (Florentino Perez) asks me, I'll tell him, but he hasn't asked me. You talk of Pedro Leon as if he was Zidane or Maradona or Di Stefano, he's a player who not long ago was playing at Getafe," said Mourinho.
"He's not called up for one game and it seems like you are talking about a great player. When he works how I want him to, he will play, and when he doesn't, it will be harder for him to play.
"I've already said Benzema will play, why not ask me what other 10 will play alongside him? That should be your first question but you ask about Pedro Leon."


AS Roma vs CFR Cluj

AS Roma vs CFR Cluj Preview


Cluj are looking forward to returning to the venue of their most memorable success when they face Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.
The Romanians travelled to Italy for their first fixture in Europe's premier club competition in 2008, and stunned their hosts with a 2-1 success.
Juan Culio, 27, got both the visitors' goals that night after they had fallen behind to a Christian Panucci effort and he is hoping there can be another "dream" result at the end of 90 minutes, especially with his side full of confidence after beating Basle 2-1 in their first group game.
"I'm happy I've the opportunity to listen to the Champions League anthem again, especially here with Cluj," Culio told uefa.com.
"Fate has enabled me to play at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome again.
"What happened two years ago was a dream and I'm so happy that what I and the team did in that match is still remembered by many. I'm sure we are a stronger and much more experienced team than in 2008 and that we will be able to perform at least as well."
Roma boss Claudio Ranieri was not in charge of the Giallorossi for their defeat 24 months ago, but he has warned his side, who lost their opening group fixture against Bayern Munich, that to avoid a repeat they must be focused and not underestimate their opponents.
The former Chelsea and Juventus manager also believes that Europe's more-established teams need to be wary of the increasing threat of the game's ever-improving minnows.
"Teams who haven't played in the Champions League much have this willingness, this determination and motivation," he said. "While you may have more technical qualities or play in a tougher league, the gap is getting smaller and smaller."
Roma have had a difficult start to the season, but they picked up their first Serie A win of the season against defending champions Inter Milan on Saturday.
And Ranieri hopes that win can kick-start their season.
He said: "This win gives the players even more conviction, determination and is just the tonic the boys were missing.
They worked until the last second for the victory, and this spirit should be brought into the Champions League.
"We are dealing with a side from Romania whom we lost to two years ago and we must be ready for tomorrow."



York vs Darlington

Blue Square Bet Premier
Venue: Bootham Crescent Date: Monday, 27 September Kick-off: 1945 BST
Coverage: BBC local radio, BBC Sport website
Live Text

York City caretaker bosses Andy Porter and Steve Torpey remain in charge for the home clash with Darlington.

City are waiting on the fitness of Greg Young, who limped off in Saturday's 3-1 win at Tamworth, while Jonathan Smith returns from a one-game ban.
Curtis Main is pushing for a starting place for Darlington after impressing in Saturday's 1-0 win over Southport.
Mark Cooper's men will be looking to extend their unbeaten Blue Square Bet Premier run to eight games.
Porter and Torpey took over at Bootham Crescent on Friday, following the resignation of Martin Foyle.
Managerless York, now up to 10th after Saturday's win at The Lamb, start the evening two points, and two places, adrift of Darlo.
They have a chance to climb up to sixth, just one place off the Conference play-off zone, while an away win would hoist Darlington into the top five.



Liverpool vs Sunderland

Venue: Anfield Date: Saturday, 25 September Kick-off: 1500 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Merseyside 1485MW and DAB, Final Score & highlights on Match of the Day

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson will recall the senior players rested for the shock Carling Cup defeat by Northampton.
Dutch star Dirk Kuyt could make an earlier than expected return from a shoulder problem.
Sunderland are without Anton Ferdinand and Kieran Richardson, who both picked up hamstring injuries in midweek, but Titus Bramble is set to start.
Asamoah Gyan also hurt his hamstring against West Ham and is a major doubt, but Lee Cattermole is back from a ban.

Doubtful: Kuyt (shoulder)
Injured: Aurelio (Achilles)
Doubtful: Gyan (hamstring)
Injured: Campbell & Meyler (both knee), Gordon (arm), Ferdinand & Richardson (hamstring), Mensah (calf), Turner (ankle)

Liverpool were not alone in making a surprise Carling Cup exit in midweek, but while the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City could afford to be philosophical following defeats against fellow Premier League sides, the Reds' loss to Northampton was far more alarming.
Losing to a side currently 17th in League Two was, as manager Roy Hodgson admitted afterwards, a "major setback". How Hogdson could do with a fit and firing Fernando Torres right now.
The Spaniard netted twice when Liverpool beat Sunderland in March, including a goal of the season contender to open the scoring. But since then he has managed just one league goal for the Reds, and has not looked the same player since rushing a return from knee surgery in time to make Spain's World Cup squad.
Wednesday was a really bad result for the club, it has knocked us backwards, and has put us in a situation where we are heavily criticised - perhaps rightly so
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson
Off the field problems continue to plague the Reds. The Spirit of Shankly fans' group plan two days of demonstrations against the club's owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, that will involve a mass protest at Saturday's game.
Steve Bruce's Black Cats side, who have lost just once in the league this season, will not fear a trip to Anfield. They showed again last weekend that they are no respecters of reputations by snatching a dramatic late point against Arsenal.

• Sunderland have gone 12 games without a win at Anfield in all competitions, failing to score in their last six games there.
• The Black Cats' last win away to the Reds was a 1-0 victory on 1 October 1983.
• This will be the 155th meeting between the teams. Liverpool have won 71, Sunderland 51 and their have been 32 draws.
• The two goals Steven Gerrard scored against Manchester United on Sunday were his first in the league since netting against Burnley in April.
• The Reds have not scored a single goal in the first half of Premier League games this season.
• Only 12 of the Black Cats' 46 shots in the Premier League this season have been on target.
• Only two players have scored for Sunderland this season. Darren Bent has five goals and Asamoah Gyan two. They have also benefitted from a Stephen Carr own goal.
• Their first effort on target in their match with Arsenal last Saturday came in the 65th minute, via the head of Gunners' midfielder Denilson.


Cardiff vs Millwall

Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Saturday, 25 September Kick-off: 1200 BST
Coverage:Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales (SE FM only), live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and highlights on The Football League Show

Cardiff hope Seyi Olofinjana, who missed the defeats at Ipswich and Leicester because of a foot injury, will be able to return on Saturday.
Danny Drinkwater (thigh) and striker Michael Chopra (ankle) are also hoping to return, but Craig Bellamy is still out with a knee complaint.
Millwall welcome back Jimmy Abdou, who has shaken off an ankle problem.
But wingers Danny Schofield and James Henry will need fitness tests after picking up knocks against Ipswich.
Having made a great start to the season, both these teams are looking to address alarming slumps in their form. Cardiff have lost their last two matches, while Millwall, who went out of the Carling Cup in midweek, were hammered 6-1 at home by Watford last Saturday.
That mauling was the biggest defeat suffered by a Championship side this season, and Millwall are without a win in their last three matches. This is a test of the south London side's mettle, and boss Kenny Jackett will be hoping for a strong response.
Despite their recent wobble, the Welsh club are third in the table and remain formidable opponents on their own patch. They are unbeaten in 10 home matches since their last defeat at the Cardiff City Stadium, against Barnsley in February.
Cardiff, who have not beaten Millwall in the league for 27 years, also boast the second best defensive record in the division. Only leaders Queens Park Rangers have conceded fewer league goals than the Bluebirds, who have let in just six.
• These clubs have met 50 times in the league. Millwall have won 17 of those matches and Cardiff 16, with 17 draws. Five of the last eight have been drawn.
• Cardiff's last league win against Millwall was a 3-0 victory at Ninian Park in the old Third Division in February 1983.
• A defeat would mean three consecutive losses for Cardiff for the first time since November last year.
• They are three goals away from the club's 3,000th at home in their league history.
• Cardiff have the best disciplinary record in the Championship, having picked up only four yellow cards this season. They have also committed fewer fouls than any other side in the division (51).
• If selected, Jay Boothroyd will be making his 100th appearance for the club.
• Millwall have conceded five goals in the final 15 minutes of Championship game this term. No team have shipped more.
• Lions boss Kenny Jackett has fielded 17 players in second-tier matches this season. Only his former club Watford have used fewer.
• Goalkeeper David Forde, a former Cardiff player, is set to make his 100th appearance for Millwall.



Leyton Orient vs Brentford

Venue: Brisbane Road Date: Friday, 24 September Kick-off: 1945 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC local radio, Final Score & highlights on The Football League Show

Leyton Orient duo Scott McGleish (neck) and Terrell Forbes (thigh) are expected to be available for Friday's derby showdown with Brentford.
However, striker Jonathan Tehoue is still missing with an ankle injury.
Brentford keeper Richard Lee staked his claim for a first-team place after his penalty-saving heroics against Everton in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night.
 On-loan Huddersfield striker Robbie Simpson (hamstring) faces a late test after missing the last three games.


Portsmouth vs Leicester

Venue: Fratton Park Date: Friday, 24 September Kick-off: 1945 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC local radio & highlights on The Football League Show

Portsmouth will be without Richard Hughes, as the midfielder is suspended after being sent off in midweek.
Michael Brown is likely to reclaim his place in Hughes' absence, while Ricardo Rocha, who has been carrying a knock, will have a fitness test.
Leicester boss Paulo Sousa has plenty of options, with the likes of strikers Steve Howard and Paul Gallagher hoping to stay in his starting line-up.
Defender Miguel Vitor will also be hoping to keep his place.
These clubs meet for the second time in four days, with Leicester having knocked Portsmouth out of the Carling Cup in midweek - a boost for the Foxes after a dismal start to their league campaign.
Portsmouth are bottom, the only team without a win in the Football League, and have scored only two Championship goals this season. Leicester, meanwhile, are only two places above them and have won just one league game since Paulo Sousa's appointment as manager.
Sousa's side are being punished for starting matches poorly. A goal down inside 12 minutes at home to QPR on Saturday, the Foxes have now conceded eight first-half goals this term - more than any other team in the division - and are yet to score in the first half. Their earliest goal of the campaign came in the 51st minute.
Misfiring City have had a whopping 111 attempts on goal this season. That is more than any other Championship side, but on average they are scoring once in every 19 attempts. The only team with a worse ratio than that is Pompey.

• These club have met 50 times in the league. Leicester have won 27 of those matches and Portsmouth 14, with nine drawn.
• Their most recent league clashes were in the 2003/04 top-flight season, when Leicester won both matches.
• Portsmouth's only victory against Leicester in nine league and cup meetings over 16 years was a 2-1 win at Fratton Park in February 1996.
• Only four goals have been scored at Portsmouth's Fratton Park home this season - fewer than at any other Championship ground.
• Pompey have scored fewer than any other team in the division this term and have had 83 unsuccessful attempts on goal.
• Leicester are the only side not to have opened the scoring in a second-tier match this season.
• They are one of only two teams yet to score in the first half of a Championship game. The other is Ipswich.



Lazio vs AC Milan

Lazio vs AC Milan Match Preview


Lazio plunged Fiorentina into deeper crisis with a 2-1 win, but Milan are still haplessly searching for a winning formula. Their 1-1 draw against Catania was simply painful to watch. They played with a lethargy and obliviousness that made their opponents look like the more wily, illustrious side.

Things certainly do not get easier for the Rossoneri. Lazio are a side that can cause the best sides problems, and given how diffident Milan are currently, a defeat for Massimiliano Allegri's men is not out of the question. The real question for the coach is how to accommodate three up front. Filippo Inzaghi looked clumsy last game notwithstanding a goal. He constantly encroached on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's space, frustrating the Swede in the process. While club owner Silvio Berlusconi may be adamant to play three directly up front, Allegri should experiment with a 4-3-1-2, which sees Ronaldinho tuck in behind Inzaghi and Ibrahimovic. Further, Robinho should also be given a chance to prove his mettle.

Lazio's Brazilian midfielder Hernanes has been coming into his own, and he will be key against Milan. Lazio goalkeeper Muslera is confident that his side can get a result, saying that with the current batch of players, Lazio can overcome Milan.

All things suggest Milan could lose this game. Lazio are facing them during a transitional period, and Milan could collapse to a 2-1 loss.


Bayer Leverkusen vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Bayer Leverkusen vs Eintracht Frankfurt Match Preview


Leverkusen’s troubles have once again begun. Patrick Helmes and Stefan Kiessling both left the pitch due to injury against Nuremberg. Frankfurt lost 1-0 at home this past weekend. Both teams have not started well this season. The season promised plenty for Leverkusen when they earned a 2-0 win on opening day against Dortmund but things haven’t exactly been excellent since then.

To their credit though, most of the title contenders have had a very slow start apart from Hamburg and Dortmund. Leverkusen will look to this game as a “must win”. They will have to pick up three points to keep up with Mainz. On the other hand, Frankfurt has picked up only three points but will perhaps be satisfied with an away point against Leverkusen.


22/9/2010 - Football Games ( 1 x 2 ) Bet

ASIAN CUPS: AFC Champions League1X2
12:30Pohang Steelers (Kor)Zob Ahan (Irn)-1.753.504.50
12:30Suwon Bluewings (Kor)Seongnam Ilhwa (Kor)-2.203.403.10
17:30Al-Gharafa (Qat)Al-Hilal (Ksa)-2.503.402.63
19:15Al Shabab (Ksa)Jeonbuk Motors (Kor)-
11:30Gold CoastNewcastle-1.913.404.00
AUSTRIA: T-Mobile Bundesliga1X2
20:30Austria ViennaSalzburg-2.383.302.90
20:30MattersburgW. Neustadt-2.753.302.50
20:30RiedRapid Vienna-2.753.302.50
AZERBAIJAN: Premier League1X2
14:00KarabakhFK Gäncä----
BELARUS: Vysshaya Liga1X2
18:00BATEDin. Minsk-1.573.506.50
15:00BelshinaKommunalnik Slonim----
15:00FC MinskDSK Gomel----
18:00SoligorskVolna Pinsk----
BELGIUM: Jupiler League1X2
20:30Club BruggeEupen-1.206.0015.00
20:30MechelenCercle Brugge-1.913.404.00
20:30St. LiegeCharleroi-1.404.508.00
BRAZIL: Campeonato Brasileiro B1X2
00:30BahiaVila Nova1 : 11.623.805.50
00:30Guaratingueta Ponte Preta2 : 12.503.202.80
00:30PortuguesaSanto Andre3 : 21.803.504.50
00:30Sao CaetanoBragantino0 : 01.853.404.20
02:00BrasilienseCoritiba0 : 12.883.252.40
02:00NauticoFigueirense1 : 02.803.302.40
02:50America MineiroAmerica-RN-1.673.605.25
02:50Icasa-CESport Recife-2.303.303.00
02:50ParanaDuque De Caxias-1.913.503.75
15:30Bsk Bijelo BrdoVarteks----
15:30Istra 1961H. Dragovoljac----
15:30Lok. ZagrebZaprešić----
15:30OpatijaS. Belupo----
15:30Slavija PleternicaSibenik----
15:30VrbovecNK Zagreb----
15:30ZadrugarDin. Zagreb----
DENMARK: Landspokal Cup1X2
16:00VibyFC Copenhagen-31.0013.001.01
22:00EspoliBarcelona SC-
ENGLAND: Carling Cup1X2
20:45Aston VillaBlackburn-1.913.404.00
20:45ScunthorpeManchester Utd-8.004.501.40
21:00West BromManchester City-4.333.601.80
EUROPEAN CUPS: European U17 Championship Qualifiers1X2
11:00Wales U17Denmark U17-3.703.501.80
15:00Belgium U17Lithuania U17-1.733.603.90
16:00Turkey U17Armenia U17-1.205.5010.00
16:30Faroe Islands U17Hungary U17----
16:30Slovakia U17Andorra U17----
17:30FYR Macedonia U17Luxembourg U17----
17:30Scotland U17Switzerland U17----
21:15Czech Republic U17Iceland U17-1.573.804.60
FAROE ISLANDS: Formuladeildin1X2
15:00B71 SandurB36 Torshavn----
15:00HB TorshavnArgir----
15:00StreymurFC Suduroy----
15:00Toftir B68Fuglafjordur----
FINLAND: Veikkausliiga1X2
18:00HJK HelsinkiInter Turku-1.623.405.50
18:00Tampere UtdHonka-3.503.252.00
18:00TPS TurkuAC Oulu-1.573.505.75
FRANCE: Coupe de la Ligue1X2
20:45St. EtienneNice-1.913.253.50
GERMANY: Bundesliga1X2
20:00MoenchengladbachSt. Pauli-2.003.303.80
GERMANY: 2. Bundesliga1X2
17:30Munich 1860Aue-1.673.605.25
17:30OsnabruckUnion Berlin-2.203.403.20
GERMANY: 3. Liga1X2
19:00SandhausenBayern (Am)-1.753.604.50
GERMANY: Regionalliga North1X2
17:00Hertha (Am)Kiel-2.403.202.60
17:00MeuselwitzBraunschweig (Am)-
18:30RB LeipzigWilhelmshaven-1.334.507.00
19:00Lübeck Oberneuland-1.733.404.20
19:00Wolfsburg (Am)Hamburger (Am)-1.733.404.20
GERMANY: Regionalliga South1X2
19:00Wehen (Am)Stutt. Kickers-
19:00WeidenHoffenheim (Am)-3.503.301.91
GERMANY: Regionalliga West1X2
19:00Bielefeld (Am)Dortmund (Am)-2.703.202.30
19:00Preußen MünsterLotte-2.303.202.70
19:00TrierMainz (Am)-
INT. TOURNAMENTS: Baltic League1X2
16:00Trans NarvaSiauliai----
18:00Nomme KaljuVentspils----
ITALY: Serie A1X2
20:45BresciaAS Roma-
20:45LazioAC Milan-3.303.102.30
KAZAKHSTAN: Premier League1X2
14:00AtyrauFK Astana----
14:00OkzhetpesAkzhayik Oral----
14:00TobolShakhtar K.----
18:45De GraafschapUtrecht-2.753.252.25
20:00Den BoschAlkmaar-6.504.001.40
20:00Groene SterDijkse Boys----
20:00Haaglandia/Sir WinstGroningen----
20:00Rijnsburgse BoysDeurne----
20:45PSVSparta Rotterdam-1.107.5015.00
02:00ColumbusSantos Laguna0 : 02.503.252.80
04:00Cruz AzulToronto-1.226.0012.00
20:00StrömsgodsetOdd Grenland-
POLAND: Division 2 West1X2
16:00Gornik WalbrzychRakow Czestochowa----
16:00OlsztynOdra W.-2.603.202.40
16:00Ruch ZdzieszowiceRuch-4.003.501.73
18:00Widzew LodzZaglebie-2.103.303.00
15:00Alro SlatinaFC Vaslui-6.503.701.44
15:00G. BistritaAstra Giurgiu-1.205.5010.00
15:00Juventus BucurestiFC Timisoara-
15:00SilvaniaTargu Mures----
15:00Sportul Stud.Otopeni-1.573.605.00
15:00Unirea UrziceniTulcea-1.803.403.80
17:30PanduriiViitorul Constanta----
19:30Dinamo BucharestCeahlaul-1.295.0010.00
RUSSIA: Division 11X2
15:00Nizhny NovgorodRotor Volgograd-1.603.505.00
15:00UralKamaz Chelny-1.913.203.60
15:30Dinamo St.P.Kuban-5.253.501.57
17:00KrasnodarAvangard Kursk-1.254.7510.00
18:00Zhemchuzhina SochiSalyut-Energiya-1.573.605.00
14:00AlaniaGornyak Uchaly-
15:00Sat. MoscowLuch Energiya----
16:30FK RostovVolgar-Gazprom-1.364.506.50
17:30Din. MoscowVolga Novgorod-1.334.507.00
SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Professional League1X2
18:30Al HilalAl Ahli----
19:15Al-RaedAl Ittihad----
19:15Al WehdaAl-Ettifaq----
SCOTLAND: Insurance League Cup1X2
20:45CelticInverness CT-1.206.5013.00
20:45Ross CountyDundee Utd-4.753.601.73
16:00HumenneL. Mikulas-3.403.102.00
16:00J. BohuniceTrencin-
16:00PodbrezovaDolny Kubin-2.503.002.60
16:00Spisska Nova VesKosice-3.503.251.91
17:00Slovan BratislavaPuchov-1.0212.0021.00
SLOVENIA: Prva Liga1X2
16:00Triglav GorenjskaMaribor-5.503.501.57
18:00VelenjeO. Ljubljana-2.503.102.60
SOUTH AFRICA: Premier League1X2
15:30Golden ArrowsFree State Stars-
19:30Bloem CelticMaritzburg Utd-1.913.103.75
19:30Platinum StarsAmazulu-2.303.202.75
19:30SantosMamelodi Sundowns-2.503.002.60
19:30Vasco Da GamaBidvest Wits-2.603.002.50
SOUTH AMERICA: Copa Sudamericana1X2
01:15Cerro PortenoUniversitario1 : 21.444.207.00
03:45Dep. TolimaOriente Petrolero-1.504.006.50
20:00Sport HuancayoDefensor Sp.-1.953.403.75
SPAIN: Primera Division1X2
22:00ValenciaAtl. Madrid-
SPAIN: Segunda Division B - Group 11X2
19:00Real Madrid BPontevedra----
19:30Univ. Las PalmasCelta Vigo B----
20:00GuadalajaraAlcala Henares----
20:00Rayo Vallecano BLa Coruna B----
20:30LugoAtl. Madrid B----
21:00BadajozCerro Reyes----
SPAIN: Segunda Division B - Group 21X2
18:00LemonaReal Union----
19:00Ath. Bilbao BBarakaldo----
19:30La MuelaGimnastica Torrelavega----
19:30Pena SportPalencia----
20:30Cultural LeonesaOsasuna B----
20:30EibarGijon B----
20:30GuijueloReal Sociedad B----
20:30Real OviedoMirandes----
SPAIN: Segunda Division B - Group 31X2
18:00Sant AndreuBadalona----
19:00Mallorca BAlzira----
20:30BalearesSporting Mahones----
SPAIN: Segunda Division B - Group 41X2
20:30RoquetasUnion Estepona----
20:30Sevilla AtleticoBetis B----
20:45CaravacaSan Roque----
20:45Lorca AtleticoEcija----
21:00Alcala GuadairaMurcia----
21:00CadizYeclano Deportivo----
21:00Real JaenAlmeria B----
SWEDEN: Allsvenskan1X2
19:00ElfsborgIFK Göteborg -2.053.303.60
SWEDEN: Division 2 - Västra Götaland1X2
19:00KarlskogaHolmalunds IF-1.504.504.50
SWITZERLAND: Super League1X2
19:45St. GallenYoung Boys-3.203.302.05
TUNISIA: Ligue Professionnelle 11X2
16:30Esperance ZarzisSfaxien----
14:00Beypazari SekersporBalikesirspor-2.403.402.50
14:00Dar. GenclerbirligiDardanelspor-2.883.252.20
14:00Konya SekersporAltay-2.803.302.20
14:00Menemen BelediyeBelediye Vanspor----
14:00Mersin I.Y.Torbalispor-
14:00TelekomsporGungoren Bld.-2.603.402.30
14:00Trabzon KaradenizSamsunspor-3.903.501.75
18:00AdanasporGaziantep BB-1.803.403.75
18:00DenizlisporAnadolu Uskudar-1.117.5013.00
18:00DiyarbakirsporMalatya Belediyespor-1.364.506.50
14:00FC PoltavaObolon Kiev----
15:00DneprodzerzhinskFeniks Illichivets----
15:00Stal AlchevskArsenal Bila----
17:00KrimteplitsaDin. Kiev----
17:00M. ZaporozhyeIllichivets-
17:30OleksandriyaM. Donetsk----
19:00Metalist KharkivA. Kiev-1.553.505.50
VENEZUELA: Primera Division1X2
22:00AraguaDep. Petare-2.503.202.50
22:30Atl. El VigiaMineros-2.303.202.75