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Champions League preview: Dortmund to end Manchester City’s European dream

by Sean Goff | December 4, 2012

Joe Hart

NO MORE SLIP UPS: City may need more Joe Hart heroics against Dortmund tonight (pic Getty Images)

By Andrew Robinson

The final round of the Champions League group stages kicks off this evening, with some teams hoping to save their seasons by sneaking into the knockout stages and others simply playing for pride.

Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City (7:45pm, Sky Sports 2)

City are playing for pride in Group D but have to win to have any chance of making the Europa League. They’re bottom without a win to their name and manager Roberto  will have to keep an eye on Sunday’s Manchester Derby against United. His team selection will be interesting.

The Blues are 23/10 with Paddy Power to pull off a shock at fortress Dortmund, where the Germans have a 100 per cent record in this year’s competition. With the home side also through, they are playing to top the group.

They dominated City in Manchester – but came up against a superb Joe Hart. With England’s No 1. suffering a wobble at the moment Dortmund look a great bet at 21/20.

Olympiacos v Arsenal (7:45pm, ITV1)

What has happened to Arsenal? Since their last game in Europe, they have picked up just two points from nine in the Premier League and lost 2-0 at home to Swansea last weekend. A trip to Greece with the pressure off could be great for Arsene Wenger’s youngsters.

Arsenal claimed a 3-1 win last time out against the Greek champions and the same score this time around is on offer at 25/1. Olympiacos are playing for pride and with the Gunners set to leave out nine first-team regulars – the Greeks could be good value at 5/4.

PSG v Porto (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

PSG welcome Porto – who look to be recapturing some of that old Jose Mourinho magic. Any side with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in it is in with a chance of winning and the home side are 6/5 for the win, with the Portuguese champions at 12/5.

Will Zlatan repeat his recent heroics for Sweden? If you think he’s good for a hat trick or better, he’s priced at 18/1.

Dinamo Zagreb v Dynamo Kiev (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

Dinamo Zagreb will be looking to avoid another pointless season in the Champions League, while also still looking for their first goal of the campaign.

These stats make awful reading for the Croatians and makes Kiev the 21/20 favourites to repeat their win in the reverse fixture. But if you think Zagreb are due to pick up a point, the draw is on offer at 5/2, the same price as a win for the struggling outfit.

Montpellier v Schalke 04 (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

The French champions have struggled both domestically and in Europe this season and are playing for pride in the other Group B game, having picked up just a solitary point so far in the 2-2 draw with the Germans on Matchday 2.

Montpellier are 11/4 to win and with Schalke 04 already through they could be good value. However, the Germans will want to top Group B and are even money to take the three points, while the draw is 12/5.

AC Milan v Zenit St Petersburg (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

It’s all over bar the shouting in Group C with AC Milan and Malaga comfortably through. But the Russians will be looking to secure a Europa League spot – a competition they won in 2008.

Hulk has been weak so far in the tournament and will be looking to show his strength against a Milan side in form. Zenit are 9/5 to pull off a shock in the San Siro, while the Rossoneri are 6/4 to end the group stages with a win.

Malaga v Anderlecht (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

Malaga are the surprise package of this season’s Champions League and currently top Group C despite losing midfield magician Santi Cazorla to Arsenal. They have been unstoppable at home and are trading at even-money in the build-up.

The Belgian side were stuffed 3-0 at home in the reverse fixture, but if you fancy an upset they are priced at 50/1 to give Malaga a taste of their own medicine with a 3-0 win.

Real Madrid v Ajax (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

The Special One Jose Mourinho has promised changes for tonight’s Group D game after his side made it out of the group stages for the 16th consecutive year. The shuffling of the Madrid pack could see some jokers make it onto the field, which makes the Dutch champions a great bet at 7/1.

Madrid humbled Ronald de Boer’s men 4-1 on Matchday 2, but since then Ajax have taken four points off Manchester City and go into the game in good form after a recent league win over PSV Eindhoven.

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