Day of reckoning for Europe's big guns in Champions League

Day of reckoning for Europe's big guns in Champions League

Holders Barcelona face former striker Samuel Eto'o in their tie against Inter Milan where defeat, combined with a win for Russia's Rubin Kazan over Dynamo Kiev, would see them go out.  Five-times champions Liverpool have a relatively straightforward match away to table-propping Hungarians Debrecen but their fate is largely out of their hands as they will be eliminated if Fiorentina beat already-qualified Olympique Lyon at home.

Similarly, Bayern Munich host pointless Maccabi Haifa knowing that, even if they win as expected, they will go out if Juventus overcome a Girondins Bordeaux side who are also through to the last 16.

In other games, Arsenal should join Lyon, Bordeaux, Chelsea, Porto, Manchester United and Sevilla in the last 16 while AC Milan and Real Madrid also have good chances of making sure of their places.

Inter's visit to Barcelona on Tuesday in Group F provides the highlight of the week.
The Italians top the group with six points after their last-gasp win in Dynamo Kiev two weeks ago, one ahead of Rubin Kazan and Barcelona with the Ukrainians a further point behind. Pep Guardiola's team are rushing to get Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi back to fitness for the potentially decisive encounter.

Bayern Munich have yet to win a home game in Group A and, although they should have little trouble breaking their duck against Maccabi on Wednesday, it may prove too late.  Third with four points from as many games, Bayern are four behind Juventus and will be eliminated if the Italians win away to a Girondins team who have nothing to play for apart from their reputation.

With Bayern seventh in the Bundesliga, failure would heap further pressure on beleaguered coach Louis van Gaal.

Liverpool are without key striker Fernando Torres for Tuesday's trip to Hungary in Group E.

Tuesday’s matches: Group E: Debrecen v Liverpool; Fiorentina v Olympique Lyon. Group F: Barcelona v Inter Milan; Rubin Kazan v Dynamo Kiev. Group G: Rangers v VfB Stuttgart; Unirea Urziceni v Sevilla.  Group H: AZ Alkmaar v Olympiakos Piraeus; Arsenal v Standard Liege.

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