Champions' League preview: Will City start to shine?

A look ahead to the European matches involving English clubs this week
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The Independent Online

Tuesday

Arsenal v Marseille (7.45, Sky Sports 2)

An old-style 1-0 win thanks to a late goal from Aaron Ramsey took Arsenal (7pts) to the summit of Group F ahead of Marseille (6pts), confirming these two teams as the most likely qualifiers ahead of Olympiakos (3pts) and the underperforming Borussia Dortmund (1pt). With or without the return of Thomas Vermaelen in the centre of defence, Arsenal will still need to keep both eyes on the gifted striker Loïc Rémy.

Genk v Chelsea (7.45, Sky Sports 4)

The surprise champions of Belgium last season, Genk (1pt) were feeble in losing 5-0 at Stamford Bridge and look destined to finish bottom of Group E. Their most effective performers were the noisy visiting fans, who will create a great atmosphere in the 21,500-capacity stadium, from which Chelsea (7pts) should still escape unscathed and top of the table.

Wednesday

Manchester United v Otelul Galati (7.45, Sky Sports 2)

United (5pts) made unexpectedly hard work of the 2-0 win in Romania against Galati (0pts), requiring two penalties from Wayne Rooney and losing Nemanja Vidic, who is now suspended, to a red card. A win here will probably not send them to the top of the table as Benfica (7pts) have home advantage against Basle (4pts), whom the Portuguese have already beaten away.

Villarreal v Manchester City (7.45, ITV1)

For all their pyrotechnics domestically, Manchester City (4pts) have yet to shine on the European stage and lie in third place behind Bayern Munich (7pts) and Napoli (5pts), neither of whom they were able to beat. The position would be even worse but for Sergio Aguero's goal in added time to beat Villarreal (0pts). The Spaniards have a dangerous attacking force in Cani but the striker Giuseppe Rossi has been sidelined for up to six months after suffering a knee injury.

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