Belfast Telegraph

Steven Beacom: Red faces in Manchester?

Who would have thought it a couple of months ago heading into the final week of group fixturse in the Champions League? Arsenal relaxed and safely qualified for the last 16 with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea sweating on their places in the knockout stages.

With home advantage Chelsea should do enough against Valencia, but the Manchester clubs are in serious danger.

City’s destiny is out of their hands. Not only do they need a result at home on Wednesday night to Bayern Munich — rated the third best team in Europe behind Barcelona and Real Madrid — Napoli must lose to Villarreal.

Progress is unlikely.

As for United they need to avoid defeat in Basle to keep their dreams alive.

On the face of if they should achieve that, but Sir Alex Ferguson has a major injury crisis on his hands and the Swiss side earned a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford, so they are no mugs.

Progress is uncertain.

If it goes wrong for both Manchester clubs they’ll be in the Europa League. What an embarrassment that will be.

Belfast Telegraph

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