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Champions League Final 16
Champions League Final 16
Chelsea and Bayern both can actually secure first place with two games to spare.
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea club again is featured in the week's top bill, as the reigning English champion travels to Camp Nou to face Barcelona in Group A -- just two weeks after beating Barcelona 1-0 in London.
Champions League title-holder Barca actually faces quite a bit of pressure as its four points are even with Werder Bremen, which plays at Levski Sofia and drew with the Spaniards in Germany.
Chelsea's German midfielder Michael Ballack said Barcelona had better watch out.
"We can wait and see. The pressure on us is much less as we beat Barcelona in the first leg. Now the pressure is on them, and it will be hard for them to reach the next stage," Ballack said.
One problem for Barcelona has been dealing with the loss of Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto'o, who is out another three to four months with a serious knee injury.
Eto'o's absence has put more pressure on Barcelona playmakers Ronaldinho, Deco, Xavi and Iniesta.
"With Eto'o in the lineup, Ronaldinho has more alternatives for combinations. When Ronaldinho has the ball, the opposing defense not only has to concentrate on him but also where Eto'o is going. And that gives the Brazilian and others more room," former Argentinean national team coach Jose Pekermann wrote in the Spanish daily El Pais.
"Without Eto'o, Barcelona plays more static, slower and more predictable."
Frank Rjikaard's team must find a solution for Eto'o's absence, and now. Or the defending champion could find itself in the UEFA Cup.
Barcelona, nonetheless, is favorite for the encounter.
Felix Mageth's Bayern Munich side, meanwhile, has a series of less crucial injuries to deal with ahead of its home leg against Sporting Lisbon -- which has four points for second place in Group B.
Lucio, Valerien Ismael and Lukas Podolski are all nursing injuries, while Bastian Schweinsteiger is suspended for a red card.
Perhaps the other top showdown comes Wednesday in Group G, where leader CSKA Moscow (seven points) travels to 2006 finalist Arsenal (six points). CSKA won 1-0 in the Russian capital to move atop the standings.
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