Paris - While Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund grapple for
top spot in Group F, twice former winners Porto and Sevilla look to clinch the
two remaining spots in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday.
Portuguese giants Porto, European champions in 1987 and
2004, host Leicester City in their final group stage match wary of FC
Copenhagen pipping them to second in Group G.
Despite a woeful defence of their Premier League crown,
Leicester are guaranteed to finish top of their section in Europe and avoid the
likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the next round.
And the Foxes could well decide which team joins them in the
knockout phase with Copenhagen, third in the group, trailing Porto by two
points ahead of a trip to pointless Club Brugge.
Porto halted a run of five straight draws courtesy of
teenager Rui Pedro's 95th-minute winner over Braga at the weekend, ending a
club record run of 520 minutes without a goal.
"What matters is that we won three points and we are
going to try to take advantage of this to continue to grow and believe,"
said Porto coach Nuno Espirito Santo.
"I believe the results haven't been showing what we
Porto will secure their passage to the last 16 with victory
over Leicester, but anything less will open the door for Copenhagen, who have a
head-to-head advantage over the Portuguese on away goals.
"We kept a clean sheet, and now we just have to go
Brugge and get a victory - and then hope that Leicester do their job and beat
Porto," said Copenhagen's Swedish international Erik Johansson after last
month's 0-0 home draw against Porto.
Also read: Football: Man Utd profits dive on Champions League absence
Copenhagen, unbeaten domestically this term, stretched their
lead in Denmark to 11 points on Saturday after securing an eighth successive
win with a 1-0 defeat of Randers.
- Lyon plot Sevilla scalp -
Three-time reigning Europa League champions Sevilla are
favourites to advance alongside Juventus in Group H, with Lyon needing to beat
the Spaniards by at least two goals at Parc OL.
Lyon's preparations were overshadowed by the ugly scenes
that prompted Saturday's game at Metz to be called off after just 31 minutes
with goalkeeper Anthony Lopes targeted by firecrackers thrown by home
The Portugal international, 26, was taken to hospital after
suffering "traumatic hearing loss" in both ears but is expected to
make a full recovery with no lasting damage.
His status for Wednesday's fixture is very much in doubt,
but Lyon will draw encouragement knowing Sevilla -- without manager Jorge
Sampaoli due to a touchline ban -- have lost on all three previous trips to
Sevilla's troubles away from home resurfaced in a 2-1 defeat
at Granada over the weekend, with captain Vicente Iborra lamenting a sub-par
"It's clear it wasn't our best match and you pay for
that," said Iborra. "I think we were a bit distracted by the Lyon
game and now that we're here we must make the most of it and achieve
Sevilla may welcome back Samir Nasri from injury, while
Juventus, a point clear at the top, will be expected to cement first place with
group makeweights Dinamo Zagreb rounding out their fruitless campaign in Turin.
Dortmund are one shy of the 20-goal group stage record --
achieved by three sides including Manchester United's treble-winning side in
1998-99 as well as the Real team that landed 'La Decima' in 2014 -- ahead of
their visit to the Santiago Bernabeu.
A draw would send Dortmund through as winners of Group F,
with Real facing prospect of a tougher draw unless Zinedine Zidane's men come
away with all three points.
Bayer Leverkusen, confirmed as runners-up of Group E, host
Leonardo Jardim's impressive table-topping Monaco, while Tottenham Hotspur must
avoid defeat to CSKA Moscow at Wembley to parachute into the Europa League.For
the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us
on Twitter and like our Facebook page.