Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 17th 2014 Contents MUNICH---Bayern Munich has reached at
least the semifinals in each of its last three
Champions League appearances. With the
2014-15 final taking place in Berlin, the Ger-
man powerhouse has added incentive to go
for its second title in three years.
Bayern kicks off its campaign at home today
against familiar rival Manchester City, as the
sides meet for the third time in four seasons.
City ended the Bundesliga side s competition
record 10-game winning run when they met
for their final group game last December, albeit
with Bayern already through to the second
round, and each has two wins and two losses
from their previous meetings.
Today s game could have a big say in which
side wins Group E, with Roma and CSKA
Moscow also in the mix. They meet at the
same time at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Here are some things to know about the
Bayern has made a solid start to the season
despite a host of injuries and the loss of
dependable midfielder Toni Kroos to Real
Experienced Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso
has come in the opposite direction and earned
glowing reports after making an immediate
Former Borussia Dortmund striker Robert
Lewandowski, one of Europe s finest, has not
quite yet settled in, though he has still managed
one goal and set up three more in five appear-
ances for his new side.
Bayern also brought in Moroccan defender
Mehdi Benatia, though it is youngsters Sebas-
tian Rode and the 17-year-old Gianluca Gaudi-
no who have impressed early in the season.
Midfielders Javi Martinez, Bastian Schwe-
insteiger and Thiago Alcantara are all out with
knee injuries, but French winger Franck Ribery
has returned and scored in Bayern s 2-0 Bun-
desliga win over Stuttgart on Saturday.
Manchester City s claims to become a major
force in Europe will only stand up once the
club goes deep in the Champions League.
And manager Manuel Pellegrini believes
this could be the season.
"I think this team has a greater personality
to try to win everywhere," Pellegrini said ahead
of City s fourth straight season in the com-
City has only once progressed out of its
group---and that was last season when it lost
in the second round to Barcelona. It s a poor
record for a team that has been champion of
England for two of the last three seasons and
has star names throughout its squad.
City fielded a string of fringe players for
last season s match at Bayern---and won 3-2.
Pellegrini is sure to pick his top players this
However, Argentina defender Pablo Zabaleta
is suspended following his red card in last
season s loss to Barcelona, and Pellegrini has
a touchline ban.
Confidence is running high at Roma as the
capital club prepares for a return to the Cham-
pions League after an absence of four years.
Roma has undergone a remarkable trans-
formation since Rudi Garcia became coach in
2013 and the side emerged as serious title
challengers to Juventus.
Not only did it set a league record by win-
ning its opening 10 matches last season, but
Roma went on to finish with a club-record
85 points, second behind Juventus.
It s a vast improvement considering the
club failed to qualify for even the Europa
League in the previous two campaigns.
Following an off-season of shrewd signings,
Roma again looks set to be Juventus closest
challenger domestically. The side opened the
league campaign with two wins from two,
without conceding a goal, and fans are relishing
a return to Europe s elite.
"We re very focused on this return to Cham-
pions League football," Garcia said. "The fans
are really looking forward to it and we are,
too. Let s hope we get off on the right foot."
Ready to mix
CSKA is looking for improvement on last
year s poor showing in the Champions League.
The Russian club lost all three away games,
to Bayern, City and Viktoria Plzen, while the
club s record against Italian sides also leaves
room for improvement---five wins from 14
However, CSKA won on both of its last trips
to Italy, 2-1 at Inter Milan in the 2011-12 group
stage and 3-0 at Palermo in the 2010-11 Europa
The side made its best start to a season
since 2002 with four straight wins, and is
currently third after seven games of the Russian
league, behind Moscow rival Spartak and leader
Zenit St Petersburg.
Israel midfielder Bibras Natkho has five
goals in four appearances since joining CSKA.
But coach Leonid Slutski will have to do with-
out Alan Dzagoev and Pontus Wernbloom,
who begin three-game suspensions, while
Rasmus Elm and Georgi Schennikov have yet
to play this season because of stomach and
ankle problems, respectively. (AP)
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Bayern, Man City meet
again in Champions League
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates
scoring a goal during the English Premier
League football match between Arsenal and
Manchester City at Emirates Stadium in
London, Saturday. AP PHOTO
Ajax vs Paris Saint Germain
Barcelona vs APOEL Nicosia
Chelsea vs Schalke 04
Maribor vs Sporting CP
Athletic Bilbao vs Shakhtar Donetsk
FC Porto vs BATE Borisov
TODAY'S OTHER MATCHES
ZURICH---Fifa has removed a
member of its financial monitoring
panel who has been implicated in
Canover Watson was questioned
last month by police anti-corruption
and financial crime units in his native
Cayman Islands. He denies wrong-
Fifa said yesterday that audit com-
mittee chairman Domenico Scala
"decided to temporarily relieve until
further notice Canover Watson, to
whom the presumption of innocence
The eight-member panel is next
scheduled to meet on December 16
in Morocco, on the sidelines of the
Club World Cup.
It was formed in 2012, and scru-
tinises Fifa s $1 billion-plus annual
revenue and commercial contracts.
Scala s team has intervened to block
some of Fifa s 209 member feder-
ations applying for development
Watson is a director of the Cayman
Islands Stock Exchange and treasurer
of the islands football federation.
He is a close associate of federation
leader Jeffrey Webb, a Fifa vice pres-
ident and president of Concacaf.
Fifa said the police investigation
was not linked to Watson s work in
"After a preliminary clarification
of the facts of the case and the alle-
gations of the Cayman Island inves-
tigating authorities against Canover
Watson, no connection with football
and/or his role at association level
has been established at this stage,"
football s governing body said in a
Local media reported the case
involves a 2010 contract to supply
public hospitals with swipe-card
billing technology. (AP)
Fifa audit panel member stood down from duty
PARIS---Former France great
Zinedine Zidane says he would
be interested in taking charge
of the national team once he ll
get more experience under his
Zidane, 42, served as an
assistant coach to Carlo
Ancelotti last season at Real
Madrid and is now coaching the
club s reserve team.
Zidane, who had been linked
to the head coaching position
at French club Bordeaux before
taking over Madrid s reserves,
told La Provence newspaper that
he is interested in the job.
The former Juventus and Real
midfielder said "I m ambitious.
I wore this shirt and now that
I m on the other side of the
fence, this is an option."
The France team is currently
coached by Didier Deschamps,
who played alongside Zidane
when France won the 1998
World Cup and Euro 2000. (AP)
CAIRO---The Confederation of
African Football has denied claims by
the Guinea Football Federation that
the temporary ban on games in the
Ebola-hit country has been lifted.
CAF says no decision will be taken
until its executive committee meets on
Friday and Saturday in Ethiopia.
CAF last month banned the West
Africa nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone
and Liberia from hosting games because
of the deadly virus outbreak. It said it
would reassess the situation in mid-
CAF said yesterday that the new
assessment would be done in consul-
tation with the World Health Organi-
Guinea and Sierra Leone are com-
peting in the final round of qualifiers
for next year s African Cup of Nations.
Sierra Leone has decided to play all of
its scheduled home games in Congo,
but Guinea wants to host matches. (AP)
MURI---A lower-league Swiss football club says it will
investigate reports that some of its fans urinated in a water
bottle that a rival goalkeeper then drank from.
Reto Felder, a goalkeeper who plays for Muri in the Swiss
fourth division, says in the Blick daily newspaper he first
thought his drink was warmed by the sun. He called the
prank "crude and disgraceful."
Fans in the crowd of about 500 reportedly persuaded a
ball boy to pass them the bottle.
Muri lost at Baden 3-2 on Saturday.
Baden president Thomi Braem, who promised to inves-
tigate, says fans "should realise they have again done great
damage (to the club)."
Muri coach Beat Hubeli says the incident was "the lowest
of the low." (AP)
Swiss fans urinate in
rival goalkeeper's bottle
CAF denies lifting ban
on games in Guinea
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