Leicester among sides with last 16 in sight

Defending champion Real Madrid, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and debutant Leicester City are all looking to clinch places in the last 16 of the Champions League with two games to spare

Leicester City's Andy King (L) and Jamie Vardy (R) during a training session before the Champions League match against FC Copenhagen in Denmark.   -  AP

A look ahead to Wednesday's Champions League action with reigning champion Real Madrid, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and debutant Leicester City all looking to clinch places in the last 16 with two games to spare.



Group E



At Monaco: Monaco (FRA) v CSKA Moscow (RUS)

Monaco tops the group and remains unbeaten, so a win at home to the Russian champion will all but secure its place in the last 16. Leonardo Jardim's side, which snatched a draw in Moscow last time out thanks to Bernardo Silva's late equaliser, comes into the game sitting in second place in Ligue 1. It is also the most prolific side in any of Europe's leading leagues along with Barcelona, with both teams having netted 30 goals so far. That is despite Monaco having loaned giant Ivorian striker Lacina Traore to CSKA - he scored for the Russians in the reverse fixture. CSKA could be on the brink of elimination if it loses and form is not on its side. It has won just one of its last eight matches in all competitions and has been beaten eight times in its last nine away group games in the Champions League. Meanwhile, its goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is looking to end a run of 40 consecutive Champions League games without keeping a clean sheet. CSKA is without the suspended Roman Eremenko, while Alan Dzagoev is a doubt.



At London: Tottenham Hotspur (ENG) v Bayer Leverkusen (GER)

Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham will be looking to end a five-game winless run when it entertains Leverkusen in a crucial contest at Wembley. Spurs has had four draws and one defeat in all competitions since beating Manchester City a month ago. That sequence includes a 0-0 draw in Germany two weeks ago, and Tottenham needs at least the same again to keep qualification for the last 16 in its own hands. It will also be looking for a maiden victory at Wembley after losing 2-1 to Monaco at England's national stadium in its Group E opener. Leverkusen has drawn all three group games so far and comes into the match on the back of a 2-1 win at Wolfsburg at the weekend that ended its own run of four matches without a victory. Harry Kane is on the sidelines for Spurs while Joel Pohjanpalo and Karim Bellarabi are absent for the visitor.

> Hernandez: 'I have nothing to prove in England'

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Group F



At Dortmund, Germany: Borussia Dortmund (GER) v Sporting Lisbon (POR)

Dortmund has started strongly in Group F and will secure its place in the last 16 with a win at home to Sporting at the Signal Iduna Park. Thomas Tuchel's side was a 2-1 winner when the teams met in Portugal recently and has lost just one of its last 11 matches. However, it was held to a goalless draw by Schalke in the Ruhr derby at the weekend and sits only sixth in the Bundesliga. In addition, it has a long injury list with Marcel Schmelzer, Sven Bender, Marco Reus, Neven Subotic and Erik Durm all on the sidelines. Sporting needs a positive result to keep alive its chances of reaching the knockout phase for the first time since 2008/09 but it has had one draw and suffered 11 defeats on its 12 previous visits to Germany. Jorge Jesus's men are also struggling for form - last Friday's 0-0 draw at Nacional left them with only one win in five, a run that has seen them drop to fourth place. Captain Adrien is injured.



At Warsaw: Legia Warsaw (POL) v Real Madrid (ESP)

Incidents at Legia's last home game, a 6-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, means this meeting with the reigning champion will be played behind closed doors in the Polish capital. Legia lost 5-1 in Madrid last time out and is yet to register a point in the group - another defeat here will eliminate it, while even a draw may not put off the inevitable. Madrid, meanwhile, will be through with a win, provided Borussia Dortmund also win. Zinedine Zidane's men warmed up for this game with a 4-1 win at Alaves in which Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick. They are top of La Liga, unbeaten in 15 games this season and have scored 24 times in their last five matches. Ronaldo, meanwhile, is just two goals away from reaching a century in European competition. Pepe is out, but it is set to be a daunting task for Legia, which is currently sixth in its domestic league.

> READ: Playing behing closed doors of no benefit to Real - Zidane



Group G



At Copenhagen: FC Copenhagen (DEN) v Leicester City (ENG)

The Leicester City fairytale can reach the Champions League knockout phase if the shock English champion gets a result at Copenhagen, which has four points so far. One of only three teams in the competition on full points from the opening three games, the feeling is that coach Claudio Ranieri is focussing on Europe. A win in Denmark will secure a place in the last 16, and it warmed up with a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend. It travels to Denmark with its Danish international goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in exceptional form. Copenhagen, which had gone 23 games without defeat before losing 1-0 in the reverse fixture, comes into the match still unbeaten domestically and six points clear at the top of its league.

> READ: Slimani won't be risked - Ranieri



At Oporto, Portugal: Porto (POR) v Club Brugge (BEL)

The 2004 champion Porto is locked in a battle with Copenhagen for a place in the next round with the pair on four points. After winning 2-1 in Belgium with a late penalty, the home side badly needs another result here. It is second in its domestic league, five points behind leader Benfica, after drawing 0-0 at Vitoria Setubal at the weekend. He may have drawn a blank in that match but striker Andre Silva has scored 10 goals in his last nine games for club and country. Brugge, the runner-up in the 1978 European Cup, is on a seven-game winless away streak in the competition. It has had a poor season so far but its domestic form has improved since its last European outing, with seven points from three games lifting it to fifth in the Belgian league.



Group H



At Seville, Spain: Sevilla (ESP) v Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Serial Europa League winner Sevilla is level on top of Group H alongside Juventus and tackles pointless Croatian Dinamo Zagreb, which lost 3-0 and 4-0 to Lyon and Juventus respectively before going down 1-0 at home to Sevilla two weeks ago. Fourth in the Spanish league, Sevilla has scored just two goals to get its seven points in Europe with a goalless draw at Juventus and a 1-0 win over Lyon coming before Frenchman Samir Nasri gave it the points in Zagreb. Nasri will miss this match with a hamstring injury and former Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli will hope his team can safely negotiate the encounter with a home clash with Barcelona to follow at the weekend. Dinamo has never gone beyond the group stage in the Champions League and will be eliminated if it loses.



At Turin, Italy: Juventus (ITA) v Lyon (FRA)

The 2015 finalist Juventus will qualify for the next round with a win over its struggling French visitor. Juve is unbeaten in its last 18 home matches in Europe and is fresh from beating Napoli 2-1 in Serie A at the weekend when Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner against his old club and refused to celebrate.

> Allegri urges Juventus to seal qualification with win

Paulo Dybala is absent for the host, which won 1-0 in Lyon two weeks ago. Striker Alexandre Lacazette missed a penalty for the Ligue 1 side in that match but he has been back in goalscoring form, grabbing a brace in a 2-1 away win at high-flying Toulouse at the weekend. After Gianluigi Buffon saved Lacazette's penalty in the reverse fixture, Juventus had Mario Lemina sent off but beat Lyon thanks to Juan Cuadrado's strike. Lyon will be out if it loses and Sevilla win.

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