While Real Madrid, AC Milan and Barcelona have already confirmed their place in the round of 16 draw in Nyon on 16 Dec, several top sides still have much to do to make the next round of the Champions League. There will also be hopes from football romantics that relative minnows APEOL FC and Trabzonspor can spring a surprise on Europe's elite.
Roberto Mancini takes his charges back to his homeland when Manchester City travel to Italy to face Napoli in Group A. Napoli will be encouraged by their impressive 1-1 stalemate with the Citizens in their maiden group encounter.
The stylish Italian outfit boast of an unbeaten home record of ten matches after returning to European competition in 2008 for the first time in 13 years. German side Eintracht Frankfurt were the last side to defeat Napoli in their own backyard in December 1994.
The 2009 European champions suffered a disastrous 1-0 defeat to unfancied Turkish side Trabzonspor on matchday one thanks to a late strike from Ondřej Čelůstka. In fact, both sides faced off in the 1983/84 UEFA Cup first round and although Inter lost the first-leg 1-0 in Trabzon, they sailed through the next round with a 2-0 home win.
Trabzonspor tactician Şenol Güneş was the man between the sticks then during both legs against Inter.
Bayern Munich will also take on Villarreal at home at the Allianz Arena, and will look for all three points to try to secure their position at the top of their group.
In Group C, Manchester United are aiming to sail through to the knockout phase for the sixth straight season when they tackle Portuguese outfit Benfica at Old Trafford. Both sides played out to a 1-1 draw in the opening group encounter in Lisbon.
The Red Devils have a formidable home record in ten matches against Portuguese opposition. They have won eight matches and drawn two.
Benfica however, are unbeaten away from home this season in Europe. Paraguayan frontman Óscar Cardozo, who scored against United last time out, plundered in six goals in four ties against English opposition during the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League campaign and will be looking to continue his hot streak. Otelul Galati will also welcome Basel in what could be a fight for third spot in Group C, as both sides look to be the victims of the Red Devils' and Benfica's superior pedigree.
In Group B, Trabzonspor travel to Inter Milan on the back of a 1-1 draw with Mansaspor in their Super Lig opener.
The visitors will have to make do without Burak Yilmaz and Adrian Mierzejewsk, as the duo are both suspended. To complicate matters for the Turks, coach Senol Gunes will serve his first of a two-match touchline ban.
But Inter Milan boss Claudio Ranieri has his own troubles, as star playmaker Wesley Sneijder has been ruled out with a thigh strain. CSKA Moscow will also welcome Lille, who languish at the bottom of the group
Last, but certainly not least, Group D leaders Real Madrid will welcome Dinamo Zagreb, who will be trying not to repeat their poor performance of ending their campaign without a single point once more. An Angel Di Maria effort gave Jose Mourinho's men the win in their last encounter, despite the absence of the Portuguese from a touchline ban, and he will certainly relish yet another victory in Europe against the Croatina champions.
In a face-off between two of Europe's most historied clubs, Lyon will welcome Ajax Amsterdam in the Stade de Gerland. The Ligue 1 side have the chance to leapfrog Ajax into second spot in the group, and will be desperate for a home victory.
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