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November 20, 2019
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UEFA Champions League: Bayern-Fiorentina and Porto-Arsenal, tonight

FC Bayern Munchen got the better of ACF Fiorentina last season but they can expect a tougher test tonight against a visiting Viola side chasing a sixth straight win in the first leg of their last-16 contest.


ACF Fiorentina visit FC Bayern Munchen for the first leg of their last-16 encounter aiming for a sixth successive UEFA Champions League victory, according to uefa.com.


The in-form Serie A side are seeking a first quarter-final appearance in UEFA`s premier club competition since 1969/70 and have won their last two away matches in Europe, including a 2-1 victory at Liverpool FC in their most recent outing.


Yet Fiorentina have never won in Germany and while Bayern`s home form has been shaky, they beat the Viola in Munich last season and dealt impressively with their last test against Italian opponents – winning 4-1 at Juventus in December to reach the knockout rounds.


Bayern prevailed 3-0 when the clubs met for the first time on 21 October 2008. Miroslav Klose (4), Bastian Schweinsteiger (25) and Zé Roberto (90) got the goals for the home side.


The teams drew 1-1 in Florence on 5 November. Adrian Mutu gave the Viola an early lead, Tim Borowski equalising after 78 minutes. Bayern finished group winners while Fiorentina had to wait until Matchday 6 for their only victory of that group stage. Alessandro Gamberini and Mario Santana are set to miss both legs of ACF Fiorentina`s UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie with FC Bayern München after suffering injuries at the weekend. Centre-back Gamberini dislocated his shoulder in the early stages of the Viola`s 2-0 loss to UC Sampdoria on Saturday, the Tuscan club`s fifth Serie A game without a win, and will be sidelined for two months as he recovers from surgery. Midfielder Santana also left the field in Genoa, suffering a calf complaint, and will not be back in action for three to four weeks, leaving him only a slender chance of contesting the second leg against Bayern in Italy on 9 March. In the other game, the Arsenal “Gunners” face a difficult away trip to Portugal, where they will challenge the “Dragoes”, who are veteran campaigners at this stage of Europe’s elite competition, writes goal.com


European champions in 2003-04 under Jose Mourinho, Porto are again on the march in the continent’s elite competition. This side perhaps does not have the pomp that the squad of six years ago boasted – they are lying third in the Portuguese league, trailing leaders Benfica by seven points with a game in hand – but they are nevertheless dangerous opponents.


Drawn in a group that contained Chelsea, much fancied Atletico Madrid, and APOEL, the Dragoes qualified with consummate ease, admittedly aided by the sheer incompetence that their Spanish rivals showed. There can be little doubt that the ability last 16 opponents Arsenal will severely test the Dragoes.


Last night, after the closing of this edition, also in UEFA Champions League, the games Lyon-Real Madrid and AC Milan- Manchester United took place.

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