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Eastern European teams struggling in Champions League


If the opening two rounds in the Champions League group stage are anything to go by, eastern European teams in the competition will find it difficult to advance to the knockout stage.

As things stand at the moment, most of them could also be denied the consolation prize of carrying on in the Europa League after the winter break.

Teams from this part of Europe registered just one win, one draw and five defeats on Tuesday and Wednesday and most have a mountain to climb if they are to reach the last 16.

Five of them — CSKA Moscow, Otelul Galati, Dinamo Zagreb, Shakhtar Donetsk and Viktoria Plzen are bottom in their respective groups.

A new Champions League era or just a blip?


As many French teams in the Champions League quarter-finals as English clubs and only one Spanish side through.

Does this mark a sea change in Europe or is it just a freak season like 2004 (the last time two French teams reached the last eight)?