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Champions League Matchday 6 approaches, qualification spots still on the line

Klass-Jan Huntelaar and Schalke are already through to the next round.

The final day of Champions League's group stage is on the horizon, and while many teams have already qualified, there is still plenty to play for. The schedule looks to be an intense one for the clubs and fans, alike.

Thirteen of the sixteen spots in the Champions League knockout round are already spoken for, with three spots left up for grabs. That means Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Malaga and Barcelona can breathe easy, as they are set as group winners. AC Milan and Real Madrid are guaranteed of group places as runners-up.

There are a group of other clubs who are guaranteed to progress to the knockout stage, but haven't had their positions guaranteed. This includes Porto and Paris Saint-Germain in Group A, Schalke and Arsenal in Group B, Shakhtar Donetsk in Group E, as well as Bayern Munich and Valencia in Group F.

Margin of error is gone for many clubs
With the final matchday approaching, a group of clubs need results to go in their favor as the day shakes out.

In Group H, Galatasaray and Cluj are level on points, but the former has the edge on tiebreakers, which could prove essential. Group G has one spot open, with Benfica having a slight edge over Celtic. However, the Scottish side must face last-place Spartak Moscow, while Benfica must face Celtic.

Juventus and Chelsea both look to fight for the second spot in Group E, but the road could be much tougher for the defending European champions. Chelsea must face Nordsjaelland, the team in the bottom of the group. While this may seem like a manageable task, nothing less than a win will help them. Juventus faces Shakhtar knowing a point will see them through to the next round. Additionally, a win from Juventus will help the club to top spot in the group.

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Matchday 15 provides many interesting fixtures

Mario Balotelli and Manchester City need another win this weekend.

The English Premier League is in full swing, and there is still everything to play for. The title race, Champions League spots and Europa League qualification are still open to any club, while the relegation battle looks to be exciting.

Manchester United aims to add to its slender lead at the top of the table as the club heads to Madejski Stadium to take on struggling Reading. The Royals may need to pull off a small miracle to get a win, but even a point could help them out significantly.

Manchester City has a much tougher fixture, as the side hosts Everton this weekend. Only one point behind its city rivals, the Sky Blues will need to play at the top of their game. Chelsea faces West Ham in what is an important match for each side, as well.

West Brom needs to get back on track against a surging Stoke City side, which could give the Baggies a lot of trouble. The clubs room for error may not be large, as Tottenham is only three points behind. The North London side travels west to take on Fulham. Arsenal also needs a positive result, as the club plays Swansea City.

Some midtable clubs need a boost
Liverpool will need a strong showing, as the club hosts tricky Southampton at Anfield. The Saints are in the thick of the relegation battle, and could prove difficult. Newcastle also needs to find its form, as it hosts Wigan on Monday night.

Norwich faces Sunderland, and a win from either side could help significantly in the quest to reach midtable and avoid the relegation battle later on. Aston Villa will be looking to do the same this weekend, as it faces Queens Park Rangers, the club in last place in the table.

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Manchester United keeps slim lead on Matchday 14

Robin van Persie's goal gave Manchester United a 1-0 win.

The English Premier League had plenty of exciting midweek matches, with shakeups all over the table. Two clubs chasing the title won, while some struggling at the bottom are starting to improve.

Manchester United kept its slender lead for first place, as the club edged West Ham United 1-0 at Old Trafford. Robin van Persie's early goal was enough to hold-off the East London side, which kept the pressure on other clubs in the top part of the table.

United's toughest competition for the title at this stage, Manchester City, also managed a win, as the Citizens grabbed two goals in the second half to overcome Wigan Athletic at DW Stadium.

West Bromwich Albion experienced a hiccup after starting strongly, as the side was unable to overcome Swansea City. An early barrage of goals helped the Swans to a 3-1 victory. Chelsea also failed to keep up the pace with the Manchester clubs, as it drew 0-0 with Fulham in the West London Derby.

Tottenham Hotspur got its Champions League hopes back on track, as it held off a late surge from Liverpool to secure a 2-1 win. This put the club only three points off of fourth in the table.

Everton and Arsenal drew 1-1 at Goodison Park, which prevented both from keeping pace with fellow competitors looking for European qualification. However, Stoke inched closer to those two clubs, as the side overcame Newcastle United 2-1.

Strugglers manage to grab valuable points
For clubs in the relegation battle, any and all points are vital at this stage. Aston Villa took this advice to heart, as it overcame fellow strugglers Reading 1-0 at Villa Park. While Queens Park Rangers wasn't able to register a win like their competition, the side managed a 0-0 draw with Sunderland, which could be a springboard for future success.

Southampton is still in drop zone limbo, but it managed a point at home against Norwich City, which could be important later on.

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Midweek offers Premier League Matchday 14

Harry Redknapp has a sizable task to keep his new club from relegation.

More action occurs this week in the English Premier League, as all 20 clubs are in action on Tuesday or Wednesday. There are some key matches that may clear up the relegation battle, as well as several to help clubs jockey for position in the race for Europe.

Queens Park Rangers could help its fortunes out significantly with a win against Sunderland on Tuesday. The Super Hoops are currently seven points from safety, with Sunderland eight points ahead in 16th place. While it is still early, new manager Harry Redknapp has much to do to ensure another year in the Premier League.

Reading and Aston Villa, currently the other two clubs in the drop zone, face at Villa Park later on Tuesday. A win from either side would be a huge boost, and could help each club feel more comfortable about its prospects.

Southampton and Norwich are both hanging around the bottom part of the table, and a win from either side would help distance themselves from the drop. While this match may be more even, fellow strugglers Wigan have a mammoth task. The club welcomes title contenders Manchester City to the DW Stadium on Wednesday.

Title race, Europe spots up for grabs
With Manchester City facing a manageable fixture, the pressure may be on the other clubs at the top of the table. Manchester United has a difficult match against West Ham at Old Trafford, while Chelsea must play West London rivals Fulham, in what will likely be a tricky fixture. Surprise contenders West Bromwich Albion must travel to Wales to face Swansea City, in what could prove to be a tough match.

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur also play on Wednesday, and this could be a match where points are vital for each side. Tottenham sits five points from fourth place, while Liverpool is four points behind the Lilywhites.

The league also has intriguing matchups this week between Stoke City and Newcastle United, as well as Everton and Arsenal.

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South Africa, Australia meet again in Perth

South Africa managed a draw in South Africa.

South Africa and Australia are set to meet for the third, and decisive test match at the Western Australia Cricket Association ground in Perth, Western Australia.

The two sides played to a draw in the first test, which took place at the Brisbane Cricket Ground in Woolloongabba, Queensland. This was repeated in the latest match at the Adelaide Oval in South Australia. Faf du Plessis batted for 110, which helped the Proteas get the draw. What made du Plessis' performance so impressive was that he became the fourth South African to register a century in his debut for the test side.

The third, and final test begins at 9:30 p.m. EST on November 29. The test will continue until its final installment on December 3.

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Matchday 13 sees muddled title race

Darren Fletcher helped Manchester United to a victory against Queens Park Rangers.

The English Premier League recently completed Matchday 13 and, while the title is still Manchester United's to lose, there are plenty of clubs in range of taking the Red Devils down, at this early stage.

United managed to keep up its winning ways over the weekend, as it calmly defeated bottom-feeders Queens Park Rangers. Three goals in eight minutes from Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher and Javier Hernandez helped prevent what would be a shock win from the Super Hoops, as Jamie Mackie opened the scoring in the 52nd minute. QPR will start life with new manager Harry Redknapp later this week, as the club sacked Mark Hughes in an attempt to turn its fortunes around.

Manchester City stayed close, as the club managed a 0-0 draw with Chelsea on Sunday. This was the first match with Rafael Benitez at the helm of the West London club, and it showed he will have a tough task. Chelsea dropped to fourth place in the table with the draw, five points from first. City now sits one point behind United in the table.

West Bromwich Albion continued its dream season, as the club defeated Sunderland 4-2. This puts the Baggies into third place, only four points off of the league leaders.

Midtable sides fail to move up
West Ham United had an opportunity to push itself into the fifth spot this weekend, but a 3-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur saw the East London side fall to eighth. Southampton managed to distance itself from the drop zone, as the club surprised Newcastle 2-0. However, this was at the expense of Aston Villa, who are now in 18th. Villa only managed a 0-0 draw against Arsenal, as the North London side also continued its struggling form.

Liverpool missed an opportunity to move up the table, as it only managed a draw against Swansea City. Additionally, Everton and Fulham ended 1-1, preventing each side from making up ground.

Wigan kept Reading in the relegation zone with a 1-0 win, while Stoke City also took care of Fulham 1-0, which put the two sides level on points.

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England continues India test tour in Mumbai

India looks to go up 2-0 against England.

The England tour of India continues with the second test later this week, with the visitors looking to dig themselves out of an early hole.

England lost the first of its four matches to India at Motera earlier this week, and the side will need to play much better if they are to get back into the test. India won convincingly on the final day, as the Men in Blue posted a 521/8 and 80/1. England was only able to muster a 191 and 406.

The two sides meet again at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 22, at 11 p.m. EST. This test continues until the final match on November 26.

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Chelsea begins life without Di Matteo, many important Matchday 13 clashes

Roberto Di Matteo was fired from Chelsea this week.

The English Premier League was shocked this week to learn Chelsea sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo, only months after winning both Champions League and the FA Cup. As his replacement, former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will take the helm.

Benitez will have a difficult task immediately, as Chelsea hosts Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. City currently has a slender lead over Manchester United for the top spot, and Chelsea currently sits four points from first.

United hosts Queens Park Rangers, in a match the latter needs to win. QPR sits on the bottom of the league, five points from safety. However, it could be exceedingly difficult to get anything from the match, as United's form this season is impressive.

West Bromwich Albion looks to continue its surprising season, as the club travels to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland. Another win from the Baggies could catapult them into third place.

Arsenal's struggles this season could be erased if the North London side defeats strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday. The club easily overcame Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, and a win could put the club back into the thick of the race for Champions League qualification. Tottenham will face another difficult match, as Spurs host West Ham United. Currently, Tottenham trails West Ham by two points in the table.

Muddled midtable may receive clarity this weekend
The middle of the pack in the Premier League are jockeying for position, and decisive victories could see some of the clubs gain steam for a push to the top of the table. Liverpool heads to Wales to face Swansea City, and is looking to extend its Premier League unbeaten streak to eight matches.

Fulham visits the Britannia Stadium to face Stoke City, and a win could help the club make a serious push toward European qualification. Wigan also will try and improve its league position with a match against strugglers Reading, while Newcastle will attempt to change its fortunes against Southampton.

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