Michael Carrick takes charge of Manchester United against Villarreal tonight
Michael Carrick takes charge of Manchester United against Villarreal tonight

Qualification for the knockout phase is on the line as the Champions League returns tonight.

Chelsea and Manchester United fly the English flag on Tuesday with both clubs knowing victories will ensure progression.

United and Chelsea look to qualify

Life after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer begins for United with a difficult trip to Villarreal in Group F.

The duo are level at the top but know that Atalanta will look to take advantage of whichever team drops points.

Donny van de Beek is one player who may find himself given a real chance at Old Trafford after Solskjaer's reluctance to play him.

Our match preview focuses on the Dutchman and considers what he can bring to the Red Devils in the short term.

Read more: Here's Donny — why Van de Beek can excel after Ole exit

Chelsea can secure their spot in the knockout stages with victory over Group H leaders Juventus at Stamford Bridge.

Juve’s 100% record means they are assured of a spot in the last 16 but the Blues will want three points and the chance to top the group.

Christian Pulisic returned from his injury troubles with a goal at Leicester on Saturday and may be given a chance to shine against the Italian giants.

Read more: Captain America Pulisic can be hero Tuchel needs
Christian Pulisic will hope he can remain injury free and kick on for Chelsea
Christian Pulisic will hope he can remain injury free and kick on for Chelsea

Champions League preview

As well as our in-depth features looking at tonight’s big games, our comprehensive preview covers all you need to know about every match.

Xavi makes his Champions League bow as a manager when Barcelona host Benfica and there are also two huge clashes in the ultra-tight Group G.

Read more: Champions League Tuesday preview — Battle for last 16 heats up

Premier League hotshots

It was not all doom and gloom at Vicarage Road on Saturday as Watford celebrated a famous victory over United.

Former Red Devils youth product Josh King will have enjoyed the match more than most as he got on the scoresheet.

After flopping during six months at Everton, King has found his scoring boots in Hertfordshire and could be the man to fire Claudio Ranieri’s side to safety.

Read more: Watford's King is key to Ranieri's reign
Ollie Watkins will hope Steven Gerrard's arrival helps him back into the England set-up
Ollie Watkins will hope Steven Gerrard's arrival helps him back into the England set-up

At Villa Park, Ollie Watkins fired in a stunning solo goal to give Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa the lead over Brighton.

It was his third strike of the season and marked the perfect start to a new era in the West Midlands.

Watkins has been in and around Gareth Southgate’s England squad plenty of times over the past year.

Now he will be hoping a good run of form will give him a chance of breaking back into the set-up ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Read more: Ollie has Wat it takes to thrive under Gerrard

Real chance at glory

While Barcelona continue to lurch from crisis to crisis, Real Madrid have quietly gone about their business in LaLiga.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side sit top of the division and have put early season woes behind them with a series of impressive displays.

A big week ahead sees them head to Sheriff before facing third-placed Sevilla in the league on Sunday.

Will the experienced Italian help them reclaim the league title and potentially even a 14th Champions League?

Read more: Ancelotti's Los Blancos finally look the Real deal

And there is more

Our daily Transfer Talk column brings you all the latest moves with the January window edging ever closer.

Today the focus is on Alexandre Lacazette, who is attracting plenty of interest with his current deal at Arsenal running out next summer.

Read more: Four clubs think Gunners forward Alexandre is Great

Keep LiveScore open tonight for all the reaction to the big Champions League ties and any other news throughout the day.

Tags

Champions LeaguePremier LeagueManchester UnitedVillarrealChelseaJuventusReal MadridBarcelonaWatfordAston Villa

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