host Arsenal FC and FC Schalke 04 travel to Chelsea FC. Bis morgen! So there we have it: Bayern München are the first German team in the competition to qualify for the knock-out stages of this season's UEFA Champions League, which was confirmed by Manchester City's 4-2 victory over CSKA Moskva in Group D, with the Citizens also qualifying. Bayer Leverkusen are still very much alive and in contention to join the Bavarians. Hyypiä's men move on to seven points, remaining two ahead of Shakhtar and one behind Manchester United, who could only draw at Real Sociedad. With the Red Devils still to go to Leverkusen and host Shakhtar, Group A looks very open indeed. FC Bayern qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League. Full time: FC Viktoria Plzen 0-1 FC Bayern München Full time: FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0- Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Leverkusen. Emre Can has a shot deflected wide for the visitors, but they need to make more of the spaces they are finding.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen90' This one looks set to be heading for a draw. Shakhtar have lost much of their attacking thrust since the withdrawal of Bernard, while Leverkusen appear to be happy to settle for a point.
FC Viktoria Plzen 0-1 FC Bayern München87' Over in Plzen, Götze's evening is over as he comes off to be replaced by Mitchell Weiser. Bayern have a chance to wrap it up but Lahm's shot is palmed away. Just a few minutes to hold on now...
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen83' The game appears to be heading for a stalemate, but a late winner looks like it could be on the cards
FC Viktoria Plzen 0-1 FC Bayern München76' We're approaching the final stages in Plzen, and it would appear Bayern's lead isn't as secure as one might have thought. First, Stanislav Tecl draws a decent save from Neuer, before Milan Petrzela fires in a wicked cross that only needed a touch to have brought an equaliser. You get the feeling that Bayern need a second.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen71' In the Ukraine, the momentum continues to shift. Srna delivers a beautiful corner that Jaroslav Ratkitskiy sends wide, but the best chances seem to be falling to Leverkusen. Sam is teed up excellently on the edge of the box, but his fierce volley is hit straight at keeper Andriy Pyatov. Either side of the home custodian and it would likely have been the opener.
FC Viktoria Plzen 0-1 FC Bayern München65' GOAL! Bayern have the lead and it's the substitute Mario Mandzukic that has got the goal. Peeling away to the back post, the 27-year-old connects brilliantly with an inviting cross from Lahm and powers a header into the corner. Guardiola started the game with a false no. 9 in Müller; sometimes you just can't do without an out-and-out striker.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen59' Leverkusen have had a better few minutes since that effort from Srna. Sam and Kießling are beginning to combine like they have done so often in the Bundesliga this season, but the final pass is still lacking.
FC Viktoria Plzen 0-0 FC Bayern München56' Better from Bayer who should really be in the lead considering their dominance since the restart. A clever pass from Toni Kroos releases Ribery, but keeper Kozacik is off his line smartly to divert the Frenchman's angled shot clear.
FC Viktoria Plzen 0-0 FC Bayern München53' It's been a decent start to the second period for the hosts, who you would expect might have had to listen to choice words from their coach at the break. Götze cuts the ball back for Franck Ribery to fire in a shot at goal that gets blocked, while Thomas Müller does the same for Philipp Lahm, only for his shot to be blocked as well.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen47' Leverkusen need to heed an early warning at the start of the second half in the Ukraine. After Bender is booked for a cynical challenge on the very impressive Bernard, Srna strikes a free-kick at goal that Leno has to punch clear. The hosts have their deficiencies at the back, though, and Bender almost punishes them but can't steer a telling cross by Sebastian Boenisch home. While the players are taking a break, let's give a special mention to some of our global followers, watching the games from: Sam, Son and Kießling. Half-time FC Viktoria Plzen 0-0 FC Bayern München FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 44' Pep Guardiola wanted a response from his players after the game against Hoffenheim at the weekend, but he isn't getting one at present. Bayern are yet to really hit their stride, with Contento looking less than comfortable at the centre of defence. Plzen, backed by a vociferous home crowd, are up for this as we approach half-time.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen40' Leverkusen are slowly getting a foothold in this game, as they curb the impact of Shakhtar wingers Bernard and Alex Teixeira. Lars Bender and Rolfes are doing an effective job screening the defence, but there's been very little for frontman Stefan Kießling to feed on.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen32' Over in the Ukraine, it's turning into a wonderfully end-to-end affair. At one end, Shakhtar, in albeit fortuitous circumstances, come within a whisker of taking a precious lead when Darijo Srna sends over a cross that hits the inside of the Leverkusen post, after Sidney Sam had dragged a shot wastefully wide. This game is well poised as Hyypiä looks on, cool as a cucumber.
FC Viktoria Plzen 0-0 FC Bayern München29' Bayern continue to knock on the door against Plzen. Mario Götze sends over another wicked cross that David Alaba can only hit straight at Kozacik, before former Hertha Berlin defender Roman Hubnik is booked for a foul on Götze. Just over a quarter of the way into the evening's action, and it's a perfect time to give a shout out to fans following our coverage from across the globe:
FC Viktoria Plzen 0-0 FC Bayern München19' Over in Plzen, the defending champions are beginning to take control. Mario Götze looks a real threat on the right-hand side for the visitors, and his trickery almost puts Bayern into the lead, but Bastian Schweinsteiger can only turn his low cross onto the post.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen17' Playing at home, Shakhtar must really win this game to have any chance of progressing themselves, and it's no surprise that they're pressing high up the pitch. This does, however, mean that with the right pass, Leverkusen can hit them on the break. So far it's been frustrating viewing for Hyypiä, though, as both Heung Min Son and Sidney Sam have wasted good opportunities to spring a counter-attack.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen13' Shakhtar are coming into their own against Leverkusen, with the exceptionally talented Brazil international Bernard seeing plenty of the ball. His curler just goes past the angle of post and bar, with the hosts pressing high up the pitch. To their credit, however, Leverkusen's defence doesn't look overly challenged.
FC Viktoria Plzen 0-0 FC Bayern München11: Good save from Plzen keeper Matus Kozacik, as he leaps to his left to cling on to a free-kick from David Alaba.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen7': In the Ukraine, it's been a busy beginning to the game for Leverkusen's Simon Rolfes, who's putting in tackles all over the shop. There's nothing he can do to stop Shakhtar having the first shot of the game, though, as Facundo Ferreyra forces a decent stop from Bernd Leno.
FC Viktoria Plzen 0-0 FC Bayern München2': In the absence of defender Dante, Bayern have put Diego Contento in at centre-back alongside Daniel van Buyten. The champions are enduring a tough start to the game, though as Contento is forced into evasive action in the box. There's already news from Group D's other game, and it's good news for Bayern, as Manchester City have taken the lead against CSKA Moskva. So as it stands, all the Reds need is a win to take them through to the knock-out stages. Kick-off: And we're off and running in the Doosan Arena and Donbass Arena! Bayern are in a lovely white strip, while Leverkusen have gone for the same in the Ukraine. So far lots of predictions coming in for Leverkusen to draw in Donetsk, like this gentleman:
Indeed, a draw would be a good result for Hyypiä's men, as it would keep Shakhtar, who still have to go away to Manchester United, at arm's length in Group A. Affections for Bayern are coming in from far and wide: here's what this gentleman from across the Atlantic ocean thinks ahead of the Bavarians' trip to Plzen: group, or could even go top if leaders Manchester United FC fail to win away at Real Sociedad de Futbol. A win tonight would put them within even clearer sight of the knock-out rounds, and with Manchester United still to visit the BayArena, the Rheinland club might even fancy their chances of winning the group outright. CONFIRMED LINE-UPS: FC Shakhtar Donetsk- Bayer 04 Leverkusen Shakhtar: Pyatov, Srna, Kucher, Rakitsky, Schevchuk - Fernando, Hübschman - Douglas Costa, Bernard, Alex Teixeira - Ferreyra Leverkusen: Leno - Donati, Spahic, Toprak, Boenisch - Bender, Rolfes, Castro - Sam, Kießling, Son CONFIRMED LINE-UPS: FC Viktoria Plzen- FC Bayern München Plzen: Kozacik - Rajtoral, Cisovsky, Prochazka, Hubník - Horava, Horvath - Petrzela, Kolar, Duris - Tecl Bayern: Neuer - Rafinha, van Buyten, Contento, Alaba - Schweinsteiger, Lahm - Götze, Kroos, Ribery - Müller Kick-off 30 mins: Looking at the form of both sides, it’s fair to say that neither game will be a foregone conclusion. Bayern come into this clash on the back of a 2-1 win at 1899 Hoffenheim on Matchday 11, but the Bavarians were far from their vintage best, with Guardiola admitting that he may need to change the way the team is playing. Leverkusen, for their part, suffered a shock result last Saturday when they went down 1-0 to bottom-of-the-league Eintracht Braunschweig. Coach Sami Hyypiä rested Stefan Kießling, Sidney Sam and Heung Min Son, presumably to keep them fresh for tonight’s game; we will find out later tonight how good a decision that was. Kick-off 45 mins: Starting with the defending champions FC Bayern, the Reds don’t just have qualification for the knock-out stages to play for against Plzen this evening. Pep Guardiola’s team will, no doubt, be focusing on securing progression to the next round, but they can also equal the record for the most number of consecutive victories set in the competition, which stands at nine and was set by FC Barcelona in the 2002-03 season. Leverkusen, meanwhile, have what many might consider a tougher obstacle to overcome in the shape of Shakhtar. The Ukrainian Premier League champions were humbled 4-0 in the BayArena a fortnight ago, but will be a different animal at home. They have drawn with Manchester United at home this season, while they came within minutes of beating eventual finalists Borussia Dortmund in last season’s competition. Bayer midfielder Lars Bender was correct in the pre-match press conference to say that “Shakhtar are very, very strong at home”. This gentleman sounds like he's thought his predictions through. Would you agree?
Shakhtar 1-1 Leverkusen, Plzen 0-3 Bayern #BLUCL— Sarmad Saghir (@sarmadsaghir) November 5, 2013