Arsenal v Roma
Despite just three points separating all four teams, this group could be settled tonight, if Arsenal beat Roma and Ajax overcome Valencia – althoughany other combination of results will see both qualification spots still up for grabs in the final games.
Arsenal hope in-formstriker Thierry Henry will recover from a calf injury that saw him limp out of Saturday’s FA Cup draw with Chelsea.
Manager Arsene Wenger said: “He is a big doubt for Tuesday night. I think at the moment he is 50-50.”
Although the Frencman trained on Monday, and Wenger will wait to see if there is any reaction before deciding his final line-up.
Dennis Bergkamp is fully fit having been rested at the weekend and Francis Jeffers, Sylvain Wiltord and Nwankwo Kanu are all available.
But Wenger has defensive problems. Ashley Cole is recovering from a hernia operation and central defenders Sol Campbell (achilles) and Martin Keown (calf) face late fitness tests.
Van Bronckhurst will replace Cole, while Pascal Cygan and Igors Stepanovs could replace Campbell and Keown.
Roma are waiting on the fitness of striker Antonio Cassano. The match saver against Lazio pulled a muscle in training. Vincenzo Montella stands by to partner Francesco Totti if Cassano fails a late test.
Damiano Tommasi replaces the ineligible Olivier Dacourt in midfield and Aldair deputises in defence for Jonathan Zebina, who has a thigh strain.
Roma coach, Fabio Capello hopes to dent Arsenal’s chances of qualifying. He feels his team has turned the corner after their 3-0 win in Valencia last time out.
“We have recaptured that fight we were lacking earlier in the season,” he said. “We have to win. This is our only aim.”
Arsenal: Seaman, Lauren, Campbell, Keown, Van Bronckhorst, Wiltord, Gilberto, Vieira, Pires, Henry (Jeffers), Bergkamp.
: Pelizzoli, Panucci, Samuel, Aldair, Candela, Cafu, Emerson, Tommasi, Lima, Cassano (Montella), Totti.
Ajax v Valencia
Should they lose and Arsenal win the two time runners-up will not qualify.
The Spanish team are in a poor run of form. Having been thrashed by Roma in their last Champions League outing, they lost at home in La Liga at the weekend. But despite their poor recent form, striker Mista is convinced Valencia will be up to the task.
“It is a vital game and we will be approaching it like a final because we are playing to stay in Europe,” he said.
Coach Rafa Benitez will look to Pablo Aimar to pull the strings in midfield, while John Carew may return up front.
Amedeo Carboni could replace the injured Fabio Aurelio at left back and Francisco Rufete will come in for the suspended Miguel Angel Angulo in midfield.
Defender Mirolslav Djukic is also added to the squad. For Ajax, Rafael van der Vaart, will partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack.
Meanwhile, striker Ahmed Hossam, known as Mido, has been banished to the reserves after criticising the coach, Ronald Koeman, although the Egyptian international has no idea why.
“I think Koeman doesn’t like how I behave in some situations,” he said.
American John O’Brian is set to return from injury and is expected to play at left-back. Koeman’s side fresh from a 5-0 win in the Dutch league will look to continue that form in tonight’s game as they seek to qualify for the quater-finals for the first time since 1997.
: Lobont, Trabelsi, Chivu, Pasanen, O’Brien, de Jong, Galasek, Pienaar, Maxwell, Van der Vaart, Ibrahimovic.
Valencia: Canizares, Reveillere, Pellegrino, Ayala, Carboni, Rufete, Baraja, Albelda, Vicente, Aimar, Carew or Mista.