LONDON (NWN) – Key discussion points for the third round matches in the Champions League group stage:
A loss to Young Boys last month raised fresh doubts over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s suitability to manage Manchester United. A 4-2 defeat at Leicester on Saturday added to them, with United taking only one point from nine in the Premier League yet to make significant gains from the return of Cristiano Ronaldo. Things don’t get easier for United, who haven’t won a trophy since the Europa League in 2017, as Atalanta arrive at Old Trafford for a Group F game on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s tour of Liverpool.
Paris Saint-Germain have won 10 of their 12 games this season but serious questions are being raised about the standard of the game. PSG looked diligent again in a league game against Angers on Friday night and secured another late win courtesy a controversial penalty from striker Kylian Mbappe. At least at PSG, Lionel Messi and Neymar will be back from international duty for the home game against Leipzig on Tuesday, but midfielder Leandro Paredes is out with a thigh injury. Messi scored a brilliant first goal for PSG against Manchester City in the previous Group A game and scored his 80th goal for Argentina during World Cup qualifying.
the uncertainty of the city
Pep Guardiola will make a late decision on whether to play goalkeeper Ederson and forward Gabriel Jesus in Manchester City’s match at Club Brugge on Tuesday after being unable to prepare with the team due to a prolonged duty with Brazil. needed. City, who reached the Champions League final last season, slipped to third place in Group A after losing to Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital last month.
Daniel Maldini is the third member of his family to play for AC Milan. The 20-year-old attacking midfielder has slowly claimed a starting position this season, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Cesare and Milan’s current sporting director, record-breaking father Paolo. Daniel scored his first Serie A goal last month and can now make his Champions League debut when Milan visit Porto in Group B on Tuesday. Daniel came on for the final seven minutes of Milan’s 3-2 loss to Liverpool last month.
more goals please
Although Jonathan David has been in good form with Lillee, the other forwards are not scoring enough. Liberian President George V’s son Timothy Weh failed to score again when Lillee lost on Saturday. David only came in the second half, so it should be fresh to face Spanish side Sevilla on Wednesday in Group G. He has six league goals but has yet to score for Lille in the Champions League.
Barcelona in danger
Last-placed Barcelona in Group E need a home win against Dynamo Kiev to have a real chance of progressing to the knockout stage. The Catalan club made it past the group stage in every season since 2001–02. Barcelona started with 3–0 defeats to both Bayern Munich and Benfica. It is one point behind third-place Dynamo and four points behind second-placed Benfica. Bayern are at the top of the group with six points from two matches.
Striker Luis Suarez will meet former club Liverpool for the first time since joining Atletico Madrid from Barcelona. Suarez scored 82 goals in 133 appearances for the English club. Their last match against Liverpool was a 4-0 loss to Barcelona in the semi-finals of 2019. For Tuesday’s Group B game, Atletico coach Diego Simeone is expected to rely on some of the players who were suspected with injuries – midfielder Marcos Llorente and defender Jose Maria Gimenez.
After consecutive wins last season, Shekhar Donetsk will be looking to secure three consecutive group-stage victories against Real Madrid. Madrid are hoping to return from their shock home loss against Moldovan League club Sheriff at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Group D match is on Tuesday.
Bayern back in form
Bayern Munich returned to form in Sunday’s Bundesliga with a 5-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen, bouncing back from a rare defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in their previous game. It is followed by Benfica away in Group E on Wednesday. Bayern won their opening two games and a third win over the second-placed Portuguese team would go a long way to qualify. Star striker Erling Haaland will face Ajax in Group C on Tuesday after Borussia Dortmund suffered a hamstring injury. Leipzig, the second German team in the Champions League, have made a disastrous start to their European campaign with two defeats and will face PSG in Group A on Tuesday.
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