The Champions League, Europe’s premier club competition, is back for matchday three with eight exciting games on Tuesday and eight more on Wednesday. The group stage is halfway through and the stakes are high for the teams that want to advance to the knockout phase. Here are some of the highlights and stories to watch out for:
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- PSG vs. Milan1: This is arguably the most anticipated match of the week, as two of the most successful and glamorous clubs in Europe face each other at the Parc des Princes. PSG have a perfect record so far, with two wins and 10 goals scored, thanks to their formidable attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé. Milan, on the other hand, have lost both of their games, against Liverpool and Atlético Madrid, and need a positive result to keep their hopes alive. The Italian side have some injury concerns, as Zlatan Ibrahimović, Olivier Giroud and Sandro Tonali are all doubtful. PSG will be without Marco Verratti, who is suspended, and Sergio Ramos, who is still recovering from a calf injury.
- Newcastle vs. Dortmund1: Newcastle are making their debut in the Champions League this season, after being taken over by a Saudi-backed consortium that made them the richest club in the world. The Magpies have spent big in the summer, signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Neymar among others, but they have struggled to gel as a team and are bottom of their group with no points. Dortmund are top of the group with six points, and have been impressive in both attack and defense. Erling Haaland has scored four goals in two games, while Jude Bellingham has been a revelation in midfield. The German side will be confident of extending their lead in Group F, while Newcastle will be desperate to prove themselves on the big stage.
- Celtic vs. Atlético Madrid2: Celtic host Atlético Madrid at Celtic Park in a crucial game for both sides in Group B. The Scottish champions have one point from two games, after drawing with Milan and losing to Liverpool. They will need to improve their defensive record, as they have conceded seven goals so far. Atlético Madrid have three points from two games, after beating Milan and losing to PSG. The Spanish champions are known for their defensive solidity and tactical discipline under Diego Simeone, who has admitted that he still regrets losing the Champions League final twice to Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016. He will be determined to lead his team to glory this season.
- Other matches3: There are plenty of other intriguing matches to look out for in the Champions League this week. In Group A, Manchester City host Young Boys, hoping to bounce back from their shock defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in their last game. In Group C, Ajax face Borussia Dortmund in a clash of two teams that play attractive and attacking football. In Group D, Real Madrid visit Shakhtar Donetsk in a rematch of last season’s group stage, when the Ukrainian side beat them twice. In Group E, Bayern Munich travel to Benfica in a battle of two former European champions. In Group G, Barcelona take on Dynamo Kyiv in a must-win game for the Catalan giants, who are going through a turbulent period on and off the pitch. And in Group H, Chelsea face Malmo in a game that should be straightforward for the reigning champions.
The Champions League is always full of drama, surprises and quality football. Don’t miss any of the action this week! 😊