By News Team
Last Updated: 3rd November 2020
The Champions League returns for a third consecutive week with another set of surprises undoubtedly on the cards.
With all four English clubs in action as well some critical clashes between Europe’s elite, we preview a selection of the action below.
Liverpool face testing trip to Atalanta
Despite the furore surrounding Liverpool’s injury crisis, as well as sitting atop of the Premier League table, Jurgen Klopp’s side are also sitting pretty in Europe with two wins from two so far. It might not be vintage Liverpool, but hosts Atalanta will be more than wary of the threat their visitors will pose on Tuesday.
Klopp too will be wary of the threat Gian Piero Gasperini’s free-scoring side will pose to his makeshift defence. Although Nat Phillips earned a man of the match display in the Reds’ gritty victory over West Ham at the weekend, it will likely be Rhys Williams, who replaced Fabinho at centre back during the game against Midtjylland, that comes in for this one. Whoever plays, they’ll be in for a difficult night against the second top scorers in Serie A, who have found the net 17 times in their six league games so far this campaign.
Despite the injuries, Liverpool are one of three sides yet to concede a goal in the Champions League this year and are unbeaten in their last four in all competitions. Atalanta, meanwhile, have lost two of their last six, and have struggled to keep the ball out of their net, conceding more than two goals a game in Serie A this season.
Even at this early stage, a Liverpool win at 21/20 would give them a five-point advantage over Atalanta at the top of Group D and at least the same advantage over Ajax, who play Midtjylland on Tuesday. A win for Atalanta at 11/5, however, would give them every chance of securing a knockout place.
Real Madrid looking to bounce back against Inter Milan
While Barcelona’s troubles have come off the pitch this season, Real Madrid’s efforts in the Champions League so far this year will be viewed as nothing short of a disaster in Madrid. They go into Tuesday’s huge clash with last year’s Europa League finalists Inter Milan bottom of Group B and staring the very realistic possibility of first round elimination in the face.
Inter haven’t had the smoothest start either, drawing both of their opening fixtures, and have now won just one of their last five games in Europe’s premier competition, while having won just one in six in all competitions. While Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez look set to be fit for the game, Romelu Lukaku is unlikely to feature after picking up a muscle strain.
This is the first time these two European heavyweights have met in Europe since the 1998-99 group stages, where each side won their home matches. Madrid go into the game 4/5 favourites, with Antonio Conte’s Inter 16/5 to win.
RB Leipzig and PSG meet once more
Another pivotal clash takes place in Group H as last year’s runners-up PSG travel to Germany to take on RB Leipzig on Wednesday evening in a repeat of August’s semi-final in Lisbon. Both sides could be battling one another for the final knockout place after both lost to Manchester United in the previous two matchweeks.
PSG bounced back from their loss against United with a win against Istanbul Basaksehir, albeit with a stuttering performance. Everton loanee Moise Kean scored both the goals and could be an important figure again in this with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria both unlikely to play. Di Maria, in particular, was instrumental in the 3-0 semi-final win in August, which, even without the Argentinian, should give the Parisians confidence heading into this one.
Julian Nagelsmann will be keen to see a reaction from his Leipzig players after they were outclassed in a 5-0 defeat at Old Trafford last week. They also come into this one on a run of back-to-back defeats in the Bundesliga, having lost at Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday. They will be boosted by the return of Swedish playmaker Emil Forsberg, who will likely make his comeback from injury.