The Champions League returns for matchday three and after indifferent starts in their groups Manchester United and Chelsea will see this week as a chance to take maximum points.

Here we preview both games.

Man United v Atalanta

Manchester United and Atalanta face each other for the first time in what has the makings of a tight contest. United have won six of their last seven home games in the Champions League against Italian opponents, while Atalanta also have a strong record against English opposition, winning three of their six European matches, with their last win coming against Liverpool in November 2020.

The Red Devils needed a stoppage time winner from Cristiano Ronaldo to see them past Villareal in their last Champions League fixture and they look to need a positive result after three losses in their last five games. Odds of 3/4 about a United win don’t look appealing given their recent form though and they may have to rely on Ronaldo to get them out of trouble again. The Portuguese maestro is 10/3 to score first.

In contrast Atalanta’s only loss in their last five games came in a 3-2 defeat to AC Milan. The Italians have proved themselves to be dangerous opponents in recent European campaigns, playing an attractive brand of attacking football. They are 17/5 to take all three points at Old Trafford with a draw, which also may prove some value, at odds of 3/1.

Chelsea v Malmo

These sides have met twice before, in the Europa League knockout stages in 2019, when Chelsea came out on top both times, recording a comfortable 5-1 aggregate win.

The Blues have rebuilt since then and are beginning to look a powerful side once again as they lead the Premier League. Thomas Tuchel’s side slipped up against Juventus in the last round of fixtures but should find this much easier and are just 1/12 on to beat the Swedish champions. Chelsea’s attack has been bolstered by the return of Romelu Lukaku and they look set to score a few goals against a leaky Malmo defence that has conceded seven times in their last two Champions League fixtures. With that in mind, taking 11/10 about there being over 3.5 goals could prove a good angle in this fixture.

Malmo may be top of their domestic league, but so far they have looked out of their depth in Group H. Two heavy defeats to both Zenit St Petersburg and Juventus suggest it would be a huge shock if they achieved a result at Stamford Bridge, a fact suggested by their odds of 35/1 for a win, while a draw is priced at 9/1.

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