The dust from the second international break of the season has settled, bringing club competition back to the forefront. And what better way to get back into the groove of things than with a preview of Champions League Matchday 3?
While this week’s matchups may not contain some of the previous big headliners such as Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester City, or Barcelona vs Bayern Munich, there are still a good handful of games to keep an eye on.
So with that being said, let’s take a look at a few of the main storylines for Matchday 3.
Ajax vs. Borussia Dortmund
Amsterdam ArenA, Tuesday, 3:00pm ET
The word that comes to mind when either one of these two teams is mentioned is goals. And lots of goals at that!
Huge entertainment value is already being put on this match as Ajax welcomes Dortmund to Amsterdam. Ajax has been in high-flying form since the season started, sitting nice and pretty at the top of the Eredivisie table. While their attacking options are endless, the Dutch side can boast because they have the Champions League top scorer so far for this season, in forward, Sebastien Haller.
Dortmund however, will be more than ready to counterattack at every opportunity. With their young star Erling Haaland finally back from injury, the team’s hunger to score will be massive. While scoring goals should not be a problem for the German side, having a solid defense for a full 90 minutes may be another story. The team has already conceded 14 goals this season in just the Bundesliga alone.
Unless both sides decide to have a random off-day, this match should provide plenty of goal-scoring entertainment. And isn’t that why most of us watch football in the first place?
Match Prediction: Ajax 3-2 Dortmund
Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool
Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Tuesday, 3:00pm ET
Atletico Madrid currently has two things going for them: they’ve had more time to rest and train for this particular matchup while having a great run of luck playing at home.
Their game against Granada was postponed to allow South American players enough time to return from international duty to their respective La Liga clubs. Add that to the fact that Atletico is also experiencing an impressive stretch of unbeaten matches at home across all competitions (12). However, their backline has been depleted with injuries, forcing Diego Simeone no choice but to desperately fill with what he has left.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds come to Spain red hot, having been unbeaten in 20 games across all competitions. Not to mention they have also scored at least 3 goals in every away match this season. However, Atletico always seems to be one of Liverpool’s unforeseen obstacles. The Reds have not managed a win against the Spanish side in four of their previous meetings.
Luis Suarez will be eager to get a goal against his former club, but Mo Salah is even more eager to race towards the finish line for a potential Ballon D’or. Liverpool is also in prime form to exploit Atletico’s current defensive weaknesses.
Match Prediction: Atletico 1-3 Liverpool
Manchester United vs. Atalanta
Old Trafford, Wednesday, 3:00pm ET
A lot of eyes will be on this match, but maybe not for the same reasons as the previous two. Who would’ve thought that on Matchday 3, Atalanta would be sitting at the top of Group F, while Man United would sit in 3rd?
Despite The Athletic reporting that the Man United board has no plans to remove Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from his head manager position, the rumor mill is still buzzing for any signs of a potential sacking. The Red Devils have only garnered 1 point from their last 3 games in the Premier League and lack the creativity that a team with a talented roster such as theirs should have.
One thing both of these teams have in common, however, is inconsistency. While Atalanta has shown up and impressed in the Champions League, their Serie A performances have been hit or miss. They are a team that prefers to perform with high energy and are never afraid to take on the big dogs. Duvan Zapata is an underrated finisher who has the physicality to break through the struggling United center backs.
Both teams will be looking to put on a convincing show. Perhaps a moment or two of brilliance from the Champions League gladiator himself, Cristiano Ronaldo, will be what’s needed to solidify his manager’s future?
Match Prediction: Man United 1-1 Atalanta
Matchday 3 Full Schedule
Besiktas vs Sporting, Tuesday, 12:45pm ET
Club Brugge vs. Manchester City, Tuesday, 12:45 pm ET
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Real Madrid, Tuesday, 3:00 pm ET
PSG vs. RB Leipzig, Tuesday, 3:00pm ET
Inter Milan vs. Sheriff, Tuesday, 3:00 pm ET
Porto vs. Milan, Tuesday, 3:00 pm ET
RB Salzburg vs. Wolfsburg, Wednesday, 12:45 pm ET
Barcelona vs. Dynamo Kyiv, Wednesday, 12:45 pm ET
Lille vs. Sevilla, Wednesday, 3:00 pm ET
Juventus vs. Zenit, Wednesday, 3:00 pm ET
Bayern Munich vs. Benfica, Wednesday, 3:00 pm ET
Chelsea vs. Malmo, Wednesday, 3:00 pm ET
Young Boys vs. Villarreal, Wednesday, 3:00 pm ET
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