UEFA Champions League match preview


As the UEFA Champions League enters matchday 3, each teams’ll go into
this group face-off knowing that there were not going to be any easy
MIKE ADEYEMI present you reports on probable clashes which could
redefined the log.
Ajax vs Chelsea: Chelsea went into this group knowing that there were
not going to be any easy games. Group H is wide open and Chelsea will
be looking to avoid defeat on Wednesday in their toughest road trip.
They go to Amsterdam to face Ajax who have won their opening two games
of the campaign. Read our predictions for Ajax v Chelsea.
Ajax have made things look easy so far at the start of this campaign.
They have taken 3-0 wins over both Valencia and Lille. So they are the
clear group favourites now and they would do some big damage to
Chelsea if they were to collect a home win in midweek. Last season
Ajax were dumped out of the competition by English opposition,
conceding a goal deep into stoppage time of the second leg of their
semifinal against Tottenham.
Ajax had gotten that far after starting in the second qualifying round
last season. This time around they had to start from the third
qualifying round. Just two defeats it was that Ajax took last season
from their 18 Champions League games played (W10 D6). That was some
form and they were such good value for their money as well. They went
unbeaten against Bayern in the group stage and knockout Juventus and
Real Madrid.
Before a 0-0 draw in this season’s play off round against APOEL in
Amsterdam, Ajax had been on a 14 match scoring streak at home in
Europe. They don’t have a lot of home form going against English
opponents though. They have only won one of their last six such
matches (D1 L4). From their five previous home games against teams
from London specifically, Ajax are W1 D1 L3. They look in great shape
against, despite selling some big names in the summer.
Chelsea’s campaign got off to a rocky start with a home loss against
Valencia. They then had scraped out a 2-1 away win in France against
Lille to get themselves up and running. The victory in France pushed
Chelsea onto an eight-match undefeated streak of European away form.
The Blues are W6 D2 in that sequence. They have won 11 of their last
20 games out on the road in UEFA competition (D5 L4).
Chelsea have only played two games against Dutch opposition before.
That was against Feyenoord in the 1999/200 UEFA Champions League. The
Blues won the Europa League last season and they have scored at least
three goals in five of their last ten European games. They have proven
to be a better attacking than defending side this season, particularly
on the domestic front.
Chelsea went unbeaten in Europe last season, posting a W12 D3 record
from their fifteen fixtures. Their loss against Valencia back on
matchday one was the first loss that the Blues have suffered in Europe
since March 2018 (over 90 minutes). They really can’t afford any slip
up out in Amsterdam here or else their situation will be looking a
whole lot worse in a highly competitive group.
Ajax won their two group stage games by a 3-0 scoreline
Chelseal are unbeaten in 8 European away games
The blues won at Lille in their last UCL fixture
Genk v Liverpool: Liverpool will be looking to snap a poor losing
streak of away form in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
After a loss at Napoli in the group stage already, Liverpool need to
get their road form going. This may be a great game for them in which
to do that, as Genk are looking short of quality. Read our predictions
for Genk v Liverpool.
Genk are set for a huge European night. They need something out of
this tough game to keep their campaign alive really. They have only
managed to collect one point from their first two games. But that
point was a confidence-booster as they played out a 0-0 draw against
Napoli, who had beaten Liverpool on match day one. But Genk had lost
their opener 6-2 against Salzburg.
So Genk are still looking for their first-ever Champions League
victory. That’s fourteen played now without one. In their last three
European games, despite their 0-0 against Napoli, Genk have conceded a
total of ten goals. The Belgian Champions picked up a D4 L2 record in
their previous Champions League group stage appearance back in
They have however, only lost 2 of their last 12Champions League home
games (W4 D6) and that includes qualifiers. It is a six-match unbeaten
streak of form that the Belgians are on at home in Europe. Genk have
also scored in 30 of their last 32 European games. They have taken a
W12 D4 L1 record in their last 17 European home fixtures.
It is a four-match losing streak that Liverpool are on out on the
round in the group stage of the Champions League. This away campaign
started out at Napoli where Liverpool were beaten 2-0. This should be
a much easier game than that on paper at least. But the stats are not
there for Liverpool who have only picked up a W1 D3 L6 record in their
last ten away games in the group stage.
They are the reigning European Champions and in last season’s
campaign, they took a W8 D1 L4 record. The Reds have won six of their
last nine European games, but they have lost seven of their last
eleven played outside of England. This will be their first visit to
Belgium since they played out a 0-0 draw with Standard Liege back in
They are on a five-match unbeaten streak against Belgian opposition
though, winning four of those games. It has been just one defeat for
Liverpool against a Belgian team, which happened back in 1978.
Liverpool’s overall record is W10 D2 L1 against Belgian teams. This is
the European Champions up against a side who are seeking their
first-ever Champions League win. Surely Liverpool’s away form has to
come good?
Liverpool have lost their last four group stage away games
Genk have only lost one of their last 17 European home games
The reds have won 10 of 13 previous meeting with Belgian opponents.
Olympiakos v Bayern Munich: Bayern Munich have taken two wins from two
in Group B of the UEFA Champions League. So they are set up well and
won’t be feeling any stress as they make the trip to Greece on Tuesday
night. They have head to head form over the Greeks, and Olympiakos
have only managed one point from their two games so far. Read our
predictions for Olympiakos v Bayern Munich.
Olympiakos have some ground to make up in Group Bhaving taken one
point form their first two games. This is a tough game for them
though. On match day one, Olympiakos fought back from 2-0 down to earn
a home draw against Tottenham. That was a good result at the end of
the day for them. But they could not hold on to a lead at Red Star
Belgrade on match day two and lost 3-1 in Serbia.
The last Champions League appearance by Olympiakos was in 2017/18 and
they only earned one point in their six games. So they have already
matched that tally in the space of two games. The Greek side began
this campaign in the second qualifying round and didn’t give up any
goals in five of their six matches on their way to reaching the group
Olympiakos are undefeated in their last 10 home games in European
action after a long campaign the Europea League last term. The Greeks
lost their first two home fixtures against German sides, but then
turned things around by winning their following four. They have now
lost their last two. Olympiakos have lost four of their last five
fixtures against German opposition, and they onlynetted the one goal
in that sequence.
Bayern Munich produced a stunning show in London as they beat Spurs
7-2 on match day two. Serge Gnabry was the star of the show as he
netted four of those goals. The win over Spurs followed up Bayern’s
comfortable opening win over Red Star by a 3-0 scoreline. So the
Germans are well in control of their own destiny already in this
Out on the road in the last campaign, Bayern collected a total of
seven points. Then in the round of sixteen played out a 0-0 draw
against Liverpool at Anfield. So theyremained undefeated on their
European travels. Last season’s round of sixteen exit snapped a
seven-season run of Bayern reaching at least the quarterfinals. In
each of their three away group stage games last season, Bayern scored
at least two goals.
Away from home Bayern are undefeated in their last ten European
fixtures, taking a win in seven of them. They scored at least two
goals in nine of those ten as well. The Bundesliga Champions have
earned three clean sheets in their last five away games. On top of
that, they are unbeaten against Greek opposition. They have earned a
W9 D2 record in that sequence and Bayern haven’t shipped a single goal
in any of their last eight fixtures against Greek opponents.
This will be the fifth meeting between the two teams
Bayern Munich have won all of the previous four meetings
Olympiakos have failed to score in their last three against the Germans
Bayern have scored 14 and conceded 2 goals in their last four against Olympkaos.
Galatasaray v Real Madrid: This is the battle between the bottom two
in Group A of the Champions League. Real Madrid and Galstarasary have
only managed to take one point each from their two games played. So
the three points on offer here is going to give one of them a huge
lift. Will Madrid deliver the goods on home soil? Read our predictions
for Galatasaray v Real Madrid.
So Galatasaray and Real Madrid are in the same position having taken
just one point from their opening twogames. The point that each took
was from a draw against Club Brugges. The loss that Galatasaray have
suffered in the group happened against PSG. The Turkish side are now
on a four-match losing streak against Spanish opposition. Can they
deliver a huge upset over Los Blancos?
Problematically Galatasaray have yet to score in this season’s
Champions League. They have also failed to win any of their last six
European fixtures (D3 L3) in last season’s campaign they picked up a
W1 D1 L4 record in the group stage and then on their drop down to the
Europa League, lost immediately against Benfica in their tie.
It has been just one win for Galatasaray in their last 17European
games (D6 L10). That’s an awful record. They have only taken two wins
in their last 14 home games in European action as well, drawing six of
those. This is the Turkish side’s first meeting with Spanish
opposition since 2015 when they lost twice against Atletico Madrid.
Gala have one victory in their last 17 played against Spanish teams
(D4 L12) that one win was against Real Madrid back in 2013.
Real Madrid suffered a 3-0 loss at PSG on matchday one, but they were
expected to shake that off, as they hosted Club Brugges in their
second game. It didn’t quite pan out for Real Madrid as they had to
fight back from 2-0 at the Bernabeu to rescue a point. So that is far
from the ideal start that they had expected to have. Big questions are
being asked of them. An understrength Real Madrid side had a shock
loss at Mallorca on the weekend in La Liga.
Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Eden Hazard were all missing
from the line-up, the first three because of injury problems. Real
Madrid have lost three of their last five Champions League games. They
have conceded at least three goals in each of those defeats as well.
In total, Los Blancos have conceded 13 goals in their last five
Champions League fixtures. They won their section last season in the
group stage but are going to struggle to pull that off this time
With their round of 16 exit last season against Ajax, that was the
first time since 2009/10 that Madrid hadn’t made at least the
semi-finals. Real Madrid took a win in three of their four away games
last season in Europe, and have a W14 D4 L5 record in their last 23 on
the road in the competition. Even though their form isn’t there, it
would be a huge shock if they didn’t leave Turkey with three points.
Real Madrid are W4 L3 against Galatasaray
The most recent meeting was in 2013 with Real Madrid posting 6-1 and 4-1 wins
Real Madrid are on a five-match winning streak against the Turkish side
Each of the last six meetings have gone over 2.5 goals.
Juventus v Lokomotiv Moscow: Juventus and Atletico Madrid are the top
two favourites in Group D and things appear to be heading towards them
locking down the qualification spots. Juve will be looking for a solid
three points at home here, to shake off the attentions of Moscow who
are only sat a point behind them after two matches down. Read our
predictions for Juventus v Lokomotiv Moscow.
It was a 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid that Juve took to start their
amazing. They followed that up with a comfortable home success over
Bayer Leverkusen. The win over Leverkusen that Juventus took was only
their second win in their last seven fixtures in the Champions League
(D2 L3). They had a sharp exit last season as Ajax beat them in the
The Italian champions picked up a win in three of their five home
games last season’s group stage (L2). That was the first time ever
that Juventus had lost more than one home fixture in a European
campaign. So their usual high standards have waned somewhat. Juventus
have scored five goals in their two games played this season, and on
home, soil are red hot favourites.
It has only been four losses that Juventus have suffered in Europe,
from 39 games played at the Juventus Stadium (W23 D12). That is a
great record, however, three of those four defeats have come inside
their last seven home games. They hold a 100% home recordagainst
Russian visitors, winning all three previous such fixtures. This will
be their first home game against a Russian team since 2008.
Lokomotiv got themselves a good 2-1 win at Leverkusen on matchday one.
That was some success for them too because it was their first win on
the road in the competition since 2002. Between the two away wins,
Lokomotiv had gone D4 L9. If they were to go and win in Turin in
midweek, it would be an even bigger success for them, given their poor
road form. They then lost against Atletico Madrid.
It was a bottom place finish last season that Lokomotiv took in the
group stage of the Champions League, finishing behind Porto, Schalke
and Galatasaray. They lost five of their six matches played in that
campaign. A win over Galatasaray on matchday five last season, saw
Lokomotiv snap a six-match losing streak in European games.
It has been five defeats in their last fourteen away games in Europe
(W5 D4) and last season they lost all three of their group stage away
games. This will be their first trip to Italy since a visit to Palermo
in 2005 when they played out a 0-0 draw. Lokomotiv’s record is D3 L3
in their last six trips to Italy, drawing their last two. Lokomotiv
have only taken one win against Italian opposition, holding a W1 D4 L6
record overall.
Juventus won the two previous meetings
They were back in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup
There was a 3-0 home win for the Italians at home against Lokomotiv
Juventus then won 1-0 away
Manchester City v Atalanta: Tournament debutants Atalanta have not
managed to get a point on the board yet and they have been leaking
goals. That doesn’t spell good news for them as they have to go to the
Etihad on Tuesday in search of points. Manchester City have won their
opening two games of the campaign and are red hot favourites for this
one. Read our predictions for Manchester City v Atalanta.
It has been easy going for Man City so far in the Champions League.
They taken a 3-0 win over Shakhtar and a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb.
When the draw was made, the English champions always looked as if they
were going to be comfortable. It is 19 goals that Manchester City have
scored in their last six Champions League games. They have won 9 of
their last 11 in the competition and in that run of games have tallied
34 goals.
Atalanta are in their debut Champions League season. It got off to a
terrible start as they lost 4-0 against Dinamo Zagreb. They did take a
lead against Shakhtar Donetsk in their second fixture, but couldn’t
hold out. Atalanta lost 2-1 in the fixture after conceding a hammer
blow of a goal deep into stoppage time. That’s never a nice way to
lose. Now they have to go to the Etihad to try and kick start their
Atalanta are winless in four European games (D2 L2). They have scored
only the one goal in that sequence of fixtures as well, the strike
from Duvan Zapata (their main goalscoring threat) which gave them the
lead against Shakhtar. Still, if you look at the wider picture of
Atalanta’s form, they aren’t that bad. It is has been just the three
defeats in their last 16 European games (W7 D6).
Before the start of this group stage campaign, Atalanta were
undefeated in seven European fixtures. It was a third-place finish in
Serie A that they took last season, their highest ever finish in the
Italian top flight, to get themselves here. Their only previous
meeting with an English opponent was when they face Everton in the
2017/18 Europa League and they won both meetings. Atalanta have lost
only two of their last eight European away games (W3 D3).
Atalanta have lost 3 of their last 6 European games
Man City  have won 9 of their last 11 UCL games
Italians have won their two previous games against English opponents.
Tottenham v Red Star Belgrade: One point from their opening two games
of the campaign is all that Spurs have to show for their efforts. They
conceded seven goals against Bayern Munich last time out and now need
to show some character. They will be taking on a Red Star team who are
sat on three points, which means that a draw for the visitors wouldn’t
be a bad result at all. Read our predictions for Tottenham v Red Star
Tottenham’s Champions League campaign opened on a sour note as they
threw away a 2-0 lead at Olympiakos to end up in a draw. Things got a
whole lot worse as they were then beaten 7-2 at home by Bayern Munich.
That was the heaviest ever loss by an English side at home in UEFA
competition. Spurs are just struggling for confidence at the moment
and couldn’t beat bottom side Watford at home in the EPL on the
One point from their opening two UCL games leaves them with some
serious work to do. But they can look back to last season and remind
themselves that they got out of their group even after only holding
one point after three games. Tottenham did win two of their three home
games in last season’s group stage, the victories coming over PSV and
Inter. The Lilywhites have taken a win in 8 of their last 12 Champions
League home games, and they were on a four-match winning streak before
a loss against Ajax in last season’s semi-finals, had won four in a
Tottenham have only been involved in one previous home draw in the
Champions League. They are only W1 L2 in their new home though in the
Champions League. They do have form against Serbian teams, winning
their three previous such fixtures. Spurs are W4 D1 L1 in their six
previous fixtures against Serbian opposition. Spurs are not in form at
the moment and they need to start digging a lot deeper to rediscover
Belgrade got themselves a three-point haul in their last fixture. That
was a 3-1 in against Olympiakos, despite having been trailing in the
fixture. Red Star suffered a 3-0 loss in their group opener against
Bayern Munich. So they are now up and running, however, they don’t
have European away form going for them. They are on a four-match
losing streak in the group stage of the Champions League.
They had their great campaign last season, making it to the group
stage having started back in the first qualifying round. Red Star
could not get any further in the campaign though and they did struggle
badly on the road. Red Star conceded 13 goals in their three group
stage away games. That was against tough opposition of PSG, Liverpool
and Napoli. They started this campaign too in the first qualifying
Red Star’s win over Olympiakos on match day two was their fourth win
only in their last 18 European fixtures (D8 L6). So they are not
really a major threat to anyone. They are winless in their last nine
European away games as well (D4 L5) and that includes qualification
fixtures which usually churn up easier games. Red Star have only lost
two of their last seven visits to England (W1 D4) so that’s
respectable. They were W2 D2 L4 in their last eight against English
teams home and away.
The previous meetings happened in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup
Both sides traded home win in that tie
It was a 2-0 success on home soil that Spurs took

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