After the international break, normalcy finally returned to club football last weekend. There were some impressive performances and shock result throughout Europe, which only makes the upcoming Champions League Matchday 04 more exciting.
If you enjoyed the first three Matchdays, you’re bound to love the upcoming week. Here are the five matches to look forward to from the fourth Matchday of Champions League action.
#5 Olympiacos vs Manchester City — Wednesday
Pep Guardiola has officially extended his stay at Manchester City, signing a two-year extension with the club. The objective of this extension is clear — winning the club’s first Champions League title.
So far, Guardiola’s City haven’t even sniffed the title, let alone coming close to lifting it. Changing that notion would be Guardiola’s biggest challenge, and the intention must shine through.
This Wednesday, City will make the trip to Olympiacos for their fourth Champions League group stage fixture. The reverse fixture at the Etihad ended in a 3-0 win for the Premier League club, but we expect the challenge to be steeper away from home.
#4 Manchester United vs Istanbul Basaksehir — Tuesday
Before the international break, Manchester United and Istanbul Basaksehir met in the reverse fixture in Istanbul. United, with their perfect record, went up against a team that hadn’t picked up a single point in the competition.
On paper, the outcome looked set in stone. On the pitch, however, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men endured a nightmare.
The hosts that night found themselves 2-0 up inside the first 40 minutes and even had the opportunity to add more. Anthony Martial pulled one back for the visitors, but it wasn’t enough to save face.
This Tuesday, United have to be doubly determined to get all three points. Anything less can make the group pretty complicated.
#3 Paris Saint-Germain vs RB Leipzig — Tuesday
When the group was formed, most football fans pegged Paris Saint-Germain to sit comfortably at the summit. We’re already half-way through the group stage, and PSG are yet to show the killer mentality they are known and lauded for.
In the last round, at Leipzig, Paris Saint-Germain were dealt a demoralising 2-1 defeat, despite leading the race after five minutes of play. Leipzig were rattled in the opening minutes, but they did their best to find a foothold.
And once they did, PSG never looked like bouncing back. Thanks to their world-class roster, PSG would once again start as favourites on Tuesday, but it would be foolish for anyone to write the German side off, even away from home.
#2 Liverpool vs Atalanta — Wednesday
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have come a long way over the last few years. From being an utter disappointment in the Premier League to being a force to be reckoned with — their journey has been nothing short of inspirational.
The Reds, on their day, can dismantle any team in the world, even with most of their first-teamers recovering from injuries and other setbacks. They did so against Leicester City in the Premier League, and they’d try to do the same against Atalanta on Wednesday.
The Italian outfit were thoroughly outplayed in their own backyard in the reverse fixture, with the Merseyside team picking up a massive 5-0 win. Looking at the way they fared, there’s no reason for anyone to be optimistic for the visitors.
However, we can’t just overlook the attacking prowess the two teams bring to the table and deprive the fixture of our recommendation.
#1 Inter Milan vs Real Madrid — Wednesday
Despite having the three-peat winning Zinedine Zidane at the helm, Real Madrid haven’t looked anywhere close to the team they were in 2018. They have been wildly inconsistent — domestically and in Europe — and make it almost impossible for anyone to predict the outcome.
Against Inter, Real Madrid did manage to get a 3-2 win in the reverse fixture, but we’re not sure how they’ll cope up away from the Alfredo di Stefano stadium. The hosts, on the other hand, would be full of confidence going into the fixture, and for good reason.
They picked up a solid 4-2 win over Torino in their last match and seem to have enough firepower to breach Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos-less defence.