Champions League – Match-day 3

Match-day 3 in Champions League brings some spectacular fixtures. Tonight’s stand-out match will take place in England.

However beside the big match in Manchester there are a host of other balanced games which will go down to the wire. Let’s see what awaits for us tonight.

Champions League

Group E

Current standings

Ajax          4

Bayern Munich 4

Benfica       3

AEK Athens    0

Ajax vs Benfica

Somewhat surprise group leaders Ajax, on level points with Bayern, tonight’s game is crucial in for progression. Morale in Benfica is high after the weekend’s win against title rivals Porto and surely will make them even more dangerous. The Ducth side looks more compact and has a lot of talent up front however the Benfica side is very experienced and cynical as shown last time out. For me it looks like a draw with Ajax closer to the 3 points.

AEK Athens vs Bayern Munich

Bayern will win this one. No particular explanation required, I guess.

Group F

Current standings

Lyon          4

Manchester City 3

Shakhtar Doneck 2

Hoffenheim    1

 

Shakhtar Doneck vs Manchester City

The English champion need a win in order not to complicate additionally the proceedings after the false step in the opener. The quality is all on their side anyway they can’t allow and lapses of concentration. Shakhtar already proved a stern opposition, however, just as last time, City will win just because has to.

Hoffenheim vs Lyon

Inexperience cost the Germans dearly already in their first season in the Champions League. Think they learned their lesson by now? If they haven’t Lyon will make them play and that’s exactly what I expect tonight. With a win tonight the French side would take a huge step towards qualification and they can’t let such an opportunity go past them.

Group G

Current standing

CSKA Moscow 4

Real Madrid  3

Roma       3

Victoria Plzen 1

Real Madrid vs Victoria Plzen

The champions already have 1 strike. In the Champions League! They desperately need a win, more then anybody else in Europe at the moment. I don’t expect sexy football but, as City, they’ll win just because they have to.

Roma vs CSKA Moscow

Roma is the other giant in this group that needs a win after the last debacle in domestic competition and also to keep hopes alive for progression as nobody expected the Russians to have so many points at this stage. Even a draw could complicate things for the Italian side. CSKA will surely miss their influential goalkeeper and captain, Akinfeev, which is additional advantage for Roma. I expect the point to stay in the Eternal city.

Group H

Current standing

Juventus 6

Manchester United 4

Valencia 1

Young Boys 0

Young Boys vs Valencia

Valencia got a morale boosting point in Manchester last time out. This time they won’t settle for such result and I don’t believe the Swiss side hasn’t got enough quality to prevent the points going to Spain.  

Manchester United vs Juventus

The game of the night and possibly of the round! 

It’s been 15 years since their last head-to-head in a official match.

Both are coming from domestic draws at the weekend and both are disappointed from them.

Manchester was caught right at the death by Chelsea in a far from flawless match. If they’ll be anywhere near distracted tonight as they were in London they won’t get anything but trouble out of this match.

Juventus ended the perfect season beginning by coming to Manchester to early; in the middle of the game against Genoa! Will it serve them or will the slip leave scars? Juve is one of the favorites for the final triumph and a win tonight would add weight to their quest.

Neither side can afford a defeat and I believe that’s exactly what they’ll get – a point each.

Our favorite international competition has come to a crucial phase; let’s see who’ll crumble under pressure.

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