HomeNEWSUCL: Four matches to watch on matchday

UCL: Four matches to watch on matchday

PSG v Man. City at the Parc des Princes @8pm on September 28

Tuesday’s fixture in Paris is a repeat of the semi-final stage of last year’s competition, in which Manchester City emerged victorious in both legs with a massive 4-1 aggregate triumph.

Though there have been changes on both sides since that semi-final contest, the Citizens still look like the favourites to nick this tie yet again.

Pep Guardiola’s side will be high on confidence heading to Paris having kick-started their campaign with an entertaining 6-3 win over RB Leipzig and just at the weekend in the EPL, they claimed a 1-0 win in London over Chelsea, the reigning UCL kings.

As for PSG, they are under pressure following an uninspiring start to their UCL campaign; managing just a 1-1 draw against Club Brugge even with the trio of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar all in action.

Messi has been named in the PSG squad after some injury concerns and it will be interesting if he scores his first PSG goal against Pep Guardiola’s City team.

AC Milan v Atletico Madrid at at San Siro @8 p.m. on September 28

After years of walking in the valley, Milan has experienced a resurgence under Stefano Pioli and will want to make their mark in Europe this season.

Milan are actually welcoming Champions League football back to the San Siro for the first time in seven years and many expect them to come all out for a good result; especially after losing the group opener away to Liverpool at Anfield

Though a disciplined side, Atletico are not enjoying the best of times; winning just once in their last five games across all competitions, including a 0-0 home draw to Porto in their first UCL group game.

That said, they have an impressive record against AC Milan and have won two out of three matches played between the two teams.

Manchester United v Villarreal at Old Trafford @8 p.m. on September 29

The last five matches between these two sides have ended in draws.

This is also a repeat of the Europa League final in which the Yellow Submarines emerged champions, via penalties. The Red Devils suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat to Young Boys in their opening Group F encounter, which means Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is under immense pressure to win this one.

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Villarreal played out a 2-2 draw at home against Atalanta on matchday 1 and after a very good performance against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu at the weekend, Unai Emery’s side will not be lacking belief on their travel to Old Trafford.

Life on the domestic scene is not any better for the Red Devils. A 1-0 loss to West Ham United in the League Cup preceded a gut-wrenching defeat to Aston Villa by the same margin at Old Trafford.

As for Villarreal, they have been the draw specialists of La Liga so far, indeed they have drawn seven of the eight matches they have played in all competitions this term. This scenario makes Wednesday’s tie unpredictable.

Juventus Vs Chelsea at Allianz Stadium @8 p.m. September 29

In a quirky coincidence, Chelsea returns to Turin to face Juventus in the year they are defending the UCL title. The last time this happened in 2012, the Blues were sent away empty-handed, thrashed 3-0.

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Juventus and Chelsea are first and second in the group, respectively, level on three points. While Chelsea began their UCL defence with a 1-0 home win over Zenit with Romelu Lukaku the scorer on the day.

On their part, Juventus earned an uplifting 3-0 victory over Malmo FF at Eleda Stadion in their opening Champions League group stage match.

Hosts Juventus had three wins and one loss in four Champions League contests at home last season while Chelsea was undefeated in their six Champions League contests away from home.

Max Allegri will have to fashion his match strategy without the injured duo of Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata, both injured in Juventus’ 3-2 league win over Sampdoria last Sunday while Thomas Tuchel has doubts over Mason Mount, Jorginho, and Reece James.

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