Yesterday, the goals kept flying all the way to the final whistle on a night Real Madrid will be thrilled to get out of Germany with a point. Los Blancos scored twice with three minutes remaining on the clock to pull it back to 2-2 on a night where their defensive issues were highlighted again. Atl Madrid won 3-2 against RB Salzburg, coming from 2-1 down courtesy of a brace from João Félix and Ajax threw away a two goal lead away vs Atalanta to draw 2-2. Great fun!
On to tonight...
Group E Chelsea play Krasnodar in Russian in an early 17:55 K.O tonight. The visitors have come under scrutiny for their poor defensive displays but Lampard has set up better in the past two matches which have resulted in decent 0-0 results vs Sevilla and Man Utd. Tonight they want to keep their third clean sheet on the spin but also commit a few more men forward at times to get a win. I think that should definitely be possible with Krasnodar in mixed form, players missing due to injury and some testing positive for Covid. I can see a 3-0 victory for Lampard's West London outfit. Sevilla host Rennes in a 20:00 KO tonight where anything but a home win will be a surprise. The Europa League specialists and holders will want to build on their performance away to Chelsea last week and end the evening with four points from two group games. They are winless in four so Lopetegui's outfit will be desperate to fix that tonight. Rennes, not in the best of form either domestically and they will find it tough tonight. Camavinga (mentioned last week by us) is the key young player to keep an eye on, if he can produce some magic perhaps Rennes can come away with a point.
Dortmund vs Zenit 20:00 KO. Both teams suffered a surprise defeat last time out in the CL and both will want to set that record straight but I can only see one winner here. Dortmund are very strong at the Westfalenstadion and I've no doubt they will get their CL campaign up and running. Zenit will be well aware a loss here will make it very tough for them to progress to the knockout stages so will be hoping front man Dyzuba will be able to dominate the box physically and grab a goal with his often lethal finishing. No game is easy in the CL but without Malcom and the hugely impressive Sardar Azmoun, Dortmund will fancy their chances.
Club Brugge host Lazio in tonight's other Group F tie and there was uncertainty whether this game would go ahead because of a Covid outbreak in the Lazio camp. It looks set to go ahead and the Belgians will fancy their chances with key men missing from the Roman team. Brugge were missing players themselves last week but they have returned and will be hoping to pile the misery on a depleted Lazio team. It will be interesting to see the line ups.
Group G Hungarian minnows Ferencvárosi invite Dynamo Kyiv to the Groupama Arena and search for their first points of the group after being humbled 5-1 at the Camp Nou last week. This will be their best chance of that but I'm not so sure they will be able to keep the points. Dynamo Kyiv were not too bad in last week's 2-0 defeat to Juventus but lacked some end product. They are expected to get a few more chances tonight and if they can keep their composure can return to Ukraine with all three points.
Juventus vs Barcelona, a mouth watering clash. Unfortunately CR7 will be missing due to his positive Covid test or it would see Messi and Ronaldo face each other yet again. These two greats of the game have pushed each other on to eye watering levels over the years and it will be a shame not to see them go again. The match itself is very hard to predict, both teams are not fully firing which can be said about most of the top teams in Europe since the Covid outbreak. Barcelona president has just resigned and the Catalan giants are going through a rebuilding stage. They have been mightily impressive continuously for the past 15 years but their magnificent reign looks like it has finally ended for a while due to the ageing of many key players, some poor recruitment and bad finances. Oh, and Messi seems to be occasionally operating at a human level at 33 years old, previously he has just been out of this world, capable of anything with the ball at his feet. Juventus are also stuttering a bit in the league, unbeaten in seven but there are some unacceptable draws for the Turin elite. The Italian game is a slower, more tactical one than in Spain and it will be an interesting spectacle. Being the second game in the group both teams will want to avoid defeat and I can see this being a draw. The bookies make Barcelona favourites and I would be keen to take them on even without the amazing Cristiano Ronaldo who just loved this competition. Both group G games are a 20:00 KO
Group H PSG visit İstanbul Başakşehir FK and nothing but 3 points will be acceptable for the Parisians. A defeat to Man Utd in GW1 will have hurt and they will be desperate to get all 3 points tonight. First timers in the group stages, İstanbul Başakşehir FK, will be well aware their work is cut out for them and will probably work their socks off to very little avail. Neymar, Mbappe and DiMaria were kept at bay very well against Man Utd with some disciplined defending but tonight they will want to put the record straight, it would be no surprise to see them all on the scoresheet. 17:55 KO
Man Utd's impressive display in last week's win over PSG has put them in a great position in the group. If Ole's men can get the three points tonight, they will play İstanbul Başakşehir FK back to back and putting any upsets aside, they will be confident of winning this group. RB Leipzig will have other ideas. They sit top of the Bundesliga with 13 points from a possible 15 and have managed well without Timo Werner. They are scoring about two goals a game and keeping it very tight at the back, I really can see this being a draw. Man Utd do their best work on the counter attack but I don't think the game will play out that way. The Germans will be happy with a draw and will not want to commit too many players forward, Chelsea set the blueprint on the weekend, when Man Utd don't have space they lack the creativity to open up a compact game. It will be a tight encounter where Man Utd are worthy favourites but I'd be tempted to back a score draw. 20:00 KO
Let's hope for lots more goals!