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UEFA Champions League Preview: Manchester United hosts Juventus, PSG takes on Napoli, and more


Cristiano Ronaldo’s first trip to Old Trafford as a Juventus player headlines a plethora of intriguing storylines for Matchday 3 in the UEFA Champions League.

In addition to Ronaldo’s latest return to Manchester, Paul Pogba is facing Juventus for the first time since his move to the Premier League.

Juventus’ trip to Manchester United is the marquee match on Tuesday afternoon, while Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli are set for an attack-first affair on Wednesday.

Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid clash in Wednesday’s other high-profile showdown on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the Champions League, Barcelona faces Inter Milan without the injured Lionel Messi, Schalke visits Galatasaray while Real Madrid entertains Viktoria Plzen at home.

Here’s a closer look at this week’s Champions League action:

Manchester United vs. Juventus – Tuesday, 3 p.m.  TNT, UniMas

Injuries to Note: Emre Can is expected to miss out for Juventus, as he deals with a thyroid problem. Paulo Dybala is also questionable for the Old Lady. United has zero injury concerns ahead of the match.

Key to the Match: Both teams will seek to own possession, so defensively they need to be sound. United are expecting to take chances on the wings, while Juventus will look for aerials and corners to take advantage of.

Player to Watch: In his first match against his former club, Paul Pogba needs to be influential in midfield. The Frenchman cannot afford to get upset with missed calls or chances, and needs to keep his head in the game against the dangerous Juventus attack.

Quote: “We have to go into the game looking to start on more of the front foot, especially at home,” United defender Ashley Young said. “We have to take the positives from the game against Chelsea and I think the way we played in the second half especially, we were fantastic at times.”

Borussia Dortmund vs. Atletico Madrid – Wednesday, 3 p.m. Galavision, B/R Live

Injuries to Note: Atletico comes in with zero major injury concerns while Dortmund are expected to miss several first-team players. Marcel Schmelzer, Lukasz Piszczek, and Raphael Guerreiro are doubtful while Manuel Akanji is on the shelf for three weeks.

Key to the Match: Borussia Dortmund will have an advantage being at home, so look for them to be attack-minded. Led by talented forwards, Lucien Favre’s team will not sit back against its La Liga opponents. Meanwhile, Atletico will soak up pressure and seek to hit Dortmund on the counter.

Player to Watch: Diego Costa is a physical forward for Atletico who can help his side in a variety of ways. The Spaniard’s presence could make it a long evening for the Dortmund backline, so keep an eye on how Dortmund plan to defend him.

Quote: “We made a bright start. Everyone was working for each other, we got it spot on,” Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho said. “I’m happy to be part of this team . I feel very happy, we have big ambitions.”

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Napoli – Wednesday, 3 p.m. B/R Live

Injuries of Note: Lorenzo Insigne is questionable for Napoli’s trip to Paris after dealing with muscle fatigue at the weekend. Marco Verratti and Angel Di Maria are questionable for PSG.

Key to the Match: Both midfields will have plenty to do as they seek to own possession against their opponents. Napoli like to attack more freely while PSG looks for the best chance to do so.

Player to Watch: Kylian Mbappe has been on a tear in October, scoring six goals in three matches across all competitions. A four-goal performance against Lyon showed the attacker’s ability while a goal against Amiens this weekend continued his strong season.

Quote: “Liverpool and PSG are very strong, but we are on the same level. It depends on our attitude in the next matches. If we always keep doing what we saw with Liverpool we can go forward safely,” Raul Albiol said.

Barcelona vs. Inter Milan – Wednesday, 3 p.m. TNT, Univision

Injuries of Note: Lionel Messi’s absence is a cause for concern for Barcelona who will hope for a comfortable outing against Inter. Inter is likely going to be without Radja Nainggolan who injured his ankle against AC Milan. Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic both picked up thigh injuries as well but should be available.

Key to the Match: Barcelona will have plenty of possession but it needs to make something out of it. A league win over the weekend helps with confidence, but offensively Barca needs other forwards to step up in Messi’s absence. Inter will need to be a threat on counters if they want a share of any points.

Player to Watch: Inter forward Mauro Icardi is coming off a heroic performance against rivals AC Milan on Sunday, scoring the game winner in a 1-0 derby win. The Argentine has the ability to take a game over whenever and will be a pest against Barca’s backline.

Quote: “We had a great start in the Champions League, it sets us up well for the Barcelona game,” Icardi said. “We can hurt them like Roma did last year or the smaller clubs in Spain have this season.”

Here’s all of this week’s UCL action:

AEK Athens vs. Bayern Munich – Tuesday, 12:55 p.m. TNT, UniMas

Young Boys vs. Valencia – Tuesday, 12:55 p.m. Galavision, B/R Live

Ajax vs. Benfica – Tuesday, 3 p.m. B/R Live

Hoffenheim vs. Lyon – Tuesday, 3 p.m. B/R Live

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Manchester City – Tuesday, 3 p.m. Galavision, B/R Live

AS Roma vs CSKA Moscow – Tuesday, 3 p.m. B/R Live

Real Madrid vs. Viktoria Plzen – Tuesday, 3 p.m. B/R Live

Club Brugge vs. Monaco – Wednesday, 12:55 p.m. Galavision, B/R Live.

PSV vs. Tottenham Hotspur – Wednesday, 12:55 p.m. TNT, Univision.

Liverpool vs. Crvena Zvezda – Wednesday, 3 p.m. B/R Live.

Lokomotiv Moscow vs. FC Porto – Wednesday, 3 p.m. B/R Live.

Galatasaray vs. Schalke – Wednesday, 3 p.m. B/R Live.

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