The UEFA Champions League is back this week with plenty of Europe’s finest seeking positive results in group stage play.
One headlining fixture comes from Italy as Inter Milan welcomes Borussia Dortmund to the San Siro. The hosts are seeking their first win of the competition while Dortmund are currently atop of the group. Romelu Lukaku and Jadon Sancho headline the attacks for both teams
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid welcomes German opposition to town as Bayer Leverkusen come knocking. Manchester City host Atalanta at the Etihad Stadium, while Chelsea and Ajax will go toe-to-toe in Amsterdam.
Here’s a closer look at this week’s Champions League action:
Inter Milan vs. Borussia Dortmund (Wednesday, 3 p.m. TNT, B/R Live, Galavision)
Injuries of Note: Alexis Sanchez is out for Inter until 2020 while summer signings Stefano Sensi and Danilo D’Ambrosio are also unavailable for manager Antonio Conte. Paco Alcacer and Mario Gotze are both likely to miss Wednesday’s showdown in Milan for Dortmund.
Key to the Game: The hosts need three points to avoid any slip-ups with three matches to play. Expect Lukaku to see the ball at his feet on several occasions, while Dortmund will use the wing play of Jadon Sancho and Thorgan Hazard to hit Inter on the counter.
Player to Watch: Romelu Lukaku missed Inter’s 2-1 loss to Barcelona on Matchday 2, but is coming off a two-goal performance in his side’s 4-3 league win over Sassuolo this past weekend.
Atletico Madrid vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Tuesday, 3 p.m. TNT, UniMas, TUDN, B/R Live)
Injuries of Note: Joao Felix is set to miss one month with an ankle injury for Atletico Madrid. Leon Bailey and Wendell remain out for Bayer Leverkusen, who are desperate for a win.
Key to the Game: Bayer Leverkusen were punished in a 3-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt last Friday and will need their creative players to have an impact. Kai Havertz will run the show in midfield and needs to have a strong performance for Leverkusen to obtain three points. Atletico will look to hold possession, while keeping a strong bond at the back.
Player to Watch: German striker Kevin Volland has four goals in eight league matches for Leverkusen and needs to be strong against a physical Atletico centerback pairing.
Ajax vs. Chelsea (Wednesday, 12:55 p.m. TNT, UniMas, B/R Live)
Injuries of Note: Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has a fully fit squad to choose from at home, while Frank Lampard has numerous players likely unavailable due to injury. Ross Barkley injured his ankle over the weekend and is likely to miss out. N’Golo Kante, Andreas Christensen, Emerson, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Marco Van Ginkel are all sidelined.
Key to the Game: Both teams will be flying up and down the field and it will come down to who can put away their chances. Ajax will see Hakim Ziyech and Quincy Promes lead the attack on the wings, while Chelsea will aim to slow things down when needed.
Player to Watch: Promes is one of the more underrated attackers in Europe and is coming off a goal this weekend in a 2-1 road win over Waalwijk.
Manchester City vs. Atalanta (Tuesday, 3 p.m. TNT, B/R Live)
Injuries of Note: Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi remain out for Manchester City’s defense, but John Stones saw a 20-minute cameo in a road win over Crystal Palace. Atalanta has only one confirmed absentee in the form of striker David Zapata.
Key to the Game: Manchester City will look to break down Atalanta with possession and pressure so expect the hosts to work the ball around for most of the match. Atalanta will need to be compact defensively to avoid a blowout, while also posing a threat on the offensive end. The Serie A side has lost both group games this season.
Player to Watch: Raheem Sterling missed numerous goal scoring chances for Manchester City on Saturday, but remains one of City’s best attackers going forward. His pace and ability to find holes within opposing defenses makes him one of the top wide options in the game.
Here’s all of this week’s UCL matches:
- Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Dinamo Zagreb – 12:55 p.m. (B/R Live, Galavision)
- Atletico Madrid vs. Bayer Leverkusen – 12:55 p.m. (TNT, UniMas, TUDN, B/R Live)
- Juventus vs. Lokomotiv Moscow – 3 p.m. (B/R Live, Galavision)
- Manchester City vs. Atalanta – 3 p.m. (TNT, B/R Live)
- Olympiacos vs. Bayern Munich – 3 p.m. (B/R Live)
- Tottenham vs. Red Star Belgrade – 3 p.m. (B/R Live)
- Club Brugge vs. Paris Saint-Germain – 3 p.m. (B/R Live)
- Galatasaray vs. Real Madrid – 3 p.m. (UniMas, B/R Live)
- Ajax vs. Chelsea – 12:55 p.m. (TNT/ B/R Live, UniMas)
- RB Leipzig vs. Zenit St. Petersburg – 12:55 p.m. (Galavision)
- Slavia Prague vs. Barcelona – 3 p.m. (TUDN, UniMas, B/R Live)
- Benfica vs. Lyon – 3 p.m. (B/R Live)
- Lille vs. Valencia – 3 p.m. (B/R Live)
- Inter Milan vs. Borussia Dortmund – 3 p.m. (TNT, B/R Live, Galavision)
- Salzburg vs. Napoli – 3 p.m. (B/R Live)
- Genk vs. Liverpool – 3 p.m. (B/R Live)