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UEFA Champions League Preview: Real Madrid hosts Inter Milan, RB Leipzig faces PSG, and more

Real Madrid and Inter Milan were expected to top their UEFA Champions League group when the group stage draw first took place, which makes their first group-stage meeting all the more important considering they both find themselves currently in the bottom half of the Group B standings after two rounds.

Real Madrid welcomes Inter Milan to the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium aiming to carry confidence from its weekend league win over to European play. Zinedine Zidane’s men has only one point in its opening two group matches, most recently fighting back to tie Borussia Monchengladbach 2-2. Inter Milan has two draws in its opening matches, tying both Gladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Wednesday sees Paris Saint-Germain aiming to make it back-to-back victories with a trip to RB Leipzig. The Ligue 1 side defeated Istanbul Basaksehir 2-0 on Matchday 2 thanks to Moise Kean’s brace. RB Leipzig was thumped 5-0 by Manchester United last week before losing 1-0 to Gladbach in Bundesliga action.

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich travels to Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg aiming to stay perfect in the competition while Atalanta hosts Liverpool.

looking is a closer look at the top matches this week in UCL play:

Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan

(Tuesday, 3 p.m., TUDN/UniMas/FuboTV/CBS All Access)

Real Madrid hasn’t been able to carry its league form over to Champions League play yet, but Los Blancos will hope that changes on Tuesday. The La Liga side has only one point so far in group stage play but has picked up back-to-back domestic wins. Karim Benzema has three goals in his last two appearances for Real Madrid while Eden Hazard is also coming off a goalscoring performance.

Inter Milan has drawn its last two matches in all competitions and three of its last five. Antonio Conte’s side provides many attacking options to choose from with Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic the most recent scorers in league play. Romelu Lukaku could miss out though after suffering a muscular injury in training last week, leaving Lautaro Martinez as the key player to watch. 

RB Leipzig vs. Paris Saint-Germain

(Wednesday, 3 p.m., FuboTV/CBS All-Access)

Paris Saint-Germain will be favorites to claim a result on Matchday 3 from Germany as it faces RB Leipzig away from home. Thomas Tuchel’s men have won three matches in a row, outscoring its opponents 9-0 over that span. A 3-0 league win this weekend saw Kylian Mbappe find the back of the net, while Neymar continues to sit out due to injury. Moise Kean could get the start after scoring in a brace in a Matchday 2 win over Istanbul Basaksehir.

RB Leipzig started strong in all competitions, but since has hit a small blip. Julian Nagelsmann’s team lost 5-0 at Manchester United in UCL play before falling 1-0 in Bundesliga action to Borussia Monchengladbach. Marcel Sabitzer will be key for Leipzig in midfield, but needs help from Yussuf Poulen and Christopher Nkunku to pull an upset. 

Red Bull Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich

(Tuesday, 3 p.m., FuboTV/CBS All-Access)

It was a David vs. Goliath battle from Austria as Red Bull Salzburg welcomes Bayern Munich to Red Bull Arena. Jesse Marsch’s side pushed Atletico Madrid to the edge in an eventual 3-2 Matchday 2 loss on the road, but has been strong domestically this season. Hungarian international Dominik Szoboszlai has five goals and three assists so far this season in all competitions and is a talented winger to watch.
Bayern Munich has won eight matches in a row across all competitions and has picked up two UCL wins so far this season. Leon Goretzka has scored two goals in the European competition in wins over Atletico Madrid and Lokomotiv Moscow while Robert Lewandowski always remains a threat for Hansi Flick’s side. It will be the first meeting between the two sides since 2014, a 3-0 friendly win for Salzburg.

Atalanta vs. Liverpool

(Tuesday, 3 p.m., FuboTV/CBS All-Access)
A pair of capable high-scoring attacks will meet in Bergamo on Tuesday coming in on different runs of form. Atalanta has won one of its two opening group stage matches so far and is coming off a weekend win over Crotone. Duvan Zupata and Luis Muriel each have braces over the past two matches and will be a deadly combination for the Liverpool backline to contend with.
The defending Premier League champions have won four matches in a row, most recently a 2-1 win over West Ham United. Jurgen Klopp had his traditional front three back with Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, and Roberto Firmino  all starting against the Hammers. Virgil Van Dijk’s injury absence recently saw Nathaniel Phillips pair Joe Gomez in defense, an area which has been shaky this season for the Reds.
Here is a full schedule of this week’s UCL action:
(all times 3 p.m. ET, unless stated otherwise)
Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Atletico Madrid – 12:55 p.m.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Borussia Monchengladbach – 12:55 p.m.
Atalanta vs. Liverpool
FC Porto vs. Marseille
Manchester City vs. Olympiakos
Midtjylland vs. Ajax
Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich
Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Lazio – 12:55 p.m.
Istanbul Basaksehir vs. Manchester United – 12:55 p.m.
Barcelona vs. Dynamo Kyiv
Chelsea vs. Rennes
Club Brugge vs. Borussia Dortmund
Ferencvaros vs. Juventus
RB Leipzig vs. Manchester United
Sevilla vs. Krasnodar

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