Stern tests await the BRITISH CLUBS in matchday three
Tottenham Hotspur take on Real Madrid in the pick of this week’s Champions League group games
THE BRITISH CLUBS in this season’s Champions League have lost just one game between them, but it’s a record that could come under threat this week with crunch games for all our home clubs. Here’s our guide to the six tasty ties…
REAL MADRID V
Gareth Bale and Luka Modric welcome their former club to the Bernabéu Stadium with both teams on six points after two games. Harry Kane became the seventh British player to score a Champions League hattrick as Tottenham maintained their 100 per cent start with victory over Apoel Nicosia three weeks ago. Kane – who also scored twice in
Spurs’ opening win over Borussia
– has now scored in four successive
Champions League appearances, making him the second
English player to do this, after
Gerrard. MANCHESTER CITY V NAPOLI
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City top Group F after two wins, while Napoli are joint seccond on three points. The two sides were paired in the 2011-12 competition with the Italians earning a point at the Etihad in City’s first-ever game in the Champions League. David Silva, Sergio Agüero, Vincent Kompany and
Yaya Touré remain from the 11 that started that game.
MARIBOR V LIVERPOOL
The two sides face each other for the first time in
European competition, each seeking a first victory in Group E. The Reds have drawn both games and will need to be tighter in defence against the Slovenians, having not kept a clean sheet in the Champions League since November 2009, conceding in their past nine games.
As United travel to Portugal for this repeat of the 1968 European Cup final, boss José Mourinho has said his side are ‘almost’ in the knockout stages after thrashing CSKA Moscow in Russia to top Group A. The forward Romelu Lukaku is just the second United player to score in his first two Champions League appearances for the club (after Dimitar Berbatov) and will fancy adding to that tally against a Benfica side that has lost both games. Swedish defender Victor Lindelöf switched from the Lisbon side to Old Trafford in the summer for
CHELSEA V ROMA Another English club with a 100 per cent record, the Blues will be on a high after their thrilling 2-1 Group C victory at Atlético Madrid, who have reached two Champions League finals in the past four seasons. German defender Antonio Rüdiger moved to Stamford Bridge from Roma in the summer for £29milllion.
BAYERN MUNICH V CELTIC
Carlo Ancelotti was sacked by Bayern Munich after losing to PSG last time out, and the German champions are now level with Celtic in Group B on three points. Brendan Rodgers’ side ended their run of 16 European group games without a win as goals by Leigh Griffiths, Patrick Roberts and Scott Sinclair saw off Anderlecht 3-0.
REAL MADRID’S CRISTIANO RONALDO MANCHESTER UNITED’S ROMELU LUKAKU