Champions League: Week 2 Preview
An exciting opening week of the Champions League reminded soccer fans all around the world why they love the European competition. To get ready for the next matchdays of thrills and letdowns, let's take a look at the biggest storylines and matchups.
Cristiano Ronaldo in doubt versus Barcelona
After testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty for Portugal, the Juventus star has yet to return to action. Ronaldo will need to return a negative test 24 hours before the match on Wednesday to be able to return to the pitch.
This matchup has been highly anticipated, as it would showcase long time rivals Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, against each other once again. The two have matched up 35 times over their careers with Messi taking 16, Ronaldo taking 10, and nine resulting in draws.
This would be the first matchup of the two with Ronaldo in his Juventus threads. Although Ronaldo’s status is up in the air, the two sides will be guaranteed another group stage matchup in early December.
Real Madrid looks to bounce back
After a late equalizer was denied by VAR, Real Madrird suffered a shocking result against Shakhtar Donetsk, as the final whistle blew and the scoreboard had them down 3-2. However, the club bounced back nicely this weekend.
Madrid handed rival Barcelona a 3-1 defeat in El Clásico, which is a huge result for the struggling club.
Madrid is set to take on Borussia Mönchengladbach, a surging German side, in this week's match. Mönchengladbach is a very competitive side that drew with Inter Milan last week and is in the top six of the Bundesliga table.
Keep an eye out for what Madrid side we get this week.
Manchester United vs. RB Leipzig
In a matchup of underachieving vs. overachieving, the stars of Manchester United take on the current leader of the Bundesliga RB Leipzig.
Manchester United sits at a disappointing 15th place in the Premier League table through five games but still has hope with its talented squad, beating PSG last week in a big upset to get their European campaign off to a hot start.
On the other end, RB Leipzig sits atop the Bundesliga table and is playing top-notch soccer.
This matchup should provide a real test for Leipzig to see if their German dominance carries over into European play, or if the stars of Manchester United can shake off the rust to get back on track for league and European success.
RB Salzburg vs. Atlético Madrid
In a classic offense vs. defense matchup, Atlético needs a good result. After getting dominated for 90 minutes against the defending champions Bayern Munich last week, the Spanish side needs three points.
However, RB Salzburg has other plans, as they want to continue their high-goal-scoring campaign. The Austrian side has scored 19 goals in five league wins and started their Champions League dreams off with a hard-fought 2-2 draw last week.
Atlético has the power to slow down the Austrian attack led by Patson Daka. The Spanish side has allowed only one goal in five league games but has also been able to win only three out of those five.
This matchup will be a true test to see if Salzburg has too powerful of an offense to overcome or if the Madrid defense is the real deal. However, even if Atlético can stop the attack, the bigger question will be if Luis Suárez and company can find an attack of their own.
Charlie Knezevic is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.