Champions League: Week 3 Preview
Champions League action has not disappointed just two weeks into the competition. The group stage has not only offered massive upsets but also wild standings that few could have predicted. The third week of matches will see teams turn their campaigns around for the better or fall to all but out of the competition. Here are this week’s top storylines and matches.
Make or break for Real Madrid
Sitting at the bottom of the group, Real Madrid is as close to panic mode as a club can get. Tuesday’s match against Inter Milan, another desperate club, could leave Madrid in a hole that it will not be able to climb out of.
It is safe to say that the club needs at least a draw to have any hope of advancing out of the group stage. One might even say that a win is necessary, since this is a home match for Madrid. Inter Milan is no pushover, as it is one of Italy’s top sides.
The only safe thing to say about this one is that it will be a highly entertaining game between two squads desperate for a win.
Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Mönchengladbach battle for group superiority
Remaining in Group B, Shakhtar and Mönchengladbach have been two of the tournament’s surprises thus far. The two clubs have been able to stay even with wins against some of Europe’s largest teams.
On Tuesday, the teams will face off for status atop Group B. This match also proves crucial in which team will be able to advance, as one of Real Madrid or Inter Milan is expected to get their act together before the end of group play.
This match could thrust one of these clubs into the European spotlight and rightfully so. Borussia Mönchengladbach is undefeated in its last eight matches, and Shakhtar Donetsk is unbeaten in its last nine.
Ajax dealing with COVID outbreak before crucial match
Fans of Ajax know that the team needs to beat struggling Midtjylland in order to keep pace in Group D, and Ajax was expected to do so before recent news. The squad has recently had 11 of its players test positive for COVID-19, forcing manager Erik ten Hag to work with a reduced squad of just 17 men for the game in Denmark.
If Ajax comes up short this week, it opens the door for Atalanta to take the second spot in the group, regardless of its result at Liverpool. Ajax needs a good result on Tuesday to stay within arm’s reach of advancing to the knockout stages.
At the very least, Ajax fans will hope for Liverpool to take care of business in Italy to keep things close in the middle of the group.
Bayern looking to continue dominance in title defense
Bayern Munich has not slowed down since its crowning as champions in late August. The team has won both its matches during this Champions League season, conceding only one goal.
Bayern faces off against a decent side in Salzburg, which could incite an upset, especially at home. However, Bayern could flex its muscles with a decisive road victory.
Do not expect the German side to waltz through Red Bull Arena, but expect them to try to make a statement against a decent team.
Maclain Young is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Second Year / Broadcast Journalism