Mumbai: With half way mark approaching in the group stages of Europe’s premier club football tournament, the UEFA Champions League 2019-20 season, some teams look to cement their place while others look to streamline their campaign after an unsteady start to the new season.
After Serge Gnabry’s four-goal heroics for Bayern Munich in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League against Tottenham Hotspur FC, last season’s beaten finalists took a hiding and questions were raised on the squad depth and lack of transfer activity during the transfer window. On the other hand, record winners Real Madrid could only manage a draw at home to Club Brugge, leaving them at the bottom of Group A and all the hard work to be done in the second half of group stage campaign.
Meanwhile, European champions Liverpool FC enjoyed a nervy win over RB Salzburg under the Anfield lights and will now travel to Belgium to cement some authority over others in Group E. Chelsea, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Lyon and Zenit St. Petersburg picked up their first wins in their respective groups while Napoli were held to a surprise goalless draw at Genk.
As these teams look to fight back and get their Champions League journey back on track, let’s look at some of the key matches which will be played in Match Day 3:
AFC Ajax vs Chelsea FC – Ajax host Chelsea at the Johan Cruijff Arena for the first time hoping to help erase the memory of their previous encounters against English clubs in European competitions. Ajax cashed in by selling some key players after last season’s run to the semi-finals but those losses seem to have had little effect on their overall quality. The hosts are sitting at the top after a couple of emphatic victories but have suffered at the hands of English clubs in Amsterdam. After a difficult start under their new manager, Chelsea have recovered from an opening home loss with an impressive away victory against Lille OSC. The London club have scored three goals or more in five of their last ten European matches and are in hot pursuit at the moment. Both the teams will enter this match in good form but the question is how Chelsea’s teenage-heavy attack will fare at a venue where teams like Juventus and Real Madrid have faltered last season
Watch AFC Ajax vs Chelsea FC Live and Exclusive on Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD on 23rd October 2019 at 10.25 pm (IST)
Galatasaray S.K. vs Real Madrid CF – Real Madrid will visit the Turk Telekom Arena to face Galatasaray sitting at the bottom of Group A in the Champions League after suffering a stunning 3-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain and then dangerously living at home against Club Brugge before recovering from two goals down to draw 2-2. The Turkish club have had a tough start to their domestic as well as their European campaigns but often decked out in orange and red supporters of the Turkish Süper Lig side are always ready to make games difficult for visiting opponents. Having picked up a single point apiece from their first two matches, both teams look to make their presence felt in Group A and need a victory to try and steady their respective group stage campaign.
Watch Galatasaray S.K. vs Real Madrid CF Live and Exclusive on Sony Six and Sony Six HD on 23rd October 2019 at 12.30 am (IST)
Inter Milan vs Borussia Dortmund – There is always one group in the Champions League which catches the eye and with Barcelona, Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund in the group, no team can afford to lose more ground at any stage of this competition. Inter Milan trail Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund by three points and will be desperate to translate their impressive early-season domestic form under Antonio Conte to the European scene. The Italian side have picked up only one point from their first two fixtures even though they won their first six games in a Serie A season, first time since 1966/67. They will look to improve their record in their first game against Dortmund in more than 25 years.
Watch Inter Milan vs Borussia Dortmund Live and Exclusive on Sony TEN 2 and Sony TEN 2 HD on 24th October 2019 at 12.30 am (IST)
UEFA Champions League is among India’s most loved football tournaments and has gained increasing popularity in the last few years. Indian fans can catch the best footballing action in the world only on Sony Pictures Sports Network this season with premier international properties like Serie A, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup, FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019, FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019, UEFA EURO 2020 and many more.
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