The UEFA Champions League returns for the third round of matches, and as teams prepare for this round across the eight groups, managers will all go out with different ambitions, but all targeting at three points. For those still winless thus far, this is another chance to go for three points. It is a fact that this is the most prestigious competition in the world that involves clubs and it remains a pioneer as far as generating income for clubs is concerned.
The competition brings forth the lowest ranked teams to compete with the world’s best, a case in point, the Real Madrid v Sheriff Tiraspol game on Match Day 2. Sheriff Tiraspol, the lowest ranked in the current competition, captured the beauty of the competition by beating Real Madrid, the most successful club in this competition.
The prestige that comes with this competition needs no explanation but again this has proven to be one of the most elusive titles, for some of the well established sides in Europe. Manchester City and PSG, some of the richest clubs currently, have never won it, and the same applies to Arsenal, who even at their best, they only got to the final once.
As the competition enters Match Day 3, it is still too early to pick out who could go all the way to win it but there are early favorites, the likes of PSG, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and even current holders, Chelsea.
So, which are the top picks for Match Day 3 as the Champions League resumes after the surprises that came with Match Days 1 and 2?
Inter Milan vs Sheriff
Sheriff have willingly and dutifully carried the underdogs tag right from the qualifiers and here they are, topping a group that has two former champions of Europe. They are coming from a win over Real Madrid and will fancy their chances against Inter who do not have a very good run in the Champions League. Inter are also coming from a loss domestically and they’ll be pushing for a first win in the group, against a very stubborn side. This isn’t a game to miss.
Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool
Liverpool have a dominant run against Atletico, and this is one stat Atletico will be working to change. Atletico had a free weekend and their South American players should be able to feature here.
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In their last outing, they blanked Barcelona 2-0, and the key orchestrator was former Liverpool man Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan will attract a lot of focus, but Mohamed Salah will definitely be the most talked about, given his recent form. SportyTrader’s Champions League predictions have Salah to score in this game, and going by his recent performances it is hard to argue against that.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Real Madrid
Both these two sides suffered defeats against minnows Sheriff, but Real’s defeat, at home, was the biggest upset. Last season they met Shakhtar Donetsk and the Ukrainians won home and away, so Real Madrid are on a revenge mission, as much as they are eying the crucial points. Will they get it right this time, or will Shakhtar pull the rug under their feet again?