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City need Barcelona Pep talk
City’s six-game winless run in all competitions ended with a rousing 4-0 success at West Brom on Saturday, a spur for Josep Guardiola as his side look to bounce back from a 4-0 Group C loss at Camp Nou. Can they redeem themselves? Maybe. In the 2014/15 semi-finals, Guardiola’s Bayern were thumped 3-0 at Barcelona, a match more one-sided than City’s reverse there a fortnight ago and the nadir of a run of three successive losses. His charges showed their mettle at home, though, coming from 2-1 down to win on the night and exit with some pride. Can City match that?
Manchester City v Barcelona
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Paris)
Will Zlatan be handing over the baton?
Cavani has Zlatan in his sights
For three seasons, Edinson Cavani had to play second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimović at Paris Saint-Germain, but with the Swede moving on to pastures new, the limelight is all his this season. The 29-year-old has seized his chance, with 18 goals to his name already for club and country. Four have come in the UEFA Champions League, taking him alongside George Weah with 16 strikes in the competition for Paris. No prizes for guessing the identity of the only man ahead of him: Ibrahimović, with 20. Can the Uruguayan pass that mark this term?
Basel v Paris Saint-Germain
Fantasy transfer deadline: 18:45CEST on Tuesday
Are you Arsenal in disguise?
Younger readers may not remember but before Arsène Wenger’s free-flowing revolution, there was a period where Arsenal were known for a defensive game that made “One-nil to the Arsenal” their terrace anthem. “Uno a cero para el Atlético” does not have quite the same ring, and while Diego Simeone’s team have won all three of their group games 1-0 so far, their approach is significantly more dynamic. What it has meant, though, is that they have gone under the radar (Bayern scalp notwithstanding). Whisper it, but no side has ever kept six clean sheets in a group stage.
Atlético Madrid v Rostov
Moussa Dembélé (Celtic)
All eyes on Dembélé
“I have played with the greatest strikers, Ronaldo, Henry, Raúl, and you knew on the biggest occasions they would win you games,” Zinédine Zidane said last week. “And Moussa Dembélé is already showing he can do that.” No pressure, then. The 20-year-old French forward has plundered 15 goals already this season for Celtic but interestingly only one – a last-minute effort at Ross County on 26 October – has come away from home. He will be keen to balance things out a little more in Germany.
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic
Can Legia stem Real Madrid flow?
Zidane’s men have scored 24 in their last five outings in all competitions and it is 20 matches (21 if you count the 3-2 Spanish Super Cup win against Sevilla) since a team last managed to keep them at bay. Legia, whose tally of 13 conceded is the worst in the tournament, are not obvious candidates to spoil that sequence. The Polish champions’ best hope is to resist the explosive start that is becoming a Madrid trademark – they have netted inside six minutes in three of their last five games. Legia frustrated them for 15 whole minutes last time out before conceding, and made chances of their own, only to be blown away after half-time.
Legia Warszawa v Real Madrid
Highlights: Leicester 1-0 København
Stick or twist for Leicester?
Only one other side in the past two decades have won their first three group stage fixtures in their debut season in the competition: Manuel Pellegrini’s Málaga in 2012/13. The Spanish outfit promptly drew the next three (12 points were enough to top the group) and while Claudio Ranieri may be tempted to shuffle things slightly, he will be more eager to keep up the momentum. We saw in last season’s Premier League how dangerous the Foxes can be when they are on a roll.
København v Leicester City
Play Predictor and win
Thierry Henry MkII
Big things were expected of Kylian Mbappé after his star turn as France won last summer’s U19 EURO, only for a concussion on the opening day of the season to rule him out for a month. After a steady recovery, the 17-year-old returned to the first XI with a bang against Montpellier on 21 October. He won a penalty, scored and then laid on an assist for Valère Germain. Now the youngster, frequently compared to Thierry Henry, is in line for his first UEFA Champions League start. Henry scored twice on his …
Monaco v CSKA Moskva
Nearly but not quite: Leverkusen 0-0 Tottenham
The second-half comeback begins
Since the competition’s current format was introduced in 2003/04, 11 teams have progressed despite not winning any of their first three matches. Eleven sides have an opportunity to follow suit this term, and Leverkusen appear the most likely. They squandered a 2-0 lead against CSKA, let in a last-minute goal at Monaco and had the better of a 0-0 draw with Tottenham; their three points could easily have been nine. This week’s rematch with Spurs at Wembley could be decisive, but Leverkusen will have to put last week’s abject cup loss to lower-league Sportfreunde Lotte behind them.
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer Leverkusen