The champions league returns as European clubs are set to battle it out
The champions league games is set to resume with game four ready to take place tonight. The competition which is full of excitement, surprises and shocking moment will kick off tonight with various clubs in Europe top flight ready to battle it out again.
Chelsea ready to bounce back to winning ways
The blues will be said to be in action tonight as they face swedish side Malmö away from home to bounce back from their last defeat to Juventus in their previous match in the competition. Their host Malmö’s Allsvenskan title defence in the swedish league is going on nicely, despite that their UEFA Champions League campaign is still yet to get off the ground with three lost (L3).
Displaying their plight so far, is the fact that the Swedish side are one of just three UEFA Champions League sides yet to score in the competition while no side in the competition as well has conceded more than their 11 goals after three group games been played.
However, with the host welcoming the English side that looks to show no mercy when they meet is likely to produce another heavy defeat here if the hosts’ previous head-to-head record against English sides is anything to go by, which also includes the 1979 European Cup Final defeat.
Malmö have won just one of their ten such clashes with a draw and eight game lost (W1, D1, L8), conceding two goals per match on average. That record is not the only confidence killer for the swedish side as while third spot in the group is still very much up for grabs, Malmö however, have finished bottom in their last two UEFA Champions League group campaigns.
Chelsea despite going into this game without the likes of their two main strikers, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, the defending UEFA Champions League Champions should find this fixture easy with realistically cruise with relative ease to secure all three points, just like they did in the last round with a 4-0 win against Malmö.
Even without their duo strikers that are injured at the moment, the blues have shown momentum and have gone on to score 13 times, showing the effort that they can be a threat from anywhere and every single player in the squad is dangerous.
Players to watch
The swedish player has played no side more often throughout his career than Chelsea, though he has never been on the winning side with two draws and twelve lost (D2, L12) will face the English side once more if throughly he can break that jinx (D2, L12).
Chelsea’s Ballon d’or nominee Jorginho became the first premier league player to score ten consecutive penalties last time out, he also scored one against two Malmö keepers in the reverse and probably be in action against the swedish side..
Atalanta host Manchester United
Italian club Atalanta were unlucky to secure point against the English side in their last time out despite going two goals up saw themselves concede three in the second half to lose the game 3-2 with a dramatic comeback from the English side.
The late Manchester United comeback on UEFA Champions League matchday three games saw them lost the game but needed one themselves to draw with Lazio on Saturday in the Seria A to secure point after playing a 2-2 draw with Italian counterpart.
Atalanta will now host the three time UEFA champions league winners with just three points separating the four in Group F teams, therefore the third placed Atalanta with (W1, D1, L1) must achieve a result here to stay in the hunt for qualification to the next round.
However, that might not look easy for ‘La Dea’, who have only won one of their last six UEFA champions league fixtures as the designated home side with (D2, L3), although those two defeats were close-run affairs against Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.
The Italians were unbeaten in their first two European home games against English opposition with one win and a draw (W1, D1), but their last encounter here saw them thrashed 5-0 by Liverpool almost exactly one year ago in the campaign. That scoreline still haunt Man United following their own drubbing to Liverpool in premier league, although they bounced back with an impressive 3-0 away win at Tottenham on Saturday.
Despite the ups and down times at Old Trafford, the Champions League has offered some relief for United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær whose men are currently topping this UEFA champions league group with (W2, L1) after overcoming a surprise matchday one defeat away to Swiss side Young Boys with a 2-1 defeat.
However, the English side also have a nice record in Italian soil as the ‘Red Devils’ are unbeaten in five UEFA champions league away games against Italian opponents (W3, D2).
Players to watch
The player have scored first-half goals in each of Atalanta’s last two league fixtures and would be said to display such against Manchester United in today's game.
The Portuguese who scored and assisted against Tottenham, has netted in all three of Man United’s UEFA champions league games this term with the winner against Atalanta in their previous game which saw the player score the winner in the last minute of the game, will definitely be a treat to the Italian side as he his said to look dangerous all the time in scoring.
Dynamo Kiev welcome Spanish side Barcelona
Dynamo Kiev despite on a three-match winning run since losing to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League reverse fixture, the host are swimming against the tide as they look set to get off the bottom of Group E.
The Ukrainian side do have three wins over Barcelona from 13 previous European meetings played so far, but those wins all came in the 1990s, while their last win over any Spanish opposition happened back in March 1999 with (D3, L8).
However, It could be a different ball game at home though, as Dynamo Kiev as set to extend a 13-match unbeaten streak at home in all competitions,with the aspect of keeping a clean sheet each time,with the fact that their European pedigree is even improving, with the Ukrainian champions securing a clean sheet in their last two UEFA champions league home games.
The Ukrainian side now have a chance to register three in a row for the first time since 2001-02, if they can get a win against a weak Barcelona side at the moment. Barcelona's post-Ronald Koeman era started with an uninspiring 1-1 draw against Alavés in the Spanish la liga, which now equals their worst 11-game start to a La Liga campaign since 1995/96 season.
The Spanish side have also lost Sergio Agüero and Gerard Piqué to injury which is also a big blow and the 34-year old defender became the club's oldest UEFA champions league scorer with his winner in the reverse clash against the Ukrainians.
However, that 1-0 win in their last meeting ended their five-game winless UEFA champions league streak (D1, L4), with the fact that they have still recorded their lowest goal tally after three matches of a single European campaign which is poor for the Spanish club.
Barcelona are currently in third place in the UCL group and are in desperate need of a win to secure three points here, as the Spanish side are currently on course to drop down into the Europa League - a reality that would end a 17-season run of playing in the UEFA champions league knockout phase.
Players to watch
The player scored Dynamo's last goal against Barcelona almost a year ago. His task will be to get one past Marc-André ter Stegen later tonight when they both meet.
Marc-André ter Stegen.
The Barcelona stopper is looking for
a back-to-back UEFA champions league group stage clean sheets in a single campaign for the first time in four years and would be looking forward to achieve that later tonight.
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Barcelona should do whatever it takes to win today's game, to have a chance at the round of 16.
They should but with their current form don't be surprise that Dynamo Kiev might shock them