Tuesday fixtures (click for live build-up)*
Group A: Lokomotiv Moskva vs Bayern (18:55 CET),
Group A: Atlético Madrid vs Salzburg
Group B: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Inter (18:55 CET),
Group B: Mönchengladbach vs Real Madrid
Group C: Porto vs Olympiacos
Group C: Marseille vs Manchester City
Group D: Liverpool vs Midtjylland
Group D: Atalanta vs Ajax
Real Madrid on the comeback trail
"We didn’t play well," forward Vinícius Júnior concluded after Real Madrid’s shock 3-2 home loss to Shakhtar. "We need to carry on working hard." Zinédine Zidane’s team can take courage as they visit Gladbach. The sides last met in the UEFA Cup in 1985, holders Madrid receiving a 5-1 mauling in the third round first leg in Germany before redeeming themselves with a 4-0 home success. Luis Molowny’s men went on to win the trophy. Conclusion: nil desperandum.
Can the 'lifeblood of Inter' keep flowing?
After Romelu Lukaku scored his eighth and ninth goals of the new season in Inter’s Matchday 1 draw with Gladbach, Gazzetta dello Sport called the Belgian "the lifeblood of Inter, not only for his goals but for his ability to transform every ball he receives into a potential attacking move". Lukaku also struck twice as Inter beat Matchday 2 opponents Shakhtar 5-0 in the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League semi-final in Düssedorf. Will the No9 bring his shooting boots to Ukraine?
Porto welcome Olympiacos’s Liga exiles
"I said before the draw that I would like to return to Portugal," said Olympiacos boss Pedro Martins, and his Portuguese-accented team will feel doubly enthused about a trip Porto after Matchday 1's win against Marseille. Martins and opposite number Sérgio Conceição go back a long way, meeting as players in Sporting CP vs Porto games, and Martins was also on the Dragons’ coaching staff in 2004/05. "Greek champions are always interesting teams," said Conceição. Prepare for intrigue.
Moscow beckons for rampant Bayern
Any fears that Bayern might fluff their lines on their return to the UEFA Champions League were dispelled when they mauled Atlético 4-0, extending their epochal European winning streak to 13 games. Los Colchoneros at least stopped Robert Lewandowski scoring – no small achievement given he had hit six in his previous two Bundesliga matches. Lokomotiv Moskva will note that Bayern won 5-0 when they last met the Railwaymen in Moscow, in the UEFA Cup in 1995.
Can Liverpool figure out Midtjylland?
After Liverpool drew the Danish champions, Jürgen Klopp said that Midtjylland "has been for years one of the most interesting teams". The club’s focus on mathematical modelling and set pieces has caused a stir; indeed, ex-FCM throw-in expert Thomas Grønnemark now works for the Reds. Atalanta blew Midtjylland’s cool with a 4-0 victory last time out, but Brian Priske’s side could yet add up to be a handful for a Liverpool team still unsettled following centre-back Virgil van Dijk’s long-term injury.