Sunday 25 August 2019

What time, what channel? All you need to know about the Champions League this week

Jose Mourinho (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jose Mourinho (Martin Rickett/PA)

It's a big week in the Champions League. Here is all you need to know about the Premier League big guns who are in action.

TUESDAY

SHAKHTAR DONETSK v MANCHESTER CITY (8pm) - BT Sport 3

City's late winner against Hoffeinheim in the last round of Champions League matches relieved the pressure on Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions ahead of this 4,300-mile round trip to Ukraine.

Paulo Fonseca's side have a winning habit on home soil that ensures they provide a stern test for any visitors to their Metalist Stadium, yet Hoffenheim did enough in their 2-2 draw away at Shakhtar to encourage City that they will have the attacking firepower to secure a second succession away win in Group F.

Shakhtar's Junior Moraes has been in fine form in recent weeks and scored twice against Lyon in his last Champions League outing and he is one of nine Brazilian player in the Shakhtar first team squad.

ONE TO WATCH: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

His two-goal display in England's impressive win against Spain last Monday provided further evidence that this speedy winger is maturing into a top class performer. He could tear Shakhtar apart with his pace.

Verdict: City to win again.

MANCHESTER UNITED v JUVENTUS (8pm) - RTE 2

United manager Jose Mourinho has backed Juventus to challenge for Champions League glory this season and their impressive start to this season confirms Massimiliano Allegri's side are in a rich vein of form.

They headed into the international break after compiling a flawless ten-game winning run to start their campaign, with Cristiano Ronaldo's off-field problems clearly not affecting their ability to win matches with relentless efficiency.

Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic has benefitted from Ronaldo's assists this season and such is the confidence flowing through the Italian champions that they will arrive at Old Trafford as firm favourites to win.

ONE TO WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

The former United No.7 always causes a stir when he returns to Old Trafford and this time his appearance offers even more intrigue, as he finds himself fending off claims of rape from an incident back in 2009. He is assured of a good reaction from the United faithful.

Verdict: United's fragile confidence will be exposed by a rampant Juventus.

WEDNESDAY

PSV EINDHOVEN v TOTTENHAM (17.55) - BT Sport 3

Tottenham find themselves in a must-win situation in their third Champions League game, with back-to-back defeats against Inter Milan and Barcelona leaving Mauricio Pochettino's men needing a win in Holland.

They are more than capable of beating a PSV side who have also lost their first two Group B games in a season that has seen them continue their dominant form in their domestic league.

High scoring wins have allowed Mark van Bommel's side to open up a gap on Ajax at the top of the Eredivisie, but the gulf in class between Holland's best and Europe's elite is exposed when they play in the Champions League and Spurs need to highlight that flaw once again.

ONE TO WATCH: Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven)

In sparkling form at the start of the Dutch league season, this Mexican international needs to take that form into the Champions League.

Verdict: Spurs will win if their star men shine.

 

LIVERPOOL v RED STAR BELGRADE (8pm) - BT Sport 2

A curiously limp Liverpool performance as they lost 1-0 to Napoli in their last Champions League cemented the belief that they had lost some of the momentum they had built up in the opening weeks of the season and now they need to snap back into gear.

Back-to-back games against a Red Star side that win with relentless ease on home soil and struggle to make the leap in class when they play Champions League matches will put Liverpool on the brink of a place in the knock-out stages and the first part of that equation should be achieved with plenty to spare.

Red Star coach Vladan Milojevic has been forced to defend his players after it emerged that their 6-1 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round of Group C matches is under suspicion in a match-fixing probe, yet that side-show will not be a factor as they are likely to get hammered once again at Anfield.

ONE TO WATCH: Marko Marin (Red Star)

This former Chelsea winger looked out of depth during a disastrous spell in English football and he will be keen to rebrand his image with an eye-catching display against Liverpool.

Verdict: A comfortable victory for Jurgen Klopp's Reds.

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