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2020-21 Champions League Matchday 3 Preview: Real Madrid at Monchengladbach, Manchester City Make Marseille Trip

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Real Madrid look to get their first points of the group stage when they take on Borussia Monchengladbach. SASCHA STEINBACH/EPA

The UEFA Champions League group stage makes a swift return on Tuesday when Real Madrid visit Borussia Monchengladbach hoping to get their first points on the board.

Los Blancos came up empty in their Group B opener at home to Shakhtar Donetsk and sit bottom of the bunch. Gladbach drew 2-2 at Inter Milan following Romelu Lukaku’s double, and any of the four teams could end Matchday 3 at the top of their order:

Manchester City avoided embarrassment at home to Porto in their own European debut this season, coming from behind to beat Porto 3-1 in Group C. Their next fixture takes them to Marseille, where Andre Villas-Boas looks to earn the French outfit’s first points following a last-gasp loss at Olympiacos.

Not to be outdone by rivals Real, Atletico Madrid also occupy last place in Group A following their 4-0 dismantling at the hands of Champions League titleholders Bayern Munich. Diego Simeone’s side have higher prospects at home to Red Bull Salzburg, while Bayern make the long trip to Lokomotiv Moscow in Tuesday’s early kick-offs.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta emerged on the winning side of their own 4-0 scoreline against Midtjylland, but Matchday 3 visitors Ajax promise to give them a tougher run for their money. The Italians will most likely need three points if they’re to keep pace at the top of Group D, with joint-leaders Liverpool the major favorites when they welcome Midtjylland to Anfield.

Visit UEFA.com to view updated group standings.

UCL Matchday 3 Schedule (All Times ET)

Tuesday, October 27

Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Bayern Munich, 1:55 p.m. - Galavision

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Inter Milan, 1:55 p.m. - TUDN

Atletico Madrid vs. Red Bull Salzburg, 4 p.m. - Galavision

Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Real Madrid, 4 p.m. - TUDN

Porto vs. Olympiacos, 4 p.m. - TUDNxtra2

Marseille vs. Manchester City, 4 p.m. - TUDNxtra1

Liverpool vs. Midtjylland, 4 p.m. - TUDNxtra3

Atalanta vs. Ajax, 4 p.m. - TUDNxtra4

UCL Matchday 3 Tune-In Information

TV: Galavision, TUDN

Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)

Zinedine Zidane has experienced both despair and delight in the past week, losing back-to-back home games before Real roused themselves to triumph 3-1 in El Clasico on Saturday. Sergio Ramos was key at the Camp Nou and scored from the penalty spot in what was a dream return to the lineup following injury.

The Madridistas were without their captain for the disastrous 3-2 defeat to Shakhtar, which their coach attributed partly to a lack of confidence after falling behind:

The job of beating Borussia Monchengladbach on the road could be seen as a much greater task, particularly considering Shakhtar’s options were significantly limited following a COVID-19 spike in their camp.

Eden Hazard could return for the visiting team after recovering from an ankle injury, with Manu de Juan of AS reporting the Belgian could even start in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Marco Rose’s side have lost only twice in their last 11 homes games and briefly led Inter prior to Lukaku’s late equaliser in Milan. Monchengladbach are unbeaten in their last five games across all competitions. Much of the sparkle from Real’s Clasico triumph will be lost unless they can get points at Borussia-Park.

Group B rivals Inter will attempt to do what Real could not when they visit the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. The Nerazzurri have recent history with Shakhtar after meeting in the semi-finals of last season’s UEFA Europa League, where Antonio Conte’s men romped to a 5-0 result:

Lukaku happened to grab another brace for his troubles that day and will hope more goals rain in his favor when Inter look to steal a march in their pool.

Marseille and Manchester City will meet for the first time in a competitive match on Tuesday in what should be a thrilling battle between the revered minds of Pep Guardiola and Andre Villas-Boas.

Les Olympiens are fourth in Ligue 1 and have lost only two of their nine games in all contests this term. It’s a concern for Villas-Boas that his side have won only twice in their last seven outings, though it bodes well their guests have failed to win either of their last two games on the road.

City were also on the result of recent disappointment after the Premier League power was held 1-1 at West Ham United on Saturday, but their moods have been lifted by the returns of Kevin De Bruyne and defensive linchpin Aymeric Laporte:

Outside Europe’s usual powerhouses, a clash between Atalanta and Ajax has all the makings of a classic encounter between two teams promoting some of the best soccer on the continent.

Gasperini’s men have lost some lustre after a historic 2019-20 campaign but are still a major threat. Ajax, meanwhile, come into this meeting on the back of their own history—an Eredivisie record 13-0 thumping of VVV-Venlo:

Burkina Faso international Lassina Traore scored five in a match none of their squad will soon forget, while Brazilian winger Antony made a rambunctious return to full fitness with a goal and two assists.

Atalanta have suffered defeat in their last two domestic games—away to Napoli and at home to Sampdoria—but will hope their mauling of Midtjylland last time out grants some momentum in Europe.

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