A first win of the UEFA Champions League campaign could await Real Madrid or Inter Milan when the two European heavyweights square off on Matchday 5.
The struggle for points in Group B has been even more difficult than the pair may have predicted, and surprise leaders Shakhtar Donetsk host runners-up Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday when both hope to maintain unbeaten starts.
Defending champions Bayern Munich are yet to drop a point after two games in Group A, and victory at Red Bull Salzburg would move them one step closer to a clean sweep. Atletico Madrid visit Lokomotiv Moscow hoping to widen the gap between second and third place in the pool.
Premier League powerhouses Manchester City and Liverpool also boast a 100-percent start in their pools and are outright leaders in Groups C and D, respectively.
Pep Guardiola’s side are unbeaten in seven matches and will seal three successive wins for the first time this season if they beat Olympiacos at home, while Liverpool’s trip to pool runners-up Atalanta looks more hazardous.
Elsewhere in Group D, Ajax face Midtjylland in Denmark with limited options after Erik ten Hag's squad returned 11 positive coronavirus tests, via Goal:
Visit UEFA.com to view updated group standings.
UCL Matchday 5 Schedule (All Times ET)
Tuesday, November 3
Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Atletico Madrid, 12:55 p.m. - TUDN
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Borussia Monchengladbach, 12:55 p.m. - Galavision
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich, 3 p.m. - TUDNxtra1
Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan, 3 p.m. - TUDN
Manchester City vs. Olympiacos, 3 p.m. - Galavision
Porto vs. Marseille, 3 p.m. - TUDNxtra2
Midtjylland vs. Ajax, 3 p.m. - TUDNxtra4
Atalanta vs. Liverpool, 3 p.m. - TUDNxtra3
UCL Matchday 5 Tune-In Information
TV: Galavision, TUDN
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
It’s not too late for Zinedine Zidane to salvage matters in Group A, but failure to beat Inter on Tuesday will raise alarms Real could be set to miss the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 1996. Defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk marked a disastrous start for the Spaniards, who are last in their pool and run the risk of a rare low if they falter again on their own soil, via OpaJose:
Los Blancos can resurrect their campaign with a win against Inter, who are yet to lose in Group B but have also won just one of their last six outings across all competitions.
Antonio Conte’s men have proved tough to beat—AC Milan are the only team to manage the feat this term—and Zidane told reporters he expects a difficult challenge at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano:
One major concern for Conte is the loss of record signing Romelu Lukaku, who missed Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to Parma with a thigh injury and won't return in midweek.
Ferland Mendy, meanwhile, may return in an unnatural role for Real after Lucas Vazquez—the club’s third-string option at right-back—suffered an injury in their recent 4-1 romp over Huesca.
Both teams were held to draws in their last group outings; Inter settled for a 0-0 stalemate at Shakhtar while Real scored twice in three minutes to snatch a 2-2 draw at Gladbach.
The Ukrainian leaders have excelled despite having their options restricted by coronavirus, with numerous youngsters stepping up to impress as they’ve held their own at the Group B summit:
Tensions are also high for Liverpool ahead of their trip to Bergamo, where they meet Atalanta for the first time in an early showdown for Group D dominion. Two points separate the Reds from Gian Piero Gasperini’s challengers, meaning a win would be enough to see the Italians take first at the halfway point in their group quest.
It helps Atalanta’s chances that Liverpool will be lacking several prominent figures in defense and midfield, with Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara all set to miss out for the Premier League leaders.
Joel Matip and Naby Keita may be welcome boosts for the Merseysiders following injury, while summer signing Kostas Tsimkas could be poised for his European debut as a Red, via Ian Doyle of the Liverpool Echo:
Liverpool have won four games from four since losing Van Dijk to a serious knee injury on October 17. Jurgen Klopp’s pre-match comments suggested he won’t take La Dea lightly ahead of their maiden meeting, via Anfield Watch:
It’s a worry for the Reds that they’ve lost in each of their last three visits to Italian opposition, falling 4-2 at AS Roma in 2018, followed by back-to-back losses in Naples (2018-19). However, Atalanta have won only once in three home outings this season, offering their guests plenty of hope for a fifth straight win in all contests.
Bayern’s current streak is even more impressive as they seek a ninth consecutive win when they visit Group A contenders Salzburg, a team who always look capable of a goal but have leaked too many of their own thus far.
Atletico Madrid just about edged the Austrians 3-2 thanks to a late Joao Felix decider on Matchday 3, but Die Roten can underline their dominance and move closer to early qualification with a win in their first competitive trip to the Red Bull Arena.