Real Madrid have restored some UEFA Champions League equilibrium after a disastrous start to the campaign, but Inter Milan can condemn Los Blancos back to Group B’s basement when giants battle once more on Matchday 8.
The Nerazzurri have two wins in their last nine games across all competitions but are two points adrift at the bottom of their pool following a 3-2 loss at Real earlier in November, via CBS:
Inter will struggle to qualify for the knockout stage if they fall to Real a second time, though an extensive injury list means the guests will be missing several starters, including captain Sergio Ramos. Both Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk will also be missing key personnel as the pool’s incumbent top two face off in western Germany.
Madrid’s other mighty force hope to close distance on Group A leaders Bayern Munich as Atletico host Lokomotiv Moscow, with Diego Simeone riding high on a historic win over Barcelona. Titleholders Bayern are out to repeat after raking Red Bull Salzburg 6-2 on November 3, and they’re sure to advance in the tournament with victory at the Allianz Arena.
Liverpool will look forward to Atalanta’s arrival after a 5-0 triumph over the Italians in their last Champions League outing granted five points of daylight in Group D. A second successive win over Gian Piero Gasperini & Co. would guarantee the Reds a berth in the last 16, while first place is theirs if Midtjylland also pull off an upset away to Ajax.
Another Premier League powerhouse, Manchester City, will sew up a top-two finish in Group C as long as they win at Olympiakos. Three points in Athens will be enough to see City through to the next stage regardless of how second-place Porto fare at Marseille, one of two teams in the competition yet to earn a point.
Visit UEFA.com to view updated group standings.
UCL Matchday 8 Schedule (All Times ET)
Wednesday, November 25
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Shakhtar Donetsk, 12:55 p.m. - Galavision
Olympiacos vs. Manchester City, 12:55 p.m. - TUDN, Unimas
Bayern Munich vs. Red Bull Salzburg, 3 p.m. - TUDNxtra
Atletico Madrid vs. Lokomotiv Moscow, 3 p.m. - Galavision
Inter Milan vs. Real Madrid, 3 p.m. - TUDN, Unimas
Marseille vs. Porto, 3 p.m. - TUDNxtra
Ajax vs. Midtjylland, 3 p.m. - TUDNxtra
Liverpool vs. Atalanta, 3 p.m. - TUDNxtra
UCL Matchday 8 Tune-In Information
TV: Galavision, TUDN, Unimas
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
Group B always was likely to be one of the closer contests in this term’s Champions League, but the current order reads upside down to what most may have expected at the first round’s midway mark. Antonio Conte will take delight in flipping the standings on their head with victory over Real, having turned the tide to beat Torino 4-2 on Saturday thanks in large part to Romelu Lukaku’s brace:
Inter are yet to win in Europe this season, but they’ll get no finer chance to beat Los Blancos than when the Madrid monolith is lacking Ramos, Federico Valverde and possibly frontman Karim Benzema. Midfield general Casemiro, defender Eder Militao and striker Luka Jovic are also set to miss out after each testing positive for the coronavirus, per AS.
Eden Hazard’s recent return from injury is a rare glimmer of hope amid Real’s injury chaos, but Reuters’ Richard Martin remarked the Belgian’s comeback wasn’t enough to prevent disappointment in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Villarreal:
Zinedine Zidane’s loss was nothing but gain for Diego Simeone and Atletico, who climbed to second outright in La Liga after Yannick Carrasco struck to give them a 1-0 win over Barcelona:
Simeone achieved his maiden league victory over the Blaugrana without Luis Suarez, Lucas Torreira—both out with coronavirus—and Hector Herrera, each of whom will miss out Wednesday.
Atletico were held to a 1-1 draw when they visited Lokomotiv three weeks ago, but a win in the home tie will all but wrap up second place for Los Rojiblancos.
Top spot in Group A looks destined to be Bayern’s after their perfect start in the competition, with a Wednesday win ensuring Die Mannschaft will finish second at worst with two games to spare:
Hansi Flick’s men will in part be looking to restore some face after a 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen saw their Bundesliga lead reduced to a single point on Saturday. Salzburg went ahead early in their first meeting with Bayern and were even drawing 2-2 until the 79th-minute, but a late four-goal foray from the visitors made for a more flattering scoreline.
Liverpool got their work done much earlier when they faced Atalanta in Bergamo, where a spree of five goals in the first 50 minutes made matters look effortless for Jurgen Klopp’s men:
The Reds are raving after a 3-0 romp over Leicester City lifted them level with Tottenham Hotspur at the Premier League summit, setting a new club record for consecutive games unbeaten at Anfield in the process (64 matches).
La Dea reached the quarterfinals of last season’s Champions League—their debut appearance in the competition—but a second loss to Liverpool could give Ajax the opening they need to solidify second in Group D.
All four Premier League teams led their respective pools after three matches, and Manchester City will progress to the knockout stages of Europe’s top tournament for an eighth straight season if they keep their perfect start in Group C. Porto trail by just three points, but a fourth successive City win would end any hope of Olympiakos or Marseille ousting them from the top two.
The Citizens are living in some discomfort after a 2-0 loss at Tottenham on Saturday saw them go back-to-back games without a win for the first time this season. That north London collapse was just City’s second defeat in all competitions this term and their first away from home, giving Guardiola good reason to be on alert despite thumping the Erythrolefki 3-0 three weeks ago.