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Repeat of final is top of the bill

Matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League sees a repeat of the 1998 final, although an injury to Fernando Torres has prevented an even more emotional reunion in the Spanish capital the following evening.

Striker Raúl González (pictured with the trophy in 1998) is still going strong for Madrid
Striker Raúl González (pictured with the trophy in 1998) is still going strong for Madrid ©Getty Images

A decade after meeting in the UEFA Champions League final, Juventus and Real Madrid CF cross paths again on Matchday 3, although an injury to Fernando Torres has prevented an even more emotional reunion in Spain the following night as Liverpool FC take on his former club Club Atlético de Madrid with both sides targeting a third consecutive win in Group D.

Encouraging starts
Madrid's visit to the Stadio Olimpico in Turin on Tuesday ought to be an intriguing, if less tense affair than the 1998 final, when it took a 66th-minute goal from Predrag Mijatović to settle the outcome. Both teams are unbeaten in Group H, but a defeat for Juventus would enable third-placed FC BATE Borisov to catch the Italian side on points should the Belarussian champions prevail at FC Zenit St. Petersburg.

Former champions
Three other former European champions are in action the same evening, including titleholders Manchester United FC, who welcome Celtic FC in Group E. Elsewhere, FC Bayern München take on ACF Fiorentina in Group F, and FC Porto tackle Group G rivals FC Dynamo Kyiv. All three sides enjoy home advantage against teams below them in their sections, but after succumbing 4-0 at Arsenal FC last time out, Porto cannot afford to be complacent. For their part, the Gunners visit Fenerbahçe SK.

Emotional return
A torn right hamstring will prevent Torres from making a first playing return to Atlético since he swapped Madrid for Merseyside in July 2007. 'El Niño' struck 102 goals in 243 appearances for the Rojiblancos – who have made an impressive return to the UEFA Champions League this season. Elsewhere on Wednesday, Chelsea FC will attempt to get back to winning ways at home against AS Roma following their surprise draw at CFR 1907 Cluj. Third in Group A, the Serie A side are perhaps the team under the greater pressure, although it is minor compared with the situation facing basement outfit FC Girondins de Bordeaux, who cannot afford to drop points when the Romanian champions come calling.

Pull clear
Also that night, FC Internazionale Milano will bid to pull clear at the top of Group B when they entertain surprise joint-leaders Anorthosis Famagusta FC. Both clubs boast four points, two more than Werder Bremen who visit Panathinaikos FC. In Group C, meanwhile, FC Barcelona will be seeking to make it three victories out of three at FC Basel 1893.