A showdown between two in-form forwards is one thing to look out for on matchday three, while Porto, Zenit and Fernando Torres aim to bring up significant milestones.
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Alexis v Lewandowski
There is no player in Europe who can match the prolific form of Robert Lewandowski at the moment, with the Bayern forward having struck 15 goals in his last seven outings for club and country. Arsenal's Alexis Sánchez is doing his best with ten in his last six and the Gunners certainly need the Chilean to come out on top against his Polish counterpart this week in Group F. A defeat by the Bavarian side would leave the London club nine points behind the pacesetters and with qualification hopes hanging by a thread.
Arsenal v Bayern – Tuesday
Maccabi Tel-Aviv sit bottom of Group G with zero points and if things were not tough enough already they visit what could be the most unforgiving place in Europe on Tuesday. Porto have won no less than their last 19 fixtures at the Estádio do Dragão – a run which includes the scalps of Bayern and matchday two opponents Chelsea. To prevent the hosts making it a round 20, the as-yet goalless Maccabi must somehow find a way to breach the watertight home defence which has not conceded in the league on their own ground since 14 December 2014.
Porto v Maccabi Tel-Aviv – Tuesday
Torres: 99 and counting
After failing to bring up a century on Sunday at Real Sociedad, Fernando Torres now has Astana in his sights as he targets his 100th goal in an Atlético Madrid shirt. His first came over 14 years ago in the Spanish second tier against Albacete but he has not yet scored in the UEFA Champions League for the Rojiblancos. The 31-year-old has 18 goals in the competition from his time with Liverpool and Chelsea and is hoping to bring up the double milestone when the Kazakh outfit arrive on Wednesday.
Atlético Madrid v Astana – Wednesday
Paris's acid test
Having not followed through with their threats of going all the way over the last three years, Paris have the chance to prove that this year will be different when they take on Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes. When the Ligue 1 champions have met genuine quality at the quarter-final stage they have lost every time over the last three seasons, twice against Barcelona and once versus Chelsea.
If this year is to be different, they have to prove to themselves they can beat the real heavyweights, and they don't come much weightier than Madrid. With David Luiz (knee), Marco Verratti (calf), Kevin Trapp (thigh) and Presnel Kimpembé (ankle) all potentially out, a Paris win will send out a message to Europe, but more importantly to themselves, that this year is different.
Paris v Madrid – Wednesday
Zenit on a roll
After opening wins against Valencia and Gent, Zenit have the chance to become just the second Russian side to start the group stage with three successive wins when bottom-of-the-section Lyon arrive in Group H. It was 20 years ago when Spartak Moskva won all six group stage games in the 1995/96 season before a quarter-final defeat by Nantes. André Villas-Boas's side would love to match that feat, and an opening trio of victories would provide an excellent platform as they aim to go past the round of 16 for the first time.
Zenit v Lyon – Tuesday
Akinfeev to end run?
If CSKA Moskva harbour serious ambitions of making it out for Group B, now would be a perfect time for Igor Akinfeev to bring to an end a miserable run. The Russian international goalkeeper has conceded in each of his last 33 UEFA Champions League appearances, qualifying included, with his last clean sheet in the competition coming almost a decade ago in a 0-0 draw at Arsenal in November 2006. With the section delicately poised – all four sides sit on three points – a stifling of Manchester United in Khimki could be crucial if Leonid Slutski's men are to make the knockout phase for the first time since 2011/12.
CSKA Moskva v Manchester United – Wednesday