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UEFA Champions League: What to look out for on Wednesday

The UEFA Champions League group stage continues on Wednesday; what will be the talking points?

The UEFA Champions League is back and by the end of Matchday 3 every team will have faced the three opponents in their section once.

Presented by Hotels.com, we pick out the potential headline-makers as we head towards the halfway point of the group stage, with an unusually quiet Romelu Lukaku and a clutch of landmarks catching the eye.

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Watch stunning Del Piero strike against Zenit
Watch stunning Del Piero strike against Zenit

Wednesday 20 October

Group E: Barcelona vs Dynamo Kyiv (18:45 CET), Benfica vs Bayern
Group F
: Young Boys vs Villarreal, Manchester United vs Atalanta
Group G: Salzburg vs Wolfsburg (18:45 CET), LOSC vs Sevilla
Group H: Chelsea vs Malmö, Zenit vs Juventus

All kick-offs 21:00 CET unless otherwise stated.

What to look out for?

Lukaku on the goal hunt

Romelu Lukaku managed just 19 touches of the ball in Chelsea's 1-0 weekend win at Brentford, and the Belgium striker has now gone six games without a goal for the Blues. Manager Thomas Tuchel fears the summer signing is "mentally tired" from playing too many matches, but his No9 will surely be relishing the visit of point-less Group H stragglers Malmö as he looks to rediscover form. So too the European champions, who need to get their campaign back on track following their loss to Juventus on Matchday 2.

Double century incoming

It is a rare occurrence to witness a player making his 100th appearance in UEFA club competition but two in one game? That's like gold dust but could be the case in St Petersburg on Wednesday if both Zenit defender Yaroslav Rakits'kyy and Juventus stalwart Leonardo Bonucci are involved. The pair have started on both matchdays to date and been pivotal – the Bianconeri are yet to concede while the Russian side have only been breached once.

Müller to check Benfica again?

Benfica raised eyebrows on Matchday 2 when they cruised past Barcelona 3-0 but victory against Bayern on Wednesday would arguably eclipse that achievement. However, the weight of history is heavy on their shoulders – the Eagles have not beaten the German giants in any of their ten meetings in UEFA club competition. The closest they came was in the 2015/16 quarter-final second leg where Thomas Müller helped his side draw 2-2 and progress. Ominously for Jorge Jesus' men, Müller needs one goal to become the eighth man to reach 50 in the Champions League.

Further ahead?

See Paris beat Leipzig to reach the 2020 final
See Paris beat Leipzig to reach the 2020 final

• It's less than 14 months since Leipzig and Paris faced off for a place in the 2020 final but they will meet for the second time in the group stage on Matchday 4. Having led 2-1 in France only to lose 3-2 on Tuesday, and still without a point, the German side will be desperate for revenge.

• Attack appears to be the strongest form of defence for Atalanta and Manchester United and, with both facing a stern challenge from Villarreal and Young Boys in Group F, their second section meeting in two weeks on Matchday 4 may be telling in the final outcome.

Tuesday 19 October

Group A: Club Brugge 1-5 Manchester City, Paris 3-2 Leipzig
Group B: Atlético de Madrid 2-3 Liverpool, Porto 1-0 AC Milan
Group C: Beşiktaş 1-4 Sporting CP, Ajax 4-0 Dortmund
Group D: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-5 Real Madrid, Inter 3-1 Sheriff

Key dates

Group stage
14/15 September: Matchday 1
28/29 September: Matchday 2
19/20 October: Matchday 3
2/3 November: Matchday 4
23/24 November: Matchday 5
7/8 December: Matchday 6

This season's final takes place in Saint Petersburg
This season's final takes place in Saint PetersburgUEFA via Getty Images

Knockout stage
13 December 2021: Round of 16 draw
15/16/22/23 February & 8/9/15/16 March: Round of 16
18 March: Quarter-final & semi-final draws
5/6 & 12/13 April: Quarter-finals
26/27 April & 3/4 May: Semi-finals
28 May: Final (Gazprom Arena, Russia)

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