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Champions League Matchday 3: Game-by-game preview

Get the lowdown on the next 16 matches as the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage continues.

Mohamed Salah in training with Liverpool: his side welcome Rangers on Matchday 3
Mohamed Salah in training with Liverpool: his side welcome Rangers on Matchday 3 Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Brace for intrigue aplenty as the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage resumes; get abreast of the next batch of fixtures coming up on Matchday 3.

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Highlights: Bayern 2-0 Barcelona

Tuesday 4 October

Bayern vs Plzeň (18:45 CET)

The Czech media considered Plzeň's home game against Inter to be their best chance of picking up a point in the diamond-hard Group C; they lost 2-0 and will not expect much change from Bayern, who followed up their Matchday 1 success at the San Siro with a 2-0 defeat of Barcelona in front of a 75,000-strong crowd, a record for the German giants in Europe. Ominously, Bayern won both of their previous home games against Plzeň by five-goal margins.

Did you know?
Bayern have not failed to score in their last 38 home matches in the UEFA Champions League group stage. The last time was in 2009 vs Bordeaux.

Picked your Fantasy side?
Watch Arthur Gomes' Sporting solo stunner

Marseille vs Sporting CP (18:45)

"It's already not looking good" was L'Équipe's gloomy assessment following Marseille's 1-0 loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 2, with OM yet to score and three points adrift at the foot of Group D. By contrast, Sporting CP have won both of their games without conceding, though forward Paulinho is not underestimating Marseille's threat. "They are top in France; we have to prepare [like we did against Spurs] and respect them."

Did you know?
Sporting CP's record in nine UEFA games in France is W2 D3 L4; they are visiting OM for the first time, but their neighbours Benfica have played at the Stade Vélodrome twice, winning 2-1 in 2010 after a 2-1 loss in 1990.

Highlights: Liverpool 2-1 Ajax

Liverpool vs Rangers (21:00)

It took central defender Joël Matip to score the goal that earned the Reds a 2-1 win against Ajax on Matchday 2. "After everything that's happened, we needed this win," said Matip. "We're very happy that we got it. Our focus now switches to the next game [against Rangers]." Expect plenty of 'Battle of Britain' headlines in the UK newspapers ahead of the clubs' first competitive encounter, with both teams determined to set early-season lapses aside.

Did you know?
Rangers did not score in their last two UEFA games in England (a 3-0 loss and a 0-0 draw against Manchester United), but won 2-1 in the game before that – 2-1 in 1992 against a Leeds line-up featuring Eric Cantona. The Daily Record called it Rangers' "best performance in 20 years".

Highlights: Ajax 4-0 Rangers

Ajax vs Napoli (21:00)

Coach Alfred Schreuder was philosophical in the wake of Ajax's 2-1 loss at Anfield last time out. "We're still a team who are developing," he said. "An evening like this is very good for us." Luciano Spalletti's Napoli mauled Liverpool on Matchday 1, but a quick run through footage of the first half of the Amsterdam side's opening Group A match against Rangers will give them a measure of what they are up against.

Did you know?
This is the sides' first meeting in UEFA competition, but they came together in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (the non-UEFA affiliated ancestor of the UEFA Europa League) in 1969/70. Ajax lost 1-0 in Naples then won the return leg 4-0.

Highlights: Leverkusen 2-0 Atlético

Porto vs Leverkusen (21:00)

A 2-1 loss at Atlético on Matchday 1 was not unexpected, but Matchday 2's 4-0 home reverse at the hands of Club Brugge was beyond the pale for Porto coach Sérgio Conceição. "There were pre-season games when we had nothing at stake when we were much better," he fumed. As for Leverkusen, they have endured a miserable start in the Bundesliga but harbour genuine hopes after beating Atlético 2-0. "We finally managed to be consistent and effective," said coach Gerardo Seoane.

Did you know?
These clubs met in the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League round of 32; Leverkusen won 2-1 at home and then 3-1 at the Estádio do Dragão.

Highlights: Porto 0-4 Club Brugge

Club Brugge vs Atlético (21:00)

Carl Hoefkens' Belgian champions have made an extraordinary start in Group B: two wins, no goals conceded. The 4-0 victory in rainy Porto on Matchday 2 gave Club Brugge their first ever consecutive wins in this competition, but if Atlético are daunting opponents, the hosts can take comfort from the fact that Los Colchoneros have yet to beat the Belgian side in three games in Bruges (D1 L2).

Did you know?
Antonio Nusa's goal for Club Brugge against Porto made him the second youngest scorer in Champions League history, aged 17 years and 149 days.

Highlights: Plzeň 0-2 Inter

Inter vs Barcelona (21:00)

Inter and Barcelona have plenty in common after two Group C games: both sides have beaten Plzeň and lost 2-0 to Bayern. If Julian Nagelsmann's charges continue their winning streak, then these back-to-back encounters may define both teams' campaigns. "If we want to qualify from this group, then the next two games with Barcelona will tell us a lot," said Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozović.

Did you know?
Inter have won only once in five UEFA home games against Barcelona (D3 L1) and also failed to win in their two San Siro encounters with the Catalan side in the Fairs Cup (D1 L1).

Highlights: Marseille 0-1 Frankfurt

Frankfurt vs Tottenham (21:00)

Glen Hoddle's 80th-minute goal was decisive last time Spurs came to Frankfurt, the north Londoners eliminating Eintracht from the 1981/82 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals after holding on for a 2-1 away loss following a 2-0 home win. Europa League winners last term, Frankfurt secured their first Champions League group stage victory at Marseille last time out – but have won only one of their last five UEFA home ties (D3 L1).

Did you know?
Although Spurs' record in Germany is not bad (W5 D2 L8), they lost on their last two visits: 3-1 at Bayern in 2019, and 3-0 at Leipzig in 2020.

Wednesday 5 October

Highlights: How Dinamo Zagreb edged out Salzburg

Salzburg vs Dinamo Zagreb (18:45 CET)

Austria's Kronenzeitung newspaper called Salzburg's 1-1 draw at Chelsea last time out a "sensation in London", and their unbeaten start to Group E has put them in a strong position. Zagreb downed Chelsea on Matchday 1 but then lost in Milan, with defender Stefan Ristovski acknowledging, "When we make a mistake, we get punished – the Champions League is very unforgiving." He and his team-mates will look to keep errors to a minimum in Austria.

Did you know?
Salzburg's only defeat in six encounters with Dinamo came at home: they lost 2-1 to the Croatian club in the decisive leg of the 2016/17 Champions League play-offs.

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Highlights: Leipzig 2-0 Celtic

Leipzig vs Celtic (18:45)

The German hopefuls prop up Group F after two defeats and need a home win. New coach Marco Rose has made a difference, though; Dortmund were beaten in his first Bundesliga game and they played well in their 2-0 loss to Real Madrid last time out. "I think we deserved more," Rose lamented. Celtic also impressed against Shakhtar but could only draw, captain Callum McGregor saying, "We want to arrive and the only way to do that is to get points."

Did you know?
These teams traded home wins in the 2018/19 Europa League group stage; Leipzig beat the Hoops 2-0 at home but lost 2-1 at Parkhead.

Highlights: Milan 3-1 Dinamo Zagreb

Chelsea vs AC Milan (21:00)

On their new boss's Champions League debut, Graham Potter's Chelsea could only draw 1-1 against Salzburg, meaning the two-time winners have made their worst start to a Champions League campaign since 1999/2000. For their part, Milan won a Champions League match at the San Siro for the first time in nine years last time out, with coach Stefano Pioli saying, "We deserved to win a game in the Champions League. The fans deserve it. And we can do even better.”

Did you know?
These teams met in the 1999/2000 Champions League group stage that began so badly for Chelsea. They drew twice, but the Blues ended up top of the section and Milan bottom.

2020 highlights: Real Madrid 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk

Real Madrid vs Shakhtar (21:00)

These sides are meeting for a third group stage in succession, but if logic suggests a win for the European champions, it is worth noting that Shakhtar beat Madrid home and away at this stage in 2020/21. Deputising for the injured Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde has stood out so far, with coach Carlo Ancelotti saying: "I told him that if he doesn't score ten in this campaign given how he hits a ball, he should cut up my coaching certificates."

Did you know?
Shakhtar's lone away win against Madrid was at the more modest Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano, where they played their 2020/21 home games. No Ukrainian club has won at the Santiago Bernabéu in eight visits (D2 L6).

Highlights: Man. City 2-1 Dortmund

Man City vs Copenhagen (21:00)

Erling Haaland has now scored 26 goals in 21 UEFA Champions League matches (group stage to final), his effort last time out helping Pep Guardiola's men to see off Dortmund. New signing Manuel Akanji said, "We've set the tone that we are now leader of this group, but the work doesn't stop." Copenhagen have yet to win, but after a draw against Sevilla, winger Viktor Claesson promised, "We will make it difficult for [City]."

Did you know?
City and Copenhagen have met before, in the 2008/09 Europa League round of 32. After a 2-2 draw in Denmark, City won 2-1 at home, Craig Bellamy scoring both goals.

Highlights: Sevilla 2-3 Dortmund

Sevilla vs Dortmund (21:00)

After taking just one point from their opening games, Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui said, "There are 12 points to play for. Evidently, the double-header against Dortmund is going to be very important." Dortmund put in a valiant losing performance at Manchester City last time out and can take some solace from past performances: they have yet to lose in two previous away games against Sevilla: a 2-2 draw in 2010 and a 3-2 win in 2021.

Did you know?
Sevilla have not scored in three European games, a run that began with a 2-0 loss at West Ham in last season's Europa League round of 16.

See how Maccabi Haifa stunned Paris

Juventus vs Maccabi Haifa (21:00)

For the first time ever, Juventus have lost their opening two group stage games, with coach Massimiliano Allegri eager to steady the ship. "These moments happen in football," he said. "All is not lost." This game looks like a mismatch on paper, but while they lost 3-1 to Paris on Matchday 2, Barak Bakhar's men took an unexpected lead and looked very capable. "With a bit of luck we could have scored another goal," the coach said.

Did you know?
Juventus beat Maccabi Haifa 1-0 home and away in the 2009/10 group stage, Giorgio Chiellini getting the only goal in Turin.

Highlights: Juventus 1-2 Benfica

Benfica vs Paris (21:00)

Both sides have a maximum six points going into their back-to-back encounters, prompting Benfica coach Roger Schmidt to note, "Winning is very good for our confidence. Finishing top of the section? We will see." Paris were made to work hard by Maccabi Haifa before their superstar front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé all scored. "I hope all three of us continue to score because it means we'll win games," said the France striker.

Did you know?
Lionel Messi has become the first player to score in 18 successive UEFA Champions League seasons, though Karim Benzema could yet match him.