The UEFA Champions League is back this week with Matchday 2 set to feature a few big games.
The two teams have been pitted against each other for the second successive season and the hosts will hope to extend their unbeaten run against the defending champions at home. In fact, in their overall record, they have lost only two matches to Madrid!
Last season, they held the Madridistas to a 2-2 draw in both the legs of the fixture. This time, they will be hoping to go the distance, especially after losing their opening match in the league to Tottenham Hotspur by 3-1. On the other hand, the title holders began their campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory over APOEL at home.
The hosts sent out a strong message this weekend when they thrashed Borussia Monchengladbach 6-1 at home. Aubameyang scored a sensational hat-trick, along with Maximilian Philipp, who scored a brace.
On the other hand, their Spanish adversaries faced quite a bit of resistance in La Liga against Alaves but managed to come out on top with a 2-1 victory. The German side is set to miss at least six players for this crucial game owing to injuries. Real Madrid too, will be without the likes of Karim Benzema, Marcelo, and Mateo Kovacic.
This game can be expected to be a thriller and we can expect both the teams to score here.
The next big fixture is between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea FC. This will be the first Champions League match that the hosts will be playing at Estadio Metropolitano. Unarguably, both the teams are considered to be among the most defensive sides in Europe.
Atletico have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five fixtures, including the goalless draw against Roma on Matchday 1. On the other hand, the Blues are on a tremendous goalscoring run, having scored 15 goals in their last four games.
However, this won’t be enough for Antonio Conte’s side to secure a victory on the Spanish turf. The hosts have built their successes in European competitions over a terrific form at home and now, they will be hoping to do the same at their new home. In fact, they have gone 11 matches without a defeat at home in Europe and still stand undefeated against Premier League clubs in their last six meetings.
The two teams last met in 2014 Champions League, when Atletico knocked out Chelsea with a 3-1 win in the semifinal. Revenge will be on the cards here for visitors, but they will need to give their 100 percent if they want to defeat Atletico at home.
Both the sides will bring their defensive A-games and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see a draw as the end result here.
The last big match to be played this week is between the two giants - Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, at Parc des Princes.
Ever since PSG signed Neymar, they have been on a completely different dimension. The deadly trio of Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have made them the side with the most formidable attack in Europe right now.
On Matchday 1 of the Champions League, they visited Celtic and routed them 5-0 in a show of absolute dominance. This was backed by a 6-2 win over Toulouse and a 5-1 victory over Metz.
It appears that PSG have been given a new life in the form of Neymar, who has been instrumental to the French side. However, since his signing, this game against the German champions will be his first true test.
Bayern Munich have been victorious on their last three visits to France, but their last visit was in 2012-13 Champions League. However, if we are to consider their recent Europe record, they have won only two of their last eight away games, while losing four.
Last season in the group stage, they won only one match while traveling. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have been in a decent form off lately, except for the shock defeat against Hoffenheim a couple of weeks ago.
Interestingly, both the teams are coming in this game after being held to surprise draws - PSG were held by Montpellier while Bayern drew 2-2 against Wolfsburg.
Both the sides are known for their goalscoring feats. We can expect both the sides to score here.