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Champions League Matchday 3: Wednesday’s previews & how to watch on BT Sport
Manchester City, Chelsea and Celtic are in action as the Champions League continues with eight games on Wednesday night.
The next two matches are likely to make or break a team’s Champions League campaign, as clubs face each other home and away.
Plus, Manchester City have a great opportunity to book their place in the knockout stages early with fixtures against Copenhagen, with the home tie first up.
Wednesday 5 October
RB Leipzig vs Celtic – 5pm (5.45pm kick-off) live on BT Sport 4
Celtic can’t really afford to lose this match if they want to progress in this competition. And they’re going to need to take maximum points from at least one of these back-to-back fixtures.
A decent draw away at Shakhtar on Matchday 2 gave them their first point of this Champions League campaign, while RB Leipzig are still to get off the mark.
Both teams recorded domestic victories at the weekend, with Celtic remaining top of the Scottish Premiership and Leipzig sitting in 11th despite a 4-0 win over Bochum.
Strikers Timo Werner and Christopher Nkunku both bagged a brace in that match, with the latter now second in the Bundesliga goalscoring charts.
There have even been rumours this week that Nkunku has signed a pre-contract agreement with Chelsea that could see him arrive in London next summer.
Celtic have injury concerns over defenders Cameron Carter-Vickers, who will be assessed ahead of the match, and Carl Starfelt, who is likely to miss out.
Striker Giorgos Giakoumakis missed the game against Motherwell at the weekend and will also be assessed ahead of the trip to Germany.
Chelsea vs AC Milan – 7pm (8pm kick-off) live on BT Sport 2
Graham Potter recorded his first win as Chelsea boss at the weekend, with a last-gasp Conor Gallagher strike securing all three points.
The ex-Palace loanee fell out of favour with manager Thomas Tuchel after a silly sending off, but looks to have gained a new lease of life under Potter.
He could be in with a shout of starting against Milan despite only coming off the bench on Saturday.
There's also a question over whether Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta can start together in Chelsea’s backline or whether Wesley Fofana or Kalidou Koulibaly can add more pace and athleticism.
After his first goal for the club, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to start up front alongside Raheem Sterling.
Chelsea really need a win after only taking one point from their first two fixtures, while AC Milan are currently top Group E with four points.
The Rossoneri played their part in a dramatic match against Empoli at the weekend. It looked like Empoli had salvaged a point when they drew level in the 92nd minute, but Milan secured all three points with two goals in the 93rd and 96th minute.
Milan sit third in Serie A, but they’re only three points behind leaders Napoli and Atalanta.
In Rafael Leao and ex-Chelsea man Olivier Giroud, Milan have the firepower to score goals, while England international Fiyako Tomori is at the heart of Milan’s defence.
However, their weekend exploits against Empoli mean Milan will sweat it out on the fitness of fellow defenders Davide Calabria and Simon Kjaer, and they’ll definitely be without forward Alexis Saelemaekers, who suffered a ligament injury.
Manchester City vs Copenhagen – 7.15pm (8pm kick-off) live on BT Sport 3
Manchester City go into this game in red-hot form after their 6-3 victory in the Manchester derby.
Both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden grabbed hat-tricks, so will come into this home fixture against Copenhagen full of confidence.
The only injury concern for Pep Guardiola is John Stones, who was replaced with Nathan Ake at the weekend. Both Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte were on the bench at the weekend (Laporte came on as a sub), and Dias is likely to return to the starting line-up.
Haaland now has 17 goals in 11 appearances for Manchester City and you wouldn’t bet against him getting more against Copenhagen at home - assuming he's not given his first taste of Guardiola's famed rotation.
The Danish champions are struggling this season in their domestic league and currently sit sixth. However, they did pick up a win in their last fixture.
Group G is looking increasingly difficult for Copenhagen to progress from, with City topping the table after winning their opening two matches and Borussia Dortmund sitting on three points with back-to-back games against bottom-of-the-group Sevilla coming up.
Copenhagen will have to pull off a real shock to get anything from the Etihad.
RB Salzburg vs Dinamo Zagreb – 5.30pm (5.45pm kick-off) live on BT Sport 1
There’s a real opportunity for both of these teams to progress from Group E by taking the initiative in these back-to-back fixtures, with Group favourites AC Milan and Chelsea facing each other on Matchdays 3 and 4.
RB Salzburg will be happy to remain undefeated in the group despite facing both Chelsea and Milan, while Dinamo are currently in second place after beating the Blues, but losing to the Italian giants.
Noah Okafor scored for Salzburg in both their previous fixtures and has five goals in Austrian league fixtures this season too.
His strike partner Benjamin Sesko has four goals in the league and also poses a real attacking threat. The 19-year-old has been likened to a young Erling Haaland, who played for the Austrian champions, and has already agreed a deal with RB Leipzig to join them next season.
The 6ft 5in Slovenian recently scored a brilliant goal for his country against Sweden, which was likened to Marco van Basten’s wonder volley for the Netherlands in Euro 88.
At the weekend, Salzburg salvaged a late point against LASK to remain top of the table.
Dinamo Zagreb won again at the weekend, keeping them at the top of the Croatian league and undefeated this season.
Croatian international strikers Mislav Orsic and Bruno Petkovic, alongside Swiss international Josip Drmic, are all capable goalscorers too, which should make this an intriguing and competitive contest.
Benfica vs PSG – 7.45pm (8pm kick-off) live on BT Sport 5
The top two in Group H face off on Matchday 3 looking to defend their 100% records.
Both teams currently top their domestic leagues too, though Benfica could only manage a 0-0 draw against Guimaraes at the weekend.
Still, you can expect lots of attacking football from this fixture, with Benfica boasting the likes of David Neres, Rafa Silva and Joao Mario in their ranks.
Benfica’s away win at Juventus on Matchday 2 made Group H very interesting with the Old Lady yet to register a point.
While PSG expected to progress from the group, there’s a real opportunity for Benfica to take the initiative if they can cause an upset against the French champions.
Julian Draxler is currently on loan at Benfica from PSG, but UEFA rules would allow him to face his parent club should he be picked to play.
PSG’s current crop of superstars includes of course includes Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who all scored against Maccabi Haifa on Matchday 2 as the French club recorded a 3-1 victory.
The trio look set to star again, despite Mbappe starting from the bench in their 2-1 win over Nice at the weekend (he scored the winner in the 83rd minute). Summer signing Hugo Ekitike started the match but is yet to score for PSG.
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk – 7.45pm (8pm kick-off) live on BT Sport 6
A rare slip up in La Liga at the weekend meant that Real Madrid relinquished top spot in the table to bitter rivals Barcelona.
Real could only manage a 1-1 draw against Osasuna at the Bernabeu despite the visitors having a man sent off with 15 minutes to play. The resulting penalty was missed by Karim Benzema.
Luka Modric missed the match through injury at the weekend, but should return for European duties.
Thibaut Courtois remains a doubt after also missing out against Osasuna, while Lucas Vasquez isn’t expected to have fully recovered from a thigh injury.
However, with Benzema, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior in attack, Madrid will be expected to win and keep up their 100% record in Group F.
Shakhtar Donetsk have made a great start to this season’s Champions League campaign, with a historic win away to Leipzig on Matchday 1, followed by a draw with Celtic on Matchday 2.
However, a win in Spain would top both of those results. The Ukrainian champions will need to defend well and find a way to supply forwards Mykhaylo Mudryk, Marian Shved and ex-Ajax striker Lassina Traore to pull off a historic upset.
Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund – 7.45pm (8pm kick-off) live on BT Sport 7
Things are really not going well for Sevilla at the moment. They’re currently one place above the relegation zone in La Liga and rock bottom in Group G of the Champions League.
Looking at the positives, they did manage to get a point on Matchday 2 with a 0-0 draw away at Copenhagen, but they’re yet to score a goal in this season’s competition. Worryingly, striker Youssef En-Nesyri is yet to score a goal this season.
What’s more, Oliver Torres, who’s chipped in with goals from midfield is likely to be missing through injury until next month. Defender Karim Rekik will also miss the match after picking up a muscle injury in Sevilla’s 2-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid at the weekend.
Dortmund are in the pack challenging at the top of the Bundesliga right now. However, they missed a golden opportunity to put the pressure on those around them at the weekend, with a 3-2 defeat to Cologne.
The German side put in a valiant display against Manchester City at the Etihad on Matchday 2, but were ultimately undone by two late goals from the hosts.
Jude Bellingham played a starring role, as he did in their opening match – a 3-0 win over Copenhagen. The England international has impressed with his all-round play. However, Bellingham’s midfield partner Marco Reus will miss the match with an ankle injury.
Juventus vs Maccabi Haifa – 7.45pm (8pm kick-off) live on BT Sport 8
Juventus need a Champions League win and fast if they want to continue in the competition this season.
They’ll fancy their chances with back-to-back fixtures against Maccabi Haifa, but they can’t afford to slip up.
Both PSG and Benfica have six points in the group and face each other on the next two matchdays.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri is under pressure after his poor start to the season both domestically and in Europe, but a home win against Bologna at the weekend will give them a much-needed confidence boost.
Dusan Vlahovic has five goals in Serie A this season, but is yet to hit the net in the Champions League. His strike partner Arkadiusz Milik only has one in the Champions League too, so will need to improve here to help get Juve up and running.
Maccabi Haifa are yet to register any points in Group H, but did manage to score against PSG on Matchday 2. They won at the weekend – a 2-0 victory over fierce rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv – to keep them top of the Israeli Premier League.
Maccabi Haifa will need to put it all on the line like the did in their Champions League qualifier against Red Star Belgrade if they’re to get anything against the Italian giants and continue their European adventure.