The thrill of European football back is back. The third matchday of the UEFA Champions league is upon is. After two pulsating round of matches in each group, the third promises even more excitement and entertainment. Although, there are plenty of matches which are sure to be cracking encounters, here are the three highlights.
Manchester City is on top of the Premier League, having dropped only 2 points so far. Napoli tops the Serie A table, having taken maximum points from all seven games in the league. They are probably the two most in-form teams in Europe. The similarities do not end there. Their style of football is almost identical. Both Pep Guardiola and Maurizio Sarri are also believers in the same ideology of playing the game. The two coaches insist on their sides being attacking and free-flowing. Both emphasis on pressing high up the pitch. This match promises to be one of most attractive of the season in the Champions League. In other words, this is a match that neutrals are sure to love on Tuesday night. While Napoli’s opening day defeat to Shakhtar makes the match much more important for them, City will be keen to almost guarantee qualification with a victory.
Another blockbuster encounter scheduled for Tuesday. The Champions of Spain come up against the runners-up of England. There is no denying that the difference between the history and prestige of the two sides. Even on quality of the sides, the European Champions are superior. But its evident that Tottenham are getting there. Its no secret they are a brilliant football team. On the form, they can probably say they are doing better than the 12-time winners. With both teams having won both their league games so far, whoever wins will be in a commanding position to advance to the next round. If there is one criticism to Pochettino’s brilliant work at Spurs, it is how poor they have been in Europe. There isn’t a better stage than a Champions League night at Santiago Bernabeu to put it right.
Moving onto Wednesday night, there is another heavyweight clash between an English side and an Italian one. The Premier League Champions Chelsea and Italian giants AS Roma face off at Stamford Bridge. With the presence of Atletico Madrid in the group, the importance of the game doesn’t need to be pointed out to the teams. Both are coming off defeats at the weekend and hence a strong start could well hold key to wins the game. With Chelsea at six points and Roma at four, the winner will take a giant step towards the knockout rounds of the Champions League.