The fourth matchday of the Champions League group stages takes place this week. George Pitts looks ahead to Wednesday's action.
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Atalanta v Manchester City
No matter how much Pep Guardiola denies it, he will have half an eye on Sunday's Premier League crunch match with Liverpool and Man City could make a number of changes for this one.
They should still have enough to win in Italy against an Atalanta side that has conceded more Champions League goals than any other team this season (11).
With the weekend in mind, the expectation is that City will be keen to see off this game quickly before taking their foot off the gas a little in the second half.
Odds of 12/5 on the first half to be the highest-scoring look excellent value, with Guardiola looking to preserve his already injury-hit squad in the latter stages of the match.
In terms of goalscorers, the better value is to look at the hosts. With dangerman Duvan Zapata still unlikely to feature, Luis Muriel and Alejandro Gomez are a couple of other threats.
Attacking midfielder Gomez averages nearly three shots per game if you combine his league and European stats. With four Serie A goals to his name, he's worth a look at 13/5 anytime, but preference is for a small play on Muriel to score Atlanta's first goal at 4/1.
The Colombian should be leading the line on Wednesday and he has the ability to get the better of a weakened City defence featuring Nicolas Otamendi. Muriel has eight goals to his name in the league and averages over two shots per game in all competitions. If Atalanta are to score, Muriel is a great candidate to do so.
- Atalanta have lost all three of their UEFA Champions League matches this season and are the first Italian team to lose their first three games in the competition. The last team to lose their first four Champions League games were Otelul Galati in 2011-12.
- Manchester City have won 10 of their last 12 UEFA Champions League games (W10 D1 L1), including winning all three this season. No team has ever failed to progress from the group stages of the Champions League after winning their opening three group stage games.
- Atalanta have conceded more UEFA Champions League goals than any other team this season (11) – indeed, only two teams have conceded more goals in their first three Champions League games – Slavia Prague (12) and Helsingborgs (13).
- Man City’s Raheem Sterling has been involved in 13 goals in his last 10 appearances in the UEFA Champions League (9 goals, 4 assists), although only one of those goal involvements was in an away game (one goal at FC Schalke 04 in February).
- Manchester City wingers Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez have combined to create seven chances for each other in this seasons UEFA Champions League – the only duo to combine more are Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez (nine).
- Sergio Agüero has found the net in each of his last five away UEFA Champions League matches in the group stages for Manchester City (five goals), a run stretching back to September 2017.
Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham
In the reverse fixture, Tottenham badly needed a win to lift the doom and gloom around the club and they could do with the same here.
Another thrashing of Red Star is unlikely though - and it could be a tough night.
Heung-min Son, who was extremely distressed after that challenge in the build up to Andre Gomes' unfortunate ankle injury in Sunday's draw with Everton, has travelled despite question marks around his mindset. Harry Kane is also expected to return, but the task remains a tricky one for the visitors.
It will be exactly a year to the day since Liverpool lost in Serbia, a hostile atmosphere (see our tweet, below) and Jurgen Klopp's side lacking their usual 'mojo' both contributing to a poor performance by the visitors. Red Star enjoyed a famous night and they would love to get another Premier League scalp here.
With the way Spurs have been playing, you would not rule it out.
They have been incredibly disjointed all season and the hosts look great value to get all three points in this important Group B clash. They have won nine of their last 10 in all competitions and this Spurs outfit could easily wilt under the pressure.
You can back Red Star at a tempting 14/5 in a draw no bet, but the general price of around 4/1 to win is too good to turn down with Spurs' current situation in mind.
Best bet: Red Star Belgrade to beat Spurs at 21/5
- Crvena Zvezda have never lost a home match in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League against an English opponent (W2 D2 L0), winning 2-0 last season against Liverpool.
- Including qualifiers, Crvena Zvezda have only lost two of their last 21 home matches in European competition (W11 D8 L2), though one of those was against English side Arsenal in an October 2017 meeting in the UEFA Europa League.
- Spurs striker Harry Kane has scored 18 goals in just 22 UEFA Champions League appearances, including four goals in three games this season. In the history of the competition, the fewest number of games needed to reach 20 goals is 26, set by Alessandro Del Piero in April 1998.
- There have been a total of 104 attempts on goal in Crvena Zvezda’s opening three UEFA Champions League games this season (40 for and 64 faced) - FC Bayern München (102) are the only other side to see over 100 shots in their games in the competition this campaign.
- Crvena Zvezda’s Marko Marin created six chances in their 5-0 defeat against Spurs on MD3 – no player has created more in the UEFA Champions League this season (13, level with Toni Kroos).
- Erik Lamela had a hand in three of Spurs’ five goals against Crvena Zvezda last time out (one goal, two assists); Lamela has been directly involved in eight goals in his eight Champions League starts for the club, scoring two and assisting six.
Charlie Nicholas, Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier assess Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City's Champions League campaign so far. Take a read by clicking the image below...
PSG v Club Brugge
Quick-starters Paris Saint-Germain can continue their perfect start in Group G as they host winless Club Brugge.
Thomas Tuchel will be looking for a reaction from his side after losing to Dijon on Friday and they have a great opportunity to bounce back on home soil.
The French giants have scored in the opening 20 minutes in their last five games in all competitions and the 2/1 best price on the hosts' opening goal coming in the first quarter of an hour is a good bet considering PSG's star-studded attack and strong home record.
Best bet: Time of PSG's first goal - 0-15 at 2/1
- Paris Saint-Germain haven’t lost a home UEFA Champions League group stage match since December 2004 against CSKA Moscow and are unbeaten in their last 22 matches of this kind at the Parc des Princes (W17 D5 L0).
- Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé scored a hat-trick as a substitute against Club Brugge on MD3, becoming only the fourth player to achieve this feat in the UEFA Champions League. In three games against Belgian opposition, Mbappé has scored four and assisted three goals, averaging a goal or assist every 28 minutes.
- In the 5-0 victory over Club Brugge, Paris Saint-Germain’s Ángel Di María created four chances for Kylian Mbappé despite playing together for just 38 minutes – the joint-most from one player to another in a UEFA Champions League match this season.
- Emmanuel Dennis scored both of Club Brugge’s goals in their last away game in the Champions League against Real Madrid; no player has ever found the net in consecutive away games for the Belgian side in the competition, while he could also become the first player to score as many as three goals in a single Champions League season for them.
- Atalanta v Manchester City
- Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham
- Bayern Munich v Olympiakos
- Lokomotiv Moscow v Juventus
- Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid
- PSG v Club Brugge
- Dinamo Zagreb v Shakhtar Donetsk
- Real Madrid v Galatasaray
VIDEO: Highlights from every game in matchday three of Champions League group stage games with Opta stats
Watch all the goals from every game in the latest round of Champions League group games with the best Opta stats by clicking the image below...
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Our Premier League expert runs through the best and worst from MD11, including Liverpool and Man City's title race and more VAR.
Odds correct as of 1300 GMT on 05/11/10
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