It is crunch time in the Champions League as the group stage enters the penultimate round of fixtures.

Sevilla and Chelsea are already assured of football in Europe's top club competition in the new year, as are Juventus and Barcelona, but there is still plenty to be decided as teams jostle for position and players – including Cristiano Ronaldo – chase down individual records.

Paris Saint-Germain are among those whose fate hangs in the balance, while matchday five opponents Manchester United are still in need of a point.

We break down Wednesday's key matchday fixtures with the use of Opta data.

 

Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain: Tuchel's men seeking win at fortress Old Trafford

PSG are in desperate need of a positive result at Old Trafford and the omens are good for Thomas Tuchel's charges, with the away team winning all three previous European games between the sides.

However, Group H leaders United have won their last seven home matches in continental competiiton, scoring 24 goals and conceding only two – their best return since a run of 12 wins in a row ending in April 2008.

Ligue 1 champions PSG scored in 38 of their 39 matches since the start of 2016-17, netting an average of 2.4 goals per game, with Bayern Munich the only team to stop them scoring during that run in last season's final.

Sevilla v Chelsea: Blues out to end Spain pain

Sevilla and Chelsea have already qualified for the last 16 but a win for one of these sides will see them secure top spot in Group E. The hosts have not advanced as group winners since 2009-10 while Chelsea last did so in 2015-16.

Frank Lampard's side have won only one of their last 10 games against Spanish opponents in the Champions League and are winless in six such matches. Sevilla, meanwhile, are unbeaten in seven against English sides in European competition – they beat United in the Europa League semi-finals last term.

Sevilla are also without defeat after four group matches for the third time in the Champions League, having previously done so in 2009-10 and 2016-17, but never before have they begun a campaign with five unbeaten games.

 

Borussia Dortmund v Lazio: Sancho seeking another European goal

Anything other than defeat will send Dortmund through to the knockouts and history suggests there is a good chance of that happening.

In the three previous encounters between these sides in major European competition, the home side has always come out on top.

Lazio have won only one of their previous seven encounters away to German opposition – a 2-0 win against Stuttgart in the 2012-13 Europa League – while Dortmund are unbeaten in their last eight home Champions League group games.

Jadon Sancho has scored in his last two Champions League games and, at the age of 20 years and 252 days, he could become the second-youngest Englishman to score in three successive games in the competition after Alan Smith with Leeds United in 2000-01 (20y, 158d).

Ferencvaros v Barcelona: Koeman's men hungry for a clean sweep

A place in the last 16 already assured, Barcelona are now seeking a fifth straight win to begin a group-stage campaign for the first time since 2002-03, when they won six from six.

Barca have won all five of their previous encounters with Hungarian opposition, including a 5-1 victory in the reverse fixture, which was notable for being the only Champions League match ever to see two players aged under 18 to score (Ansu Fati and Pedri).

Fati has since been ruled out with a long-term injury, though Martin Braithwaite profited with two goals on his first start in the competition against Dynamo Kiev – not since David Villa in 2010 has a Barca player scored in their first two Champions League starts.

 

Juventus v Dynamo Kiev: Down-and-out Dynamo out to avoid Ronaldo repeat

Third place is the best Dynamo can hope for and they enter this match with just one win to their name in 12 Champions League games, losing the last two of those. Not since 2007-08 have they lost three or more on the spin.

Juve are battling with Barca for top spot and have lost only two of their 26 home group-stage matches, albeit with that defeat coming against the Catalan giants in October.

Ronaldo has scored three goals in two previous meetings with Dynamo in UEFA's flagship competition.

Should he score on Wednesday it will be 13 years and 25 days after his last goal against them, in 2007 – the longest gap between goals for one player against a single side.

Other fixtures:

Krasnodar v Rennes

1 – This will be Rennes' first away game against Russian opponents in European competition. Krasnodar have hosted French side twice previously, drawing 1-1 with Lille and beating Nice 5-2, both in the Europa League.

24 – The visitors have used 24 different players in the Champions League this season – only Barca (25) have used more – yet only one of them has registered a goal in their first four matches.


Club Brugge v Zenit

2 – Brugge won the reverse fixture against Zenit 2-1 but have only won home and away against the same opponent twice before in the group stage – against CSKA Moscow in 1992-93 and Rapid Vienna in 2005-06.

12 – The Belgian side are winless in their last 12 Champions League home games. Only Basel, who have failed to win any of their last 13, have a worse such record.


Istanbul Basaksehir v RB Leipzig 

1 – German teams have lost only one of their last 14 games against Turkish opposition in major European competition. However, that solitary loss was inflicted on Leipzig by Besiktas in their only previous such match in the Champions League.

5 – Leipzig have been awarded five penalties in the competition since the start of last season, behind only Chelsea (7). All five have been converted.

All eyes are on a finely poised Group H as the Champions League returns this week following the international break.

Paris Saint-Germain, finalists last season, are in trouble after defeats to Manchester United and RB Leipzig, who they face again on Tuesday.

United's fine early European form took a hit when they lost to Istanbul Basaksehir, however, meaning all four teams are separated by just three points.

Elsewhere, Barcelona will hope their impressive Champions League results continue to provide an effective distraction after their latest LaLiga setback.

Juventus, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund are all also in action as we break down Tuesday's key matchday four fixtures with Opta data.
 

Paris Saint-Germain v RB Leipzig: Milestone in sight for misfiring Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe netted a brace in PSG's 3-2 defeat at Monaco last week and his next goal will be his 100th for the capital club. However, the World Cup winner has not scored in the Champions League in 2020, enduring a seven-game, 529-minute drought in the competition since scoring against Galatasaray last December.

Neymar is set to be fit to start alongside Mbappe, and PSG will need their star pair on form to avoid suffering a second consecutive home defeat in the Champions League for the first time.

Leipzig, who were unbeaten in five away Champions League games before losing 5-0 at United, got the better of PSG last time out, meaning the Ligue 1 side have lost four of their previous six matches against German opposition in the competition - including the 2019-20 final to Bayern Munich.

Manchester United v Istanbul Basaksehir: Martial a man in form

Fresh from enjoying their first home Premier League win of the season, United will look to maintain their strong European run at Old Trafford, where they have six straight victories by a combined scoreline of 20-1.

Anthony Martial scored in the win against Leipzig and the defeat to Basaksehir and could become the first United player to score in three consecutive Champions League appearances since Wayne Rooney in 2010.

But Demba Ba also netted in the sides' previous meeting and has made four previous appearances at Old Trafford, scoring for Newcastle United in a 1-1 draw in 2011. United have lost three of their past four games against Turkish opposition.

Dynamo Kiev v Barcelona: No Leo against luckless Lucescu

Barca are looking to win their first four Champions League group-stage matches for just the second time (also 2002-03), despite this being the fourth occasion in five years they have started the campaign with three victories in a row.

The Blaugrana will welcome the sight of Mircea Lucescu in the home dugout. He has lost six Champions League matches against Barca, a miserable tally against a single opponent only topped by Arsene Wenger (eight defeats v Barca, seven v Bayern).

The Catalan club, who will have to cope without Lionel Messi, have three straight Champions League wins in Ukraine and Lucescu has been the opposition coach for two of them, both with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Juventus v Ferencvaros: Loan man Morata making strides

Cristiano Ronaldo is the man in form in Serie A, but Alvaro Morata has made an outstanding start to the Champions League campaign for Juve. He has four goals in three games, as many as he had netted in his previous 17 appearances across spells with Chelsea and Atletico Madrid.

Expect Ronaldo to be in the thick of the action, too, though, as he aims to nudge ahead of Messi as the competition's leading home goalscorer. He has 69 goals in home games, one behind the Barca man's 70.

Ferencvaros are visiting Italy for a European match for the first time since their 1968 Fairs Cup draw with Bologna. They are winless in three European Cup or Champions League games against Serie A opposition, shipping four goals in both of their defeats (4-0 v Inter in 1966, 4-1 v Juve this season).

 

Other fixtures:

Krasnodar v Sevilla

3 - In the sides' previous meeting on matchday three, Sevilla became only the third team in Champions League history to win a match after having a man sent off when they were losing (also Hamburg against CSKA Moscow in December 2006, Manchester City against Schalke in February 2019).

4 - Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui has only lost four of his 22 Champions League matches (W13 D5), although his last defeat in the competition was away in Russia, losing with Real Madrid at CSKA in October 2018.

Rennes v Chelsea

5 - It is five years since Chelsea won three consecutive Champions League matches, while they are looking to win three in a row without conceding for the first time since November 2013.

1 - Rennes have given at least one teenager a Champions League debut in each of their three games in the campaign so far. They have used five teenagers in all (Eduardo Camavinga, Jeremy Doku, Adrien Truffert, Brandon Soppy, Yann Gboho), two more than any other club.

Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge

12 - Erling Haaland was the joint-fastest player to score five Champions goals (three games, level with Didier Drogba), the fastest to score 10 goals (seven games) and will be the fastest to 15 goals if he scores in this game - his 12th appearance. The record is held by Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roberto Soldado (19 games).

20 - Lucien Favre will become the second coach to take charge of 20 Champions League matches with Borussia Dortmund after Jurgen Klopp (37). Favre's win rate of 53 per cent (P19 W10 D2 L7) is the third-best for Dortmund in the competition, behind Nevio Scala (60 per cent) and Ottmar Hitzfeld (58 per cent).

Lazio v Zenit

3 - Lazio have avoided defeat in their opening three Champions League group-stage matches (W1 D2) for the first time since 1999-00, when they went on to top the table unbeaten.

13 - Including qualifiers, Zenit are winless in 13 away European matches (D3 L10) since a 3-1 victory at Real Sociedad in December 2017 in the Europa League.

Manchester City will reportedly opt against making a move for Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Messi, 33, sensationally requested to leave Barca during the close season, but ended up staying with the LaLiga giants.

Still, talk about his future continues, with City the most strongly linked.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY WON'T TRY TO SIGN MESSI

Manchester City will not try to sign Barcelona star Messi, Spanish football expert Semra Hunter told Sky Sports News.

The report says Messi's age and wage demands are a major reason the Premier League giants will not pursue him.

Messi, a six-time Ballon d'Or winner, is out of contract at the end of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Are Real Madrid looking for a replacement for 35-year-old midfielder Luka Modric? Fichajes.net reports Madrid see Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as the ideal replacement for Croatia star Modric.

- Barcelona will try to sign Manchester City defender Eric Garcia in January amid an injury crisis in defence, according to Sport. Gerard Pique (knee) and Sergi Roberto (thigh) are both set for spells on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Marca says Barcelona are set for a meeting to decide whether they should sign a replacement for Pique.

- Fabian Ruiz has impressed for Napoli, leading to interest from elsewhere. CalcioMercato reports Paris Saint-Germain are still targeting the midfielder.

- Amid uncertainty over his future at Inter, Christian Eriksen is linked with a return to the Premier League. Corriere dello Sport reports Manchester United and Arsenal are considering the former Tottenham star.

- With Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele linked with moves, Lyon may be eyeing replacements. Le 10 Sport says Reims and Senegal forward Boulaye Dia and Leicester City forward Islam Slimani are both targets.

The son of former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has signed for Lazio.

Andrea Cannavaro, 16, has joined the Biancocelesti's Under-17 side, coached by Marco Alboni.

The youngster had been at Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, where his father has been head coach since 2017.

Former Inter, Juventus and Real Madrid defender Fabio Cannavaro spent most of his career in Italy's top flight, although he never won the Serie A title.

He captained Italy to their World Cup triumph in 2006, his displays helping him to win the Ballon d'Or later that year.

He has enjoyed success as a coach in China, winning the League One title with Tianjin Quanjian in 2016 and the Super League with Guangzhou last year.

Piotr Zielinski is an extraordinary player who should be playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona, according to Pepe Reina.

Napoli midfielder Zielinski has thrived for the Partenopei since joining from Empoli in 2016.

Only forwards Jose Callejon (63) and Lorenzo Insigne (86) created more chances in Serie A last season for the club than Zielinski (53), while he completed more passes than any team-mate except for Fabian Ruiz and Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

Toni Kroos (60) was the only midfielder for Barca or Madrid in 2019-20 who created more goalscoring opportunities than the Poland international.

Reina, a team-mate of Zielinski for two years in Naples, has no doubt the player is good enough for one Spain's biggest two clubs.

"I have a crush on Zielinski!" he told Cadena SER. "He's a Real Madrid or Barcelona player. He is out of the ordinary."

Reina, who was on loan at Aston Villa from Milan last season, is now with Lazio as he continues a senior career in football spanning 20 years.

The 38-year-old thinks Manchester United's David de Gea is presently the best option for Luis Enrique's Spain side, but he believes there is an unfair prejudice towards older players compared to the attitude in Italy.

"The one with the most playing consistency is De Gea and it has to be that way, for me," Reina said.

"Luis Enrique has a choice of young goalkeepers or more expert, 38-year-old goalkeepers.

"David has experience that will for sure make him the most prepared. Kepa [Arrizabalaga] is going through a worse time due to the signing of Mendy. There's also [Sergio] Asenjo, [Fernando] Pacheco... there are a lot of names.

"The culture in Spain is that a 38-year-old player is seen as much older than he is in Italy. Here, respect is different. In Spain, they see you as an older player."

Andrea Pirlo backed Paulo Dybala, defending the playmaker's attitude after Juventus were held by Lazio.

Dybala came off the bench as Juve were pegged back late in a 1-1 Serie A draw at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo had put Pirlo's men ahead, but Felipe Caicedo scored a 95th-minute equaliser after a tremendous run by Joaquin Correa.

Pirlo said he had no complaints about Dybala's attitude, with the forward ruled out of Argentina's upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

"I think his attitude is not wrong. He was willing to do well and wanted to help the team," the Juve head coach told a news conference.

"Sometimes it happens not to be in the best physical condition as he is now.

"He needs to work and play, we just need to manage these situations in the final moments of the games if we want to clinch the victory."

Juve sit fifth in the Serie A table, four points adrift of leaders Milan.

They were on track for victory before Caicedo's goal, and since last season, the Ecuadorian has scored five goals from the 90th minute in Serie A – the most of any player.

"When you concede one goal it is not because of the individual but the whole team. We win and lose as a team," Pirlo said.

"We must manage these situations in a better way, being hungry to achieve the result until the very last second."

Juve return to action at home to Cagliari on November 21.

Cristiano Ronaldo was nursing an ankle problem and could not continue as Juventus were denied victory by a last-gasp Felipe Caicedo goal in a 1-1 draw at Lazio, Andrea Pirlo said.

Portugal star Ronaldo opened the scoring after 15 minutes at Stadio Olimpico to net in his first four league games of a season for just the third time, having also done so in the 2009-10 and 2014-15 seasons.

With 27 goals to his name in 2020, no player in the top-five European leagues has more in the calendar year, but his withdrawal with 14 minutes of Sunday's clash ultimately proved a pivotal moment.

Explaining why Ronaldo, who did appear to hobble as he sat on the bench, was taken off, Juve coach Pirlo told DAZN: "Ronaldo is a key player not only for us but for all the teams where he played, he had an ankle problem and he was forced to leave.

"Those who entered the pitch did well, [but] we had problems to hold the ball and manage certain types of plays."

Ronaldo had three shots on target from five attempts and also crashed an effort against the post for a Juve side who continue to trail early leaders Milan, three points adrift of Stefano Pioli's team ahead of the Rossoneri's clash with Verona later on Sunday.

The Bianconeri are unbeaten through seven games for the eighth time in the past 10 seasons, but Pirlo warned his side that titles are decided on moments such as late levellers.

"We played a great game, they never had a shot on target," he added.

"Championships are won if we take care of every detail, we mismanaged the ball in the final 10 seconds and they scored the equaliser."

Lazio were hindered by the absence of star striker Ciro Immobile who alongside Lucas Leiva and Thomas Strakhosha was absent after they reportedly returned inconclusive tests for coronavirus.

Caicedo entered the fray to replace the largely ineffective Vedat Muriqi after 54 minutes and his stoppage-time leveller was the fifth time since the start of last season he has scored after the 90th minute – the most in Serie A.

"I have an exceptional rapport with Ciro, he wished us all the best and we missed him today, but he is always present even when he’s not physically here," Caicedo said.

"With this determination and refusal to give in, we can go far. We can continue to do what we did last season, with the attitude we showed last week against Torino and again here."

Head coach Simone Inzaghi, whose Lazio side have gained 33 points from a losing position since the start of last season which is more than any other team in the top five European leagues, paid tribute to the goal hero.

"Caicedo is a great player, a wonderful person who after five or six months was already adored by everyone," Inzaghi said.

"I asked the club, and they immediately agreed, to keep him, as he was the ideal player to complete the front line."

Felipe Caicedo was Lazio's hero as his last-gasp strike cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in a 1-1 draw against Juventus at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.

Lazio lacked bite in the absence of star striker Ciro Immobile, one of three players along with Lucas Leiva and Thomas Strakhosha absent after reportedly returning inconclusive coronavirus tests.

Ronaldo, who returned after his own isolation due to COVID-19 with a double against Spezia last week, scored a sixth Serie A goal of the campaign after 15 minutes and that looked by being enough to settle what had been a largely comfortable outing for the visitors.

But substitute Caicedo scored in the fifth minute of injury time to secure a point for Lazio in a result that leaves Juve three points off Serie A leaders Milan, who have a game in hand.

Three Lazio players, including Ciro Immobile, will miss Sunday's Serie A match with Juventus amid concerns around coronavirus tests.

Immobile, Lucas Leiva and Thomas Strakosha all reportedly returned inconclusive COVID-19 tests on Saturday and left the Lazio training ground as a precaution.

None of the players have been included in the matchday squad for the meeting with the champions in Rome.

Lazio's chief medic, Ivo Pulcini, told Radio Sei there had been some "positive results" in the latest round of testing.

Immobile, last season's top goalscorer in Serie A with 36 goals, has already scored three times in five appearances in 2020-21.

A win for Juve will move them to within a point of league leaders Milan, while Lazio will move into the top three if they take all three points.

Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini has been ruled out of Sunday's Serie A encounter at Lazio due to a thigh injury.

The Italy centre-back did the damage in training on Saturday and will not feature at Stadio Olimpico.

Juve stated that Chiellini will be evaluated in the next few days, while midfielder Aaron Ramsey also misses out on the trip to the capital.

The midfielder sustained a thigh injury in the Champions League victory over Ferencvaros in midweek and has also pulled out of his national side's latest squad.

Lazio are unbeaten in five matches in all competitions and Pirlo is expecting an entertaining encounter in the Eternal City.

The Juve head coach said in an interview with the Italian champions' official website: "It is certainly going to be a great game, because Lazio-Juventus is an enjoyable match to play.

"It will also be difficult, as Lazio are a wonderful team and proved that in recent years, so it’s tough, but exciting.

"We imagined their classic 3-5-2 with a very tight defence. They are very good on the counter, especially with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, as well as their forwards.

"This is why we must be wary of making technical errors that can spark those counters."

Pirlo was impressed by the way the Bianconeri took Ferencvaros apart in a 4-1 win and wants to see the Turin giants dominate opponents on a regular basis.

He added: "We had some interesting pointers in terms of performance and how we develop the attacking play from the midfield.

"We occupied the attacking spaces well and that is positive, so while we still need to improve, we are on the right track playing a different football to what this team was accustomed to in the past.

"Goals from midfielders are important and we are working to get more of them pushing forward, like Adrien Rabiot and Weston McKennie.

“I always knew [Alvaro] Morata was a complete player and not just in his finishing, so what he's done in recent matches is not a surprise. He is always involved in the play and have always looked to him.

"What I would like to see is a team with more confidence and that is dominating the match. That could be a big step forward to take."

Matchday three of the Champions League is upon us as teams reach the halfway point of the 2020-21 group stage, and Wednesday's action sees plenty of the heavyweights hoping to take advantage of theoretically weaker opposition.

Juventus were beaten by Barcelona last time out in the competition, but this time Andrea Pirlo will be able to rely on the services of Cristiano Ronaldo, who will no doubt be licking his lips at the prospect of facing leaky Ferencvaros.

Similarly, Barca will be strong favourites as they face Dynamo Kiev, while Manchester United go to Istanbul Basaksehir and Chelsea host Rennes.

However, Paris Saint-Germain could find themselves in a particularly tricky situation if they lose at an RB Leipzig smarting from their crushing by United.

Here is some of the key data from Wednesday's matchday three match-ups.

Barcelona v Dynamo Kiev: Messi and Griezmann poles apart

Although Barcelona are perhaps no longer the force we expect them to be, there is no doubt they will be firm favourites here, with the Catalans unbeaten in their previous 22 group games, while they could win five first-phase matches in a row for the first time since October 2017.

Lionel Messi's form early on this season has led to some criticism, but few have the pedigree he has and he boasts 20 goals in his previous 24 Champions League appearances.

Contrast that with the much-maligned Antoine Griezmann, however. The Frenchman has just two goals in 10 Champions League games for Barca, one every 373 minutes – he netted once every 190 minutes on average for Atletico Madrid.

Ferencvaros v Juventus: Ronaldo licking his lips

Juve were without talismanic forward Ronaldo in their previous two group games against Dynamo and Barca, the latter of whom beat the Old Lady – therefore he will be hoping to make up for lost time against Ferencvaros, whose seven goals conceded is the worst in the competition.

In that game against Barca, Juve failed to muster a single shot on target – aside from the three goals Alvaro Morata had chalked off for offside.

A defeat for Juve in Hungary would be a huge shock, but if it does happen, it will be the first time the Bianconeri have lost successive group games since October 2014. Coach Pirlo played in the second loss back then.

Istanbul Basaksehir v Manchester United: Red Devils on course as Greenwood eyes history

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked in his pre-match news conference if United felt more confident travelling to Istanbul knowing they would not be facing a vociferous crowd – after all, the Red Devils have lost on each of their previous two trips to Turkey.

United have struggled domestically of late, losing most recently to Arsenal on Sunday, but Champions League wins over RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain have them in fine shape in Europe – no team has ever failed to qualify after winning their first two group games, an omen they should not ignore here.

Marcus Rashford was the hero against Leipzig, but Mason Greenwood also netted to level his team-mate as the most prolific English teenager in UEFA competition with six goals. The 19-year-old will set a new record with another in Istanbul.

RB Leipzig v Paris Saint-Germain: Germans desperate to bounce back

Leipzig's 5-0 annihilation by United last time was their worst ever European defeat and the heaviest suffered by a German team since 2014 – Wednesday's match gives them the chance to bounce back against the team that beat them in the semi-finals last season.

PSG, of course, have plenty of attacking talents for Leipzig to contend with, though arguably chief among them will be Kylian Mbappe, who has been directly involved in 22 away goals in the competition (14 goals, eight assists), which is more than anyone else since his first trip back in February 2017.

But the omens are not all great for PSG. There has only been one previous instance in the Champions League where a German coach has won away to a side managed by another German tactician.

 

Other fixtures:

Chelsea v Rennes

15 - Chelsea have only suffered one defeat in their previous 15 home games in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League (0-1 v Valencia last season), winning nine and drawing the other five games in this run.

3 - Hakim Ziyech scored his first goal for Chelsea in the Champions League on MD2, while he could become just the third player to score on his first two starts for the club in the competition after Didier Drogba in 2004 and Daniel Sturridge in 2010.

Sevilla v Krasnodar

13 - Including qualifiers, Sevilla are unbeaten in their previous 13 home games across all European competitions (W11 D2), with their last such defeat coming in April 2018 against Bayern Munich (1-2 in a Champions League quarter-final).

1 - Only one Russian side has ever won away at Sevilla in European competition, with CSKA Moscow prevailing 2-1 in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League in 2009-10.

Zenit v Lazio

4 - Zenit are hoping to avoid losing four consecutive games in the European Cup/Champions League for the first time in their history.

1 - Lazio will be aiming for their first away win in the Champions League since September 2003 (2-0 v Besiktas), having failed to win on any of their previous six trips in the competition (D2 L4).

Club Brugge v Borussia Dortmund

12 - Only Robert Lewandowski (15) has scored more Champions League goals than Dortmund's Erling Haaland (12) since the start of last season, with the Norwegian striker converting 12 of his 17 shots on target in the competition so far.

1 - Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has only ended on the winning side in one of his 13 appearances in the Champions League, drawing six and losing six of his 12 games since winning on his debut in the competition for Liverpool in September 2014 (2-1 v Ludogorets).

Barcelona travel to fellow heavyweights Juventus in the pick of the second round of Champions League group-stage fixtures on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo will not get the chance to resume his rivalry with Lionel Messi after contracting coronavirus, but a number of other superstars will be on the field at Allianz Stadium.

Juve and Barca picked up victories in their opening games and that was also the case for Manchester United, who triumphed away at Paris Saint-Germain and now welcome RB Leipzig to Old Trafford.

PSG head to Turkey for their first competitive meeting with Istanbul Basaksehir while Chelsea, held by Europa League champions Sevilla in their first game, face a potentially tricky trip of their own at competition debutants Krasnodar.

Here is some of the key Opta data from day two of matchday two.

Juventus v Barcelona: Milestone victory in sight for Juve

Juventus' tally of six home games without losing to Barcelona is their joint-best total against any team in European competition, alongside another LaLiga side in Atletico Madrid.

Barca are unbeaten in six games against Italian opposition in the Champions League, however, and have only suffered defeat once in their last 17 away games in the competition.

Should Juve come out on top in Turin, it will be their landmark 100th victory in UEFA's showpiece competition in what will be their 200th game.


Krasnodar v Chelsea: Blues target first win

After drawing 0-0 with Sevilla in their opener, Chelsea are looking to avoid going back-to-back games without a win to begin a Champions League campaign since the 1999-2000 season.

The London club have lost only one of their last 11 away games in European competition, though that came in their last outing - a 4-1 loss to Bayern Munich.

None of the previous six Russian sides to have competed in the Champions League have won their first home game, which Krasnodar will be looking to put right on Wednesday.


Manchester United v RB Leipzig: More German joy for Red Devils?

United have gone 10 home games without being beaten by German opposition in European competition since a 1-0 loss against Bayern Munich in 2001, winning seven of those.

However, the Red Devils have lost four of their last six Champions League matches at Old Trafford - as many as in their previous 71 games combined.

Leipzig beat Tottenham home and away last season - their only previous encounters with an English team - and are unbeaten in five away games in the competition.

 

Nothing better than a sunny day!pic.twitter.com/leyNYvGTWm

— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) October 26, 2020 Istanbul Basaksehir v Paris Saint-Germain: Away-day specialist Mbappe

Basaksehir have won three of their last four home matches in European competition but this will be the first occasion they have hosted Champions League football.

On the back of their loss to United last week, PSG are out to avoid successive defeats to begin a group campaign for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign.

Kylian Mbappe played a key part in his side's run to the final last term and has been directly involved in 20 goals in his 16 away Champions League appearances. He has registered at least one goal or assist in 13 of those 16 away appearances.

 

Other fixtures:

Sevilla v Rennes:

12 - Sevilla are unbeaten in 12 home games in European competition since a 2-1 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich in April 2018.

2 - Only two of the 10 previous French sides to have played in the Champions League have won their first ever away match - PSG and Auxerre in 1994 and 1996 respectively.

Borussia Dortmund v Zenit:

6 - Zenit are winless in their last six European matches against teams from Germany, stretching back to a 2-1 victory against this week's opponents Dortmund in March 2014.

3 - Dortmund have won three Champions League home games in a row and are looking to make it four on the spin for the first time since a run of seven between September 2012 and October 2013.

Club Brugge v Lazio:

4 - Brugge have scored only four goals in their last 12 matches with Italian opposition and are winless in their last nine meetings with clubs from the Peninsula.

5 - Lazio have lost their last five away games on the continent, all of which came in the Europa League in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

Ferencvaros v Dynamo Kiev:

3 - Dynamo have won just three of their last 24 away games in the Champions League, drawing three of their last four.

24 - Ferencvaros kept a clean sheet in their first home game in the competition but have since shipped 24 goals across their last six matches, giving them the highest goals-conceded-per-game ratio of any team to have played in more than one campaign.

The 2020-21 season has only just started but Lionel Messi's future is dominating headlines once again.

Messi wanted to leave Barcelona, but he decided to remain at the embattled LaLiga giants.

Manchester City, who were reportedly tipped to lure Messi to England, are still dreaming of his arrival.

 

TOP STORY – CITY NOT GIVING UP ON MESSI

Manchester City are lining up a move for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at the end of the season, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Messi handed in a transfer request prior to the 2020-21 season getting underway and Premier League giants City were favourites to sign the six-time Ballon d'Or winner before he opted to stay.

Pep Guardiola and City, however, remain interested in Messi and will be in a position to land the Barca captain should the opportunity arise next year.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United have identified a list of potential defensive reinforcements that includes RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano and Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, according to The Athletic.

- Fabrizio Romano says goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen's new Barcelona contract until 2025 will be confirmed soon. The 28-year-old's current deal is due to expire in 2022.

- Le10sport claims Paris Saint-Germain are considering a loan move for Inter midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has struggled to establish himself since joining from Tottenham in January.

West Ham are prepared to double Declan Rice's wages to fend off interest from London rivals Chelsea, reports The Sun.

- Tuttosport says Serie A champions Juventus are hoping to rival Madrid for Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga next year. Madrid have identified teenage midfielder Camavinga as a prime target, but Juve feel that by loaning Daniele Rugani to Rennes, it will help build a relationship with the Ligue 1 side.

- Calciomercato reports Lazio and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are facing a decisive season. The Serbia international has been previously linked to the likes of PSG, United, Inter, Juve and Madrid.

Ciro Immobile and Stefano Sensi both saw red as Inter were held to a 1-1 draw by Lazio in an ill-tempered Serie A clash at Stadio Olimpico.

Lautaro Martinez kept up his fine start to the season to open the scoring in the 30th minute of Sunday's clash, lashing in a shot which Thomas Strakosha failed to keep out.

But with Romelu Lukaku wasting a chance to double Inter's lead, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's brilliant header restored parity.

Lazio's hopes of a comeback were dented in the 69th minute as Immobile, who managed just one shot from 26 touches in a frustrating individual display, saw red for slapping Arturo Vidal.

Inter almost snatched the points in the closing stages when Marcelo Brozovic struck the woodwork, before Nerazzurri substitute Sensi received his marching orders for hitting Patric.

Having lost Stefan Radu to injury, Lazio had the first meaningful attempt in the 19th minute, with Samir Handanovic palming Luis Alberto's strike over.

Handanovic's goalkeeping counterpart Strakosha failed to cover himself in glory as Inter hit the front 11 minutes later – the Lazio man only able to parry Martinez's low effort into the net.

Ivan Perisic bundled the ball into Martinez for that goal, and the winger would have had his second assist had Achraf Hakimi put a header on target.

Lukaku was inches away from adding a second after the restart, with Martinez then firing just wide of the upright.

Yet Lazio soon hit back, as Milinkovic-Savic sent a towering header in at the back post after connecting with Francesco Acerbi's excellent cross.

Lazio looked good for a second but their efforts were derailed when Immobile reacted badly to a challenge by Vidal, who made the most of it. The referee sent Lazio's talisman straight off.

Brozovic saw a deflected effort clip off the post as Inter pressed to make their numerical advantage count, only for Sensi to receive a red card for violent conduct as both sides settled for a point.

 

What does it mean? Defence a cause for concern for Conte

Inter have scored 10 goals in their opening three league games this season – the most they have scored at this stage of a Serie A campaign is 13 goals, in 1960/61. However, they give up far too many chances at the other end, and Antonio Conte must find a way to shore things up if they are to truly challenge on all fronts this term.

Martinez keeps up his form

Three games, three goals in Italy's top flight for Martinez this season. The Argentine forward had three shots in total, with his goal the only one on target. He managed 32 touches and created one chance, with Inter's best attacking play coming through him.

Immobile's red caps disappointing day

Immobile was the leading scorer in Serie A last term, but the 30-year-old cost his side a great opportunity to push on and get three points with his rash reaction to Vidal's tackle. Of sides that he has faced at least three times with Lazio in Serie A, Inter are the only one against which Immobile has not found the net, excluding penalties.

What's next?

It is the small matter of the Milan derby coming up on October 17 for Inter, while Lazio face Sampdoria on the same day.

Manchester United's problems in the transfer window have reportedly continued as they target Federico Chiesa and Alex Telles.

The Premier League giants have had a tough window so far, with only Donny van de Beek arriving from Ajax.

That is their only inclusion despite links to the likes of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho and Telles, and their progress is still seemingly slow ahead of the window closing on Monday.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD'S CHIESA BID REJECTED, SNUBBED OVER TELLES

Manchester United had a loan enquiry for Fiorentina attacker Chiesa turned down, according to The Telegraph.

As they struggle to land a deal for Sancho, United have been linked with Chiesa and Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele.

Chiesa, a 22-year-old Italy international, has made a fine start to this season, scoring once and providing an assist in two Serie A games.

United seemed closer to bringing in Telles, but O Jogo reports Porto did not even respond to their first bid for the left-back – believed to be around £11.8million (€13m) – as the Portuguese giants see it as unrealistic.

 

ROUND-UP

- After Luis Suarez's arrival at Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa is linked with a move away. AS reports Paris Saint-Germain are considering a move for the forward, and it adds Atletico could look to replace him with free agent Edinson Cavani.

- Manchester City's transfer business in this window could be done. The Sun reports any plans for the Premier League side to bring in a left-back – either Bayern Munich's David Alaba or Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico – are reliant on a late bid being received for Oleksandr Zinchenko.

- Are Bayern Munich looking for a back-up for star Robert Lewandowski? Sport Bild reports the Bundesliga champions want to sign Hoffenheim forward Andrej Kramaric. The Croatia international scored twice against Bayern in the Bundesliga on Saturday and is up to seven goals in three games in 2020-21.

- Tottenham are reportedly looking at Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius. Football.London says Spurs are hoping to loan the striker with an option to buy for £36.3m (€40m). Carlos Vinicius scored 24 goals in 47 games in all competitions last season.

- Staying at Spurs and Sky Sports reports Celtic have made an approach for Tottenham left-back Ryan Sessegnon. However, it says finances are problematic, while multiple Premier League clubs are also keeping an eye on Sessegnon.

- Andreas Pereira is set to leave Manchester United. Fabrizio Romano reports a deal between United and Lazio has been signed for a loan with option to buy for €27m (£24.5m).

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