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.

Dynamo Kiev head coach Mircea Lucescu does not believe Barcelona are at the level to win the Champions League.

Group G leaders and LaLiga giants Barcelona will host Ukrainian visitors Dynamo at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Barca equalled their worst tally of LaLiga points after six games since the Spanish competition reverted to three points for a win – Ronald Koeman's side drew 1-1 with Deportivo Alaves on Saturday, meaning they have just eight points so far in the early stages of the 2020-21 campaign.

That is the same total as Barca managed at the start of the 2002-03 campaign when another Dutchman, Louis van Gaal, was in charge. 

Barca were also humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in last season's Champions League quarter-final and, speaking on the eve of the match, Lucescu told reporters: "After the game against Bayern Munich it was understandable that Barcelona were looking to make changes.

"They have a squad with very talented players, but they need time to learn the mechanisms.

"I don't think Barcelona are at the level to win the Champions League at the moment. Bayern Munich, Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain have more options.

"In any case, they have a footballer in Lionel Messi, who can be very important. A new coach needs a minimum of six months and in spring they will be another team. Barcelona are a team that are better off playing the Champions League than LaLiga, because in the domestic competition the rest of the rivals know them very well."

Lucescu's Dynamo have one point from two games to be third in Group G, five points adrift of unbeaten leaders Barca.

Barca are undefeated in their previous 22 games in the group stage of the Champions League, while they could win five group outings in a row for the first time since October 2017.

Lionel Messi has scored 20 goals in his last 24 appearances for Barca in the Champions League, while he last netted in his first three games of a single campaign in the competition back in 2018-19.

Dynamo are winless in their past 14 games against Spanish opponents in European competition, with their last victory coming back in March 1999 in the European Cup quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid.

The Champions League returns this week after a short hiatus, with beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain looking to get back up and running – and exact a measure of revenge – against Manchester United.

Juventus begin European competition under new head coach Andrea Pirlo, who faces one of the most experienced coaches in the game in Mircea Lucescu.

Barcelona will endeavour to banish memories of August's 8-2 obliteration by Bayern Munich when they face Ferencvaros for the first time, while Chelsea will hope to improve the poor record Premier League teams have had of late against Sevilla.

Here's the key data from Tuesday's matches in Europe's elite competition...

Dynamo Kiev v Juventus: Pirlo feeling the weight of history

Twice a Champions League winner with Milan in 2003 and 2007, Pirlo's first game in the competition comes away to Dynamo Kiev. None of the previous eight Juve head coaches have lost their first match in charge.

In fact, Juve have only been beaten on matchday one in the competition once in 20 previous seasons, winning 11 of those games and drawing eight. That one defeat was a 3-0 loss at Barcelona three years ago.

Dynamo boss Lucescu will be 75 years and 83 days old on Tuesday, making him the oldest coach in Champions League history, overtaking Jupp Heynckes (who was 72 and 357 days old in May 2018). If he wants to celebrate in style, he will need to inflect just a fifth group-stage defeat on Juve in 34 games.

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United: Mbappe chasing Messi record

PSG's last home defeat in the competition was that famous loss to United in the 2018-19 round of 16, when Marcus Rashford's late penalty secured a 3-1 win for an understrength Red Devils and sent them through on away goals.

If they are to start their quest for a return to the final with a win, Mbappe might be the man to do it. He has scored 19 goals in the tournament and, at 21 years and 305 days old, he needs just one against United to become the youngest player to reach 20. That would surpass Messi's record, set back in 2010 when he was 22 years and 267 days old.

Of course, if United's unsteady defence focuses on Mbappe, they risk leaving Neymar unchecked. Only Messi (45) had more carries with a take-on in last season's Champions League than Neymar (36), and nobody progressed further with the ball than the Brazil star (1,279 metres).

Barcelona v Ferencvaros: Koeman's worrying numbers

Barca have not lost any of their previous 31 home group games since Rubin Kazan stunned Pep Guardiola's men 2-1 back in October 2009. When you consider Ferencvaros have not been in the competition since 1995-96, when they conceded 19 goals in six matches, you would not expect that Barca run to be stopped.

However, coach Ronald Koeman heads into his first European game in charge with a pretty poor record. The fifth coach to take charge of at least six teams in the competition, after Carlo Ancelotti (eight), Claudio Ranieri (six), Jose Mourinho (six) and Rafael Benitez (six), he has the worst win ratio (26.3 per cent) of anybody to manage at least 50 games in the tournament.

Still, he has Messi. The Barca captain has been involved in at least one goal in 38 of his previous 43 group-stage starts, scoring 56 times and assisting 16.

 

Chelsea v Sevilla: Can Werner lift English spirits?

Sevilla, who knocked United out of last season's Europa League semi-finals, have won all three major European matches against teams from England. Chelsea, meanwhile, have taken one victory from their previous nine Champions League meetings with teams from Spain, drawing five and losing three.

Frank Lampard will hope Timo Werner can make the difference. The forward was involved in nine goals in his last 11 Champions League games for RB Leipzig (seven scored, two assisted) and could become the third German to score for Chelsea in the competition, after Michael Ballack (four goals) and Andre Schurrle (two). He has, however, never scored at home.

Other fixtures:

Lazio v Borussia Dortmund:

3 – Dortmund's last Champions League win in Italy was a 1-0 victory over Milan in March 2003, courtesy of a Jan Koller goal. They have lost all three such visits since.

8 – Only Robert Lewandowski (10) scored more group-stage goals last season than Erling Haaland (eight). Haaland averages a goal or assist every 50 minutes in the competition.

 

RB Leipzig v Istanbul Basaksehir:

6 – Istanbul Basaksehir are the sixth Turkish team to play in the Champions League. Only one of the previous five won their first match – that was Trabzonspor, who beat Inter 1-0 away in September 2011.

14 – RB Leipzig's Hwang Hee-chan created the most chances in open play in the Champions League group stage in 2019-20 (14) when he played for RB Salzburg. He was directly involved in six goals in his six group-stage appearances (three goals, three assists) and was one of two players to both score and assist three goals in the group stage, along with Kylian Mbappe.

 

Rennes v Krasnodar:

2 – Rennes have lost just twice at home in major European games, winning five and drawing seven of those 14 matches, all of which were in the UEFA Cup/Europa League between November 2007 and December last year.

36 – Krasnodar boss Murad Musayev is 36 years and 345 days old, the second-youngest coach in this season's competition (behind Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann, 33). He could become the fifth-youngest to win his first game and the youngest since Andre Villas-Boas in September 2011.

 

Zenit v Club Brugge:

11 – Artem Dzyuba has been directly involved in 11 goals in his 12 Champions League group-stage matches with Zenit (eight goals, three assists). That run includes goals in both games against Belgian side Gent in 2015-16.

19 – Of the 51 teams to have featured in at least 40 Champions League matches, only Steaua Bucharest (9.5 per cent), Dinamo Zagreb (11.9 per cent) and Anderlecht (16.7 per cent) have a lower win percentage than Club Brugge (19 per cent). They have won just eight of 42 matches.

Dynamo Kiev have appointed Shakhtar Donetsk legend Mircea Lucescu as their new coach.

Lucescu takes over on a two-year contract with an option for a further year.

His appointment follows the exit of Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko, whose second spell in charge came to an end on Monday.

Dynamo finished the Ukrainian Premier League season 23 points behind champions Shakhtar, who clinched a fourth consecutive title with five rounds of fixtures to go.

Former Romania, Inter and Turkey boss Lucescu is best known for a decorated spell at Shakhtar, which saw him win eight league titles, six Ukrainian Cups, seven Ukrainian Super Cups and the UEFA Cup.

"First, I missed Ukraine. I wanted to return to this country, where I had successful results. Here I had a very good relationship with the fans," the Romanian told Dynamo's website.

"I am sure that together we will work fruitfully. I believe that they will be satisfied with my work here, as well as with the results I will achieve at the helm of Dynamo. 

"I am grateful for the trust I have received from the president of the club, as well as the fans who trust me with a team with such great traditions."

After finishing second, Dynamo enter the Champions League at the third qualifying round and will face a one-legged tie on September 15 or 16.

The 2020-21 Ukrainian Premier League begins on September 12.

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