Real Madrid and Manchester City could qualify for the Champions League round of 16 by maintaining their 100 per cent records on Tuesday.

Madrid travel to Shakhtar Donetsk sitting pretty at the top of Group F and the holders will be guaranteed to progress if they make it four wins out of four.

The same goes for free-scoring City, who have been victorious in all three Group G games and will be expected to get the better of Copenhagen at Parken.

Borussia Dortmund could also advance if they beat Sevilla again, while Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica meet in the battle of the top two in Group H.

Milan will look to exact revenge on Chelsea at San Siro, while Group E leaders Salzburg travel to Dinamo Zagreb.

Stats Perform preview the eight matches to be staged on Tuesday by picking out the standout Opta data.


Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid

After beating Madrid home and away in the Champions League in 2020-21, Shakhtar have lost three consecutive matches against the holders - the latest being a 2-1 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu last week.

There have been 14 goals in the previous three matches between the two sides in Donetsk, Madrid scoring nine of those.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are on a five-game winning streak in the Champions League, a run that began with a 3-1 victory over City in the second leg of last season's semi-final. They last had a longer winning streak in the competition between April 2014 and February 2015 - a run of 10 straight victories.

Among teams to have featured in the Champions League in every season since 2018-19, Shakhtar have the lowest win percentage of any side in that period (18.5 per cent - 5/27).

Copenhagen v Manchester City

City hammered Copenhagen 5-0 last week. Their best combined record against an opponent in a single Champions League campaign is 9-0 versus Shakhtar in 2018-19.

Copenhagen have only lost one of their 13 home games in the group stage of the Champions League (W6 D6), that defeat coming against Real Madrid in December 2013.

English teams are winless in their last two visits to Denmark in the Champions League, with Liverpool drawing 1-1 with Midtjylland in December 2020 and Leicester City drawing 0-0 with Copenhagen in November 2016. 

Erling Haaland has 28 goals in 22 Champions League appearances. His next strike in the competition will see him equal the goal tallies of David Trezeguet (58 games), Roy Makaay (61 games) and Patrick Kluivert (71 games).

Paris Saint-Germain v Benfica

PSG have hosted Benfica on three previous occasions in European competition, with the Ligue 1 champions beating them 2-1 in the UEFA Cup in 2007, 3-0 in the Champions League nine years ago and drawing 1-1 in the Europa League in 2011.

No Portuguese side has ever won away at PSG in European competition. They have suffered five defeats and drawn twice, with all three Champions League contests won by PSG.

PSG could equal their longest winning streak of six consecutive home victories in the competition. Their last run of six wins in a row in Europe's premier club competition ended in November 2014. 

Benfica are unbeaten in four Champions League away games (W2 D2), their longest run without defeat on the road in the competition.

Milan v Chelsea

Milan are winless in five meetings against Chelsea in Europe (D3 L2) since winning the very first match between the two sides in the Fairs Cup in February 1966. 

The Serie A champions only had four shots in a 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge last week. Since Opta have had this data available for the Champions League, the Blues have only faced fewer in a game in the competition twice - versus Malmo in October 2021 (two) and Galatasaray in March 2014 (three).

The Rossoneri have lost four of the last five games when hosting an English team in the Champions League, with their only victory coming against Arsenal in February 2012 (4-0). The only previous time they hosted Chelsea in the competition was in a 1-1 draw in October 1999.

Milan's former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori has initiated more sequences of play than any other player in the Champions League this season, with the centre-back regaining possession for his side 47 times in three games.


Other fixtures:

Borussia Dortmund v Sevilla

273 - Sevilla have gone 273 minutes without scoring away from home in the Champions League, having failed to net in their previous three matches. 

4 - Only Haaland (5) has been directly involved in more goals than Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham in the Champions League this season (3 goals, 1 assist). 

Maccabi Haifa v Juventus

3 - Maccabi have lost all three of their matches against Juventus - home and away in the group stage of the Champions League in 2009-10, and again last week in Turin.

5 - Juve have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their past five matches in the Champions League. That is their longest run without a clean sheet since a run of eight games between April and December in 2013.

Celtic v RB Leipzig

6 - Celtic have lost six consecutive home games in the Champions League. If they lose this match, they would equal the longest run of home defeats by a team in the competition, previously set by Monaco between May 2017 and December 2018.

9 - Christopher Nkunku scored his ninth Champions League goal for Leipzig against Celtic last week, equalling Emil Forsberg's tally for the most goals for the club in the competition. Since the start of last season, only four players have more Champions League group-stage goals than him (8).

Dinamo Zagreb v Salzburg

3 - Dinamo have lost all three of their major European matches against Salzburg, losing twice in the 2014-15 Europa League and 1-0 to the Group E leaders last week.

23 - Salzburg's starting XI has had an average aged of 23 years and 36 days in the Champions League this season, the youngest of any side. The average of 22 years and 336 days in their 1-0 win over Dinamo was the third-youngest by a winning team in a Champions League match; the two younger were in 2004-05 in the reverse fixtures between Ajax (22y 300d) and Maccabi Tel Aviv (22y 213d).

RB Leipzig technical director Christopher Vivell has been dismissed by the Bundesliga outfit amid reports linking him with a move to Chelsea.

Vivell joined Leipzig in 2020 after performing a similar role at Salzburg, where he worked alongside Christoph Freund as the club unearthed several young prospects, including Erling Haaland.

Both Vivell and Freund have recently been linked with Chelsea, who have been looking to appoint a sporting director since Petr Cech's departure in June.

Chairman Todd Boehly has been performing the role on an interim basis during the first few months of his tenure, but Vivell's Leipzig departure could potentially open the door to a move.

A statement from the German club said: "Christopher Vivell was released from his position as technical director yesterday, Thursday, with immediate effect due to differing views."

Vivell's former colleague Freund confirmed he would not be making the move to Stamford Bridge last month, declaring: "I came to the conclusion that I am in the best place at Salzburg, and a move was out of the question for me."

Chelsea have been linked with several other sporting directors throughout their search, including Sevilla's Monchi and Michael Edwards, formerly of Liverpool

Celtic must believe they belong at the top level of European football if they are to salvage their Champions League campaign, so says Ange Postecoglou.

The Hoops sit bottom of Group F, having taken just one point from their opening three games after losing 3-1 to RB Leipzig on Wednesday.

Celtic came out strong but went in at half-time 1-0 down courtesy of Christopher Nkunku. Despite Jota grabbing an early equaliser in the second half, a double from Andre Silva secured the three points for the Bundesliga side.

Postecoglou thinks Celtic must show more belief in their own ability, citing their mentality will change with more experience.

He told BT Sport: "A lot of it is experience at this level. Guys believing they belong, guys believing they can achieve at this level. It's not easy to translate that to people when they're out there. There's a lesson there for us tonight.

"We know when we're aggressive and play our football, we can cause anyone problems. When we're not, it's going to be very hard for us to be successful. 

"For us to get over this hump of being a good side and getting results we have to have a stronger belief and mentality, but that's not easy, it comes with experience.

"If you play for survival that's all you'll ever get, you never get anywhere."

Leipzig's second goal came after Joe Hart made a mistake while trying to play the ball out from the back, and the former England goalkeeper knows his error was a costly one.

"They were pressing with three... I decided to pass to Greg [Taylor] and I missed. It's high-level football, something I love playing, and when you make a mistake you get punished," Hart told BT Sport.

"Sometimes it's going to hurt us but ultimately we proved we could get through the press and gave ourselves some good opportunities to score goals.

"We've got two big games at home in a row. If we play to our potential, we believe that we can win them and then it will look different."

Celtic take on St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership on October 8, before Leipzig travel to Glasgow for the reverse fixture in Group F three days later.

Celtic's hopes of qualification for the Champions League last 16 suffered another blow as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat against RB Leipzig following a Joe Hart howler.

The Scottish champions sit bottom of Group F with one point from three games after Christopher Nkunku and Andre Silva put them to the sword in Germany.

Nkunku looked to have broken the deadlock in the 17th minute when he chipped Hart, only to be ruled to have strayed offside by VAR.

Ten minutes later he did open the scoring, poking home after being played in by Silva following the Portugal forward's surge upfield on the counter.

Celtic levelled two minutes into the second half through Jota's first-time finish into the bottom-right corner but, after Dominik Szoboszlai saw a goal controversially chalked off for Silva being in an offside position, Leipzig restored their advantage in bizarre fashion.

Hart's pass out from the back was intercepted by Szoboszlai, who played in Silva for a simple finish.

Silva then doubled his tally by popping up at the back post to finish a fine team move and put the game to bed with 13 minutes remaining.

 

Chelsea will host Milan on Wednesday in what could well be a must-win fixture for the Blues, who sit last in Champions League Group E.

England has not been a happy hunting ground for Milan, but the group leaders and reigning Serie A champions will be hoping for a change of fortune when they roll into Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Mykhaylo Mudryk will get a chance to show why he is considered one of the top young talents in Europe as Shakhtar Donetsk head to the Santiago Bernabeu to take on Real Madrid.

Paris Saint-Germain will look to change their poor historical record against Benfica, with Kylian Mbappe on the brink of becoming the club's record European goalscorer.

Stats Perform has dug up the most interesting facts and angles for each contest on Wednesday.

Chelsea v Milan

This is the first time these two teams will meet in the Champions League since they were in the same group in 1999, with both of those matches ending in draws. They have not met in a competitive game since, with all four of their 21st-century contests coming in the International Champions Cup (Chelsea won three of those with Milan recording one victory).

Chelsea have only lost twice at home to Italian teams in continental competition, collecting eight wins and three draws. They lost to Lazio 1-2 in 2000, and to Inter 1-0 in 2010.

Milan's record in England also gives no reason for optimism, with only one win from 20 tries in European play (D7 L12). 

Olivier Giroud was subbed off in Milan's dramatic 3-1 win over Empoli on Saturday. The France striker could become the 10th player to score for and against Chelsea in the Champions League, and first since Loic Rémy for Lille in December 2019, should he net in this meeting.

Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk

This is the third consecutive season these sides have met in the group stages. It is the fifth time teams have ever been paired together in three consecutive seasons, and Shakhtar was involved in the most recent occasion as well, against Manchester City from 2017-18 through to 2019-20.

Over the past two seasons, they have split the wins evenly, with Shakhtar winning both games in the 2020-21 campaign, before Madrid triumphed in both fixtures last season.

After a win and a draw in the first two matchdays, Shakhtar boast the highest shot conversion rate in the competition, scoring with five of their 10 shots, including two goals from 21-year-old rising star Mudryk.

On the other side, Vinicius Junior leads the Champions League with 33 chances created and seven assists from open play since the start of last season, and he shares the mantle for most goal involvements at 18 with Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski.

Benfica v Paris Saint-Germain

Benfica are looking to extend their surprisingly strong record against Paris Saint-Germain, having won three of their six previous meetings (1D 2L) in European competitions, including the past three in a row. Their last fixture came in the 2013-14 season, with Benfica winning 2-1 at home.

In fact, Benfica have enjoyed plenty of success while hosting French sides, with five consecutive home wins – twice against Lyon, as well as beating Lille, Monaco and PSG.

However, PSG are a different beast now then they were back in 2014, and have only lost one of their past 11 matches in the group stage (8W 2D).

At only 23, Mbappe can become the club's all-time leading scorer in European competitions with one more goal. He is currently tied at 30 with Edinson Cavani.

RB Leipzig v Celtic

These sides both won their home fixtures when they were matched up in the 2018-19 group stage, and they will be desperate for a result as they enter Wednesday's game with only one point between them in Group F.

Celtic will be looking to make history as they have never won a European game away in Germany (10L 3D), failing to score on nine of those 13 occasions.

But it might be a case of a stoppable force meeting a movable object, as Leipzig have not kept a clean sheet in their last seven home games in the competition. They have only shut out their opponents twice from 15 Champions League home games.

Jota will be the key for Celtic's chances, with his six chances created trailing only Napoli's Piotr Zielinski (eight), while only Madrid star Vinicius is credited with more take-on dribbles (11) than Jota's nine.

Other fixtures:

Manchester City v FC Copenhagen

23 – Manchester City are two games away from tying Manchester United's record of 23 consecutive Champions League home fixtures without a loss. They are unbeaten at home in the competition since 2018.

62 – City's Erling Haaland averages a goal every 62 minutes in the competition, netting 26 goals in 21 appearances. He is well clear of second-placed Mario Gomez, who scored his 26 goals on an average of every 102 minutes.

Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund

1 – Borussia Dortmund have only won one of their past 11 trips to Spain in the Champions League (L7 D3), but that win came from their most recent opportunity, against Sevilla in February 2021.

3 – Sevilla have failed to score in each of their past three Champions League games. They have never gone four consecutive games in European competition without scoring.

Juventus v Maccabi Haifa

29 – It has been 29 years since Maccabi Haifa defeated an Italian team in European competition (3L 1D), with their only victory coming in 1993 against Parma. 

8 – The Israeli side have lost all eight of their Champions League fixtures since 2002, by a combined aggregate score of 13-1.

Salzburg v Dinamo Zagreb

6 – Salzburg can become the first Austrian team to ever go six games unbeaten in the Champions League if they can avoid defeat against Dinamo Zagreb, with three wins and two draws from their past five.

23 – The last time Zagreb kept a clean sheet away from home in this competition was 23 years ago, drawing 0-0 against United at Old Trafford in 1999. Since then, they have conceded 52 goals in 18 away games (2.9 per game).

RB Leipzig boss Marco Rose brushed off fresh speculation about Christopher Nkunku's future after the France international was strongly linked with Chelsea.

Reports have suggested Nkunku's Leipzig contract contains a £52.4million (€60m) release clause, and Chelsea are said to be keen suitors of the prolific attacker.

Nkunku scored 35 goals and added 20 assists in all competitions during a remarkable individual campaign last term, and has already scored six times in the Bundesliga this season.

With Nkunku likely to play a pivotal role when Leipzig attempt to get off the mark in the Champions League against Celtic on Wednesday, Rose is ignoring transfer rumours.

"It's speculation, we don't comment on it. It doesn't bother us, it doesn't interest us," the former Borussia Dortmund coach said.

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter took a similar stance ahead of the Blues' Champions League clash with Milan, saying: "As I've said before, my answer is I don't speak about players that aren't Chelsea players.

"If you want to ask me about any Chelsea players, I'm quite happy to speak about them. It was the same at Brighton. You get linked with a lot of players; there's a lot of names out there.

"As you can imagine, it gets escalated at a club like Chelsea. I'll speak about Chelsea players and not comment about anybody else."

Nkunku has been involved in eight Champions League goals since the start of last season (seven goals, one assist) – twice as many as any of his Leipzig team-mates (four – Emil Forsberg and Andre Silva).

However, the versatile 24-year-old is yet to score or assist in the competition this campaign, with Leipzig suffering back-to-back losses against Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid.

Should Leipzig be beaten on Wednesday, it will represent the second consecutive Champions League campaign in which the Bundesliga outfit have started with three losses, and Rose is wary of the threat posed by Celtic.

"They have a team which is very active on the pitch, with a lot of pace. They are very attacking with a clear idea," Rose said.

"They are hard-working. They have two or three lads from Japan. It's fun watching them. It's just a great team and not a team that thinks defensively or about parking the bus.

"It will be our task to put them in difficulties. We will find spaces and we will try to take advantage."

Chelsea and Liverpool are reportedly both interested in Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer, who could become available at the end of this season.

Bennacer, 24, spent time at Arsenal's academy before heading to Empoli, where he impressed enough to earn a €16million move to Milan in 2019.

He already has 42 international caps for Algeria after debuting as an 18-year-old, and he has started in seven of Milan's eight Serie A fixtures to begin this campaign, but his contract situation could accelerate his exit from Italy.

 

TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE HEAVYWEIGHTS CIRCLE BENNACER

Bennacer's contract expires in 2024, at the end of next season, but the more time that passes before signing an extension, the more pressure Milan will be under to cash in as opposed to letting him leave for free.

According to Calciomercato, Milan value him at €50million as Chelsea, Liverpool and Serie A rivals Juventus all keep a close eye on his progress.

The report says to pry him away from Milan in January would take a "sensational offer", but if Milan decide to see out the rest of the season their leverage in negotiations will be significantly weakened.

Both Bennacer and team-mate Rafael Leao have high levels of interest from elite clubs, and Milan will likely not have the budget to hand out two big extensions.

ROUND-UP

– The Telegraph is reporting Manchester United will not stand in Cristiano Ronaldo's way if he wishes to leave in January.

– According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea are interested in signing Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli.

– 90min is reporting Chelsea are also trying to push RB Leipzig into accepting deals for centre-back Josko Gvardiol and forward Christopher Nkunku as soon as possible.

Paris Saint-Germain are hopeful of getting Lionel Messi to agree to a new contract with his deal set to expire at the end of this season, although they will hold off on negotiations until after the World Cup, per Mundo Deportivo.

– January will mark 18 months remaining on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's contract with Lazio, and according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy's top clubs are all keeping a close eye on the 27-year-old's availability.

Chelsea have reportedly already conducted a medical for RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku with the aim of signing him at the end of this season.

It has long been thought Nkunku's time at Leipzig was coming to an end, but the Bundesliga club retained his services in the most recent transfer window, potentially setting him up for a 2023 departure.

Nkunku is off to a terrific start to the Bundesliga season, netting four goals from seven games, and while the interest in him is expected to be wide-ranging, Chelsea have used their relationship with Leipzig in an effort to jump to the front of the queue.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA COMPLETE SECRET NKUNKU MEDICAL, PREPARE TO TRIGGER RELEASE CLAUSE

According to Bild, Nkunku has a release clause in his contract set at €60million, and Chelsea are prepared to trigger it at the conclusion of this campaign.

Chelsea and Leipzig have done plenty of business together previously, including sales of Timo Werner in either direction and advanced negotiations around young centre-back Josko Gvardiol. It appears Nkunku was also discussed at length, and the German club were willing to let Chelsea take a closer look at the in-demand attacker ahead of any official bids being made.

With Gvardiol also remaining a potential target for new Chelsea coach Graham Potter – with his price tag set at a huge €90m – this could turn into one of the most expensive package deals ever.

ROUND-UP

– According to the Daily Star, Erling Haaland weighed up a potential move to Liverpool before eventually choosing Manchester City, but he categorically ruled out Manchester United.

– Football Insider is reporting Aston Villa are considering Mauricio Pochettino and Unai Emery for their next manager if Steven Gerrard is fired.

– Football Insider also claims Leicester City's James Maddison is "very keen" on a move to Tottenham after reports they are keeping tabs on the 25-year-old midfielder.

Chelsea will give Christian Pulisic a chance to prove his value before making a decision on his future, per 90min.

– Sport is reporting Juventus are planning a January move for Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba.

RB Leipzig have appointed the highly rated Max Eberl as their new sporting director well over a year after Markus Krosche left the position.

Eberl has been out of work since resigning from a similar role at Borussia Monchengladbach in January due to feeling "drained and tired" and no longer having "the strength to carry out the job in the way the club deserves".

That brought to an end a 23-year association with Borussia, having initially joined them as a player in 1999 before moving into directorial positions from 2005.

Leipzig had operated without a permanent sporting director since the club and Krosche mutually terminated their agreement in April 2021 following "intensive discussions regarding the club's future".

Christopher Vivell, Florian Scholz and Frank Aehlig had been filling the void in the interim, but in Eberl, club chairman Oliver Mintzlaff believes Leipzig have the perfect candidate to take them forward when he assumes office on December 15 after signing a "long-term" contract.

"With Max Eberl, we were able to fill the position of managing director for sport with our absolute dream candidate," Mintzlaff said.

"We have been dealing with Max for a long time but have always respected his difficult situation and are now very happy to be able to start working together in December.  

"After his press conference in January this year, I got in touch with Max and wished him all the best. After that, I kept trying to get in touch, but Max told me that he needed peace and quiet and wasn't interested in football, but that we could meet up in the summer. That's why I never let go of contact and met him in the summer.

"Here, Max confirmed to me that he finds the perspective with us very interesting, but he did not want to come back before July 1, 2023. But that opened the door a bit for us, and we are now very happy that together with Max we found the starting point of our cooperation for mid-December.

"Max is an absolute football expert and has a large network and an excellent name in the industry both nationally and internationally. For many years in Monchengladbach he showed how you can build something up and find the right solution even for difficult situations.

"He has proven himself both as a transfer expert and as a promoter of talent, achieved a great deal and delivered a successful job."

Eberl took over football operations at Gladbach in October 2009 – at that point, they had not ended a top-flight season higher than 10th since 1996.

During his time in charge, the club finished higher than 10th in 10 successive seasons and even managed four top-four finishes in the Bundesliga.

One of those came with Marco Rose as head coach, and the pair will link up again in Leipzig after the 46-year-old replaced Domenico Tedesco at the helm earlier this month.

Eberl was still technically contracted to Borussia, but the club agreed to dissolve their partnership, thus allowing him to join Leipzig.

Carlo Ancelotti saluted the impact of substitute Marco Asensio following his goal in Real Madrid's 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

The reigning champions made it six points from six in Group F after netting twice in the final 10 minutes to battle past their spirited opponents at Santiago Bernabeu.

After Federico Valverde opened the scoring, Asensio sealed the victory by sweeping a wonderful first-time effort into the top corner from Toni Kroos' lay-off for his eighth Champions League goal as a substitute - now the most of any player in the history of the competition.

The winger, who replaced Eduardo Camavinga in the 64th minute, was repeatedly linked with a move away from Madrid during the transfer window, and entered the contest having played just 17 minutes for Los Blancos across all competitions this season.

His frustration at the lack of playing time boiled over when he was overlooked by Ancelotti during Sunday's 4-1 win over Mallorca; throwing his bib to the ground while kicking a water bottle. But the Italian was pleased by Asensio's response.

"[I am] happy, he has had minutes and has delivered. I think he needed this goal," said Ancelotti, who became only the second coach to record 100 Champions League wins after Alex Ferguson (102). 

"At first, he hesitated whether to leave or stay, but he has stayed, and we were all happy. [It was a] good game, although we suffered a bit in the first half.

"The most important thing was to prevent them from having space behind the defenders, and that's why we wanted a slow pace. At half-time, we decided to put more energy into the game."

Madrid have now recorded clean sheets in each of their last three matches in the competition; doing so for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

And goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois highlighted the significance of making a strong start in Group F, with a double-header against Shakhtar Donetsk to come.

"It was important to start our defence with two straight wins," he said. "Now, if we can win our two against Shakhtar, we'll be nearly through to the next round.

"Maybe when we played better, we still didn't make huge danger [today], but the key was that we took our chances. 

"We applied much better pressure in the second half. We marked our men, played the ball simply when we had it. Our general play needs to improve - too many times, we failed to make our passes."

Real Madrid scored twice in the closing stages as they battled to a 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

The reigning European champions had endured a frustrating day at the Santiago Bernabeu until Federico Valverde broke the deadlock with 10 minutes to play.

Substitute Marco Asensio then wrapped up the points in stoppage time to move Los Blancos to the top of Group F and give Carlo Ancelotti his 100th win in Europe's premier club competition.

Despite a spirited display – at odds with their below-par showing against Shakhtar Donetsk – Leipzig remain pointless after a second consecutive defeat.

Bayern Munich have been left with a hole after Robert Lewandowski's exit for Barcelona.

Sadio Mane moved to Munich from Liverpool in the close season but he is not a like-for-like replacement.

Bayern have started the new Bundesliga campaign in indifferent form, following up three wins with as many draws.

TOP STORY – NEGOTIATIONS UNDERWAY BETWEEN KANE AND BAYERN

Harry Kane is increasingly open to the idea of making the move to join German champions Bayern Munich, claims Sky Sports.

Sky Sports' Florian Plettenberg reports that negotiations have already been held by Bayern and Kane's brother Charlie, who represents him.

Bayern have made the Tottenham striker their number one target and can offer him the likelihood of silverware, in comparison to Spurs.

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano reports that Lionel Messi will not make a decision on his future until after the World Cup, but Paris Saint-Germain are planning to offer him a new deal, while Barcelona are interested in re-signing him. Messi is contracted until 2023 but there is the option of another year in Paris.

Jude Bellingham's list of suitors is growing with Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool all keen on Borussia Dortmund's English talent according to AS.

– New Chelsea boss Graham Potter has approved the club's pursuit of RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, with the club to try to sign him again in June 2023 reports Fichajes.

– Germany international forward Max Kruse's contract with Wolfsburg is set to be mutually terminated during the Bundesliga break, claims Sport.

– The Guardian reports that Lens head coach Franck Haise is under consideration for the vacant Brighton and Hove Albion managerial post, along with Bodo/Glimt's Kjetil Knutsen and ex-Shakhtar Donetsk boss Roberto De Zerbi.

There was no shortage of thrills and spills on matchday one of the Champions League, and Wednesday's action promises more of the same as one of the world's most in-form strikers faces his former club.

Erling Haaland has made a spectacular start to his Manchester City career, hitting 12 goals in all competitions since his move from Borussia Dortmund, but how will he fare when his old team visit the Etihad Stadium? 

Elsewhere, Graham Potter will hope to have an immediate impact in his first game as Chelsea's head coach as they bid to bounce back from last week's 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb.

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, meanwhile, are among the favourites to be crowned European champions, and will both be hopeful of making it two wins from two outings.

Ahead of another intriguing set of European ties, Stats Perform trawls through the Opta data to highlight the most noteworthy facts for each game.

Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund

City striker Haaland netted 15 times in 13 Champions League appearances for Dortmund, and few would bet against the Norwegian haunting his former team on Wednesday.

Haaland helped himself to a brace at Sevilla last time out, bringing him to 25 Champions League goals in just 20 appearances – the highest tally managed by any player in their first 20 games in Europe's premier club competition. 

The visit of BVB will represent a landmark outing for City boss Pep Guardiola, taking him to 150 Champions League games. Only five other coaches have reached that tally, while only two have earned more victories than Guardiola's 94 – Alex Ferguson (102) and Carlo Ancelotti (99).

The omens are certainly good for the Premier League champions, who are unbeaten in their last 20 Champions League home games, winning 18 and drawing two. That represents the longest such sequence by an English side since Chelsea's run of 21 without defeat between September 2006 and December 2009.

Dortmund, meanwhile, have not won at an English side in the competition since beating Arsenal 2-1 in October 2013.

Chelsea v Salzburg

Defeat to Dinamo Zagreb spelled the end of Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea reign last week, and Potter is the man entrusted to ensure they avoid back-to-back continental defeats when Salzburg visit.

Chelsea have never previously lost their opening two games of a Champions League campaign, and last lost consecutive games in the competition in 2019-20, when they were beaten by Bayern Munich in both legs of a last-16 tie.

This will be the first meeting between Chelsea and Salzburg, with the Blues only losing one of their previous four European ties against Austrian teams (W1 D2). Salzburg, meanwhile, have never beaten an English side in European competition in six attempts (D1 L5).

But the Blues will have to be wary of Matthias Jaissle's young guns at Stamford Bridge, and may need to keep a particularly close eye on Noah Okafor. 

The 22-year-old has four goals in his last five Champions League outings for Salzburg – only Haaland (eight) has ever scored more for the club in the competition.

Real Madrid v RB Leipzig

Holders Madrid are looking to secure consecutive wins when they host RB Leipzig at the Santiago Bernabeu, and are unbeaten in their last 11 Champions League games against German opponents, scoring at least two goals in all of those matches (27 in total).

Leipzig, however, are unbeaten in their three European clashes with Spanish sides (W2 D1) and will be looking for a result comparable to their 2-1 quarter-final win over Atletico Madrid in 2019-20.

Los Blancos possess a remarkable amount of experience at the highest level; should Luka Modric feature, he will become the first 37-year-old outfield player to play a European Cup/Champions League game for Madrid since Ferenc Puskas in November 1965 against Kilmarnock.

Coach Ancelotti, meanwhile, is on the brink of his 100th win in the Champions League, and could become just the second boss to bring up such a century in the competition (after Alex Ferguson with 102).

Maccabi Haifa v Paris Saint-Germain

Kylian Mbappe scored a terrific brace to get PSG's European campaign off to a flying start against Juventus, and a trip to Maccabi Haifa gives him the opportunity to make club history.

The striker has scored 29 goals in 45 Champions League outings with PSG, scoring against 14 of the 17 opponents he's faced with the French champions. One more goal will see him level Edinson Cavani's record of 30 goals in the competition for the Ligue 1 side.

He could be aided by the in-form Neymar, who has provided eight assists for Mbappe in the Champions League, more than any player has assisted another in the competition since the start of 2017-18.

The final member of their revered forward trio, Lionel Messi, also has his eyes on making history.

Messi has scored against 38 different teams in the Champions League, the same amount as his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, and will be keen to claim the record outright when he faces Maccabi for the first time on Wednesday.

Other fixtures:

Rangers v Napoli

1 – Wednesday's rearranged match will be the first competitive meeting between Rangers and Napoli. The Serie A side have only faced a Scottish team in European competition once before, exiting to Hibernian in the Fairs Cup in November 1967.

3 – Piotr Zielinski was directly involved in three of Napoli's four goals as they thrashed Liverpool last week (two goals, one assist). This is already his best campaign for goal contributions in the competition since joining Napoli.  

Milan vs Dinamo Zagreb

6 - Milan have failed to win any of their last six home games in the Champions League (D3 L3), their longest run without a home victory in the competition.

31.8 – Dinamo Zagreb had just 31.8 per cent possession against Chelsea on matchday one, the lowest of any team who managed to avoid defeat in their opening game.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Celtic

3 – Shakhtar's Mykhailo Mudryk was one of three players to be directly involved in three goals on matchday one (one goal, two assists), along with Robert Lewandowski and Zielinski.

1/13 - Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart has only kept one clean sheet in his last 13 away Champions League games, with his last coming at Roma in December 2014 (for Manchester City).

Copenhagen v Sevilla

8 - Spanish sides are unbeaten in all eight of their Champions League games against Danish clubs (W6 D2) – only against sides from the Czech Republic (13) have Spanish teams appeared more often without defeat.

3/4 - Sevilla have lost three of their last four Champions League group-stage games (W1), as many as they lost in their previous 22 such matches (W10 D9).

Juventus v Benfica

2 - Juventus have lost their last two Champions League games. Only once in the history of the European Cup/Champions League have they lost three in a row, doing so between May 1968 and September 1972.

4 – Benfica's Alejandro Grimaldo has been involved in four goals in his last four Champions League games (one goal, three assists), more than he was in his first 27 games in the competition (two goals, one assist).

Karim Benzema is progressing well in his recovery but the Real Madrid striker will only play in Saturday's derby with Atletico Madrid if there is no risk of injury.

Benzema missed Madrid's 4-1 win over Real Mallorca last weekend because of a knee injury.

It will also keep him out of Wednesday's Champions League clash with RB Leipzig, with the fixture against city rivals Atletico seen as a potential return date.

But head coach Carlo Ancelotti is unwilling to take any chances with his star striker.

He said ahead of the Leipzig clash: "He [Benzema] is progressing well, there are options. But he will only play if there is no risk of injury."

The win over Mallorca featured a clash between Vinicius Junior and visiting coach Javier Aguirre and a furious response from Marco Asensio after Ancelotti elected not to send the midfielder on from the bench.

Asked about the latter incident, Ancelotti replied: "[Asensio] cannot be considered a young man or a veteran. He is doing well and since his anger, he is training very well.

"It is what has to happen when someone gets angry, because you can train better or lower your arms. And he has opted for the first one. He has options to win tomorrow."

On Vinicius, he added: "He's fine, lively, in a good dynamic. Fully recovered from the Mallorca game. We don't talk about this, it's not something we need to talk about."

While Madrid coasted to victory over Celtic in their opening Group F game, Leipzig started their Champions League campaign with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Shakhtar Donetsk.

Ancelotti, though, is wary of the threat posed by Leipzig, referencing their 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday as evidence of their quality.

"It's an important game, against a team that had problems at the beginning of the season, but a great game came together against Dortmund," said Ancelotti.

"They have quality, especially up front, technical and fast. We'll have to play a good game to try to win.

"Leipzig's attack is very dangerous, with Werner, Nkunku, Szobozslai, Forsberg - we're talking about a very dangerous team if you give them the chance to show their quality.

"I think the defensive aspect will be as important as the offensive."

RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a ligament injury in Saturday's 3-0 win against Borussia Dortmund.

The 25-year-old Austrian came off late in the game, and it has been revealed by his club he suffered a blow to his left syndesmosis ligament, an injury often known as a high ankle sprain.

Laimer, who was linked with Liverpool and Bayern Munich before the transfer window closed, faces "several weeks" out of action, Leipzig said.

The news comes as a blow to new Leipzig head coach Marco Rose, who was appointed last Thursday in the wake of Domenico Tedesco losing his job after a 4-1 Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.

The injury setback was confirmed on the eve of Leipzig's away game against Real Madrid in the Champions League, with Rose looking to keep the Bundesliga side in with a realistic shot of a top-two finish in Group F, which also contains Celtic.

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