A look at what is happening in European football on Wednesday:
After consecutive defeats at the start of their Champions League season, Barcelona must find a way to beat Dynamo Kiev at home to have a realistic chance of making the knockout stage. It’s last in the group, one point behind third-placed Dynamo. The Catalan club have made it through the group stage every season since their early exit in 2000/01. While Barcelona struggled, Bayern crossed Munich and are now visiting second-placed Benfica. Neither team conceded a goal in the group stage this season, but they had opposing weekends. Bayern go into the game on Sunday with a 5-1 win against Bayer Leverkusen, while Benfica needed extra time the day before to beat second division Trofense.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is back under pressure after two wins in their last seven games, including beating Villarreal in the Champions League, scored by a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 95th minute. This puts United with three points next to Young Boys and one behind Atalanta, which is visiting the English team for the first game of their double header. Solskjaer admitted after the 4-2 defeat on Saturday in Leicester that changes in the team are necessary and he could give the again fit striker Marcus Rashford a first start to the season. Atalanta have knocked out five key players with captain Rafael Tolói, Matteo Pessina, Berat Djimsiti, Robin Gosens and Hans Hateboer. Villarreal visits Young Boys after their first Spanish league defeat this season. The Spanish club are bottom of the group with a point from two games.
Penalty shootouts have made Salzburg the unexpected group leader as the Austrian club host Germany’s Wolfsburg. Salzburg had given five penalties and converted three in the first two games, but still have to score from the open game as they are trying to get out of the group stage for the first time. Wolfsburg have been without a win for six competitive games and are missing Wout Weghorst. The striker tested positive for the coronavirus after reporting symptoms on Sunday. Since Sevilla are very popular in the Spanish league, Lille’s defense should be put to the test even without the injury of central defender Sven Botman, who injured his groin during an international match for the Dutch U21 national team. He was a key player in Lille’s title win last season and formed an excellent partnership with veteran Jose Fonte but could be out for weeks. Lille are last in Group G with one point and one goal, so coach Jocelyn Gourvennec will need Timothy Weah and Jonathan David to support veteran striker Burak Yilmaz up front in Europe.
Chelsea go into a home game against Malmo to get back on track after losing to Juventus in the second round and find star striker Romelu Lukaku to find his goal form. Lukaku has not scored a goal in his last six games for Chelsea in all competitions after scoring four goals in the first four games of his second term with the London club. Antonio Rüdiger is available for the current Swedish league leaders after an injury. After a bumpy start to the season, Juventus are back in shape and have been unbeaten in seven games. In addition, he has won both games in the Champions League, scored four goals and conceded none. Defender Matthijs de Ligt missed Sunday’s Serie A win against Roma but returns against Zenit St. Petersburg. Álvaro Morata made a return against Roma but striker Paulo Dybala is still injured.
Leicester must celebrate another Europa League win at Spartak Moscow after beating Manchester United in the Premier League after opening the group stage with just one point from two games.
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