As the Champions League enters its second week of action we predict the scores of all Wednesday's matches and preview three key matchups.
|17:00||CSKA Moscow||Viktoria Plzen||CSKA win, 3-0|
|19:45||Shakhtar Donetsk||Manchester United||Draw, 2-2|
|19:45||Bayer Leverkusen||Real Sociedad||Leverkusen win, 2-1|
|19:45||Juventus||Galatasaray||Juventus win, 3-1|
|19:45||Real Madrid||FC Copenhagen||Real Madrid win, 4-1|
|19:45||PSG||Benfica||PSG win, 2-1|
|19:45||Manchester City||Bayern Munich||Munich win, 2-3|
PSG vs. Benfica
There is one thing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his team PSG have in common. Neither has ever won the Champions League, and both are on a mission to end that drought this season.
The Parisian outfit welcome Benfica to the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night as both sides look to go clear at the top of Group C. PSG saw off Olympiacos 4-1 away from home on Matchday 1, while Benfica overturned Anderlecht 2-0 at home.
PSG have looked solid in Ligue 1 this season. They sit level with Monaco at the top of the table with 18 points from a possible 24 and have conceded just four times in eight matches while scoring 12.
The reigning French champions are currently on a nine-match unbeaten run but they are struggling with injuries at the back. They will be without Thiago Silva for the Champions League clash after the defender picked up a hamstring injury a week ago, but Laurent Blanc is hoping Alex will be fit to return to the side after resting him at the weekend.
Benfica are on an unbeaten streak of their own, going six matches without defeat, but beating PSG away from home will be a big ask for last year’s Europa League finalists.
The Ligue 1 side have proven match-winners at their disposal, and they will be looking to live up to the preseason hype that had people touting them as potential Champions League winners.
Prediction: PSG 2 Benfica 1
Real Madrid vs. FC Copenhagen
Real Madrid will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid at the weekend as they take on FC Copenhagen in the first competitive meeting between the sides.
The Spanish outfit will be expected to pick up all three points against a Copenhagen side that has struggled on the domestic front so far this season.
The defending Danish Superliga champions, who have won the division nine times in the last 13 years, currently sit second last in the table with two wins, four draws and four defeats from their opening 10 games.
Copenhagen, who will bring a loyal contingent of supporters to Madrid with them, picked up a credible point at home to Juventus on Matchday 1, but their defence, which has leaked 16 goals in their 10 league game this season, will likely struggle to contain Madrid’s firepower up front.
The Spanish outfit have been reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco for their goals this season. The Portuguese forward had scored in all Real’s games, including a hat-trick against Galatasaray, until the defeat to city rivals Atletico at the weekend, and Carlo Ancellotti will be hoping Gareth Bale can begin to rediscover his goal scoring touch after the Welshman recovered from a thigh injury.
Prediction: Real Madrid 4 FC Copenhagen 1
Juventus vs. Galatasaray
Roberto Mancini faces a tough trip to Turin to take on Juventus for his first game in charge of Galatasaray.
The Turkish side have struggled so far this season. One win in four matches and a 6-1 drubbing at home to Real Madrid spelt the end of Fatih Terim’s time in charge.
Mancini will know that despite being the underdog his team has talent and experience going forward in the form of Burak Yilmaz, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba—the latter two being former Champions League winners—to trouble Juventus.
However, the Italian side will be eager to pick up all three points before their visit to Madrid at the end of the month.
Antonio Conte’s side mustered just one point from their opening game against Copenhagen, but expect the two-time winners to come away with all three points against their Turkish opponents.
The Italian side have looked impressive in Serie A action so far this season, winning five and drawing one of their opening six matches. Mirko Vucinic and Carlos Tevez have struck up a good partnership since the Argentine’s arrival from Manchester City. However, Tevez’s participation on Wednesday is in doubt after he picked up an ankle injury.
Prediction: Juventus 3 Galatasaray 1