Champions League 2013: Breaking Down Top Games on Wednesday
While Wednesday's Champions League action doesn't feature as many high-profile gems as we saw on Tuesday, highlighted by Barcelona and AC Milan drawing and Borussia Dortmund sneaking past Arsenal, 2-1, there are still some excellent matches on tap.
Two giants of European football will collide. One giant of European football will hope their match on Wednesday will fare better than their domestic campaign. And two talented teams trying to keep pace in Group A will lock horns in what could end up being the match of the day.
Intrigued yet? Let's break down Wednesday's top action.
Real Madrid vs. Juventus
Without question, this battle between the Spanish and Italian giants will highlight Wednesday's action.
It would be nice to finally see Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Isco on the pitch together for a full match against elite competition, while Juventus counters with Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Carlos Tevez.
Which team wins?
This game is vital for Juventus, who have managed just two points after two matches while Real Madrid have taken six. If Los Blancos win this game—a very real possibility at home—Juventus could find themselves in a real fight to advance to the next stage (especially if Galatasaray wake up), while Real Madrid would be sitting pretty.
But a Juventus victory would make things very, very interesting. In the end, the clash of titans will likely end in a draw.
Manchester United vs. Real Sociedad
While United have struggled mightily in their domestic campaign, the Red Devils have managed to take four points in their two games to start the Champions League. Another three points at Old Trafford would certainly put the them in the driver's seat in Group A.
For Real Sociedad, a failure to earn any points for a third-straight match would probably be too tough to overcome in a tough group, so they'll be desperate. But Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and David Moyes are pretty desperate after a terrible start to the Premier League season, too, and I don't see them losing at home.
Prediction: Manchester United wins, 2-0
Shakhtar Donetsk are really tough to beat at home. If you don't believe me, just ask Manchester United, who could only manage a draw. But they also beat Real Sociedad on the road, so Bayer Leverkusen would be wise to not take them lightly.
Leverkusen have been brilliant to start the season, currently third on the table but tied in points with Borussia Dortmund and just a point behind Bayern Munich. Sidney Sam (seven goals, four assists) and Stefan Kiessling (six goals, three assists) have played inspired football in Bundesliga play.
Can they replicate that form in a key home fixture? If they can't, Leverkusen may find themselves behind the eight ball in a very tough Group A.
Prediction: Leverkusen wins, 2-1
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