Four British Teams In Action Again On Matchday Two of the Champions League

With Manchester City, as the Premier League Champions, along with Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool, British fans hopes of landing a Champions League winner for the first time since Chelsea’s victory over Bayern Munich in 2012, initially seemed high. Liverpool reached the final last year and Manchester City were installed as the competition favourites ahead of the Group Stage getting underway.

Add to that both United and Spurs reaching the knockout phase of the tournament last year, and it seemed as if Spanish teams dominance of the tournament over the last five years was coming to an end.

However, the first week of Champions League Group Stage games proved a mixed bag for English results, while the Spanish representatives continued to show their class racking up three very good wins.

So how will the four English teams fare this week? We take a look back at how each did in their opening round of games, as well as the current state of their Group table and then we will look ahead to the fixtures for each team this week.

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Champions League Group F

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Lyon 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3
2 Hoffenheim 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
3 Shakhtar Donetsk 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
4 Manchester City 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0

Week One Results:

  • Shakhtar Donetsk 2 (dos Santos 27, Barberan 81)
  • Hoffenheim 2 (Grillitsch 6, Nordtveit 38)

An exciting game saw Hoffenheim dominate the game for long periods and the German side should have won this, however two fine strikes from Shakhtar was enough to give the Ukrainian side a share of the points in a game they scarcely deserved to earn anything from.

  • Manchester City 1 (Silva 67)
  • Lyon 2 (Cornet 26, Fekir 43)

Lyon stunned the home support, and many Champions League commentators, with a superb victory over Manchester City at the Etihad. A superb first half display, capped by two goals was enough for the French team to clinch win and despite City fighting back hard, they hung on to score a massive win on the opening night.

Week Two Group F Fixtures

Tuesday 2nd October

Hoffenheim v Manchester City (5.55pm)

A big night for City as they travel to Hoffenheim badly in need of a result. Their Premier League form is outstanding and I am sure City will put the result against Lyon right here, though they won’t have it all their own way against a very talented and attack minded Hoffenheim side. Tip – Man City to win 2-1 (15/2 at bet365 Sport)

Lyon v Shakhtar Donetsk (8pm)

The French side will want to back up that win at the Etihad with three points at home against a tricky Donetsk side who have bags of Champions League experience. This will be another close one, but I think Lyon’s pace and cutting edge will see them through. Tip – Lyon to win 2-0 (17/2 with bet365)

Champions League Group H

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Man Utd 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 3
2 Juventus 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 3
3 Valencia 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0
4 Young Boys 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0

Week One Results:

  • Valencia 0
  • Juventus 2 (Pjanic 45 (pen), 51 (pen))

Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off in the first half but despite this, two penalties from Miralem Pjanic were enough to give Juventus the points against Valencia, who themselves missed a second half penalty. Ronaldo will now be suspended for Juventus next game with Young Boys although he will be back for their next game against former club Manchester United.

  • Young Boys 0
  • Manchester United 3 (Pogba 35,44 (pen), Martial 66)

United comfortably despatched Swiss Champions Young Boys in a solid display in Berne. A double from Paul Pogba in the first half, followed by a strike from Anthony Martial ensured that United made the best possible start to their campaign against a side that were comfortably the inferior of Jose Mourinho’s men.

Week Two Group G Fixtures

Tuesday 2nd October

Juventus v Young Boys (5.55pm)

This game is just a guessing game as to how many goals Juventus will win this by. They are by far and away the stronger of the two teams and evebn without Cristiano Ronaldo, I am expecting the Italian side to win this one very comfortably indeed. Tip – Juventus to win 3-0 (5/1)

Manchester United v Valencia (8pm)

Poor domestic form does make be a little concerned for United here, especially with Valencia winning their first La Liga game of the season at the weekend on the road at Real Sociedad. United need to improve a great deal to grab a win here, but I think they will to take control of the group alongside Juve. Tip – United to win and both teams to score – no (7/4)

Champions League Group B

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Barcelona 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 3
2 Inter Milan 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3
3 Tottenham 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
4 PSV Eindhoven 1 0 0 1 0 4 -4 0

Week One Results:

  • Barcelona 4 (Messi 31,77,87, Dembele 74)
  • PSV Eindhoven 0

Barcelona will miss Samuel Umtiti for their game with Spurs this week after the French World Cup winner was sent off against PSV at the Nou Camp.  Not that it mattered to the scoreline as Lionel Messi put on a Champions League masterclass to score a hattrick, with Ousmane Dembele adding another as Barcelona cruised to an easy victory.

  • Inter Milan 2 (Icardi 85, Vecino 90+2)
  • Tottenham 1 (Eriksen 53)

Two late goals denied Spurs the victory they arguably deserved against Inter Milan. A drab first half gave way to a much better second and Spurs took the lead with Eriksen’s deflected shot. However, late on Icardi volleyed home Asamoah’s fine cross before in injury time, slack marking in the box from a corner allowed Vecino to head home an undeserved winner for the home side.

Week Two Fixtures

Wednesday 3rd October

PSV Eindhoven v Inter Milan (8pm)

Inter Milan will have high hopes of landing a second win in Group B in this game, but I feel PSV are a better team than their 4-0 loss at the Nou Camp suggests and I am confident that they can spring a surprise in this group. I am backing the home side to earn a solid draw. Tip – Draw – 13/5

Tottenham v Barcelona (8pm)

Spurs will know two defeats in a row would leave them with a mountain to climb in Group B and Barcelona come into this game not in the best of form having lost and drawn their last two La Liga games. That said, I can’t see Barcelona being beaten here, but I also feel Spurs will get something from the game. Tip – Draw – 3/1

Champions League Group C

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 1 1 0 0 3 2 +1 3
2 Red Star Belgrade 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
3 Napoli 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
4 Paris St Germain 1 0 0 1 2 3 -1 0

Week One Results:

  • Red Star Belgrade 0
  • Napoli 0

Napoli dominated the game in Serbia but struggled to break through Red Star’s well organised defence and the Italian side will be disappointed in the 0-0 draw, knowing that both Liverpool and Paris St Germain will be expecting to pick up three points on their trip to Belgrade.

  • Liverpool 3 (Sturridge 30, Milner 35 (pen), Firmino 90+1)
  • Paris St Germain 2 (Meunier 40, Mbappe 83)

A hugely exciting game at Anfield saw Liverpool race into a two-goal lead thanks to a Daniel Sturridge header and Jame Milner penalty, only for Thomas Meunier to pull one back for PSG just five minutes later. Despite dominating the game, Liverpool then were pegged back all square when Kylian Mbappe scored, however in injury time, sub Roberto Firmino struck a superb shot into the far corner to give the Reds the win.

Week Two Fixtures

Wednesday 3rd October

Paris St Germain v Red Star Belgrade (5.55pm)

This game for me is not a question of whether PSG will win, but simply by how many. I can see Neymar, Cavani and Mbappe being given some relatively rough treatment by the Red Star back line but if they go down to 10-men, it could be a very long night for them. Tip – Paris St Germain to win 4-0 (11/2)

Napoli v Liverpool (8pm)

This could be the pivotal game in Group C with Napoli needing a win, whereas a win for Liverpool would put them top of the group and in control ahead of a double-header with Red Star Belgrade. Napoli lost at the weekend, whereas Liverpool earned a draw at Chelsea. This will be close, but I think the Reds away from home in Europe can be devastating. Tip – Liverpool to win 3-1 (14/1)