The fourth UEFA Champions League Match day 4 has arrived with some very exciting fixtures to look forward to. There is pride on the line, there are reputations to be rebuilt, not forgetting Diego Simeone’s pound of flesh. Here are four matches you must take out time to watch as they promise to produce fireworks.
Inter Milan v Barcelona @San Siro @9pm on November 6
The only loss Internazionale have suffered in their last 10 matches was to Barcelona.
Barcelona have also been good, winning five on the trot, including the 5-1 demolition of Real Madrid in the El Clasico.
Inter manager; Luciano Spalletti knows a test when he sees one as he classified Barcelona as the most stringent of tests. “When you talk about Barcelona, you are talking about the highest level of difficulty that there is. Barcelona have been a point of reference for coaches in every sport.”
For Keita Balde, Inter must show strength on Tuesday. “The first game wasn’t easy, playing at the Camp Nou never is. Tomorrow [Tuesday], we must put in an important performance, aware of our strength.”
For Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde, he is aware of Inter’s run of seven consecutive victories in Serie A. “Tomorrow will be a similar game to the ones Inter are playing in Italy – intense games, with real fight. We’ll have to keep suffering and we’ll try to win.”
Current Form: Inter [W-W-L-W-W]; Barcelona [W-W-W-W-W]
Head to head
24/10/18 UCL Barcelona 2 – 0 Inter Milan
28/04/10 UCL Barcelona 1 – 0 Inter Milan
20/04/10 UCL Inter Milan 3 – 1 Barcelona
24/11/09 UCL Barcelona 2 – 0 Inter Milan
16/09/09 UCL Inter Milan 0 – 0 Barcelona
Prediction: Inter 2-2 Barcelona
Atletico v Dortmund @ Estadio Metropolitano @9pm on November 6
Diego Simeone was deeply hurt by the 4-0 thrashing received and will give anything to get his pound of flesh come Tuesday evening at the Metropolitano. But Lucien Favre’s side is unbeaten in all competitions this season and will not be cowed with the vociferous support.
Simeone acknowledged the benefit of the ruckus caused by the home fans when he said, “I can’t ask anything else of the fans because they always give everything. This is an important game for the club.”
With two final appearances and a UEFA Europa League win in the last five seasons, Simeone added, “Football is marvellous and there are countless ways to play and to win. You have to choose one and we believe in ours because of our players’ attributes. In seven years, we haven’t done much wrong.”
Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki is expecting a tougher and more abrasive encounter. He told UEFA’s official site, “I’m expecting Atletico to be aggressive tomorrow – perhaps even a bit more aggressive than in the reverse fixture – because they’re playing at home.”
Current Form: Atletico [D-W-W-L-D]; Dortmund [W-W-D-W-W]
Head to head
24/10/18 UCL Borussia Dortmund 4 – 0 Atletico Madrid
Prediction: Atletico 2-1 Dortmund
Napoli v PSG @Stadio San Paolo @9pm on November 6
It took a last-minute equaliser from Angel di Maria to restore some Parisian pride a fortnight ago and it only gets tougher for Neymar and company on Tuesday night at the grand old San Paolo.
PSG’s Italian goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, said “It’s important for us to go out and win, but that’ll be tricky.
“I know this stadium well and it’s very difficult to win here. The atmosphere in the stadium is very good; the team and its supporters have a good relationship.”
Meanwhile, Napoli manager, Carlo Ancelotti, wants his players to more assured and clinical. “In some situations [in Paris] we weren’t confident enough and could have been more clinical. It remains the case that to win you have to do something extraordinary.”
Current Form: Napoli [W-D-D-W-W]; PSG [W-W-D-W-W]
Head to head
24/10/18 UCL PSG 2 – 2 Napoli
11/08/14 CLF Napoli 1 – 2 PSG
Prediction: Napoli 3-2 PSG
Juventus v Man. Utd @Allianz Stadium @9pm on November 7
Can Jose Mourinho continue his redemptive path by leading the Red Devils to a victory at the dreaded Allianz Stadium on Wednesday? Juventus were the better all-around team in the first fixture and could have won by more than the solitary goal. Since that defeat, United have improved especially in getting difficult wins and have more confidence than they did just two weeks ago.
Current Form: Juventus [W-W-W-D-W]; Man. Utd [W-W-L-D-W]
Head to head
23/10/18 UCL Man. Utd 0 – 1 Juventus
25/02/03 UCL Juventus 0 – 3 Man. Utd
19/02/03 UCL Man. Utd 2 – 1 Juventus
Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Man. Utd