Chelsea and Sevilla are close to the next stage, Álvaro Morata is hitting his peak, and Gerard Piqué has faith in Barcelona. See what the first night of Matchday 4 has to offer.
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Tuesday fixtures (click for live build-up)*
Group E: Krasnodar vs Sevilla (18:55 CET)
Group E: Rennes vs Chelsea (18:55 CET)
Group F: Lazio vs Zenit
Group F: Dortmund vs Club Brugge
Group G: Dynamo Kyiv vs BarcelonaGroup G: Juventus vs Ferencváros
Group H: Manchester United vs İstanbul Başakşehir
Group H: Paris vs Leipzig
*21:00 CET unless stated
Chelsea and Sevilla in sight of first last 16 places
The race to be the first side to make it to the round of 16 this season could well be a photo finish; both of Tuesday’s Group E games kick off at 18:55 CET, and after wins in their home games against Rennes and Krasnodar on Matchday 3, Chelsea and Sevilla start the day six points clear of the bottom two in the section. If the Blues prevail in France and the UEFA Europa League holders win in Russia, both sides will be guaranteed a top-two finish. “We want to win [in Rennes] with a good performance,” the Blues’ Timo Werner told UEFA.com. “And then we want to battle it out with Sevilla for first place in the group.”
Álvaro Morata on a roll at Juventus
The birth of his third child, Eduardo, in September may have forced some late nights on Juventus’ forward Álvaro Morata, but it has not stopped him shining in the evening. Level with Diogo Jota, Marcus Rashford and Erling Braut Haaland at the top of this season’s group stage scorers rankings, the Spaniard has scored four of Juve’s six goals to data and may fancy a few more as his side welcome Ferencváros. On loan from Atlético de Madrid, the 27-year-old is enjoying playing alongside Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo, saying: “I only have to adapt to their qualities and use their talent to score as many goals as possible.”
Will Barcelona freeze in Kyiv?
No team has won their group more than Barcelona – 21 times and counting – but if Ronald Koeman’s side are well-placed in Group G, Dynamo Kyiv gave them quite a test despite losing 2-1 on Matchday 3. The Ukrainian side’s coach Mircea Lucescu was wary of predicting more of the same for the return fixture in Kyiv, mindful that Barcelona have “learned about us”, but Barcelona remain a work progress – though Gerard Piqué reckons they are on the right track: “This’ll be a difficult year as the club works through its changes but the results will start to come, I’m certain.”
Başakşehir targeting victory at Old Trafford
İstanbul Başakşehir’s 2-1 win against Manchester United on Matchday 3 was greeted as a historic achievement in the Turkish press, but while defender Rafael was beaming at his starring performance against his old side, coach Okan Buruk was raising his sights: “Getting the win in the third match gives us the chance to press for qualifying.” United beat Leipzig 5-0 in their last Group H home game, but that was only their second win in their last seven UEFA Champions League home games. Will the Turkish champions catch Ole Gunnar Solskjærs’s side cold again?
Lazio keeping their heads
Lazio returned to the group stage after a 13-year absence with a win 3-1 against Dortmund on Matchday 1, but Simone Inzaghi’s side were relieved to have taken two points from their subsequent games, as illness and injuries ensured that only six of their Matchday 1 starters made the team sheet for 1-1 draws at Club Brugge and Zenit. The international break may have eased Lazio’s problems, and the spirit they showed in adversity augurs well as they welcome Zenit. “We played two away games with very few players,” Inzaghi explained. “We missed key players,” added midfielder Marco Parolo. “But we’re united as a group.”
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