UCL Weds. preview: Man Utd in Russia, Chelsea in Spain

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

Two gigantic matches highlight Wednesday’s eight match slate in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

One of those involves a Premier League side (Chelsea), finds this season’s “it” team at home to a German giant.

[ MORE: UCL Tues. roundup ]

We’ll start with Bayern Munich, who heads to Paris Saint-Germain to face the reportedly quarreling trident of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Edinson Cavani.

Neymar was rested this weekend with a toe injury, but is fit for Wednesday and ready for one of two matches which are likely to determine who’s seeded for the knockout rounds. PSG visits Bayern on Dec. 5.

As for the Blues of Chelsea, they face a mightier ask than their opening romp over Qarabag. Chelsea will visit Atletico Madrid, which held Roma scoreless in its opener and sits second in La Liga having allowed just four goals in six matches.

Manchester United is also on the road, and far from home. CSKA Moscow is the opposition, boasting five Russian national teamers including longtime backstop Igor Akinfeev. Midfielder Alan Dzagoev is also one to watch, especially given United’s absences in the center of the park; Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba, and Michael Carrick will all miss the match.

Here’s Jose Mourinho:

“I won’t have Fellaini, I won’t have Pogba, we won’t have Carrick, so all three midfield players that we lose for this match,” the boss told reporters. “So there are not many solutions, but we try not to focus on individual battles or in specific areas on the pitch. We try to focus on the globality [team as a whole] and we are going to have a team with quality, with balance, to try to win the match which is our objective.”

Full schedule
All matches kick at 2:45 p.m. ET except where indicated

Qarabag vs. Roma — Noon ET
CSKA Moscow vs. Manchester United
Anderlecht vs. Celtic
Basel vs. Benfica
Juventus vs. Olympiacos
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea
Sporting Lisbon vs. Barcelona