Weds. Champions League preview: Spurs in Serbia, Man City in Italy

Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
0 Comments

Matchday 4 of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League wraps up on Wednesday, with a pair of Premier League sides in action, and facing vastly different paths forward in the competition.

[ MORE: UCL roundup | Chelsea 4-4 Ajax | Liverpool 2-1 Genk ]

Someone is going to have to finish second, behind Bayern Munich, in Group B. Fortunately for Tottenham Hotspur, Red Star Belgrade and Olympiacos appear even less suited to the task than Mauricio Pochettino‘s side. Last year’s runners-up could go a long way toward securing their place in the knockout rounds for the fourth straight season with a win in Serbia on Wednesday. After dropping points from a winning position in their first two group games, Tottenham bounced back with a 5-0 victory over Red Star last month, sending them second in the group for the time being.

Only, there’s a bit of a catch for Spurs: they haven’t won away from home — in any competition — all season. 0 wins, 5 draws, 3 losses. If not now, when? Harry Kane is back with the squad after missing Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Everton due to illness. Son Heung-min, whose red card for a phantom tackle on Andre Gomes was rescinded, also traveled with the team after looking thoroughly distraught in the moments after Gomes suffered a broken ankle.

[ MORE: Xhaka stripped of Arsenal captaincy; Aubameyang takes over ]

Champions League has been far kinder to Manchester City, who on Wednesday are set for their visit to Atalanta. With nine points from their first three games — and a nearly unblemished record of 10 goals scored and just one conceded — Pep Guardiola‘s side is marching toward and early progression to the round of 16. In fact, a win over Atalanta, coupled with a draw between Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk, would not only see the two-time reigning PL champions advance, but also win the group with two games left to play.

The lone goal conceded came in Atalanta’s visit to the Etihad Stadium last time out in UCL play. After falling 1-0 behind in the 28th minute, Man City responded with five unanswered goals, including a quick-fire double from Sergio Aguero before halftime, and another three in 11 minutes after the break.

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League schedule

Lokomotiv Moscow v. Juventus — 12:55 p.m. ET
Bayern Munich v. Olympiacos — 12:55 p.m. ET
Atalanta v. Manchester City — 3 p.m. ET
Red Star Belgrade v. Tottenham Hotspur — 3 p.m. ET
Real Madrid v. Galatasaray — 3 p.m. ET
Paris Saint-Germain v. Club Brugge — 3 p.m. ET
Bayer Leverkusen v. Atletico Madrid — 3 p.m. ET
Dinamo Zagreb v. Shakhtar Donetsk — 3 p.m. ET