UEFA Champions League Preview (Matchday 2): Group A
Real Madrid v Club Brugge – Tuesday, 01 October 2019
Zidane’s charges are expected to brush Brugge aside at the Bernabeu. Nothing less than a comprehensive victory will appease the Madrid faithful who were humbled to a 3-0 loss at Paris on matchday 1. Even though marquee summer signing, Eden Hazard, is yet to come alive in white, Benzema and the decent start to their La Liga campaign which has seen them occupy pole position after 7 matches offers enough hope that the real, Real could actually be back. A 0-0 draw over the weekend at Atletico was another piece of evidence that Zidane might have calmed the waters in the Spanish Capital.
That’s the expectation. But it’s actually easier said than done against the Belgian side who labored to a 0-0 opening draw against a Falcao inspired Galatasaray. Even more, their African contingent of Percy Tau, Diatta and Diagne showed what they can do if given the chance with a glorious display in 5-0 win over Mechelen during the weekend. No Champions League match is easy going and this one won’t be any different.
Galatasaray v Paris St Germain - Tuesday, 01 October 2019
The tide is on the French champions’ side to continue blowing opposition away and not least the Turkish champions. Quite frankly, it’s what they have repeatedly done in the UCL group stages for the past 2-3 seasons. This time, a 3-0 opening night win over Madrid could have been the best of them. Injuries have trouble Tuchel’s side in recent weeks with Mbappe, Cavani, Choupo-Moting amongst others having been forced to watch from the sidelines. Neymar who has scored all three goals in PSG’s last three, 1-0 league wins has won back the fans, settled the camp and convincingly re-integrated himself into the side after the summer transfer woes. The Brazilian will not play on Tuesday due to the ongoing ban for his comments last term but best guaranteed, PSG have enough firepower to own the night in Istanbul, provided they put their game faces on. One player you really should look out for is the summer signing from Everton, Idrissa Gana Gueye and of course Mbappe who just returned. The Senegalese international has already won hearts in Paris with his heart-on-sleeve performances in the middle of the park.
As for Galatasaray, the Turkish champions have enough champions league experience to know how to set-up against opposition such as PSG. At home, still riding on the wings of the summer arrival of Falcao and boosted by the disciplined performance that saw them earn a point at Brugge, they really must be fancying themselves to cause an upset.
We shall see how that will work out.