Yes, Messi is in Bruges. And yes, we are looking forward to seeing the greatest footballer of all time on Belgian soil for the first time. But there are other interesting posters on Wednesday evening. Of the eight games, only two are in which no Belgians play. An overview.
Group A: Manchester City – RB Leipzig
It seems very likely that Kevin De Bruyne will make his comeback in the game against RB Leipzig. KDB came on for eleven minutes against Tottenham in mid-August, but was sidelined afterwards with an ankle injury. The same injury he sustained a month earlier during the European Championship. Last weekend De Bruyne was again in the selection at the Citizens, but the Red Devil stayed on the bench for 90 minutes. Was he saved for the Champions League? It already seems that way.
If Club Brugge wants to go for third place in the group of death, it must already hope for a victory of Manchester City against RB Leipzig. The Germans started the season with a 3 out of 12 downright bad and went to Manchester without confidence. Last weekend, Leipzig went down 1-4 against Bayern Munich. The void that coach Julian Nagelsmann – left for competitor Bayern – leaves behind is large: the ex-coach of Leipzig also took strong holders Marcel Sabitzer and Dayot Upamecano to Munich.
Group B: Atlético Madrid FC Porto
Last Sunday it was Yannick Carrasco who won Atlético on the Espanyol field. He saved his team from the first defeat of the season with a nice goal and an assist. Everything is going well with Atlético, which is in the lead in La Liga with 10 out of 12. Moreover, at the end of the transfer market, the Madrilenians did an excellent job by bringing Antoine Griezmann back on board.
Opponent Porto may be a tough team, but the Portuguese are a size smaller than Atlético. Last weekend Porto drew 1-1 in the top match against Sporting CP. Familiar names? The Portuguese warrior Pepe (38) forms the heart of the defense together with Chancel Mbemba (ex-Anderlecht).
Group B: Liverpool – AC Milan
In that same group, it is mainly looking forward to Alexis Saelemaekers at AC Milan. Our 22-year-old compatriot did well with the Red Devils in the past international period and is also regularly in the base at his club. Not obvious at a top club like AC Milan. The Milanese also started the season well with 9 out of 9. A loss for the Italians: Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not travel to Liverpool. The Swede made his comeback last weekend after a long knee injury, but is now struggling with an inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
Divock Origi may still be on the European player list at Liverpool, but playing minutes seem to be no longer available for him at Anfield. The now 26-year-old former Red Devil is completely out of the picture at The Reds and only made the selection once this season.
Group C: Besiktas – Borussia Dortmund
Besiktas-Dortmund is the game with the most Belgians on Wednesday evening, after Club Brugge – PSG of course. Michy Batshuayi wants to revive his career at Besiktas and already scored two goals for his new club last weekend.
At Dortmund, Thorgan Hazard is still missing with a muscle injury. Axel Witsel and Thomas Meunier are fit. Witsel is a certainty in the base, while Meunier has to fight for his place. During Dortmund’s 3-4 win against Leverkusen last weekend, Meunier was already good for a nice assist.
Dortmund striker Erling Haaland wants to continue his stunning series of goals in the Champions League on Wednesday evening. The 22-year-old Norwegian has already scored twenty goals in his first sixteen Champions League games.
In the group of Dortmund and Besiktas there is also a match without Belgians on the program with Sporting CP – Ajax.
Group D: Inter – Real Madrid
Many positive signs at Real Madrid during the start of the season. Eden Hazard shows more and more his flashes from before his series of injuries, Karim Benzema remains of gold value and the Brazilian talent Vinícius Júnior is pushing through.
What is more worrying is the defense of The whites. With Raphaël Varane and Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid has lost its two most important central pawns. Last weekend, Thibaut Courtois was beaten twice after defending too weakly.
It will be the first serious test for Courtois, Hazard and co on the Inter field on Wednesday evening. The Italians have to absorb the departure of Romelu Lukaku and that seems to work well for the time being. When Lautaro Martinez has his day, he can make it quite difficult for the best defense. At the moment, however, Real Madrid does not have the best defense: so pay attention.
In the other group D match, CL debutant Sheriff Tiraspol will face Shakhtar Donetsk.
READ ALSO.What do we know about Champions League debutant Sheriff Tiraspol? The outsider from Transnistria who already played preliminary rounds during the European Championship