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Champions League Gameweek 3 Preview: Are more Bookies Upsets on the Cards?

The international break has come and gone, and the Champions League is coming back to our screens this week. The competition has already given us some amazing games, exceptional individual performances and plenty of shock results for us to enjoy, and matchday three promises to be no different. The slate for the third round of fixtures has got some mouth-watering ties to place a bet on, which you can find a new gambling offer on using GamblingDeals.com.

What’s happened so far?

The biggest talking point of the competition so far has to be Moldovan club FC Sheriff Tiraspol picking up two wins from their first two games. Their 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in matchday one was certainly surprising, but their matchday two 2-1 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu will go down as one of the biggest upsets in Champions League history. Luxembourgish midfielder Sebastien Thill’s long-range screamer in the 89th minute to seal the victory is undoubtedly one of the greatest moments to ever happen in the Champions League, and fans of an underdog story will be hoping this miracle run can continue.

Barcelona’s shocking fall from grace has been talked about all across Europe for months. Not only do Ronald Koeman’s men find themselves in ninth place in La Liga, in over £1 billion of debt and without Lionel Messi, they are also in last place in their Champions League group. They were absolutely outclassed in the 3-0 loss in the opening fixture to Bayern Munich and then beaten by the same scoreline by Benfica in gameweek two. This is the first time Barcelona have lost their opening two fixtures of a UEFA European competition since the 1972-73 UEFA Cup – highlighting quite how far they’ve fallen this year.

Juventus’ struggles in Serie A this year have been well documented, as the Turin-based side find themselves in seventh place in the league. However, their European campaign has got off to a far better start. They backed up their matchday one 3-0 win over Malmo with a great 1-0 victory over last year’s champions of Europe, Chelsea. Juventus are still getting used to life without Cristiano Ronaldo, but if they can keep producing performances like the win against the Blues, they will be a tough team to beat this year.

What’s in store for matchday three?

The tie of the round is between Spanish champions Atletico Madrid and Liverpool. Liverpool came from 2-1 behind to beat Milan at Anfield thanks to captain Jordan Henderson’s winner in the 69th minute in the opening round of fixtures, and backed that up with a brilliant display at Porto, beating the Portuguese side 5-1 with braces from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. Atleti started their campaign with a disappointing 0-0 draw with Porto, and scraped past 10 men Milan in matchday two, winning 2-1 thanks to an 84th minute goal by Antione Griezmann and a Luis Suarez penalty in the seventh minute of injury time. Atleti will likely be without both their starting central defenders Jose Maria Gimenez and Stefan Savic, which will make the task of shackling the free-scoring Liverpool attack even harder. Atletico fans will remember the last time they played Liverpool fondly, as they knocked Liverpool out of the 2019-20 Champions League with a famous 3-2 victory after extra time, where Marcos Llorente scored a famous double to defeat the reds. Both teams have got off to good starts domestically, and this promises to be a fascinating matchup.

Fans across the globe are still getting used to seeing Lionel Messi in a PSG shirt. It was just a matter of time until he made his mark on the Champions League for his new team, and did it in style with a textbook left-footed finish from the edge of the box to seal victory against Manchester City. The French side face RB Leipzig in matchday three and all eyes will be on the Argentine genius once again. These sides are fairly well acquainted with each other, as this game is a rematch of the 2019-20 semi-finals, which PSG won 3-0 and these sides faced each other in the group stage last year, where Leipzig won 2-1 at home, and Paris won 1-0 in the return fixture. Despite Leipzig’s strong European pedigree in recent years, they’ve struggled somewhat this year in the post Julian Nagelsmann era. They find themselves in eighth in the Bundesliga and are bottom of their champions league group after a 6-3 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City in their first game and a surprising 2-1 defeat to Club Brugge in matchday two. If they have any hope of qualifying, they will need a result in their third game.

Club Brugge have been a real surprise package in this year’s tournament, having drawn 1-1 with PSG in their first game before beating Leipzig. Expected by many to be the whipping boys of Group A, their four points from their opening two games has given them a real platform. It doesn’t get any easier for them in matchday three however, as they face English champions and last year’s runners up Manchester City. City will be hoping to bounce back from their loss to PSG last time around, but the Belgian side will be no pushovers.

Elsewhere, FC Sheriff Tiraspol will want to continue their miraculous run in the tournament so far as they face Inter Milan at San Siro. A win here would give them nine points from their opening three games and give them a real chance of qualifying for the knockouts – something no one expected before the tournament. Inter will need to play spoiler, as they are five points behind Sheriff in the group after losing to Real Madrid in week one and drawing 0-0 with Shakhtar Donetsk in the second game. Should they fail to get victory this week, the Italian champions could be in real trouble.

Matchday three is often where groups start to take shape, and we’ll start to have a better idea of who is best placed to qualify after this set of fixtures. As always, it promises to be an enthralling week of football, as the world’s best players take centre stage in Europe’s premier club competition.

Article title: Champions League Gameweek 3 Preview: Are more Bookies Upsets on the Cards?

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