This European club football season has chosen a different turn, going against the norm and squashing every pre-tournament prediction. The UEFA Champions League paints the picture very vividly and we might yet all begin to come to terms with the current order.
Napoli is taking every comer apart. More interesting is the fact this was supposed to be a team in transition. This is a campaign where they had just lost their Captain, vice-captain and highest-ever scorer. And yet, so far, no team has scored more goals than the Serie A side.
Club Brugge is doing the same in Group B. Less than a year ago, they finished last behind Manchester City, PSG and Leipzig. They also sold, arguably, their finest attacking prospect, Charles de Ketelaere.
And after more than €150m spent in the summer by Barcelona this summer, including Robert Lewandowski, the La Liga giants stand the risk of not qualifying for the round of 16. This would be the second-consecutive season.
The reverse fixture of Gameweek 3 will go down this week. It is fair to expect as much intensity, goals and drama.
Review Of Gameweek 3
In Group A, Napoli grabbed the headlines once again after thrashing Ajax 6-1 at the Johan Cruijff Arena. Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a sublime free-kick in Liverpool’s 2-0 win against Rangers.
Club Brugge earned an unexpected 2-0 victory against Atletico Madrid, with Antoine Griezmann missing a late penalty. Zaidu Sanusi scored from a blistering counter-attack in Porto’s 2-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen in Group B.
Bayern Munich made easy work of Viktoria Plzen in a 5-0 drubbing as Hakan Calhanoglu scored a vital long-range effort to help Inter defeat Barcelona.
Group D saw Marseille take advantage of a man advantage to defeat Sporting 4-1. Eintracht Frankfurt and Tottenham played out an eventful goalless draw.
In Group E, Salzburg did enough to overcome Dinamo Zagreb 1-0. Chelsea was three to the good against AC Milan.
Leipzig earned a comfortable 3-1 win against Celtic in Group F. Rodrygo and Vinicius both scored in Real Madrid’s 2-1 success over Shakhtar Donetsk.
Erling Haaland continued his mind-boggling streak with a brace in Manchester City’s 5-0 defeat of Copenhagen. The other Group G match saw a young Borussia Dortmund outclass a hapless Sevilla 4-1.
Benfica held Ligue 1 champions, PSG to a 1-1 draw and Juventus won its first Champions League match against Maccabi Haifa 3-1 in Group H.
Preview Of Gameweek 4
Gameweek 4 promises some high-wire displays.
Groups E-H will get the week’s action underway today, while Groups A-D will round things off on Wednesday.
AC Milan will be desperate to win when Chelsea visits the San Siro in Group E. Dinamo Zagreb will back themselves for a home win against Salzburg.
Celtic will need to play a perfect match to edge Leipzig. Real Madrid will expect to do just enough to win against Shakhtar Donetsk in the other Group F match.
Group G will see Copenhagen host Premier League Champions, Manchester City in a far-fetched encounter. Borussia Dortmund will draw inspiration from last weekend’s Der Klassiker when Sevilla comes to the Signal Iduna Park.
Maccabi Haifa welcomes Juventus in Group H as PSG takes on a tough Benfica side. The Parisians will be without Lionel Messi, who is injured, although Neymar and Kylian Mbappe should start.
In Group A, Napoli can do no wrong as they entertain Ajax at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium. Liverpool will be desperate to return to winning ways when they journey to Scotland to face Rangers.
Atletico will be under pressure to defeat Club Brugge at the Wanda Metropolitano. Bayer Leverkusen will do battle against Porto in Group B.
Barcelona with injury problems takes on Inter in Group C. Viktoria Plzen squares off against Bayern Munich in the other group match.
In Group D, Sporting will be nursing revenge when Marseille comes to Portugal. Tottenham will go head-to-head against Frankfurt. The Europa League champions were horrible at the weekend and will hope to remedy things in London.
Predictions For Gameweek 4
Dinamo Zagreb vs Salzburg (over 1.5 goals)
AC Milan vs Chelsea (over 2.5 goals)
Celtic vs Leipzig (over 1.5 goals)
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Real Madrid (goal/goal)
Copenhagen vs Manchester City (2)
Borussia Dortmund vs Sevilla (over 2.5 goals)
PSG vs Benfica (over 1.5 goals)
Maccabi Haifa vs Juventus (2)
Rangers vs Liverpool (2)
Napoli vs Ajax (1)
Atletico Madrid vs Club Brugge (over 1.5 goals)
Bayer Leverkusen vs Porto (over 1.5 goals)
Viktoria Plzen vs Bayern Munich (2)
Barcelona vs Inter (under 3.5 goals)
Sporting vs Marseille (1X)
Tottenham vs Frankfurt (over 1.5 goals)