Last week, soccer fans got to enjoy some midweek action with the major European leagues in Italy, Spain, and France. Meanwhile, there was Capital One Cup play in England and DFB-Pokal (German Cup) action in Germany. This upcoming week, the midweek action in Europe takes on in the form of Champions League (and Europa League) play with Matchday 2 action to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday.
For some teams, they go into Matchday 2 having won in Matchday 1 and knowing that if they can win, they will put themselves in position to begin dreaming of qualifying for the group stages as they would only need at least four more points from the remaining four games to qualify as group runner-ups.
For those who lost, winning on Matchday 2 is a must as losing could mean severely being hampered in their chances of qualifying to the Round of 16.
As for those who tied on Matchday 1, depending on their opponent and the group which they find themselves, Matchday 2 offers them a chance have a better sense of where they stand depending on the result of their respective games.
With that in mind, there are two showcase games which are must-see games on Matchday 2 and two other games which are worth a look as well.
With Group F being the “Group of Death”, the must-watch game of Matchday 2 will be played at the Emirates as Arsenal host SSC Napoli. Both come into the game having won their first group games 2-1 against Olympique Marseille and Borussia Dortmund respectively.
Both come into the game in a good run of form as Arsenal currently are atop of the Premier League standings while Napoli are tied with Juventus for second place in Serie A. The winner of this game would set themselves up to be in the driver’s seat of potentially winning the group. Expect a very tactical and entertaining game to be played between these two.
The other showcase game will be played on Wednesday night in Manchester as defending champions Bayern Munich travel to play against Manchester City in Group D play. Both won their opening group fixtures 3-0 against CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen respectively and like the Arsenal-Napoli game, the winner of this game sets themselves up to be in the driver’s seat of winning the group which is not as tough as Group F.
The biggest intrigue in this game will be how both managers tactically approach this game as Pep Guardiola and Manuel Pellegrini are considered to be two of the best in Europe, so expect for a tactical battle to unfold in this very entertaining affair.
There are two other games to check out on Matchday 2. On Tuesday in Group G play, Porto hosts Atletico Madrid in a game where the winner is in the driver’s seat to win the group. Also, these two teams are very likely to make it to the round of 16 and if they face off against a European “giant”, don’t be surprised if they knock them off.
The other game to watch is in Group A where Shakhtar Donetsk hosts Manchester United. Donetsk has a very good midfield and it is their play that can see them beat a Manchester United team that is struggling at the moment.