While Cristiano Ronaldo’s second Champions League debut for Manchester United highlighted Tuesday’s Champions League action, Lionel Messi could steal the show on Wednesday.
Let’s take a look at the three most exciting Champions League events to look forward to on Wednesday, and those looking to bet on the action can use this bet365 promo code or check their preferred bookmakers’ odds.
Lionel Messi set for PSG’s Champions League bow
Lionel Messi made his Champions League debut at Barcelona in 2004 and has since featured in the competition in 16 seasons running, racking up 120 goals and lifting four titles in the process.
Now, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner prepares to embark on his new European adventure, wearing Paris Saint-Germain’s shirt.
PSG jet off to Belgium to take on Club Brugge in their Group A curtain-raiser, looking to bring back fond memories of their only previous Champions League visit to Jan Breydel Stadion.
Mauricio Pochettino’s new-look squad will hope to replicate a 5-0 victory KylianMbappe and co achieved in October 2019, with Messi expected to lead the charge (via CBS Sports).
Since joining Les Parisiens in a blockbuster deal in the summer, the Argentina captain has made just a cameo appearance as PSG eased past Reims 2-0 in Ligue 1.
However, Messi has a 14-goal gap to bridge on his arch-nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo, who is also set to make his second Champions League debut at Manchester United.
So the 34-year-old can ill-afford to sit out his side’s seemingly routine task in Belgium, and given his dazzling performances for the national team in September, the travelling fans could be in for a treat.
Payback time at Giuseppe Meazza
Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk have been drawn together in the same Champions League group for the second year running.
After finishing bottom of the section in 2020/21, the Italians aim to rectify last season’s mistakes as La Liga high-flyers Los Merengues arrive at Giuseppe Meazza.
Led by new manager Simone Inzaghi, Inter will try to restore their dominance of home European H2Hs, which read almost perfectly before last season’s 2-0 reverse (W5, L2).
Despite selling standout performers Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi in the summer, the Nerazzurri have enjoyed a fast start to their new domestic campaign.
A return of two wins and a draw from their opening three Serie A fixtures under Inzaghi gives Inter supporters a fair degree of confidence ahead of this vengeance-driven encounter.
But Carlo Ancelotti’s men are no pushovers, as evidenced by their four-game unbeaten start to the 2021/22 La Liga campaign (W3, D1).
Madrid may have missed out on signing Mbappe in the summer, but they have refused to let the long-standing transfer saga curtail their wings.
The 13-time European Cup winners have netted an average of 3.25 goals per league match this term and will be looking to translate their free-scoring form to Europe.
‘That night in Istanbul’ deja vu
Liverpool’s memorable comeback in the iconic 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul has gone down in the history books as one of the most breathtaking grand finals ever seen.
Although AC Milan inflicted revenge on the Reds two years later in Athens to win their last Champions League title, that triumph was a small consolation to that epic heartbreak in Turkey.
Given the sides’ evergreen status in European football, it may come as some surprise they have never exchanged tackles in competitive matches outside grand finals.
So Anfield will play host to this somewhat ice-breaker as Milan gear up for their first Champions League fixture since the 2013/14 season.
While the Italians’ endured a steady decline over the past decade, Liverpool’s appointment of Jurgen Klopp in 2015 has turned the club’s fortunes around.
Following a runner-up finish in 2017/18, the German navigated the Merseyside outfit to the top of European football in 2018/19, overcoming fellow Premier League rivals Tottenham in the final.
Liverpool and Milan have 13 European Cup/Champions League titles between themselves, with only Real Madrid bettering their record at 13.
With the Reds a growing force of greatness and the Rossoneri following the path of resurrection, Anfield will be under the spotlight on Wednesday.