An English Perspective: 5 Things You Need to Know About Match Week 2 of the Champions League

The second round of the Champions League group stage is about to kick off. On Tuesday, Pep Guardiola takes his men to Ukraine after defeating Feyenoord 4-0 last time out. Liverpool will face Spartak Moscow and Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham should have an easy time overcoming APOEL Nicosia. Manchester United take on CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, while Chelsea meet a tough Spanish enemy, Atletico Madrid. Here are the five things that we should definitely expect from this upcoming Champions League...

Jurgen Klopp Will Need More Than a Book to Defeat Spartak Moscow

Having been criticised over his team's defending weaknesses on Monday, Jurgen Klopp has argued that he could 'write a book in two hours' about coaching a defence. 


However, a book might not be of particular use during Liverpool's upcoming match against Russian Premier League winners Spartak Moscow. Both teams have had disappointing results in the last Champions League round - both drawing - and will look to top the table on Tuesday. 


The match itself should not be tough, Spartak Moscow, who lost only one home game during last season, seem to be having trouble keeping up with Zenit St Petersburg's pace and are 11th in the table. Yet nothing is certain in the Champions League, and Klopp should prepare for an angry and frustrated team. 

Mauricio Pochettino Will Have to Do Without 6 Starters

Tottenham travel to Cyprus for a match that, on paper, should be won comfortably but has turned out to be insidious. 


Within the past few days, Spurs boss Pochettino has lost two more starters due to injuries: Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele will be missing the game together with suspended Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen, but also long term absentees Danny Rose, Erik Lamela and Victor Wanyama.


APOEL Nicosia previously lost 3-0 against Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid, but could try to take advantage of Tottenham's decimated team.

Bookies Favour Manchester City But Shakhtar Donetsk Should Not Be Underestimated

Manchester City face Shakhtar Donetsk after an outstanding start to the Premier League season. With an average of three goals per match and a florid ensemble of talented players at his disposal, Pep Guardiola should not fear any rivals. 


This showdown would probably be a comfortable win if Shakhtar Donetsk were not so unpredictable. During the last Champions League round, the Ukrainian club defeated Italian giants Napoli 2-1, managing to secure the first place in the group. 


Even though Shakhtar Donetsk have not played at their home stadium for the past three years, the result is all but certain.

In-Form Manchester United Aim to Become Table Leaders

Europa League winners and Premier League favourites Manchester United travel to Moscow as they bid to top the table and keep up the good work. 


CSKA Moscow are currently fourth in the Russian league but have managed to win their first Champions League match against Benfica. However, this should not be a worrying factor for the Red Devils, who could not be in better shape.


If Romelu Lukaku plays even half as well as he played in the past few Premier League matches, winning in Moscow should be easy. The absence of Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba, both out due to injury, should not be a problem for Mourinho's men.

Antonio Conte Faces Europe Hoodoo as Chelsea Take on Atletico

Chelsea made a positive return to the Champions League in their first match against Qarabag FK, proving that they intend to be on top of a nonetheless very complicated group table. 


On Wednesday, the Blues travel to Madrid to clash against Antoine Griezmann and his Atletico Madrid teammates who drew with Roma in their opening encounter. 


Throughout his career as a manager, Antonio Conte has always had difficulties in the Champions League, and now has a chance to do better. 


The match against Atletico will be the toughest for the reigning Premier League champions so far, as the Spanish giants play a very physical game and do not often concede.

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