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It’s crunch time for Europe’s big hitters

It’s crunch time for Europe’s big hitters

The UEFA Champions League group stage is heating up, live and exclusive on BT Sport

Don’t touch that dial, because the pressure is well and truly on for the continent’s top clubs

UEFA Champions League, from Tuesday 22 October, BT Sport

Tension across Europe. Warring factions. The line between triumph and disaster getting thinner all the time. Yep, we’ve reached the halfway point of this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage and the drama shows no signs of letting up.


With matchday three up next, it really is all to play for in football’s elite club competition. Win, and your chances of reaching the last 16 will be given a significant boost. Lose, and the damage could be huge.


In terms of the English clubs involved, qualification for the next round is far from guaranteed. But that could all change when Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea return to action on the 22 and 23 of October. Watch it all, live on BT Sport, or tune in from anywhere with the Virgin TV Go app.


Here, we take a closer look at these games and assess each team’s chances…

Manchester City v Atlanta in the UEFA Champions League on BT Sport

Tuesday 22 October, 7pm, BT Sport 2 HD (CH 528)

Could City be any thirstier for the UEFA Champions League title? The answer is obviously no. They want the trophy and they want it bad. The Blues, who are looking likely to reach the last 16, will be expected to earn three points against Italians Atalanta on home turf. With a sparkling squad worth approximately ten jillion pounds, do you really expect anything else?


Our prediction: Pep’s boys will flex their muscles and secure a convincing win to put them within reach of the next round.


Tottenham Hotspur v Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Champions League on BT Sport

Tuesday 22 October, 7.15pm, BT Sport 3 HD (CH 529)

It’s anyone’s guess which Spurs will turn up against Red Star. Could it be the irresistible attacking force led by Harry Kane or the absolute shambles of a side that got smashed 7-2 by Bayern Munich? If you’re neutral, that’s half the fun, because predictability is massively overrated. If you’re a Tottenham fan? We are in awe of your patience during these topsy-turvy times.


Our prediction: Tottenham will give their supporters some much-needed cheer with a win. But expect drama.


Ajax v Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League on BT Sport

Wednesday 23 October, 5.15pm, BT Sport 3 HD (CH 529)

It’s been a mixed bag of a campaign for Chelsea so far – and it’s not about to get any easier. Ajax are the team to beat in Group H, so it could be a tough night for the likes of Tammy Abraham in Amsterdam. But Frank Lampard’s young team earned an impressive 2-1 win away to Lille last time out and is growing in confidence all the time, which means this clash between two exciting sides could be a cracker.


Our prediction: Expect Chelsea to nick a point and keep their hopes of making it through to the round of 16 on track.


Genk v Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League on BT Sport

Wednesday 23 October, 7pm, BT Sport 2 HD (CH 528)

After starting the defence of their crown with a defeat and a nervy victory, Liverpool face a huge match against the Belgian champions. But this is Jürgen Klopp’s Reds we’re talking about. With Mo Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino doing the business up front, and Virgil van Dijk looking imperious at the back, they have that vital knack of delivering when the pressure is on.


Our prediction: Liverpool will pick up an important victory and seize control of the group.


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