Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid need to make up for slow Champions League starts

The UEFA Champions League returns this midweek and Matchday 3 puts the spotlight on a number of teams who have flattered to deceive so far.

Tottenham Hotspur were humiliated by Bayern Munich in their own back yard last time out; Mauricio Pochettino’s side were humbled 7-2 by the ruthless German champions.

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This time round they host Crvena Zvezda and anything other than three points will make it difficult for last season’s finalists to progress from Group B.

The sportsbooks listed at offers a variety of odds and bonuses on the UEFA Champions League and after a quick look we noticed that Bayern Munich´s odds have shortened to +730, while Spurs have drifted to +3400. Manchester City remains the major favourite at +300 after two games.

Pep Guardiola’s side won their first two games comfortably against Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk and will be expecting something similar against Atalanta who have yet to record a point.

City have been on the end of some surprise results in the Premier League as they look to make it three titles in a row, but there is no secret that Guardiola desperately wants to win the Champions League and that may just be his priority for the current campaign.

Kevin De Bruyne returned from his latest injury and played a bit role in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, while Benjamin Mendy also got some more minutes into his legs as he gets up to match fitness.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid are another side who really need a win to kick start their involvement in the tournament; the La Liga giants were held at home by Club Brugge on Matchday 2 having lost their opener against Paris Saint-Germain.

Things don’t get any easier for coach Zinedine Zidane as the team travels to Turkey to take on Galatasaray on Tuesday evening having been beaten 1-0 by Mallorca in the league over the weekend.

Given their array of superstars, Real should turn things around and progress to the knockout stages but it’s hard to see them being a real contender for the big prize in 2020.

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Reigning champions Liverpool bounced back from their loss to Napoli by overcoming Red Bull Salzburg in a 4-3 thriller at Anfield and they will now be focused on leapfrogging the Serie A side to top the group.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are in a tough group with Ajax and Valencia and currently sit behind both.

Frank Lampard has gotten his side purring domestically and if they can transfer that form into Europe then they could be one of those sides that nobody wants to draw in the knockout stages.

Group F pitted three big hitters together in Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan and it is the latter who have struggled with the pace, picking up just one point from the first two games compared to four by each of the others.

Juventus and Atletico Madrid will expect to leave Lokomotiv Moscow and Bayer Leverkusen behind in Group D, while it’s a three-way race for two spots in Group G at the moment with Zenit St. Petersburg, Olympique Lyonnais, and RB Leipzig opening up a gap to bottom place Benfica.

With 16 games across two days, we can expect some more twists and turns from the already interesting narratives.

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