Champions League Wednesday Preview

Manchester United and Chelsea look for second successive wins in the Champions League as Celtic look for an opening point.

United collected a comfortable win over Basel in their opening fixture and they are looking to double their tally against CSKA Moscow – who also opened their account with a win over Benfica.

Jose Mourinho is expecting a tough challenge in the Russian capital.

“I have faced CSKA Moscow with Real Madrid, with Inter, with Chelsea and now with Manchester United,” Mourinho said.

“It is normal in my Champions League career. Moscow is a beautiful city and every time I come here it looks better and better and I have to say that this is the best CSKA team I have faced.”

Antonio Conte’s side travel to the all new Wanda Metropolitano to take on Atletico Madrid, looking for a second successive win after thrashing Qarabag in their opener, but the Italian knows the quality awaiting them in the Spanish capital.

“Atletico have done well in all the most important competitions over the last few years and reached various finals and semi-finals. They have a strong side,” he said,

“We returned to the Champions League with great enthusiasm and we want to do our best. But we have to be careful. We just have to find a way to get through the group, and then prepare for the next draw.”

Celtic travel to Anderlecht off the back of their hammering at the hands of Paris Saint Germain – but Brendan Rodgers insists his side need to step up.

“I think games like the PSG one are little reality checks,” Rodgers said.

“That’s what it’s like at this level. I always tend to think there is learning in every situation. It’s about facing problems you want to solve afterwards. The lesson learned for us in that first game means we hope to be better in the future games.

“We didn’t plan and focus on being that timid in the PSG game. But this is a level where you are learning all the time. Just because we have been on the domestic run we’ve been on for the last 15 months or so doesn’t mean you’re not susceptible to not good performances.”

Elsewhere, the undoubted game of the evening sees Paris Saint Germain hosting Bayern Munich, Qarabag host Roma, Juventus entertain Olympiakos, Barcelona are in Portugal to take on Sporting Lisbon whilst Benfica take on Basel.

See below for a run-down on the games, including predictions from former England, Crystal Palace and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray, leading agent Barry Silkman and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey  together with everything you need to know from the bookies – with BoyleSports’s Leon Blanche.

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CSKA Moscow 19:45 Man United
Stadion CSKA Moscow

TEAM NEWS: Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Paul Pogba are all ruled out through injury. Phil Jones is available to play in Europe again following suspension
KEY FACT: Manchester United are unbeaten in four past meetings with CSKA
MATCH ODDS: CSKA 5/1 Draw 14/5 Man Utd 4/6
ANDY SAYS: Comfortable win for United, I don’t see them being troubled…0-3
GRAEME SAYS: I think United will get the win, but they won’t have it their own way…1-2
SILKY SAYS: I don’t think this will be an easy and think United might get held…1-1
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Man United to draw 1-1 @6/1
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Romelu Lukaku is on fire, he plays every match – why wouldn’t you be invested in him.

Anderlecht 19:45 Celtic
Constant Vanden Stock Stadium

TEAM NEWS: Celtic will be without defenders Anthony Ralston, Erik Sviatchenko and Eboue Kouassi are out but Dedryck Boyata is available to play in his homeland
KEY FACT: Anderlecht have lost only one of their past seven home matches in European competition
MATCH ODDS: Anderlecht 29/20 Draw 11/5 Celtic 19/10
ANDY SAYS: I believe Celtic can get something here, will be close but they can get the win…0-1
GRAEME SAYS: I believe that everyone is underestimating Anderlecht here, they could win…1-0
SILKY SAYS:  I think a home win here, Anderlecht are a decent team and will be too good…2-0
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Both teams to score @8/13
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Moussa Dembele is a very good buy for any portfolio

Atletico Madrid 19:45 Chelsea
Estadio Wanda Metropolitano

TEAM NEWS: Danny Drinkwater is the only player missing for Chelsea as he still has a calf injury which has stopped him making his debut. Eden Hazard is likely to start despite not yet starting a league game this season. Diego Costa is now an Atletico player after leaving Chelsea – but can’t play until January
KEY FACT: Chelsea have lost only one of their past 14 Champions League group games
MATCH ODDS: Atletico 5/4 Draw 21/10 Chelsea 13/5
ANDY SAYS: Tough game, but should be a good one – Chelsea for me…0-1
GRAEME SAYS: A great looking game, will be goals but I can’t split them so draw for me…2-2
SILKY SAYS: A cracking match, but I think Atletico in their new home might just grab the win…1-0
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Chelsea +1 @4/6
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Eden Hazard is the man to be on, no doubt

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