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3 things to watch during Tuesday's UEFA Champions League encounters

Tuesday 26th September 2017
Week two of the UEFA Champions League starts on Tuesday with eight high-calibre games taking place all over the continent. Here are three things to watch during the full slate of games.

Can Borussia Dortmund turn things around?

Borussia Dortmund are on an impressive run of form in the Bundesliga thanks to a three-game winning streak that saw them score 14 times over that span. In fact, they are coming off a huge 6-2 win over Borussia Monchengladbach only a few days ago. But they are going to face their toughest test of the year when they host Real Madrid.

The two-time reigning Champions League holders are not going through their best form, however. Los Merengues sit seven points behind FC Barcelona in the Liga standings. And quite frankly, they do not look like the same threatening team that used to scare Europe only a few months ago. However, Dortmund are coming off a 3-1 loss to Tottenham in their UCL opening game. Winning against Real Madrid is a must if they want to maintain their hopes of booking a place in the round of 16.
Dortmund are in good form right now, but Madrid are a tough team to beat. This is the time for Peter Bosz's men to prove they belong among Europe's elite.

Liverpool facing a tough test on Russian soil

Three Premier League sides - Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester City - will see action on Tuesday. But there is no question that the Reds face the toughest test of them all. They travel to Russia to take on Spartak Moscow. And as if the Russian side were not difficult enough, Jurgen Klopp's side will have to fight against the weather conditions as well. It has been reported that there will be no more than 10° to 12° degrees of temperature by kick-off time.
As a result, Liverpool will have to be very intelligent. They need to limit the spaces for Spartak, but they also need to settle themselves on the pitch as quickly as possible. Because even though the English side is massive favourites to take home the three points, the chance of an upset will always exist. Especially against a dangerous team such as Spartak whom, honestly, can go toe-to-toe with almost any team in the competition.

Besiktas to confirm their impressive start

Besiktas were easily one of the top performers during the first week of action, as they travelled to Portugal and convincingly defeated FC Porto, 3-1. But that win is in the past, and Porto could arguably be considered as the weakest team in the Group. The Turkish Super League champions have an even tougher match on Tuesday, as they will take on RB Leipzig at home.

For those who do not know, RB Leipzig are one of the up-and-coming teams in the European scene. They clinched a top three berth in the Bundesliga last season by defying odds with an impressive campaign in what was a turning-heads season for them. They feature some of the most talented young players in the continent as well. By now, names such as Naby Keita, Emil Forsberg, Timo Werner and Dayot Upamecano are no longer "prospects" or "surprises".

Besiktas have a strong team in their own right. But Leipzig will be their toughest test to date. If they win, then it would be fair to consider them as legit favourites to secure a berth in the next round of the Champions League.
Juan Pablo Aravena

29-year-old sports analyst and journalist with over three years of experience in the industry. Writes about all kinds of sports from football to golf, but there is no question his biggest passion in life is football. Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Colo Colo fan.

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