Mohamed Salah trains ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Rangers
Liverpool face Rangers in a battle of Britain and Barcelona will attempt to apply more pressure on Inter boss Simone Inzaghi with a Champions League victory on Tuesday.
An army of Gers fans will travel south of the border to descend on Merseyside for a Group A clash that will give them another opportunity to secure a first point, with the Reds in second spot behind Napoli.
Barca moved top of La Liga last weekend and Xavi’s side will start their third Group C game level on points with out-of-sorts Inter after losing 2-0 to leaders Bayern Munich last month.
Bayern will be expected to maintain their 100 per cent record at the expense of Viktoria Plzen, and Serie A table-toppers Napoli travel to Ajax looking to continue their brilliant start to the season.
Ahead of another mouthwatering set of matches, Stats Perform trawls through the Opta data to highlight the most noteworthy facts for each contest.
Liverpool v Rangers
This will be the first European meeting between Liverpool and the Glasgow giants in a European competition.
The Gers have only won one of their seven away games in England, that being a 2-1 Champions League victory at Leeds United in November 1992 courtesy of goals from Mark Hateley and Ally McCoist. They have suffered six defeats and drawn twice.
Liverpool’s last meeting with Scottish opponents in the European Cup was back in the 1980-81 campaign, winning 5-0 on aggregate against Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen (1-0 away, 4-0 home). The Reds went on to win the competition that year.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won 13 of their past 15 home Champions League group stage matches (D1 L1), scoring 36 goals in process. Their solitary defeat was against Atalanta in November 2020
Rangers have failed to score in their two group games so far. Indeed, only Plzen (2) and Sevilla (3) have had fewer shots on target than the Scottish club (4) in this season’s first two matchdays.
Inter v Barcelona
Inter have won just two of their 14 European matches against Barcelona (D4 L8), a 2-1 victory in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in January 1970 and 3-1 Champions League triumph in April 2010.
Barca’s two away wins against the Nerazzurri came 60 years apart, winning 4-2 in the Fairs Cup in September 1959 and 2-1 in the Champions League in December 2019.
Inter have lost six UEFA Champions League matches against the Catalan giants, their most against a single opponent. Barca have only beaten Celtic (8) more times in the competition.
Barca have lost three of their past four away Champions League group stage matches (W1), as many as in their previous 25 matches on their travels in the competition (W15 D7). Xavi is only the second manager to lose his first two away Champions League matches in charge of Barcelona, along with Louis van Gaal in 1997.
Inter have lost their past two Champions League games at San Siro (0-2 v Liverpool and Bayern). Only once previously have they suffered three consecutive home defeats in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League (a run of three between February-September 2011).
Bayern Munich v Viktoria Plzen
Bayern have won all four of their European matches against Plzen, beating them twice in the 1971-72 Cup Winners’ Cup and the Champions League in 2013-14.
Plzen’s two away European matches against Bayern have seen them concede at least five goals on each occasion, losing 6-1 in September 1971 in the Cup Winners’ Cup and 5-0 in the Champions League nine years ago.
Bayern are out to record three wins at the start of a Champions League campaign for a fourth consecutive season. In their opening three games in the previous three seasons and their two games this year, they have won all 11 matches by an aggregate score of 41-7.
Plzen have conceded seven goals in their two Champions League games this season and only kept one clean sheet in their 20 matches in the competition.
Leroy Sane has been directly involved in 14 goals in his past 11 Champions League starts for Bayern (8 goals, 6 assists). The winger could become only the second player to score in Bayern’s first three Champions League games in a season, with Robert Lewandowski (in 2019-20 and 2021-22) being the other.
Ajax v Napoli
Napoli have never won away from home in the Netherlands (D2 L3) in any European competition.
Ajax have failed to win any of their past 11 home European matches against Italian opposition (D6 L5) since winning 2-1 against Roma in this competition in December 2002.
Napoli will be looking to win their first three Champions League group stage games for the first time. They are unbeaten in eight matches in the group stage of the competition (W5 D3).
Ajax have won their past four home games in the group stage of the Champions League, scoring four goals in each of the previous three (4-0 v Borussia Dortmund, 4-2 v Sporting CP and 4-0 v Rangers).
Napoli are the top scoring side in the Champions League this season with seven goals. Luciano Spalletti’s side have had more shots (43) and shots on target (19) than any other team.
Marseille v Sporting CP
6 – Marseille have lost six of their eight European Cup/Champions League matches against Portuguese opponents (W1 D1).
16 – Marseille have lost 16 of their past 17 Champions League matches (W1), failing to score in 11 matches in this run, including both games this season.