Aaron Ramsey warned Juventus need to be wary of the threat posed by his former Arsenal team-mate Alexis Sanchez when the Italian champions face Inter on Sunday.

Sanchez played alongside Ramsey for three-and-a-half seasons at Arsenal, where the pair enjoyed two FA Cup triumphs together, but they go head-to-head in a top-of-the-table-clash at San Siro.

Since joining Inter on loan from Manchester United in August, Sanchez has made three Serie A appearances and opened his goal-scoring account for the club in a 3-1 victory at Sampdoria.

Ramsey scored his first goal since his move from Arsenal to Juventus a week earlier, netting the Bianconeri's equaliser in a 2-1 win over Verona, and he said his side are braced for a tough challenge against the league leaders this weekend.

"Inter have improved this season," Ramsey told BBC Sport.

"Antonio Conte has got them really organised and they have yet to drop any points. It is going to be difficult.

"They have some great players, including one I know very well from my time at Arsenal. We will have to be aware of him and the other players they have and be really on top of our game to get the result we want."

 

Juventus have only dropped two points in Serie A this season but that leaves them trailing Inter who have won all six of their games under new coach Antonio Conte.

Ramsey indicated that he feels Juve will improve as they adapt to the methods and tactics being used by coach Maurizio Sarri, who took charge in June.

"It has been great so far," said Ramsey when asked about working under the former Chelsea coach.

"There have been new ideas and new information, which we are working hard to try to put into practice. At times it hasn't worked as well as we would have liked, but in other parts it really has.

"We are slowly getting better in terms of what he wants to implement and understanding our roles and responsibilities more.

"This club has been so good and so dominant for so long. We know other teams have improved and are trying to knock us off top spot. But this place is all about winning and that is what we are striving for."

One thing you could never accuse Antonio Conte of is shying away from a challenge.

Conte has a history of taking on projects that, from the outside looking in, appear unfavourable to say the least. 

The fiery Italian delivered Serie A and Premier League titles, in his first campaigns at Juventus and Chelsea respectively, against the odds.

These are the formative days of his Inter tenure, but the initial signs suggest that history could be repeating itself as Conte attempts to end a Juve dynasty he himself set in motion.

So crucial to the aforementioned successes were hugely impressive undefeated streaks that defined his triumphs.

With six wins from six league matches, Inter fans can be forgiven for dreaming that the Conte affect is happening at San Siro.

This weekend, Juventus travel to Milan for what is undoubtedly the biggest domestic test Inter have faced in the fledgling Conte's era. 

Ahead of such a blockbuster fixture, Omnisport has taken a look at Conte's previous new-club juggernauts.

CONTE'S INVINCIBLES

Not even the bravest of gamblers would have predicted the sort of impact Conte had upon his return to Juve as head coach in May 2011. After gaining promotion back to the top flight four years previously, having been demoted for their part in the Calciopoli scandal, the Bianconeri set about competing at the top immediately by finishing third and second in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 campaigns.

But when Conte walked back through the doors in Turin, Juventus were at a low ebb, having recorded back-to-back seventh-placed finishes. It was in this context we first witnessed Conte's uncanny ability to turn underachievers into title winners.

Defensive solidity, tactical nous and quick transitions – all Conte trademarks – were to the fore as Juve went unbeaten in Serie A. A tendency to draw looked as though it could derail their aspirations – there were 15 in all from 38 matches and AC Milan actually won more games - but their defence was breached just 20 times in 38 matches. An outstanding end to the season, which saw Juve win 10 of their final 11 games, including a run of eight in a row, emphatically settled the issue and sparked the start to an era of dominance that has returned eight straight titles.

RECORD-BREAKING BLUES

Fast forward to 2016 and it must have felt a little like 'Groundhog Day' for Conte when he took the reins at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea were a club in disarray having finished the 2015-16 season in 10th place, just a year on from winning the Premier League under Jose Mourinho.

A team seemingly split and at odds with one another, Mourinho was sacked in December 2015 with the Blues in 16th position. Guus Hiddink steered the club through choppy waters to the end of the campaign, but any notion Conte could make Chelsea title contenders again seemed fanciful at best. Back-to-back losses against Liverpool and Arsenal in September did little to change that thinking.

But a switch to his trademark three-man defence proved a tactical masterstroke as Londoners embarked upon a then-record winning run of 13 matches in the Premier League. Chelsea would suffer three more defeats, but just one in the last nine games – a run of six straight victories crowning a memorable title triumph.

COMPARISONS TO JOSE?

Inter's golden era in the middle-to-late part of the past decade seems like a lifetime ago. Luciano Spalletti secured fourth-place finishes in his two seasons in charge, but the gap to Juventus remained sizeable – 21 points separated the teams last term. It is a challenge tailor-made for Conte and the early signs are positive, with a 100 per cent record in Serie A including a 2-0 derby win over AC Milan.

Juve are undoubtedly on another level to Inter's embattled neighbours, but with games against Sassuolo, Parma, Brescia, Bologna, Hellas Verona, Torino and SPAL to follow there is an opportunity, on paper at least, for another memorable Conte run.

An interesting point of reference is Inter's starts under Jose Mourinho during his two campaigns at San Siro. The Nerazzurri lost just one of their opening 18 Serie A matches – a derby defeat in September – during the 08-09 campaign and cantered to the title by 10 points. It was a similar story 12 months later, where Mourinho oversaw a famous treble campaign, as Inter lost just once in the first 15 matches of the season.

Real Madrid are eager to strengthen and moves are set to be made in January.

The LaLiga giants' mixed start to the season continued with a surprise draw against Club Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Madrid plan to make signings in January – and two midfielders remain on their list.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID WANT JANUARY SIGNINGS AMID ERIKSEN, VAN DE BEEK LINKS

Real Madrid are planning to strengthen their squad in January and Tottenham's Christian Eriksen and Ajax's Donny van de Beek are at the forefront of their thinking, according to Marca.

Eriksen is coming out of contract at the end of the season, while Van de Beek seemingly wants to finish the campaign at Ajax.

While Madrid are top of LaLiga, they have collected just one point from their opening two Champions League games in Group A.


ROUND-UP

- Manchester United's main targets seemingly remain unchanged. Sky Sports News reports the Premier League club have Juventus' Mario Mandzukic and Bournemouth's Callum Wilson as their main striker targets ahead of the January window.

- Leicester City are keeping tabs on 15-year-old Turkish midfielder Burak Ince, according to Fotospor. Manchester City are also reportedly interested in the teenager who would cost in the region of £1.3m.

- Spain are still waiting for Ansu Fati. The Barcelona teenager is yet to receive the necessary paperwork to debut for Spain, according to AS. Sport reports authorisation will arrive next week, with a debut for the senior team or Under-21s a possibility.

- The Football Association has requested to see evidence after Liverpool allegedly paid Manchester City £1million after a complaint from the Premier League champions that their scouting system had been hacked, according to The Times.

Claudio Marchisio has labelled defeats in the 2015 Champions League and Euro 2012 finals as the biggest regrets of his career.

Former Juventus stalwart Marchisio confirmed his retirement on Thursday, having been without a club since Zenit agreed to mutually terminate his contract in July.

The 33-year-old had been plagued with injuries in the latter stage of his career, but he was a key cog in Juve's era of Serie A dominance.

In total, Marchisio won 15 trophies, including seven Serie A titles, during his time with Juve, having come through the club's academy.

Marchisio twice featured in the Champions League final – in 2015 and in 2017 – but on both occasions Juve were beaten, first by Barcelona and then Real Madrid.

He also made 55 appearances for Italy, helping them to the final of Euro 2012, in which they suffered a 4-0 defeat to Vicente del Bosque's all-conquering Spain side.

"Let's speak about regrets. In the whole Juventus winning cycle, for sure the regret is the 2015 Champions League final and the 2012 Euros with Italy," Marchisio told a news conference.

"Two moments that, despite a winning spell, [that] they don't appear in my trophy cabinet it is the biggest regret."

Alvaro Morata hauled Juve level against Barca in Berlin in 2015, only for Luis Suarez to nudge the Catalan giants back ahead before Neymar wrapped up a 3-1 triumph late on.

"I wish I could re-play the Champions League final in Berlin," Marchisio added.

"It was a battle with the result we all know. If only we could re-stage it, not even in its entirety, just a part in the second half to score before them."

Marchisio left Juve in 2018 but insists he will never lose his love for the club, although he acknowledged the eight-time defending Serie A champions face a real challenge from Inter this season.

Antonio Conte has rejuvenated Inter since taking over and faces his former club on Sunday, with Marchisio paying tribute to a coach he worked under with both Juve and Italy.

"Inter started very well, getting results and Juventus, at the moment, are behind and have to chase," he said. "It will be a great match. I will watch it as a Juventus fan, and I can't wait to see Juventus win.

"[Inter] are almost the same [in terms of personnel] as last year but are showing a completely different approach and team spirit. That is Conte's hand!"

Former Juventus and Italy star Claudio Marchisio has retired at the age of 33.

The midfielder had been without a club since Zenit agreed to terminate his contract on July 1 after only one season in Russia.

Writing on Instagram, Marchisio said: "I'd made a promise to the kid who dreamt to become a football player. I would have played until I had felt the marvel of the dream coming true by stepping into the pitch.

"In the past months my mind and my heart went through mixed feelings and I finally understood I wasn't fulfilling my promise anymore.

"There are times when it is right for the heart to prevail over the mind, that's why I prefer to stop.

"I have no regrets, also thanks to my family that has taught me to eagerly look into the future.

"So, thank you dream! You gave me courage, strength, success and, above all, joy!"

Juve tweeted a video in recognition of their former player, who won 15 trophies with the club, including seven Serie A titles.

Barcelona great Andres Iniesta also wrote on Twitter of Marchisio: "I enjoyed watching you play but competing against you even more. Today, football is a little less football."

Marchisio also won 55 senior Italy caps and was part of the side that reached the final of Euro 2012 and claimed the bronze medal at the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Martin Odegaard is enjoying a stellar season at Real Sociedad.

On loan from Real Madrid, Odegaard's starring performances are attracting interest from across Europe.

A Norwegian connection at Manchester United could see Odegaard move to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT ODEGAARD

Manchester United have joined the race to sign in-form Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard, according to The Sun.

Odegaard is currently on loan at LaLiga side Real Sociedad, where the 20-year-old has scored two goals and supplied two assists this term.

The Norway international, who joined Madrid from Stromsgodset in 2015 but only has two appearances to his name for the Spanish giants, has also been linked to Premier League rivals Manchester CityLiverpool and Arsenal.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail reports manager Mauricio Pochettino wants to leave struggling Tottenham. It comes after Spurs' season hit a new low following Tuesday's embarrassing 7-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich. Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has been linked to the London club.

- As doubts grow over Pochettino, The Sun claims ex-Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri will wait until the end of the season before taking a Premier League job. Allegri, who left Serie A champions Juventus at the end of 2018-19, has emerged as a possible target for Tottenham and United.

Arsenal have the chance to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano for £53million (€59.4m) at the end of the season, claims L'Equipe. The Gunners were heavily linked to the 20-year-old during the recent transfer window and they could return for the defender, whose release clause is reportedly set to drop.

- Bayern Munich are interested in Birmingham teenager Jude Bellingham, says The Sun. The 16-year-old has impressed in the Championship this season with two goals in six matches. Bundesliga champions Bayern have an eye on English talent following their unsuccessful pursuit of Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi.

- Sport Bild claims Bayern will "resume talks with Leroy Sane's management in the coming weeks". The Manchester City star was targeted by the German giants before suffering a serious ligament injury in the Community Shield.

- According to Calciomercato, Juventus are hoping to agree a new deal with midfielder Blaise Matuidi. The Frenchman, who was linked with a move away before the transfer window closed, is out of contract at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports Juve boss Maurizio Sarri is keen on reuniting with Chelsea star N'Golo Kante.

Inter are set to launch a shock January move for Burnley forward Jay Rodriguez, says Calciomercato. Antonio Conte's list of attacking options to add to Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez reportedly includes Chelsea's Olivier Giroud, Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic, Udinese's Kevin Lasagna and Andrea Petagna of SPAL.

Another day, another Paul Pogba rumour.

Pogba continues to dominate headlines, even with the transfer window closed.

Having been tipped to leave Manchester United previously, a return to Turin could be on the horizon.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA KEEN ON JUVE COMEBACK

Manchester United star Paul Pogba is still open to returning to Serie A champions Juventus, says Calciomercato.

Pogba is reportedly eyeing a United exit, three years after his £89.3million (€105m) arrival from the Bianconeri.

The France midfielder was heavily linked to LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Juve before the transfer window closed in September and the speculation will not subside.

 

ROUND-UP

Massimiliano Allegri is learning English as he targets the Manchester United job, says The Guardian. Allegri is without a club since leaving Juventus in the off-season and the Italian is keen on a move to Old Trafford should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leave.

- According to the Daily Star, United are lining up a £90million double transfer in January. With Solskjaer keen for reinforcements, the Red Devils are reportedly lining up Lyon forward Moussa Dembele and Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff.

- Having identified Ajax's Donny van de Beek as a midfield option before the window shut, Real Madrid are keen to watch more talent from the Dutch champions. AS reports that Madrid will look at Ajax in their next Champions League fixture against Valencia on Wednesday, with Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Lisandro Martinez and Edson Alvarez all on the list.

- According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are hoping to offload out-of-favour playmaker Mesut Ozil in January. The German has previously been linked to MLS outfit DC United, who are set to lose Wayne Rooney to Derby County.

- Former Italy and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta could be in line to become the next Genoa head coach, claims Il Secolo XIX. Aurelio Andreazzoli is reportedly set to be sacked if Genoa lose to AC Milan on Saturday and Motta, who also played for Serie A side Inter, could be his replacement.

- According to Calciomercato and La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira, Juventus great Claudio Marchisio is set to announce his retirement. The 33-year-old – a free agent since leaving Zenit in July – has been linked to Rangers, Brescia and Flamengo.

Maurizio Sarri is reluctant to commit to the idea of starting with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala in the same Juventus line-up as he fears upsetting the balance of the team.

Juve were in cruise control in Tuesday's Champions League Group D encounter against Bayer Leverkusen as Higuain and Ronaldo goals sandwiched Federico Bernardeschi's effort in a 3-0 win at Allianz Stadium.

The goalscoring trio lined up alongside one another in Juve's attacking triumvirate, while Dybala replaced Higuain in the 83rd minute and teed up Ronaldo for his goal.

However, while the idea of Ronaldo, Higuain and Dybala in a front three is an exciting one, head coach Sarri is erring on the side of caution.

"If I am sitting in a bar, it seems like a good idea to me too. If I am on the bench, then I have to take the balance of the side into consideration," he told Sky Sport Italia in quotes translated by Football Italia.

"If the team in future finds a great deal of balance, then we can try it, but right now that seems premature."

Bernardeschi staked his own claim for regular starts with an impressive performance against Leverkusen and his efforts in training have caught Sarri's eye.

"I liked the way Bernardeschi trained over the last few days, Aaron Ramsey needed a rest, and we knew his pace would be of use," he added.

"It was difficult, as Bayer love possession and they are not easy to face, so they took a lot of energy out of us in the first half. After the break, they slowed down a little and we took control."

Opposing boss Peter Bosz conceded Juve were good value for the win, but felt the game swung on a poor headed clearance by Jonathan Tah from which Higuain brilliantly controlled and rifled home the opener.

"We had a clear defeat. We did well in the first half but we were not able to create chances and made the mistake that led us to the goal," he said. 

"It is the difference between those who have experience in the Champions League and those who are building [in] it.

"This is the demonstration of challenging a team like Juventus."

Gonzalo Higuain says his primary aim at Juventus this season is to prove he belongs at the club after two difficult loan spells away from Turin.

The Argentine striker impressed in the Bianconeri's convincing 3-0 Champions League victory over Bayer Leverkusen, scoring the opener and setting up the second for Federico Bernardeschi.

Higuain has found himself back in favour this term having endured lacklustre loan spells with AC Milan and Chelsea in the 2018-19 campaign.

The latter of those moves was under the tutelage of current Juve boss Maurizio Sarri, who also coached Higuain at Napoli, and the Argentinian is focused on showing his worth.

"I came here with great determination, I wanted to prove I could stay here and there's a long season ahead," he told Sky Sport Italia.

Higuain received a great ovation from the home fans, who saw Cristiano Ronaldo round out the win with a third goal late on, and he was delighted to see his work recognised by the stands.

"It was a very good performance, we played with the determination you need for this kind of game. I'm happy for the goal and the performance," he added.

"The standing ovation from the fans was great, it's good when fans recognise the work you do. This victory puts us closer to qualification, even if we know that we still have plenty of work to do."

Cristiano Ronaldo earned a share of another Champions League record with his goal in Juventus' 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.

The Portugal superstar drilled through the legs of Lukas Hradecky late in the Group D contest at Allianz Stadium to complete a routine victory in which Gonzalo Higuain and Federico Bernardeschi were also on target.

Leverkusen became the 33rd team in the competition that Ronaldo has scored against, meaning the 34-year-old matched a benchmark set by his fellow Real Madrid great Raul.

Ronaldo is already the player with the most goals in Champions League history, while his 17 strikes in Madrid's 2013-14 success was the most netted by a player in a single campaign.

His six Champions League final appearances is also a joint record with former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini.

Gonzalo Higuain scored one and set up another as Juventus coasted to a 3-0 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen at Allianz Stadium.

The Argentina striker provided a textbook finish in the 17th minute to put Juve ahead and cleverly assisted Federico Bernardeschi to double the hosts' just after the hour.

Coach Maurizio Sarri will have been delighted to see such an effective performance from Higuain, a player who was much maligned during a difficult 2018-19 campaign. Although Juve rarely shifted through the gears, a fine outing was completed by Cristiano Ronaldo netting the third goal late on.

A win for Juve means they and Atletico Madrid each have four points from two Group D games and the Bianconeri can switch their focus to a domestic showdown with unbeaten Serie A rivals Inter on Sunday.

There was little goal threat from either side until Higuain opened the scoring in fine fashion.

Jonathan Tah failed to properly deal with Juan Cuadrado's forward punt and Higuain took a brilliant first touch before rifling low into the left corner from 20 yards.

Lukas Hradecky denied Higuain a second goal with a smart parry from the striker's bending effort from the left of the penalty area.

Ronaldo was largely quiet until a Cuadrado pass found its way to the Portugal star in the 57th minute, but he uncharacteristically shot straight at Hradecky.

Juve were celebrating again shortly after, however, as Higuain showed great feet and his centre was swept home by Bernardeschi.

Higuain should have had another assist when his low left-wing ball found a wide-open Ronaldo who again could only drill an effort against Hradecky.

It was a case of third time lucky, though, when Ronaldo drilled through Hradecky's legs after being teed up by Paulo Dybala to score against a 33rd different team in the Champions League - tying Raul's record - to round out the win.


What does it mean? Juve well on track

Juve will have been disappointed at surrendering a two-goal lead to draw their opener at Atletico, but ultimately a point at the Wanda Metropolitano is a good result. After overcoming a potentially tricky home fixture here, Sarri's side are well placed for a last-16 berth.

That's the Higuain we know and love

Higuain endured disappointing loan spells at AC Milan and Chelsea – the latter under Sarri – last season. But he has been a regular starter this term back at Juventus and his goal was reminiscent of Higuain at his best - the touch to set his strike was a thing of beauty. More good work set up Bernardeschi for Juve's second and Higuain's contributions were vital to Juve's win.

Tah error undoes Leverkusen game plan

Leverkusen had a pretty solid game plan: keep the ball, try and coax Juventus out to play, then hit the hosts on the transitions. Unfortunately, Tah's undercooked header from Cuadrado's lump in the air presented the platform for Higuain's brilliance and left his team chasing the game.

What's next?

Juventus return to Serie A action in a mouth-watering table-topping clash against Inter in the Derby D'Italia on Sunday. Leverkusen host RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga a day earlier.

Romelu Lukaku will miss Inter's blockbuster Champions League clash against Barcelona due to injury.

The Belgium striker has not travelled to Camp Nou with the Nerazzurri squad for the Group F clash against the reigning La Liga champions due to a muscular issue.

It remains to be seen if Lukaku will be fit for the huge Serie A contest with Juventus on Sunday, but head coach Antonio Conte is hopeful the quadricep problem is not too serious.

"Lukaku isn't here, he had a slight muscular issue in the quadricep that he has been carrying for 10 days," Conte said a pre-match news conference.

"He was continuing to feel the problem and the tests were negative, but we preferred in any case not to risk him. We have to rely on how the player feels in these cases.

"It's not a tear, so we are fairly relaxed and will focus on that [if he can face Juve] only after tomorrow's game with Barcelona."

Barcelona are planning for life after Uruguay striker Luis Suarez.

The 32-year-old is highly regarded at Camp Nou, however, he has struggled for form and consistency.

Now, LaLiga champions Barca appear to be lining up a possible replacement.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA READY TO SPEND €50M ON PIATEK

Barcelona are interested in signing AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez, says Calciomercato.it.

Suarez celebrates his 33rd birthday in January and the Barca veteran is showing signs of decline at the LaLiga champions, where he has struggled for form and consistency.

Barca will look to bring in a new face in January, with the Spanish giants ready to spend €50million on Piatek, while RB Leipzig's Timo Werner, Getafe forward Jaime Mata and Juventus veteran Mario Mandzukic have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus have set their sights on three Premier League players – Chelsea's Willian, and Tottenham pair Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, according to Tuttosport. The trio will be available on free transfers at the end of the season and Eriksen tops Juve's wish list.

- The Daily Mail says Tottenham have opened contract talks with defender Jan Vertonghen. The Belgium international is out of contract at season's end and Spurs are reluctant to lose him on a free transfer.

- AC Milan are interested in signing Nice star Arnaud Lusamba, according to Calciomercato. The 22-year-old midfielder is contracted to the Ligue 1 club until 2021.

Arsenal will send scouts to watch Salzburg and Hungary star Dominik Szoboszlai in Wednesday's Champions League showdown against Liverpool, reports the Daily Mail. The 18-year-old sensation has also attracted interested from Serie A trio Juventus, Inter and Lazio.

- Eredivisie side PSV are interested in signing Manchester United's Tahith Chong on loan in January, according to the Daily Mail. The 19-year-old Dutch winger, who arrived from Feyenoord in 2016, has been involved with the first team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Real Madrid will be looking to kick-start their Champions League campaign against Club Brugge on Tuesday after losing to Paris Saint-Germain on matchday one, while Kylian Mbappe has his eye on a record of Lionel Messi's.

Madrid were crushed 3-0 by PSG last time out, with Thomas Tuchel's men looking extremely comfortable in a match that left Zinedine Zidane under a bit of pressure.

They have since bounced back with two wins and a draw in LaLiga and they will expect to get three points at home to Club Brugge, while PSG travel to Galatasaray.

The French champions will be able to call upon the services of Mbappe this time, having missed the Madrid clash through injury, and he is close to equalling a record set by Messi.

Below, we have highlighted the key data ahead of Tuesday's contests.

Real Madrid v Club Brugge

3 - Madrid are looking to avoid losing three successive Champions League matches for the first time in their history. They have not lost three in a row in European competition since September 1981.

50 - Los Blancos have won all three of their Champions League home matches against Belgian opposition by an aggregate score of 14-2. Their most recent competitive home defeat to a club from Belgium was 50 years ago in December 1969 versus Standard Liege in the European Cup (W4 D1 L0 since).

 

Galatasaray v Paris Saint-Germain

14 - Mbappe has scored 14 goals in the UEFA Champions League and will be aged 20 years and 284 days on the day of this match. The youngest player to 15 goals in the competition is Messi, who scored his 15th goal aged 21y 289d.

1 - If Galatasaray avoid defeat against PSG, it will be the first time they have remained unbeaten in the opening two games of a Champions League group stage since the format changed in 2003-04.

Red Star Belgrade v Olympiakos

4 - Marko Marin was directly involved in four of Red Star's five goals during the 2018-19 Champions League campaign, including two assists against Liverpool in their only ever victory in the competition.

9 - Olympiakos have lost nine of their past 11 matches away from home in the Champions League (W2), shipping at least two goals in every defeat. Prior to this run, the Greek side had won three of their previous six on the road (D1 L2).

 

Tottenham v Bayern Munich

39 - Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski has scored in 39 different Champions League matches; only Ruud van Nistelrooy (42), Karim Benzema (45), Raul (56), Lionel Messi (68), Cristiano Ronaldo (82) have scored in more.

2 - Bayern are looking to become the second side after PSG in October 2017 to score two or more goals in six successive Champions League away group matches since the competition changed to its current format in 2003-04.

Atalanta v Shakhtar Donetsk

20 - Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov has failed to keep a clean sheet in any of his past 20 Champions League starts – the only keeper with a longer such run in the history of the competition is Igor Akinfeev (43 starts between 2006 and 2017).

4 - Atalanta's 4-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb on matchday one was the heaviest defeat by a team in their first Champions League match since Qarabag lost 6-0 to Chelsea in September 2017.

 

Manchester City v Dinamo Zagreb

10 - Against Shakhtar, City's Gabriel Jesus scored his ninth Champions League goal – should he score in this game, he will be the youngest Brazilian (22y 181d) to reach 10 goals in the competition and youngest South American since Lionel Messi (21y 99d) in October 2008.

1 - Mislav Orsic's hat-trick on his Champions League debut for Dinamo against Atalanta was the first treble scored for a Croatian team in the competition. Only two Croatian players have scored in their first two appearances in the competition; Alen Boksic in November 1992 for Marseille and Nikola Vlasic in 2018 for CSKA Moscow.

 

Lokomotiv Moscow v Atletico Madrid

7 - Kieran Trippier created seven chances in Atletico Madrid's 2-2 draw with Juventus, the most of any player on matchday one this season. Since the start of last season, only Dusan Tadic (41) has created more chances than the England defender in the competition (32).

22 - Lokomotiv Moscow's victory over Bayer Leverkusen last time out was achieved with just 22 per cent possession, the lowest by a winning team in a Champions League match since Celtic had 15 per cent and beat Barcelona 2-1 in November 2012.

 

Juventus v Bayer Leverkusen

26 - Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 26 goals in 24 appearances against teams from Germany in the Champions League – no player has more against teams from a specific nation (Lionel Messi v English teams, also 26). This will his first appearance against Bayer Leverkusen in the competition.

78 - Leverkusen had 78 per cent possession in their 2-1 defeat to Lokomotiv Moscow, the most by a team in a Champions League match since Bayern Munich had 78.8 per cent against Arsenal in February 2014.

Paul Pogba wanted to leave Manchester United before the 2019-20 season, but Opta numbers suggest the midfielder can help turn the Red Devils' poor start around.

Pogba is set to make his 100th Premier League appearance at home to Arsenal on Monday, the France international having missed recent action for club and country with an ankle injury.

The 26-year-old has been a lightning rod for criticism since returning to Old Trafford, becoming the world's most expensive player when he left Juventus in 2016.

Pogba is still United's key man - their sole world-class talent and a performer capable of winning games on his own when operating at the top of his game.

Here, we assess his Premier League career to date, comparing the upcoming landmark with his time at Juve, as well as other Premier League stars in his position.


PROLIFIC POGBA IN ELITE COMPANY

Pogba hit eight Serie A goals in each of his last two seasons in Turin, but since moving back to United he has improved his record in front of goal.

Aided by the fact he often takes penalties for the Red Devils, Pogba has hit 24 goals in his 99 Premier League appearances to date - which includes three games before he left United as a youngster unable to break into Alex Ferguson's plans.

Pogba's first 100 Serie A appearances saw him score 22 times, so his effectiveness in front of goal has increased slightly, with no midfielder netting more than his 13 Premier League goals last term.

In fact, since Pogba rejoined United, only three midfielders have scored more Premier League goals: Dele Alli (32), Christian Eriksen (27) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (26), all of whom typically play closer to the opposition goal than the World Cup winner.


MORE ASSISTS SINCE UNITED RETURN

Pogba is also a creative force, of course, and his 49 goal involvements (goals plus assists) over the same period matches Sigurdsson's combined total.

Opta numbers suggest Pogba has enjoyed significant development in this side of his game in the last three seasons, with 25 assists in his 99 Premier League appearances to date besting the comparatively low 11 he managed in 100 league games for Juve.

Pogba's record in this regard compares favourably with the Premier League's elite again. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has contributed a peerless 44 assists, with Spurs star Eriksen not too far behind the Belgium international on 38.

David Silva is the only other midfielder to have posted more assists than Pogba in this period, though, indicating his playmaking talents have perhaps gone under the radar. He has created 162 chances in 99 Premier League games, compared to 124 in his first 100 Serie A appearances.


A MIDFIELDER WHO DOES IT ALL

Pogba's all-round talents make him almost one of a kind in the Premier League. No other midfielders can match the combination of playmaking, goalscoring and ball-winning he offers to United when at his best.

Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Pogba has recorded 640 recoveries - a tally that beats of his Premier League contemporaries who offer the same gifts in the final third. This total is more in keeping with a defensive-minded midfielder like Mark Noble, whose recoveries tally stands at 616 in the same period.

Pogba's tackle success rate in the past three campaigns is 70.29 per cent, comparable to Manchester City's energetic midfielder Bernardo Silva (70.79 per cent) and, again, ahead of players such as De Bruyne, Eriksen, Sigurdsson and Alli.

Few midfielders dictate play for their teams to the extent Pogba does for United. Since his return to the club, he has touched the ball 8,190 times in the Premier League - a tally towards the top of the tree for the league and behind only David Silva, Eriksen, Fernandinho and Granit Xhaka.

However, one statistic clearly indicates Pogba is simply playing for a worse team at United than he did when at Juve. His win ratio in 99 Premier League appearances to date is 57 per cent, compared to 71 per cent in his first 100 Serie A games.

As good as Pogba is - at both ends of the pitch - he cannot do it all on his own.

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