We are midway through the Champions League group stages for the 2020-21 campaign and there are plenty of talking points as we enter into more midweek action
Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea could take huge steps towards the knockout stages as Liverpool continue to deal with their injury crisis, whilst reigning champions Bayern Munich could re-write the history books and Barcelona will have a rather noticeable absentee.
Here, Sportsmail looks at 10 talking points ahead of this week’s Champions League action.
Messi missing for Barcelona
Lionel Messi has been left out of the Barcelona squad to face Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday after one of his worst performances for the club in Saturday’s defeat by Atletico Madrid.
Whilst the omission of Messi could be a sign of further distress between him and the club, manager Ronald Koeman cited the reasoning for leaving him and midfielder Frenkie De Jong out is due to their comfortable position in the group.
Barcelona are top of Group G, seven points ahead of third-placed Kiev so allowing Messi to rest makes sense on the surface, but add more context and Barca fans could be getting a taste into the near future as Messi continues to be linked with a move away.
The Argentine has not looked himself this season. He lost the ball an astonishing 23 times in the 1-0 defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano. He also managed just 36 passes.
Four-goal Haaland on fire
Borussia Dortmund frontman Erling Haaland continues to prove why he is one of the most sought-after strikers in the world following his Golden Boy award triumph, naming him as Europe’s best player under the age of 21.
The Norway international, 20, currently leads the Champions League golden boot race alongside Liverpool’s Diogo Jota, Juventus striker Alvaro Morata and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford.
He will likely lead the line as Dortmund play host to Club Brugge after he scored an incredible four goals in 22 minutes against Hertha Berlin on the weekend. Continue reading