Lionel Messi will start for Paris Saint-Germain against Manchester City in their blockbuster Champions League clash.

Messi has missed PSG's last two games because of a knee injury and was a doubt for the match at the Parc des Princes.

However, he will get the chance to face a City side led by former boss Pep Guardiola, with whom he won three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns during their storied time together at Barcelona.

Messi was named in PSG's starting XI, meaning he will line up alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in a frightening front three.

In his pre-match media conference, Guardiola conceded he did not have a plan to stop that trio.

"I don't know, with this amount of quality I don't know what we should do to stop them," he said.

"The talent cannot be stopped – we have to do it as a team. Individually we cannot put the pressure on one player to solve the skills and talents they have.

"We have to be compact, together and help each other, know we are going to suffer and be in pain, and how you handle the pain in these moments…you have to be able to suffer for 90 minutes."

Hoping to help heighten City's suffering will be midfielder Marco Verratti, who had also been troubled by a knee problem.

Verratti sustained the injury while on international duty with Italy and has made only two appearances for PSG this season, the last coming in August when Messi made his debut at Reims.

But Verratti also has a place in the starting XI and will hope to produce a more telling impact than in his previous Champions League appearance, which saw PSG knocked out by City in the semi-finals back in May.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Cristiano Ronaldo almost guarantees goals as Manchester United prepare to face Villarreal in the Champions League. 

United have drawn their last five meetings with Villarreal, including the 2021 Europa League final which they went on to lose on penalties, while managing to score just once. 

Therefore, the Premier League club will be hoping the 36-year-old, who is the Champions League's all-time leading scorer, can help them halt that barren run. 

Ronaldo has never netted against Villarreal in four previous appearances against them for United in the competition, only facing Lille and Benfica as often without finding the net. 

However, he scored 13 times against the Spanish side during his time with Real Madrid, a factor Solskjaer hopes will work in United's favour. 

Ronaldo has four goals in as many games for United, though he failed to strike for the first time since re-joining the club in the Premier League defeat to Aston Villa last time out. 

"Of course Cristiano, you can almost say when he starts it is one guaranteed goal," Solskjaer said at his pre-match news conference when asked if Ronaldo could be the difference. 

"He has that record and he will score goals.  

"It is not going to be easy for us, but it is not going to be easy [for Villarreal] to play against Cristiano.  

"He has 13 goals in 15 against Villarreal [for Madrid] which means he enjoys playing against them.  

"He knows Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, top defenders. He is determined to score every time he is on the pitch. We have to play well to create chances." 

Ronaldo will break former Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas’ record for Champions League appearances if he plays, setting a new record of 178 games.  

It will be the Portugal international's first Champions League game at Old Trafford for United since April 2009 against Arsenal. He was directly involved in 12 goals in his final 15 home games in his first spell for the Red Devils in the competition, netting seven and providing five assists. 

With Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka out, and Luke Shaw's status uncertain, United are poised for a defensive reshuffle, so Solskjaer will hope Ronaldo and the attack can carry the load with his team under pressure after losing the Group F opener to Young Boys. 

The United manager added: "It is a group stage, there are only six games and you need 10 or maybe 12 points to go through. 

"We lost three points last time. If you end up with zero or one point after two games you need to win the last four games probably, so not a must-win game but it is a very important one." 

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed N'Golo Kante will miss Wednesday's Champions League clash with Juventus after testing positive for coronavirus.

The France international made his sixth appearance of the season on Saturday when playing an hour of Chelsea's 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League.

However, Kante has since contracted COVID-19 and will serve a period of isolation, ruling him out of the Blues' European tie with Juve and league clash with Southampton ahead of the international break.

Speaking at a pre-match news conference on Tuesday, Tuchel also confirmed Christian Pulisic, Reece James and Mason Mount will not make the trip to Turin because of injury problems.

Juventus will also be without some key players at the Allianz Stadium as Paulo Dybala and former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata have been ruled out.

The Turin giants were in the relegation zone after picking up just two points from their first four Serie A matches, but back-to-back wins have lifted them up to 10th.

Massimiliano Allegri's side also saw off Malmo 3-0 in their opening Champions League match two weeks ago to make it 11 wins in their past 12 group-stage matches.

Despite losing Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United last month, Tuchel is still expecting a big test when Chelsea travel to Turin.

"They are so experienced and such a big club with so much Champions League experience," he said.

"They will enjoy the different competition. They have had a bit of a rough start according to their results in Serie A, but they were convincing in the Champions League.

"You never know with players that are missing. The guys who come in want to show they are reliable. We play Juventus at Juventus.

"It's a no-brainer that demands respect to the quality and tradition of the club. 

"We need to refocus and regroup and face a tough challenge with positive energy and determination to bounce back from our defeat to Manchester City."

Ronaldo scored 101 goals in 134 appearances for Juve across his three seasons at the club before returning to United, 14 of those goals coming in the Champions League.

Only six other players scored more goals in the competition than Ronaldo over that period, but Tuchel does not believe the Portuguese's surprise exit hinders Juve's chances of European success, even if they are now a weaker side.

"Time will tell, but every team without Cristiano is weaker. He shows it every time he is on the pitch, in the Premier League and in the Champions League," Tuchel said. 

"They have lost a great champion, a great personality, but you can be a great team and win things, too, even without him. 

"And they are. They have experience, talent, depth and a quality coach. They have winning DNA, the winning mentality.

"This is the first time I've played against Juventus. I will face a team of our level and these challenges make us a better team. "

Chelsea have lost each of their past four away games against Italian teams in the Champions League, with each defeat coming against a different side – including Juve in 2012-13.

The Blues scraped past Zenit 1-0 in their opening Group H match but, as reigning European champions, Tuchel accepts his side no longer enter any game as underdogs.

"It is difficult for that to be the case when you've won the title," the German coach said. "We won this competition last season when we weren't favourites.

"Now it's easy to consider ourselves as favourites and to accept that. We've won it before. We have showed all of our abilities.

"We need to play with freedom but also be realistic. The standards are high for us and hopefully the performances and results arrive step by step."

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has been ruled out for Wednesday's Champions League match against Villarreal and could miss "a few weeks" of action with a calf injury.

Maguire and fellow defender Luke Shaw both suffered injuries in the disappointing 1-0 Premier League defeat to Aston Villa last time out.

And manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed the centre-back is set for a spell on the sidelines.

But he had more positive news on Shaw, who is in contention to face the Spanish side and does not look poised for a long spell out regardless of whether he is able to start the match at Old Trafford.

"Luke has been in on Tuesday, so I will give him a chance to be involved," Solskjaer said at his pre-match news conference.

"He did not train with the team [but] hopefully Luke can be involved.

"Harry is more or less definitely out, it doesn't look good. It is his calf, that might take a few weeks.

"Let's see how quickly he recovers. He wanted to play against Villarreal, he missed the last game [against them in the Europa League final]." 

With Aaron Wan-Bissaka already suspended after a red card in the opening Group F defeat against Young Boys, United could be forced to change three members of their regular back four alongside Raphael Varane.

Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles are among the candidates to come into the starting XI.

Solskjaer added: "We will have to make a few changes. You always look at the opposition and sometimes you need to make adjustments.

"But we look at ourselves mostly. The more injuries you get, you might need to do tactical changes. I have got Eric, Rapha, Victor. Alex and Diogo 100 per cent fit." 

The last five meetings in European competition between United and Villarreal have all ended in draws.

Four of those encounters were goalless, the exception being the 2021 Europa League final, which Villarreal won 11-10 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

"You expect what you have learned in the last few seasons," added Solskjaer. "We have played each other five times, every time has been a draw. 

"They are very well organised, technically very good. They can play from the back. It is hard to press against them, which I thought we did well in the final.

"Difficult to create chances against and we have to be better to create chances. It was an even final."

United go into the key game looking to end an unwelcome trend.

They are winless in their last seven matches against Spanish teams in the Champions League (D3 L4), with their last such victory coming against Real Sociedad back in October 2013 (1-0).

Julian Nagelsmann hailed Serge Gnabry's unique ability as Bayern Munich prepare to face Dynamo Kiev in Wednesday's Champions League clash.

Bayern crushed Barcelona 3-0 in their Group E opener and have won the most games (20), while scoring the most goals (73) across the last three Champions League campaigns.

Robert Lewandowski has been directly involved in 27 goals in his last 17 appearances in the competition and has ended on the winning side in all 17 games, the joint-longest run of wins by a player in the tournament's history.

However, Nagelsmann preferred to focus on Gnabry, who has scored three and assisted twice this term, ahead of the visit of Dynamo.

"I didn't do anything with [Gnabry] consciously and didn't have that many conversations," Nagelsmann told reporters on Tuesday when asked about Gnabry's form.

"I've known him for a long time, if not as long as Niki [Niklas Sule]. We already had a good connection in Hoffenheim and it works properly.

"For me, he is very important as a type, he brings in a good mood. In terms of play, he is of course also important, he has a good degree, a good feeling and good ideas.

"The player with quality in connection with the character, I look forward to seeing him every day.

"I see it that he has to be free and not think too much about what he is doing. He does a lot about instinct and has the street footballer gene."

Gnabry ranks fourth for chances created (12) across all competitions for Bayern this term, while also placing fourth for dribbles completed (16) as he continues to fight for his place alongside Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala and the absent Kingsley Coman.

Whichever wingers Nagelsmann utilises, the head coach also appreciates the different challenge that the reigning champions of Ukraine – who have never won away at Allianz Arena in Europe – will propose as he looks to assert his dominance on the Champions League.

"They are always favourites in the league and play that way," he continued. "They are often very low in games in the Champions League. Benfica failed to score, it will be our main task to play around the block.

"We want to get three points and stay ahead in the table. Otherwise, the plan is more tactical. We want to put a lot of pressure on possession. We also have to avoid counter-attacks.

"It's about making it clear that we are one of the favourites. In the end, the team that lifts the trophy has to be the one that has won the most games. We want to be that team."

Ronald Koeman insisted Barcelona's Champions League visit to Benfica could not be classed as decisive in the early stages of Group E.

Barca endured a tough start to the Champions League against Bayern Munich, failing to attempt a shot on target for the first time in the competition since Opta records began in 2003-04.

The Catalan club are looking to avoid losing their first two matches in a European campaign for only the second time in their history, having previously lost both legs of their UEFA Cup first-round tie with Porto way back in 1972-73.

However, Koeman was in confident mood ahead of the trip to Portugal after crushing Levante 3-0 on Sunday, while shunning claims that Wednesday's tie was a must-win.

"Impossible, it is the second of six, it cannot be decisive," Koeman initially responded to reporters on Tuesday before outlining his intentions.

"Barcelona always plays to win the game. Our intention is to control, have the ball and look for spaces with the players we have.

"We expect a difficult game. I know the atmosphere that can be in the stadium and the strength that [Benfica] have at home.

"They play at home, and they will have the environment in their favour, they will try attack to win. It is not a team that plays not to lose. And we have the same intention at home or away, to take control of the game to win."

Koeman remained secretive as to whether the recovering Ansu Fati, who has now been involved in 17 goals in 44 appearances across all competitions following his strike against Levante, would feature.

Memphis Depay has scored in his past two games against Benfica in the competition, and he is expected to lead the line once more, though he did not attempt a single shot on matchday one against Bayern.

Whoever Koeman selects up top, Blaugrana centre-back Ronald Araujo is backing his side to compete and challenge for titles in both the Champions League and LaLiga this term.

"We are Barcelona, and we have to aspire to all the titles," Araujo told reporters.

"We cannot go to see what happens, we have to go to win and try to win as many titles as we can.

"It's an important game against a great rival, but we are going to win. We come from a great game at the weekend and I think that's the way to go. We have to go for the three points."

Milan must show courage if they are to overcome Atletico Madrid and keep their dream of advancing in the Champions League alive, according to the great Franco Baresi.

The Rossoneri have made an unbeaten start to their Serie A campaign with five wins and a draw from their first six matches, but they were defeated 3-2 by Liverpool at Anfield in their opening European game of the season two weeks ago.

That was Milan's first match in Europe's elite club competition in seven and a half years, and the narrow defeat leaves them bottom of Group B, with Atletico and Porto sharing a point apiece in the other match.

Milan welcome LaLiga champions Atletico to San Siro on Tuesday and history is not on their side, having won only won of their past 17 games against Spanish opposition in European competition, including an ongoing run of seven games without a victory.

The only previous meetings between the teams, meanwhile, saw the Italian side lose both legs to Atleti at the last-16 stage of the 2013-14 Champions League.

But Baresi, who won the European Cup three times during his 20-year playing career with Milan, insists his former side have nothing to fear when they play host to Diego Simeone's side

"At the draw, we knew we would be in the fourth-tier pot," Baresi told Stats Perform. "We knew we would draw high level opponents.

"This groups is very tough, but we want to have our say until the end and enjoy this moment, this comeback to the Champions League. 

"To me, in this group, all the clubs will lose points, because it is not easy to beat Atletico Madrid and Porto. This next one at home against Atleti will be so important for Milan if we want to dream about going through. 

"But we don't have to be too nervous, we have to live it with enthusiasm and courage – like Milan always did around the world."

Milan were runners-up in Serie A last season – their highest Serie A finish since 2011-12 – as they ended their long wait for Champions League football.

Head coach Stefano Pioli has been hailed for his work over the past two years, and Baresi believes Paolo Maldini, who has served as technical director since June 2019, also deserves credit for helping to turn things around at Milan.

"He started with great enthusiasm, giving out all his experience as a player and his ideas and prowess as a manager," Baresi said. "He is doing a great job and Milan have improved exponentially in the last two seasons. 

"We can do well this season. Even last season we did well as we qualified for the Champions League. Let's hope we can play well in the Champions League, too."

Paris Saint-Germain will be out for revenge when they face Manchester City in a blockbuster Champions League clash. 

City reached their first Champions League final last season by beating PSG 4-1 on aggregate last season and they will meet again in a Group A clash at the Parc des Princes. 

PSG were held by Club Brugge in their opening game, while Premier League champions City hammered RB Leipzig 6-3. 

Milan face Atletico Madrid in their first home match in Europe's premier cup competition since 2014. 

Leaders Liverpool travel to Porto in the other Group B game with fond memories of their previous two trips, while Real Madrid entertain Sheriff in the battle between the top two in Group D. 

Here, Stats Perform look at the key Opta data ahead of the games taking place on Tuesday. 

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester City: Messi could face another Guardiola reunion

Lionel Messi, who was linked with City before his sensational move to PSG, has been sidelined be a knee problem and it remains to be seen if he recovers in time for a reunion with his former boss Pep Guardiola.

PSG and City will meet for the sixth time, while the Ligue 1 side still looking for their first win in this fixture (D2 L3). Only against Juventus (8) have they played more games in European competition without winning.

City are unbeaten in 10 away Champions League away games (W8 D2), not losing in the competition outside of England since December 2017 (against Shakhtar Donetsk).

Milan v Atletico Madrid: Rossoneri eyeing happy homecoming

Milan and Atleti's only previous meetings came in the 2013-14 Champions League, with the Rossoneri losing both legs in the round of 16. The clash with the reigning LaLiga champions seven years ago was Milan's last at home in the competition. 

Antoine Griezmann is Atleti's all-time top scorer in the European Cup/Champions League (21 goals), and could also become their outright top scorer in away games if he finds the net in this game (currently on five). 

In the loss at Anfield, Brahim Diaz (22 years 43 days) became the youngest player to score on his Champions League debut for Milan since Yoann Gourcuff in September 2006 (20 years 64 days v AEK Athens). 

Porto v Liverpool: Reds to cut loose again?

This will be the fifth time Liverpool have faced Porto in the Champions League since Jurgen Klopp became the club's manager – they have won more games (3), scored more goals (11) and kept more clean sheets (3) against them than any other opponent in the competition.

Porto have only scored once in those four previous meetings (D1 L3), despite attempting 45 shots. In contrast, Liverpool's 11 goals have come from 54 attempts. 

Sadio Mane has been directly involved in five goals against Porto, scoring four times and providing one assist. Mane's four goals are the joint-most by a Liverpool player against an opponent in the competition, along with Steven Gerrard v Marseille and Philippe Coutinho v Spartak Moscow. 

Real Madrid v Sheriff: Madrid on brink of century

Madrid are one short of becoming the first team to record 100 home victories in the Champions League. Their win percentage of 73 is the highest for any team in the competition's history with at least 10 home games played (99/136). 

Sheriff won 2-0 on their Champions League debut last time out against Shakhtar Donetsk - they are looking to become the first team since Leicester City in 2016-17 to win their first two games in the competition. 

Sheriff's Cristiano scored twice on his Champions League debut against Shakhtar, becoming the first Brazilian to score a brace in his first game in the competition since Chelsea’s Oscar in September 2012 (v Juventus). 

 

Other fixtures:

Ajax v Besiktas

4 - Ajax striker Sebastien Haller scored four goals on his Champions League debut against Sporting CP. If he gets another against Besiktas, he would move clear of a tie with Marco van Basten, Diego Simeone, Didier Drogba and Erling Haaland for the most by a player in their first two appearances in the competition.

2 - Besiktas have conceded at least two goals in each of their previous four games against Ajax (10 in total).

Shakhtar Donetsk v Inter

1 - Shakhtar have only scored one goal in their previous five meetings with Inter and have failed to find the back of the net in the three most recent encounters.

32 - Inter and Shakhtar played out two goalless draws in the Champions League last season despite the Serie A champions attempting 32 shots, with an expected goals total of 3.1 across the two games.

RB Leipzig v Club Brugge

10 - Club Brugge have not won any of their past 10 games against German opponents in European competition (D3 L7).

4 - Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick for Leipzig against City, but became just the fourth player in Champions League history to score at least three goals and still end on the losing team. 

Borussia Dortmund v Sporting CP

100 - Dortmund have a 100 per cent win record at home to Portuguese opposition in European competition, winning all six of their previous games by an aggregate score of 17-2.

63 - Erling Haaland has averaged a goal every 63 minutes in home games for Dortmund in the Champions League. His seven goals at Signal Iduna Park is the most of any player at a single stadium in the competition since he joined the club.

UEFA has abandoned its disciplinary case against the three rebel Super League clubs, declaring the proceedings "null and void". 

European football's governing body announced in May it was opening a case against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus for a "potential violation" of its legal framework amid their continued support for the Super League project. 

The case was paused in June until further notice following a ruling from a Madrid court and has now been closed by UEFA's independent appeals body. 

UEFA also said it would not request payments from the nine other clubs that withdrew from the project. Potential fines and a collective €15million "goodwill fund" formed part of the agreement announced in May that saw Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Inter, Milan and Atletico Madrid rejoin UEFA competitions. 

On Monday, UEFA said in a statement: "UEFA understands why the disciplinary proceedings are declared null and void. UEFA has always acted in good faith and reasonably understood that the decision by its independent disciplinary body, the UEFA Appeals Body, to suspend the disciplinary proceedings was in full compliance with the Court Orders of the Madrid Commercial Court No. 17, and given that the three mentioned clubs have since been admitted to UEFA club competitions. 

"UEFA maintains its view that it has always acted in accordance with not only its statutes and regulations, but also with EU law, the European Convention on Human Rights and Swiss law in connection with the so-called Super League project. UEFA remains confident in and will continue to defend its position in all the relevant jurisdictions. 

"In relation with the Club Commitment Declarations UEFA received in May 2021 from nine of the 12 clubs that acted as founders of the so-called European Super League project, and with which such nine clubs had informed UEFA of their unilateral decisions to withdraw from the so-called Super League project, UEFA has informed the nine clubs that in view of the pending Court proceedings in Madrid, and to avoid any unnecessary complication, UEFA will not request payment of any of the amounts offered in the May Declarations of the clubs, as long as the Court proceedings in Madrid involving, among others, UEFA are pending." 

Barca, Madrid and Juve have refused to renounce the Super League despite the intense backlash from the football world that prompted the nine other clubs to withdraw from the plans. 

Bianconeri president Andrea Agnelli wrote to club shareholders to describe the Super League as a means of "guaranteeing stability for the football industry". 

Agnelli said it was "a new meritocratic paradigm and a return to the fundamentals of cost control and transparency". 

Carlo Ancelotti believes Real Madrid's history in the Champions League gives them a slight advantage over their biggest rivals.

The Italian was in charge in 2014 when Madrid at last won the competition for the 10th time, beating Atletico Madrid in the final in Lisbon.

Los Blancos then achieved an historic three titles in a row under Zinedine Zidane from 2016 to 2018, a feat unseen in the modern format and only surpassed by Madrid themselves in the days of the European Cup, when they won five in a row from 1956 to 1960.

Madrid started their 2021-22 campaign with a 1-0 victory at Inter and are expected to follow up with three more points on Tuesday when they host competition debutants Sheriff.

Ancelotti admits his side's past successes help a little when it comes to their chances this season, as he aims to replicate Zidane's remarkable achievements.

"For us to represent this club is something special, it's the most complicated, most difficult competition," he said on Monday. "We are more used to winning it than others. We have a little advantage.

"It's difficult [to compare this team with Zidane's] because the players changed a little, the squad has changed, plus I don't like to compare this team with Zizou's team.

"Zizou did things as well as he could have done. He won the Champions League three times in a row. Hopefully, I can win another one."

Madrid played their home games at the Castilla's Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano last season while renovation work was being completed at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It means Sheriff, the 108th different side they have faced in the competition, will be the first to visit the famous ground in the Champions League since Manchester City in the last-16 first leg in 2019-20.

"It's a Champions League game. You have to prepare well for all Champions League games. We're really excited to return to the Bernabeu because we have really good memories," said Ancelotti.

"Sheriff are doing well. We have to be careful because it's a team not much is known about, but they're organised, fast going forward... we have to hold maximum concentration. We need three points."

Defender Nacho Fernandez claims the squad are not interested in whether others consider them among the favourites for this year's trophy, insisting they are confident they can challenge in the latter stages.

"The question of being favourites is not one that the rest of the squad and I are really bothered about," he said. "We face the same level of pressure regardless of whether we're favourites or not.

"We've got a great squad, are feeling really confident and are raring to having a good year in the Champions League. Nobody rules Real Madrid out from being involved right until the end."

Mauricio Pochettino wants Lionel Messi to be given time to adapt to his new surroundings at Paris Saint-Germain, who are preparing to go up against "the best coach in the world" in Pep Guardiola. 

Messi has yet to score or assist in three appearances since joining PSG on a free transfer amid financial difficulties at Barcelona, but Pochettino is prepared to be patient with the iconic superstar. 

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been struggling with a knee injury of late, though he may be involved when the French club host Manchester City in a titanic Champions League clash. 

"[Messi] is progressing very well, and I think he'll be in the squad, but I don't know if he'll start," Pochettino said in his pre-match media conference ahead of Tuesday’s meeting in the French capital.  

"He's the best player in the world, but he's still a human like everyone else. He also needs to adapt to this new team, new culture and new country. He was at Barcelona for 20 years, everything is new here for him.  

"With time, I have no doubt that everything will go well and we're going to have real success together." 

The former Tottenham and Southampton boss also attempted to downplay expectations as his side chase European glory, claiming that PSG are not yet the finished article - unlike their next opponents. 

"We're a work in progress," Pochettino said. "It's not an opinion, it's a fact. We have to look at where we have come from and where we are today. 

"We're going to face Manchester City and the best coach in the world, Pep Guardiola. They're a great team, a club that dreams of winning the Champions League, as we do. They're perhaps ahead of us, but anything can happen in a football match. 

"We're going to try and cause them problems with a lot of desire, determination, and also by applying our ideas and limiting their qualities, and finding weaknesses to exploit. It's a match for the players in which they can show their potential." 

Pochettino also dismissed the idea that the contest with City is their first real challenge of the season, having won all of their first eight Ligue 1 games to sit nine points clear at the top of the table. 

"A first test? I don't think so. We've had a different challenge in each game. The start of the season hasn't been easy because we have got players back gradually. Since we've had a complete squad, we've worked,” he said.

"We know the expectations on us and we know we have to work with responsibility and rigour today, not tomorrow. We have to stand up and be counted when a game comes up." 

There was also an update on the fitness of Marco Verratti, who, like Messi, is set to be part of the squad but may not be ready to start. 

Juventus pair Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata will not return from injury until after the October international break. 

The two forwards were injured in the Bianconeri's 3-2 win over Sampdoria and head coach Massimiliano Allegri revealed in his post-match press conference that they would not be available for the Champions League clash with Chelsea on Wednesday. 

However, Dybala and Morata have since been assessed and their injuries will also prevent them from facing Torino in the Derby della Mole. 

Juventus' Serie A clash against Roma on October 17 is likely to be the earliest either player will feature again. 

The victory over Sampdoria was the Bianconeri's second successive league victory, having failed to register a win in their first four domestic fixtures. 

Dybala notched the opening goal in the game on Sunday, but was forced off with a thigh injury in the first half, with Morata following suit with a hamstring problem late on. 

After a difficult start to the campaign, the loss of the club's two top scorers - with three goals apiece in all competitions - comes as a real blow to a side that was just beginning to pick up momentum ahead of two difficult fixtures. 

Juventus host Chelsea in their Champions League Group H contest, before facing Torino in Serie A action three days later. 

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's fond memories of travelling to Porto will count for nothing when the two sides meet at Estadio do Dragao on Tuesday.

The Reds cruised to a 4-1 victory in their last trip to Porto almost two and a half years ago, having thrashed them 5-0 in their previous visit in February 2018 - Sadio Mane scoring a hat-trick.

Liverpool head into their second Champions League match of the season top of Group B after beating Milan 3-2 in a thriller at Anfield.

Porto held Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw and Sergio Conceicao's side are unbeaten since losing the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final to eventual winners Chelsea in April.

Klopp, who will welcome Naby Keita back from a foot injury, dismissed the suggestion the Reds' past two visits to Porto can stand them in good stead to secure another three points.

The Liverpool boss said: "Porto have had players coming out and in but have the same manager. It's not an advantage to have won the last two games there.

"We think about this game and they have different opportunities to set up and we have to prepare for that."

He added: "We don't count on points we don't have already, it's a tough group so we should not waste time to get points.

"Atletico versus Porto was a tough one and if someone deserved to win it, it was Porto, so that says a lot. The team we face tomorrow."

Liverpool were held to a 3-3 draw with Brentford in a pulsating Premier League clash on Saturday and Klopp expects a response at Porto.

"I don't think it's that much of a concern but we do have to show reaction that's for sure," he said of dropping points against the Bees.

"It's tricky to win a football game when you are not defending on your highest level and that is what we didn't do.

"Porto is a different team and will play a different style but we will go direct as well and go for second balls so yeah we have to improve in that department for sure."

Klopp will not be able to call upon Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who remains sidelined due to a thigh injury.

Porto have failed to beat the Merseyside club in eight attempts, losing five and drawing three.

Pep Guardiola freely admitted he has no master plan in mind to contain Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe when Manchester City meet Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

Assuming Messi is fit to feature, this match will be the first time he has gone up against his former boss Guardiola since the six-time Ballon d'Or winner departed Barcelona in August.

Although Messi was handed his Barca breakthrough by Frank Rijkaard, it was under Guardiola that he truly established himself among the best in the world.

He featured 47 times for Guardiola in the Champions League, 18 more than for any other coach, and scored 43 times at an average of one every 92 minutes — among managers he has played more than two games for in the competition, he has only netted with greater frequency under Tata Martino (79 minutes per goal, seven matches).

Of course, this will not be the first time Messi has faced a Guardiola team — he boasts an impressive record haul of six goals in four games against his former mentor, including a hat-trick when Barca beat City 4-0 back in October 2016.

"This type of player speaks for himself on the pitch," Guardiola told a news conference on Monday. "I don't have to add anything else.

"We are fortunate to see him in his 15, 16 years… I don't know how many years since he turned professional.

"He speaks for himself. I don't have to talk about him. What he's done in his career is more than exceptional and hopefully tomorrow he can play for the good of the game.

"[Messi leaving Barca] was a surprise for everyone, but it happened and everyone accepts it.

"A long time ago or even few years ago you couldn't imagine it, but you never know what happens. I'm pretty sure he'll be happy there in Paris."

Messi has got off to a slow start in France, with a late arrival due to the Copa America delaying his debut and then the first international break of the season interrupted his settling-in period. He also missed the win over Montpellier due to a minor knee knock.

As such, he has played just three times for PSG and is yet to score, but Guardiola knows all too well what Messi is capable of and believes Mauricio Pochettino's front three have the talent to be up there with the best attacks he has faced.

"Yes, they have the quality," Guardiola said when asked if PSG's frontline could challenge Jurgen Klopp's Premier League-winning Liverpool attack and Luis Enrique's famed 'MSN' strikeforce.

"Both teams you mention had incredible players up front and good organisation and I think the manager from PSG can do it. The players they have upfront is the level of the previous teams I mentioned, of course they can do it.

"Football needs time, normally the people of football don't give it to us, but of course the qualities of the players… For many years PSG always have top players, being conducted by top, top managers, that's why always in the league, cups, Europe, they are there.

"We know exactly how difficult it is, maybe the most difficult, but at the same time we try to do our game knowing how good they are individually and collectively."

Pressed on whether he had an idea of how to stop Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, Guardiola said with a resigned chuckle: "I don't know, with this amount of quality I don't know what we should do to stop them.

"Honestly, they're so good. This amount of talent altogether to be controlled, it's so difficult. We try to defend well when we don't have the ball and try to let them run when we have the ball.

"They're exceptional players, everyone knows it. Individually they are so good, they can combine and connect with each other.

"The three players up front they can do whatever they want, play wide, narrow, one right and one left, they can combine well and have the quality.

"The talent cannot be stopped — we have to do it as a team. Individually we cannot put the pressure on one player to solve the skills and talents they have.

"We have to be compact, together and help each other, know we are going to suffer and be in pain, and how you handle the pain in these moments…you have to be able to suffer for 90 minutes."

Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful over Lionel Messi's fitness ahead of next week's huge Champions League meeting against Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola's side beat PSG over two legs to progress to last season's Champions League final, before going down 1-0 to Chelsea in the showpiece match.

The two sides will meet again in the group stage on Tuesday - PSG having drawn their first match, at Club Brugge, while City defeated RB Leipzig 6-3.

It is a headline fixture of the group stages, with PSG's star-studded front line going up against the Premier League champions.

However, there is a fitness doubt over Messi, who was absent for PSG's dramatic 2-1 Ligue 1 win over Metz in midweek because of a knee injury.

Messi will also miss Saturday's Ligue 1 encounter with Montpellier, but Pochettino said it is too early to rule the 34-year-old out for the match against City.

"Leo has started to run today and as you have seen in the medical update we are going to assess him and we hope he improves," Pochettino told a news conference on Friday.

"On Sunday, we hope we will be able to give a positive update. We hope everything goes well and he will be available again.

"Yes, we hope he can play. We have to be cautious and we have to see how he evolves in the next few days."

Messi has played just three games since his stunning departure from Barca and has yet to find the net for PSG.

He hit the crossbar against Brugge and then also hit the woodwork with a long-range free-kick against Lyon on Sunday before he was substituted off.

Mauro Icardi scored a late winner against Lyon, and Pochettino has been delighted with the striker's form this season despite the former Inter man missing a chunk of games through injury.

"Mauro Icardi, he is player who contributed a lot until his injury," said Pochettino.

"He recovered and has made a big impact. He scored against Lyon and of course, he offers us an alternative in our attacking play."

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