The Champions League was well and truly back with a bang last night, we had last turnarounds thanks to Inter Milan, last gap victories thanks to Roberto Firmino (£4.39) at Anfield and of course a masterclass from Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (£12.64) who struck his eighth hat-trick in European competition. Which as ever begs the question, what are you going to do about it Cristiano?
The Portuguese superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo (£11.60) has hit the back of the net on 120 separate occasions in Europe’s premier competition with Real Madrid and Manchester United to become its record goal scorer whilst lifting the trophy five times. Yet tonight sees him don the colours of Juventus for the first time in European competition as he takes to the field in Group H away in Valencia. Ronaldo finally broke his duck for the Bianconeri against Sassuolo at the weekend with a fine brace that saw the forward romp home with the day’s Top Forward Match Day Dividends (£0.12) on Sunday. All eyes will be on this year’s Fifa cover star can deliver on his Champions League debut for Juventus and keep up the rivalry with Messi at Barcelona. This could also attract its fair share of media attention and is as always one to watch out for on the Index.
Elsewhere in Group H is Jose Mourinho and his Manchester United squad who have travelled to Switzerland to face Young Boys. Ahead of the ties with Juventus and Valencia, the Red Devils will be looking to get their campaign off with a bang and the capture of three points this evening.
A lot of attention will undoubtedly be on Alexis Sanchez (£5.06) who hasn’t found the scoring form from his Arsenal days just yet despite arriving back in January, having only scored on two occasions thus far. This has inevitably led to some traders losing confidence and seeing his price drop by £1.16 a future since the beginning of the season from highs of £6.22. Can the Chilean recapture his form and share price? His strike partner continues Romelu Lukaku (£4.91) continues to star for United with the 25-year-old hitting the back of the net on four occasions so far this season in the Premier League. Could he score tonight to be a contender for Match Day Dividends? The Swiss side will, of course, be trying to stop Mourinho’s men in their tracks and will be looking to French striker Guillaume Hoarau (£0.91) to heap misery on the Old Trafford outfit.
The other English side in action tonight is Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side who welcome Olympique Lyonnais to the Etihad. There will be a lot of speculation surrounding Argentine forward Sergio Aguero (£5.49) to see if he will be fit to start having hobbled off at the weekend in the victory over Fulham. It looks like social media favourite Benjamin Mendy (£3.65) will miss out due to injury meaning Fabian Delph (£1.32) should deputise once more. As ever City will look set to dominate the ball and whoever Pep decides to start out of his rotating centre backs may see a boost in share price, keep an eye on the squad announcement to see who of Vincent Kompany (£1.66), Nicolas Otamendi (£2.77), Aymeric Laporte (£3.27) and John Stones (£3.18) makes the starting eleven.
Tonight’s game will also be an opportunity to see Nabil Fekir (£5.12) at close quarters. After his collapsed move to Liverpool in the summer the microscope has never been far away from the Frenchman, could he propel Lyon to a shock?
Who will take home the Match Day Dividends?