A look at what’s happening in the Champions League on Tuesday:
Only one of the two matches will take place after Rangers' home match with Napoli was rescheduled to Wednesday because of the limited police resources available in Scotland following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. So, the focus is completely on Liverpool's home game against Ajax, with the teams having made contrasting starts to the group. While Ajax beat Rangers 4-0, Liverpool was thrashed by Napoli 4-1 in what was one of the English team's worst displays under Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool hasn't played since — its Premier League game against Wolverhampton scheduled last Saturday was postponed following the queen's death — and Klopp was asked on Monday if the six-day break between games could see his team lose “rhythm.” “Did you see our game?” Klopp replied. "If we could lose this kind of rhythm, it would be really cool.” Liverpool will be without left back Andrew Robertson, who has an unspecified injury that will rule him out until after the international break.
Atlético Madrid will face Bayer Leverkusen in Germany without several injured players, including midfielder Thomas Lemar and defenders José María Giménez, Stefan Savic and new signing Sergio Reguilón. Atlético is coming off two straight wins after beginning the season with only two wins from its first four matches in all competitions. Leverkusen urgently needs to start winning games to ease the pressure on coach Gerardo Seoane after a terrible start to the season. Leverkusen has lost six of its eight games across all competitions, including 1-0 at Club Brugge in its Champions League opener. The team was fortunate to draw 2-2 at Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga on Saturday, but Leverkusen remained second from bottom after six games – hardly a morale boost before Atlético's visit. In the other group match, Porto hosts Club Brugge. Porto conceded twice in stoppage time in its loss at Atlético, while Club Brugge defeated Leverkusen at home.
Off to a great start with Barcelona, Robert Lewandowski is back in Germany to face former team Bayern Munich, with both teams coming off opening wins. Lewandowski has nine goals in his first six matches with the Catalan club, including a hat trick in the 5-1 win against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League opener. He has been leading a high-powered Barcelona attack that has outscored opponents 20-2 in six games in all competitions. Lewandowski, who joined from Bayern for nearly 50 million euros ($50.5 million), was rested early in the Spanish league game against Cádiz on Saturday. He came off the bench in the second half to score the team's second goal in a 4-0 win. Inter Milan will again be without its star striker when it visits Viktoria Plzen as Romelu Lukaku still has an injured thigh. Inter opened its account by losing at home to Bayern 2-0 and Plzen is a tricky side at home, having not lost at Doosan Arena in more than a year.
Igor Tudor's strict disciplinarian methods seem to be paying off at Marseille ahead of Tuesday’s reception of Frankfurt. Although Marseille lost its opener against Tottenham last week, Marseille has found a game identity based on intense pressing and stability under Tudor. With six wins and one draw in the French league, Tudor has achieved what no other Marseille coach could before him. This excellent start has won over the players and silenced their early critics about his tough management. Tudor has been betting on strong competition within his squad to stimulate his players, challenging their respective statuses. It has created frustration, but even Dimitri Payet — the club captain — accepted being benched over the past two matches without sulking. Tudor says Payet will be back on the field against Frankfurt. Tottenham looks to make it two wins from two when it visits Sporting Lisbon.
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The Associated Press