Matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League group stage matches is upon us, and the halfway stage is already in sight with the November international break just around the corner.

A number of intriguing storylines are already developing, notably Real Madrid and Inter Milan’s struggles in Group B; Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Barcelona’s strong starts; and the regular COVID-19 issues.

This weeks’ action promises further excitement with Real meeting Inter, Atalanta hosting Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain traveling to RB Leipzig among the headline fixtures.

Here’s the full schedule for this week’s action:

Champions League schedule

(All times U.S./Eastern)

Tuesday, Nov. 3

Wednesday, Nov. 4

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Here is what we are looking forward to seeing.

Tuesday

Group D: Coronavirus decimates Ajax

The Dutch giants face a potentially tricky match away at Midtjylland without a string of regulars after COVID decimated Erik ten Hag’s squad.

Captain Dusan Tadic, goalkeepers Andre Onana and Maarten Stekelenburg, as well as Davy Klaassen and Ryan Gravenberch are among the absentees, which makes the Denmark trip possibly hazardous.

With Ajax already third in the group with one point from their first two games, they can ill afford to allow the Danes to leapfrog them in a challenging group.

Especially with Duvan Zapata-inspired Atalanta as exciting as they are this season with six goals scored across just two matches.

Group B: Early showdown between Real and Inter

Few would have predicted it before the group stage got underway but Real and Inter clash on Tuesday with both sides needing the win to avoid being rooted to the foot of the table.

The Spaniards have one point from a possible six, salvaged dramatically against Borussia Monchengladbach, while the Italians were dull against Shakhtar Donetsk and needed a late equalizer against the Germans.

Depending on the result in Kiev, this game could decide if both are fighting for second place in Group B — at best.

Group A: Bayern gunning for third straight win

The defending champions have started this campaign’s edition like a house on fire and Hansi Flick’s men will want to continue that away at Red Bull Salzburg.

A convincing win over Atletico Madrid was followed by a narrow victory away at Lokomotiv Moscow. Salzburg, Bayern’s opponent on Tuesday, have shown signs of life, particularly through star man Dominik Szoboszlai.

This one promises to be tasty and Atleti’s trip to Loko could effectively end the race for top spot in this group if Bayern are successful in Austria.

Group C: City targeting nine; Marseille need result

Last week’s win in France put City in control of the group and with Olympiacos to come this week, Pep Guardiola’s men could find themselves six points clear at the midpoint if Marseille finally end their miserable Champions League form.

Without even a draw since a last-minute Andre Ayew goal gave them a 1-0 round of 16 first leg home win over Inter back in late February 2012, Andre Villas-Boas’ men need a positive result in Porto to even stand a chance of advancing to the latter stages.

The Portuguese and Greek outfits have already registered three points apiece so are better positioned than OM to drop into the Europa League if they cannot secure second spot behind City.

Wednesday

Group G: Kiev in COVID crisis; Juve under pressure to respond

Like Ajax, Dynamo Kiev are suffering from a Coronavirus wave through their squad and will be without nine players because of positive tests.

However, Mircea Lucescu’s men are also missing three more players through injury and one is suspended. The Ukrainian outfit was held to a draw by Ferencvaros last week and while Wednesday’s opponent, Barcelona, are in poor domestic form, they have six points from six in Europe.

Barca won away at Juve last time out, which makes the Serie A giants’ Hungarian trip a must-win if they want to finish top.

Group H: PSG looking for win without Neymar

After unexpectedly beating PSG away and RB Leipzig at home, United lead the group and Marcus Rashford’s heroic form has him atop the scoring standings with four goals from two matches.

Neither PSG nor Leipzig can afford to lose and fall further behind the Premier League side yet the French outfit will be without Neymar after he picked up an adductor problem in last week’s win away at Istanbul Basaksehir.

Group E: Sevilla and Chelsea can pull clear

After an opening goalless draw, Chelsea and Sevilla got points on the board against Champions League debutants Krasnodar and Rennes.

With the French club visiting London and the Russians traveling to Spain, Chelsea and Sevilla have the opportunity to move clear and leave the other two fighting it out for a Europa League berth.

Group F: Do or die for Zenit

With Lazio and Club Brugge leading the way with four points and Borussia Dortmund winners in last week’s clash, Zenit Saint Petersburg need a win if they are to even dream of continued Europa League involvement this term.

Lazio salvaged a point in Belgium and will be stronger in Russia while Sergei Semak is under pressure to get his team’s continental campaign off the ground at home.

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