Three giants of the European game will be desperate for victory on Wednesday as the second round of UEFA Champions League group matches concludes.

Last season's runners-up Atletico Madrid, two-time winners Benfica and perennial hopefuls Arsenal all lost last time out, and none can expect an easy ride as they attempt to bounce back. Atletico tackle a Juventus side eager to prove their continental credentials and Benfica face a testing trip to Bayer Leverkusen, while Arsenal, beaten in Dortmund, will entertain ambitious visitors Galatasaray. takes a closer look at an intriguing set of encounters across Europe.

Wednesday's fixtures
Group A
Atletico Madrid-Juventus

Group B
Ludogorets-Real Madrid

Group C
Zenit Saint-Petersburg-Monaco (18.00)
Bayer Leverkusen-Benfica

Group D
Anderlecht-Borussia Dortmund

Match of the day
Atletico Madrid-Juventus, Group A, Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid
Beaten finalists last season, Atletico began their European campaign with a surprise defeat in Greece, but they will no doubt draw confidence from their run of six consecutive wins in the Spanish Liga. They will also have coach Diego Simeone back on the bench following suspension, and the charismatic Argentinian has few peers when it comes to motivating his troops. That could prove valuable as Atletico face Juventus for the sixth time at this level, particularly as La Vecchia Signora boast four victories and just one loss in those previous encounters.

The Serie A champions have won all five of their domestic matches this term but have a point to prove in the Champions League, having not triumphed away in the tournament since a 3-0 success at Celtic last February – a fact that contributed to their group stage exit last season. Juve will be hoping for big things from Carlos Tevez after his opening-day double, while Los Colchoneros will be spearheaded by Croatia's Mario Mandzukic, who has been charged with the daunting task of replacing Diego Costa.

Zenit Saint-Petersburg's meeting with Monaco, back in the Champions League after a ten-year absence, will be the only fixture between teams who won their opening games. Their tussle in Russia will also reunite Monaco's Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho with Zenit's Brazilian striker Hulk, who both played together at Porto.

Arsenal and Galatasaray have crossed paths just once before, in the 2000 UEFA Cup final. The Turkish outfit edged that game on penalties, and Galatasaray coach Cesare Prandelli will be hoping for similar success in his first overseas test since his Italy side fell at the first hurdle in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

Dortmund will contest their 200th match in Europe when they visit Anderlecht, and the German club could do with a boost given their domestic woes. Jurgen Klopp's men lie 12th in the Bundesliga, already seven points behind Bayern Munich, so will take heart from Anderlecht's unconvincing record against German opponents, their previous games yielding one draw and five defeats.

Did you know?
Olympiacos will become the 12th club to pass the 100-game mark in the Champions League. The Greek giants have managed 33 wins so far, along with 20 draws and 46 losses.

Ludogorets are set to become Real Madrid's 126th opponents on the European stage. The record nonetheless belongs to Barcelona, who have faced 141 different sides, with Juventus in second on 129. Los Merengues can console themselves with the fact that Karim Benzema's goal on matchday one was Madrid's 1,000 strike in continental competition – 21 more than Barça have mustered.

On this day
Liverpool strolled to a comfortable 3-1 win against PSV Eindhoven on 1 October 2008 as they contested their second fixture in that season's group stage at Anfield. Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt all found the net for the Reds, who went on to fall in the quarter-finals to Chelsea, losing 3-1 at home and drawing 4-4 away to produce a record 7-5 aggregate scoreline.

The stat
2 – The number of Champions League matches Arsenal have lost on a Wednesday, compared to a haul of 18 wins and eight draws.

Player to watch
Kyriakos Papadopoulos
will be taking on familiar opponents when he lines up for Leverkusen against Benfica. The 22-year-old defender, on loan from Schalke, made his Champions League debut for Die Königsblauen in a meeting with the Lisbon club on 29 September 2010. Equally adept as a defensive midfielder, and scorer of four goals in 16 appearances for Greece, Papadopoulos was on the winning side that day as Schalke emerged 2-0 victors.

What they said
"The Champions League is a competition I've always wanted to play in. I was watching these games on TV just a few months ago, and now I've got a chance to make my competition debut," Raul Jimenez, Atletico forward.

Have your say
Can Ludogorets spring a surprise when they become the first Bulgarian club to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League era?