This group is the absolute best. Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund, the defending champions of England and Germany respectively, do battle at the Etihad Stadium. Both have had good, but not great starts to their domestic campaigns. With Real Madrid as the presumptive favourites, it'll be City and BVB who'll be battling it out for third in Group D, and this is one of the matches which will determine which of the pair progresses and which ends up in the Europa League.
With City at home, it'll be Dortmund who are hoping to cause trouble in Manchester. This is a must-win game for the hosts, and unless they're at their best, they're going to have serious trouble. And Roberto Mancini's men are yet to really hit top gear this year. They've had to come from behind to win against Southampton and Fulham, and they've been held to a draw on no fewer than three occasions, most recently by Arsenal.
Of course, the Premier League champions did put in a superb performance at the Santiago Bernabeu, pushing Madrid all the way before a late Cristiano Ronaldo strike cost them a draw two weeks ago, and Dortmund didn't really impress during their home win over Ajax. Their form in the Bundesliga hasn't been particularly impressive either -- three wins from six games played (and a loss to Hamburg) is actually worse than what City have managed so far.
And so, with both teams on indifferent (for them) form, it comes down to individual matchups. And there it's very close. There are world class strikers, brilliantly talented wingers, midfielders and defenders on display. The only significant difference might be in the goalkeepers -- Joe Hart might be prone to the occasional error, but he's a better all-around player than the similarly erratic Roman Weidenfeller.
Still, you'd have to give the edge to City. They're at home, after all. But would anyone be surprised by any result? These are two world-class teams doing battle, and it's a privilege that we'll be able to watch them.
Manchester City injuries and suspensions
Out: Maicon (heel), Micah Richards (ankle).
Borussia Dortmund injuries and suspensions
Out: Patrick Owomoyela (calf).
Date/Time: Wednesday October 3rd. 7:45 p.m. BST (2:45 p.m EDT)
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
TV info: Sky Sports 2 (UK), Sky Sport 1 (Germany), Fox Soccer Channel (USA)
Watch online: Fox Soccer 2 Go (USA)