Paris: When Jose Mourinho showcased his motivational powers by guiding Inter Milan to the Champions League eight years ago, it cemented his reputation as the most ruthlessly effective coach in Europe.

The "Special One" — as he first called himself — danced with unabashed joy on Barcelona's field and jabbed his finger in celebration after felling Europe's team of the moment on the way to Inter's unexpected success.

It was a massive coup.

But now, following a string of bad results and some high-profile clashes with star midfielder Paul Pogba at Manchester United, his aura is waning and he finds himself firmly on the back foot.

Has Mourinho lost his touch?

Perhaps not yet, but he is under significant pressure heading into Tuesday's home game against Valencia and a loss to the Spanish team could push him nearer an embarrassing United exit.

The good news for Mourinho is that Valencia has won just one game this season, although that was on Saturday. Valencia lacks firepower — mustering five goals so far — and United's defense may get a welcome break after some sloppy performances.

Other coaches have points to prove, too, not the least Mourinho's cross-city rival Pep Guardiola.

City won the Premier League in style last season but has yet to be convincing in Europe, and a home loss to French side Lyon in the opening round of games hardly helped.

Bayern Munich's coach Niko Kovac will also be motivated following a Bundesliga defeat.

Here is a look at the four Champions League groups on Tuesday:


Bayern hosts Dutch side Ajax after losing its Bundesliga lead to Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern was held at home by modest Augsburg before losing Friday at Hertha Berlin, and the players are determined to make amends.

"A week ago you had the impression we were unbeatable. Now a bit of reality has set in," Bayern forward Thomas Mueller said.

Bayern notched seven straight wins under Kovac, and eight would have tied Carlo Ancelotti's record for the best start as Bayern coach.

Kovac gave the players a day off on Sunday ahead of the visit of Ajax, which beat AEK Athens 3-0 in its opening group game, and is led in attack by veteran poacher Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Greek champion AEK is at home to Portuguese side Benfica, which lost 2-0 to Bayern in its opener.


Manchester City, the first team to reach 100 points in winning the Premier League in May, has struggled in the Champions League.

The loss at home to Lyon two weeks ago was its fourth straight in the Champions League.

With Guardiola back on the sidelines after serving a one-match UEFA ban, City plays at German club Hoffenheim, which drew its opener at Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.