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Champions League preview | Man Metropolis begins title defence, Barcelona seems to be for successful begin Specific Instances

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Manchester Metropolis supervisor Pep Guardiola with Erling Haaland throughout coaching forward of the Champions League opening recreation on September 18, 2023
| Picture Credit score: Motion Pictures by way of Reuters

A take a look at what’s occurring within the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday:

Lazio vs. Atletico Madrid (Group E)

Diego Simeone brings his Atletico to the Stadio Olimpico and Lazio, the membership he gained 4 trophies with as a participant, together with Serie A in 2000. It’s the primary time the groups have met since 2011-12, when Simeone had simply taken cost of Atletico and led his workforce to house and away wins within the Europa League. Atletico then went on to win the trophy that season. Lazio has had an up-and-down begin to Serie A, with one win and three losses. However the win got here in a go to to defending champion Napoli.

Feyenoord vs. Celtic (Group E)

Celtic supervisor Brendan Rodgers has set his workforce the goal of nonetheless being in Europe after Christmas. The Scottish workforce would need that to be within the Champions League, slightly than the Europa League if Celtic end third in Group E. Wanting on the Scottish champions rivals, nevertheless, it faces a serious problem after being grouped with Atletico Madrid, Lazio and Feyenoord. Celtic travels to Rotterdam to face Feyenoord on Tuesday aiming to finish a 10-game winless streak within the group phases.

Paris Saint Germain vs. Borussia Dortmund (Group F)

After repeated failures, PSG has toned down its ambition to win the Champions League for the primary time. Nevertheless, the French champions hope the revamping of their squad in the course of the offseason will lead to a extra balanced workforce much less targeted on people. PSG has retained its foremost attacking menace, Kylian Mbappe, who ought to lead the assault towards Dortmund. PSG will likely be with out Marco Asensio and Presnel Kimpembe. Dortmund has been shaky in protection thus far this season and has struggled to exchange Jude Bellingham, who’s now starring for Actual Madrid.

AC Milan vs. Newcastle (Group F)

Final season’s semifinalist Milan is hurting psychologically following a 5-1 loss to metropolis rival Inter Milan within the Milan derby on Saturday. Not too long ago retired Rossoneri standout Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirmed up on the workforce’s Milanello coaching middle on Monday to lift the workforce’s spirits. Midfielder Sandro Tonali just lately transferred from Milan to Newcastle and can now face his former membership.

Manchester Metropolis vs. Purple Star Belgrade (Group G)

Manchester Metropolis begins its protection of the title when it hosts Purple Star Belgrade. Pep Guardiola led the Abu Dhabi-backed membership to its first European Cup final season as a part of a treble of trophies. Historical past is towards Metropolis because it tries to retain the title. Actual Madrid is the one membership in the course of the Champions League period to win it back-to-back. Madrid gained it thrice in a row from 2016-2018.

Younger Boys vs. Leipzig (Group G)

Leipzig is coming into kind simply in time for the Champions League, the place it’s going to anticipate to make a successful begin at Swiss workforce Younger Boys in Bern. Marco Rose’s workforce recovered from its Bundesliga-opening loss to Bayer Leverkusen with three straight wins and 20-year-old Dutch ahead Xavi Simons has shortly emerged because the workforce’s new star. Xavi has scored in every of his final three video games and arrange 4 objectives.

Barcelona vs. Antwerp (Group H)

After two consecutive group-stage exists, Barcelona begins this yr’s marketing campaign boosted by 4 straight victories within the Spanish league, when it scored 13 objectives in whole. New signings João Félix and João Cancelo each scored within the workforce’s 5-0 rout of Actual Betis on Saturday, and coach Xavi confirmed confidence that the 2 Portuguese internationals will make the workforce extra aggressive heading into the Champions League this season. Antwerp defeated Greek membership AEK Athens in a playoff to achieve he group stage for the primary time.

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Porto (Group H)

Ukrainian champion Shakhtar is enjoying its house video games in Hamburg, Germany, this season due to the Russian invasion of its house nation. Shakhtar has fewer international gamers and a larger emphasis on native expertise than it used to, however can nonetheless maintain its personal within the Champions League, as proven by a win over Leipzig and a draw with Actual Madrid final yr. Porto is unbeaten in 5 Portuguese league video games since shedding the season-opening Tremendous Cup to Benfica.

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