Champions League football is back after two months, but this time with more congested yet mouth-watering fixtures due to COVID 19. Here we take a rundown of the games on Matchday 1.
- Dynamo Kiev
Juventus vs Dynamo Kiev (Group G)
Juventus will be playing their first game of the Champions League against Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv. The expectations are high for Andrea Pirlo this season after none of his predecessors has been successful in this competition. Pirlo’s start to life at Turin has been quite fluctuating with wins and draws. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is synonymous more than anyone in the Champions League, will be a major miss for the Bianconeri, nonetheless, their attacking prowess is amazing with the likes of Kulusevski, Chiesa, Dybala and Morata.
Kyiv have also impressed in the Ukrainian League this season and will try to stop the defending Serie A champs at home.
Barcelona vs Ferencvaros (Group G)
Barcelona will enter the competition under new manager Ronald Koeman and are aiming for retribution for what they had suffered over time. Although the Catalans suffered a defeat against Getafe in their weekend La Liga fixture, they are the favourites for this game against the Hungarian outfit Ferencvaros.
- Club Brugge
Lazio vs Dortmund (Group F)
Lazio will host Borussia Dortmund at Stadio Olimpico in their first-ever UCL appearance after more than a decade. Lazio perhaps don’t have time to feel this proud moment as their current form and the pile of injuries to first-team players looks a concern. On the other hand, Dortmund boasts one of the fearsome attacking talents in Europe with Erling Haaland on top of it.
Zenit vs Club Brugge (Group F)
Zenit St Petersburg and Club Brugge, the leaders of Russian and Belgian Leagues respectively will lock horns in what looks like an exciting encounter. Sardar Azmoun and Dzyuba are prolific strikers to watch out for on behalf of Zenit while Club Brugge boast attacking talents like Hans Vanaken and Krepin Diatta.
Chelsea vs Sevilla (Group E)
Chelsea have drawn up Europa League winners Sevilla in their group and the fixture is already mouth-watering as it looks. The Blues boast one of the best attacking units in Europe while Sevilla’s defence consists of two promising centre-backs Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos. Kovacic vs Rakitic is another exciting contest to watch out for.
Rennes vs Krasnodar (Group E)
Rennes are one of the sides on the rise in recent years and they finally attained their UCL cushion last season. Despite losing Raphinha and Edouard Mendy, the Ligue 1 club will try to make a statement in their first-ever European competition. Eduardo Camavinga, the highly looked young midfielder in Europe, will be a pivotal figure for Rennes. Krasnodar, who qualified through the playoffs, were off to a poor start in Russian Premier League this season.
- RB Leipzig
- Istanbul Basaksehir
- Paris St Germain
- Manchester United
RB Leipzig vs Istanbul Basaksehir (Group H)
Leipzig have gained people’s attention for their brand of football in the past few years and they deservedly ended up as the semi-finalist in the Champions League last season. They will now play against the defending Super Lig Champions Istanbul Basaksehir. Leipzig have also drawn PSG – their opponents in the Champions League in semi-finals – and Manchester United in what looks a group of death. It will be another season for Julian Nagelsmann to outsmart some of the best tactical heads in the business.
Paris St Germain vs Manchester United (Group H)
The fixture is the pick of the lot and it will be a replay of the 2018/19 round of 16, where Manchester United had the last laugh. PSG, who finished second in the competition last season, will try to settle the scores this time around. United’s form has been worrying of late but the win against Newcastle would have given them confidence. Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel di Maria are expected to give tough times for the Man Utd’s defence, who will be without Harry Maguire.