The Champions League is back, and as usual brings an extra euphoria and excitement with it. Manchester United are back too after a year absence from the European competition, and the Red Devils are joined by Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City as the other three teams from England.
Five teams have qualified from Spain this time. Champions Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia were the four teams that initially made it to Europe. Sevilla have joined them too, courtesy of their Europa League win last season.
Germany (read as the Bundesliga) have emerged as the new power house of Europe, and they’ve four teams representing in Europe. Champions Bayer Munich is joined by Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, and Borussia M’gladbach.
Champions League Week 1, Tuesday: Fixtures, Date, Time and Predictions
15th September, Tuesday
Time: 19:45 BST
Paris St Germain vs Malmo FF (Pred 2-0)
Real Madrid vsShakhtar Donetsk (Pred 4-1)
PSV vs Manchester United (Pred 2-1)
Vlf Wolfsburg vs CSKA (Pred 2-0)
Benfica vs FC Astana (Pred 1-0)
Galatasaray vs Atletico Madrid (Pred 1-2)
Manchester City vs Juventus (Pred 2-1)
Sevilla vs Borussia M’gladbach (Pred 2-1)
16th September, 2015
Wednesday, Time: 19:45
Bayer Leverkusen vs Bate Borisov (Pred 2-0)
Roma vs Barcelona (Pred 2-2)
Dinamo Zagreb vs Arsenal (Pred 1-1)
Olympiakos vs Bayern Munich (Pred 1-3)
Chelsea vs Maccabi Tel Aviv (Pred 3-0)
Dynamo Kiev vs FC Porto (Pred 1-1)
KAA Gent vs Lyon (Pred 1-2)
Valencia vs Zenit (Pred 2-1)
TV INFO: BT Sports
In Group A, expect Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain to win their home matches easily. Both of them are expected to go through to the next round; the question remain who will top the group.
Memphis Depay returns to his old club to face Dutch giants PSV. The Red Devils will be boosted by their 3-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday, and Louis van Gaal will be hoping to make a good start in Europe.
Atletico Madrid lost to Barcelona in the weekend but Los Rojiblancos are expected to win against Turkish giants Galatasaray. Another La Liga club, Sevilla face a tricky game against German club Gladbach.
The stand out fixture of this group is between Manchester City and Juventus. City, who never got past the round of 16 before, has made a strong start in the league so far, winning their first five games. Juventus, the runners up of the Champions League last year, in contrast have yet to win a single game, losing two and drawing one.
Barcelona travel to Italy to face Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday. The Blaugrana have won all their opening three matches in the league, including a thrilling 2-1 win over title challengers Atletico Madrid last Saturday. Roma have also made a good start, after earning an important victory over Juventus in Round 2 of Serie A.
Arsenal face a tricky trip to Croatia to face Dinamo Zagreb. The confidence among the Gunners camp is high, as they head into the match on the back of a convincing 2-0 victory over Stoke City.
La Liga outfit Valencia face Russian club Zenit on Wednesday at the Mestalla, Los Che have been struggling to convert their chances into goal, but thanks to Paco Alcacer, they finally earned full three points in the league against Sporting.