UEFA Champions League: Preview of Gameweek One
It is finally here. After an exhilarating 2018/2019 season, the UEFA Champions League will resume for the 2019/2020 campaign on Tuesday.
Liverpool FC enters the competition as defending champions and will be among the favourite clubs to win the competition again. Some of the underperforming giants from last season have re-tooled and should present a better campaign this time around The Madrid clubs; Atletico and Real, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan amongst others fall into this category.
There will inaugural Champions League bows for the likes of Atalanta Bergamo (Italy), returns for teams like Lille OSC (France), Slavia Prague (Czech Republic), KRC Genk (Belgium) amongst others.
Preview of Gameweek 1
The action from groups A-D goes down on Wednesday while teams in groups E-H will square off on Tuesday
In Group A, it will be a clash of stars and heavy names as Ligue1 champions, PSG hosts 13-time UCL winners, Real Madrid at the Parc de Princes. Brazilian star, Neymar is back and saved the side’s blushed in league action on Saturday.
In the group’s other game, Club Brugge will want the maximum three points from the encounter with Galatasaray SK at the Jan Breydel Stadium.
Group B action commences with the favoured two teams playing away from home. Bayern Munich is away in Serbia to take on a stubborn Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) at the Rajko Mitic Stadium in Belgrade.
Last season’s finalists; Tottenham Hotspurs are in Piraeus as guests of Greek giants, Olympiakos.
After the shock defeat at Norwich City in the Premier League, Manchester City will be desirous of a win as it takes on Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine in Group C. The other group game takes place at the Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb as Dinamo Zagreb tackles Atalanta.
A repeat of last season’s round of 16 tie is on the cards in Group D as a revamped Atletico Madrid side welcome perennial Serie A champions, Juventus to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. Cristiano Ronaldo has a phenomenal record against Atleti in UCL football and will be eager to get on the scorers’ sheet once again.
In the group’s other Gameweek 1 fixture, Bayer Leverkusen will want to claim all three points when Lokomotiv Moscow comes calling.
Group E kicks off this season’s action as defending champions, Liverpool is in Italy to play SSC Napoli. The clashes between both sides at the same stage last season produced narrow 1-0 wins for each home side. In Austria, free-scoring Bundesliga champions, RB Salzburg will be eager to deliver a pasting to Belgian champions, KRC Genk.
Already tagged as this season’s “group of death”, Group F starts off with a cracker in Spain as FC Barcelona welcomes Borussia Dortmund to the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi is still not fully fit and is not expected to play a role in the match.
Inter Milan has started life very well under Antonio Conte and will be eager to put away Slavia Prague before they play their main rivals for the next 4 game weeks.
In probably the most open group in this season’s UEFA Champions League, Group G‘s action sees Olympique Lyon take on Zenit St-Petersburg while SL Benfica hosts RB Leipzig at the Estadio La Luz.
The final games in Gameweek 1 sees Chelsea take on a disjointed Valencia CF in Group H while last season’s surprise package; Ajax AFC welcome Lille OSC to the Johann Cruijff Arena.
Predictions for Gameweek 1
SSC Napoli vs Liverpool (Over 1.5 Goals)
RB Salzburg vs KRC Genk (Over 2.5 Goals)
FC Barcelona vs Borussia Dortmund (G/G)
Inter Milan vs Slavia Prague (1)
Olympique Lyon vs Zenit St-Petersburg (G/G)
SL Benfica vs RB Leipzig (Over 2.5 Goals)
Chelsea vs Valencia CF (G/G)
AFC Ajax vs Lille OSC (Over 1.5 Goals)
Club Brugge vs Galatasaray SK (Over 1.5 Goals)
PSG vs Real Madrid (G/G)
Crvena Zvezda vs Bayern Munich (Over 2.5 Goals)
Olympiakos vs Tottenham Hotspur (X2)
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City (Over 2.5 Goals)
Dinamo Zagreb vs Atalanta Bergamo (G/G)
Atletico Madrid vs Juventus (Over 1.5 Goals)
Bayer Leverkusen vs Lokomotiv Moscow (Over 1.5 Goals)