What to look out for on UEFA Champions League Matchday 1 – UEFA.com - STRATEGIES TO EARN MONEY



What to look out for on UEFA Champions League Matchday 1 – UEFA.com

The UEFA Champions League kicks off with 16 games spread across Tuesday and Wednesday.

We pick out some key talking points ahead of the opening fixtures.

Pick your UCL Fantasy team!

6 September
Group E
: Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea, Salzburg vs AC Milan
Group F
: Celtic vs Real Madrid, Leipzig vs Shakhtar
Group G
: Sevilla vs Man City, Dortmund vs Copenhagen
Group H
: Paris vs Juventus, Benfica vs Maccabi Haifa

7 September
Group A
: Ajax vs Rangers, Napoli vs Liverpool
Group B
: Atlético vs Porto, Club Brugge vs Leverkusen
Group C
: Inter vs Bayern, Barcelona vs Plzeň
Group D: Frankfurt vs Sporting CP, Tottenham vs Marseille

Memorable Celtic Europa League goals

What to look out for

Celtic welcome holders Real Madrid
Celtic have been absent from the group stage of the Champions League since 2017/18, but after regaining the Scottish title from Rangers last season, they are returning to this level with a bang. Carlo Ancelotti’s visitors are the reigning Spanish and European champions, but Hoops boss Ange Postecoglou wants his charges to see them as a beatable team.

“When you have these opportunities,” the Australian explained, “it’s better to swap shirts with players you admire after you’ve knocked them off, rather than just grabbing one for your collection.” Celtic have form in that regard: their only previous meeting with Real Madrid came in the 1979/80 European Cup quarter-finals, the Scottish outfit winning 2-0 at home – before ultimately succumbing 3-0 in Spain.

Haaland: Every Dortmund Champions League goal

Haaland back at Sevilla with Man City
The last time Erling Haaland visited Seville, for a 2020/21 Champions League round of 16 opener, Spanish sports paper Marca began its match report with the words: “A monster called.” Then with Dortmund, the Norwegian forward scored twice in both legs to secure a 5-4 aggregate win, Marca concluding that “no defence can stop him in flight”.

Sevilla will look to prove the paper wrong as the 22-year-old returns to the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán for his first group stage game as a City player. However, statistics suggest they could be in for a hard night; Haaland notched a hat-trick on his Champions League debut with Salzburg (a 6-2 win against Genk in September 2019), and struck twice in his first game in the competition for BVB (a 2-1 round of 16 victory against Paris in February 2020).

Recall 2011 Bayern vs Inter thriller

Bayern at Inter for ‘group of death’ opener
Julian Nagelsmann was left in no doubt after the draw teed Bayern up for meetings with Inter, Barcelona and Plzeň in Group C: “For sure it is the most challenging group in the group stage,” asserted the Bundesliga champions’ coach. Even so, the 35-year-old believes his team can rise to meet any challenge, adding: “I think we can finish first.”

Bayern racked up 20 goals in the first four competitive games of their domestic season, new arrival Sadio Mané ensuring that Robert Lewandowski has not been missed too badly so far. Simone Inzaghi’s Inter will be no pushovers, though; second in Italy last season, they have Edin Džeko, Lautaro Martínez and Romelu Lukaku among their forward options.

When are the UEFA Champions League group stage games being played?

Matchday 1: 6/7 September 2022
Matchday 2: 13/14 September 2022
Matchday 3: 4/5 October 2022
Matchday 4: 11/12 October 2022
Matchday 5: 25/26 October 2022
Matchday 6: 1/2 November 2022

Lewandowski: Great Bayern goals

Further ahead
• The Group C ante will be ramped up on the Tuesday of Matchday 2 as Robert Lewandowski returns to Bayern with his new club, Barcelona. Haaland’s City take on his old side, Dortmund, the following day.

• Anfield will be the place to be on Matchday 3 as Liverpool welcome Rangers for the first instalment of their Group A double-header. Amazingly, the British duo have yet to meet in UEFA competition.

• With Cristiano Ronaldo absent from the group stage, Lionel Messi has the chance to close the 15-goal gap on his long-term rival in the all-time top-scorer standings. Below them, Lewandowski and Karim Benzema start the 2022/23 campaign locked together on 86 goals apiece.

Where is the 2023 UEFA Champions League final being played?

The 2022/23 Champions League season will conclude at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium on 10 June 2023.

Built to support Türkiye’s bid to stage the 2008 Olympic Games, the venue opened in 2002 and is home to the Turkish national team. Situated in the Başakşehir area of the city, west of the Bosphorus, it boasts a seated capacity of over 75,000.

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