Europe’s finest clubs will take to the pitch on Tuesday in what is considered one of the most extravagant football competitions – the Uefa Champions League. European action is back after a lengthy summer break and champions Barcelona will look to add another title in their trophy cabinet as they start their campaign against Inter Milan at the San Siro on Wednesday.
With a 70 million euros appearance fee for making it to the group stages, all 32 clubs will look to make an instant impact on match day 1. This season also sees a return to Europe for 7 time winners AC Milan. With Kaka no longer at Milan, Ronaldinho has vowed to replicate the form that saw him win the FiFa World Player of the Year award twice in row.
New boys FC Rubin Kazan, FC Unirea Urziceni and Debreceni VSC are some of the clubs that will also participate in this edition. Although they may not be well known, the more seasoned clubs on the European scene are advised to take extreme caution while playing against them.
Match day 1 Tuesday September 15
Atletico vs Apoel
Besiktas vs Manchester United
Chelsea vs Porto
Maccabi Haifa vs Bayern Munich
Marseille vs AC Milan
VFL Wolfsburg vs CSKA Moscow
FC Zurich vs Real Madrid
Tuesday will see Juventus and Bordeaux lock horns in what will be the match of the day. Another potentially explosive encounter will be Marseille against Milan. This will be the acid test for Milan coach Leonardo and it might just prove if the Brazilian will keep his job.
A revamped Chelsea under master tactician Carlo Ancelotti will want to keep their perfect start to the season spotless when they take on Porto at home. Wolfsburg will need to ensure they win CSKA Moscow after losing 3-2 to Bayer Leverkusen over the weekend.
Match day 1 Wednesday September 16
Liverpool vs Debreceni VSC
Inter Milan vs Barcelona
Dynamo Kiev vs FC Rubin Kazan
VFB Stuttgart vs Rangers
Sevilla vs FC Unirea Urziceni
The mouth-watering clash between Inter and Barca will definitely be the match of the day. After swapping strikers in the close season, Eto’o, Barca’s leading goal scorer for the last five seasons left the Catalan club in much controversy.
Arriving in Milan Eto’o has quickly adapted to the Italian style of play and he already has 2 goals to his name. Inter’s top goal scorer last season Zlatan Ibrahimovic moved in the opposite direction and he was fortunate enough to score his first goal over the weekend against Getafe. Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Burnley at Anfield sent out a stern message to their visitors. Arsenal on the other hand will look to put their troubles behind them when they take on Standard Liege. All matches kick-off at 2045hrs CET (Central European Time)