2017/2018 UEFA Champions League: Tuesday preview and stats

2017/2018 UEFA Champions League: Tuesday preview and stats

Europe’s elite club competition, the UEFA Champions League, is back and we bring to you all you need to know ahead of the much anticipated kickoff of match day one on Tuesday.

Before getting into it, defending champions Real Madrid are also back and looking to become the first team to win the competition three times in a row, after becoming the second side since AC Milan in 1990 to win it two consecutive times.

German giants, Bayern Munich were the last team to win the CL three consecutive times.

Group A

Manchester United vs Basel:

Three times champions, Manchester United are back in the Champions League, after missing out the last time, but are back in the competition following their emergence as Europa League winners.

The Red Devils kickoff the 2017/2018 edition with a home tie against Swiss side, Basel, who have proven to be very tricky opponents in the past.

The last time these two sides met, Basel beat and drew both games against the Red Devils in the 2011/2012 season, but head into tomorrow’s opener at the back of a poor start to their domestic campaign.

In Jose Mourinho, the Swiss side come up against another familiar foe, after also beating and drawing against the Portuguese and his Chelsea team in the 2013/2014 season.

However, they’d have rediscover their form in Europe, having won none of the last eight, if they are to repeat their past performances.

Benfica vs CSKA Moskva

The second game in group A sees Portuguese champions, Benfica take on Russian side, CSKA, a team they have met twice and failed to beat.

These two sides have been regulars in the CL, but while the hosts hope to reach the quarters for the third season running, the Russians would be bidding to make it beyond the group stages for the first time in five years.

Key Group Stats:

-Basel won and drew against United in the 2011/2012 group stage

-Benfica have progressed from the last two group stages

Group B

Celtic vs Paris Saint-Germain

Scottish champions, Celtic play host to French side, PSG, who arrive in company of the most expensive player in the world in Neymar.

It’s not the first time these sides are meeting in Europe, as they have met before in the UEFA Winners’ cup with PSG coming out victors in both encounters.

Celtic have a daunting task in PSG, and navigating through a group that includes German side, Bayern Munich.

For PSG, they’d be looking to doing better than their quarter-final showing last season, when they were booted out by Barcelona despite a 4-0 first leg advantage.

Bayern Munich vs Anderlecht

Bayern were shocked by Hoffenhiem over the weekend in the Bundesliga, and will be looking to bounce back when they host Belgian champions, Anderlecht at the Allianz Arena.

The home side were eliminated at the quarter-finals the last time by eventual champions, Real Madrid, the first time they had failed to make the last four in four seasons and will be looking to do better this term.

 

For Anderlecht, making it out of the group, something they last achieved in the 2000/2001 season, will be quite an achievement, and facing Bayern at the Arena is going to take some performance from they to leave unscathed.

Key Group Stats

-Bayern have won 16 of their last 17 CL home games

-Celtic have only won two their last six European home games

Group C

AS Roma vs Atletico Madrid

Roma welcome champions League football back to the Stadio Olympico after a one year hiatus with the visit of Spanish outfit, Atletico Madrid, a side they’ve had no positive results against in two meetings between the sides.

Roma has won just one of their last seven games in the CL, which is a record that will fill Atletico with a lot of confidence going into Tuesday night’s tie.

Chelsea vs Qarabag

This game at Stamford Bridge represents the first time Chelsea will be meeting a side from Azerbaijan, and heralds their return to the CL after a year’s absence.

They welcome Qarabag, who are the latest side making their Champions League debut, and will be looking to make a quick impression at the home of the former winners, who would also like to mark their return to Europe’s elite competition with a positive result.

Key Group Stats

-Qarabag are making their CL debut

-Chelsea and Roma are making a return to the CL after a season’s absence

-Atletico have won their groups in the last four seasons.

Group D

Barcelona vs Juventus

Barcelona’s 2017/2018 season kicks off with a game against Italian champions, Juventus, who ended their campaign last season in the last four.

However, they host the Old Ladys at Camp Nou hoping for a different outcome this time, and with their star forward, Lionel Messi looking to end his hoodoo of never scoring against Gianluigi Buffon.

 

Both these giants have met ten times previously, with nothing to separate each other after three wins, three draws and three losses apiece. But their last encounter at the same venue ended in a goalless draw, as the Italian progressed 3-0 on aggregate.

Olympiacos vs Sporting Lisbon

With Barcelona and Juventus facing each, these two teams know that this encounter at the Stadio Georgios is their best chance of kick starting the campaign on a positive note before meeting the group’s big boys.

Key Group Stats:

-Juventus eliminated Barcelona last season in the quarter-finals

All matches on Tuesday 12, 2017.

Manchester United vs Basel

Benfica vs CSKA Moskva

Celtic vs Paris Saint-Germain

Bayern Munich vs Anderlecht

AS Roma vs Atletico Madrid

Chelsea vs Qarabag

Barcelona vs Juventus

Olympiacos vs Sporting Lisbon

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