The UEFA Champions League has returned, featuring reigning champions Manchester City facing off against Red Star Belgrade at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, with a kick-off time of 19:00 GMT. Man City, eager to continue their unbeaten streak from the previous season, will be missing key players like John Stones, Jack Grealish, Mateo Kovacic, and Kevin de Bruyne due to injuries. However, the prolific Erling Haaland, last season’s top scorer in the Champions League, is expected to be in the starting lineup.
In another fixture, Feyenoord and Celtic will clash at Stadion Feyenoord, Rotterdam, Netherlands, also at 19:00 GMT. Both teams are dealing with significant injuries, with Celtic missing defenders Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki, Stephen Welsh, Yuki Kobayashi, and wingers Liel Abada and Marco Tilio. Feyenoord is without their injured goalkeeper Justin Bijlow and suspended striker Santiago Gimenez. Despite their injuries, Feyenoord has displayed strong scoring form in their recent matches.
AC Milan will take on Newcastle at San Siro, Milan, Italy, with a kick-off time of 16:45 GMT. Newcastle, returning to the Champions League after a 20-year absence, faces a formidable opponent in AC Milan. AC Milan has won just one of their last 11 matches against English sides. The English team has former Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali in their ranks, who joined the Magpies in July. Milan, participating in their 20th Champions League campaign, aims to avoid an early exit, having only crashed out in the group stage once in their last 14 campaigns.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) will meet Borussia Dortmund at Parc des Princes, Paris, France, at 19:00 GMT. In their last encounter during the 2019-20 campaign, PSG lost the first leg but ultimately advanced to the final. PSG, without Neymar and Lionel Messi, relies on star player Kylian Mbappe in a group that also includes AC Milan and Newcastle. Borussia Dortmund’s track record against French teams has been mixed, with eight wins and six losses in 14 matches. Their recent league game saw them score six goals, promising an entertaining match.
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Finally, Barcelona, the reigning La Liga champions, will face Antwerp at Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium, Barcelona, Spain, at 19:00 GMT. Barcelona, having struggled in recent Champions League campaigns, aims to progress past the group stage under the leadership of Xavi Hernandez. Antwerp, coached by former Barcelona midfielder Mark van Bommel, plans to test themselves with an aggressive, physical, attacking style of play. The match takes place at the Olympic Stadium due to renovations at Camp Nou, Barcelona’s regular home ground.