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Champions League 2019-20: Preview of gameweek 1

Omene Osuya
ANALYST
Preview
17 Sep 2019, 01:39 IST

Liverpool will be eager to repeat their UCL heroics from last season
Liverpool will be eager to repeat their UCL heroics from last season

It is finally here. After an exhilarating 2018-19 season, the UEFA Champions League will resume for the 2019-20 campaign on Tuesday.

Liverpool enter the competition as defending champions and will be among the favourites 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 - as well as Bayern Munich and Inter Milan fall into this category.

There will also be inaugural Champions League bows for the likes of Atalanta (Italy), and returns for teams like Lille OSC (France), Slavia Prague (Czech Republic) and KRC Genk (Belgium) among others.

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 Ligue 1 champions PSG host 13-time UCL winners Real Madrid at the Parc de Princes. Brazilian star Neymar is back, and he saved the side's blushes 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 are away in Serbia to take on a stubborn Red Star Belgrade at the Rajko Mitic Stadium in Belgrade.

Last season's finalists Tottenham Hotspur are in Piraeus as guests of Greek giants Olympiacos.

Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid the sequel in Gameweek 1
Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid the sequel in Gameweek 1
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After the shock defeat at Norwich City in the Premier League, Manchester City will be desirous of a win as they take on Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine in Group C. The other group game takes place at the Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb as Dinamo Zagreb tackle Atalanta.

A repeat of last season's round of 16 tie is on the cards in Group D as a revamped Atletico Madrid 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 come calling.

Group E kicks off this season's action as defending champions Liverpool are 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 domestic champions RB Salzburg will be eager to deliver a pasting to Belgian champions KRC Genk.

Ronaldo will be eager to shine against Atleti once again
Ronaldo will be eager to shine against Atleti once again

Already tagged as this season's "group of death", Group F starts off with a cracker in Spain as FC Barcelona welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi has recovered from his injury and is expected to play a role in the match.

Inter Milan have started life very well under Antonio Conte, and will be eager to put away Slavia Prague before they play their main rivals over the next four gameweeks.

In probably the most open group in this season's UEFA Champions League, Group G's action sees Lyon take on Zenit St-Petersburg while SL Benfica host RB Leipzig at the Estadio La Luz.

The final games in gameweek 1 see 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.

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