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Champions League – The biggest games and toughest fixtures

Aug 31, 2022

Dates for the fixtures have been confirmed for the upcoming Champions League. On September 6, Chelsea is set to play in the opening game of the competition proper versus Dinamo Zagreb.

Real Madrid is also set to defend their title against Celtic on the same day.

Here is what to expect.

Group D looks the most evenly balanced of the eight, likely to be the best games.

Group C takes the group of death tags. Group A looks most likely to provide some memorable moments and atmospheres, also having at least some competitive risk into the final round fixtures.

Although, many of star quality belongs in the groups A, C and H, but C has to the best, just to see if the summer spending of Barcelona can bring them any sort of consistency.

Expect the politics and future of the game for Group H, as PSG and Juventus faceoff. 

Andrea Agnelli resigned as chairperson of the ECA to launch the Super League. Nasser Al-Khelaifi replaced him and became UEFA’s biggest ally in maintaining the status quo. 

Big teams might tussle 

Barcelona, Xavi and Bayern once again and Inter will prove unforgiving opponents. It is just a hunch but I get the sense that Chelsea might have a tricky time. With key players yet to come, they feel much undone now. Barcelona in the previous season has failed to make it out of the group for the first time in 17 seasons. This year their group is even tougher, it will surely be a huge test of whether Joan Laprta’s lever pulling has worked.

Real Madrid and Liverpool, also are quite difficult draws. Too early to predict with any certainty that they will not be able to repeat what they did last year, but there could easily be an upset there. Atletico Madrid might not have found it tricky against both Porto and Leverkusen in recent competitions.

Must watch match

Dortmund v Sevilla was an extremely bonkers encounter in the last 16 in 2021. Rematch on October 11 will have a huge need of energy.

Also, Celtic v Madrid on September 6 for a louder stadium on a big Champions League night.

Rangers’ first home game against Napolu on September 13, the atmosphere is expected to feel good, as last year’s European run was one of the stories of the season and this year could be just as intense.

Bayern against Barcelona on September 13. Lewandowski back in Munich. Julian Nagelsman querying how Barcelona could afford it. 

The new Bayern looks more exciting than the expensively assembled.

Celtic hosting Madrid should be a cracker, it’s just a type of game which Los Blancos have lost focus and slipped up in through past years.

The fixture also has its history – Madrid lost 2-0 in Glasgow in 1980-81, and then had one of their historic ‘remontada’ comebacks to turn it around with a 3-0 at the Bernabeu.

No glamorous groups but will be good to watch

Group D – no true European giants. Frankfurt are the reigning Europa League champions and Tottenham lost the Champions League final in 2019 – looks evenly-matched and competitive across the board.

The 16 qualifiers

Liverpool, Napoli, Porto Atletico, Bayern, Inter, Tottenham, Eintracht, Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Leipzig, Manchester City, Sevilla, PSG and Juventus.

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