Champions League: What we can’t wait to see
The Champions League finally returns on Tuesday. Europe’s best sides and players competing for the biggest club prize in the game. It doesn’t get much better, does it?
We’ll be treated to some huge games straight away. 2015 finalists Barcelona and Juventus meet on Tuesday. Atletico Madrid and Roma face each other too. And Manchester United and Chelsea will make their Champions League comebacks.
Here are some of the things we’re most looking forward to:
The New Look PSG
We had to start with Paris Saint-Germain. First they smashed the world transfer record to sign Neymar from Barcelona. Then they brought in Kylian Mbappe in a deal that will eventually cost £166m. Dani Alves joined on a free transfer too.
Unai Emery now has a staggering array of players at his disposal. As well as the new additions, he can call on the likes of Marco Verratti, Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani.
Despite their wealth, PSG have failed to make a real statement in the Champions League in recent years. They could go all the way this time round.
Real Madrid threepeat?
No team had managed to successfully defend the Champions League before Real Madrid lifted the trophy in Cardiff last year. Now they’ll be looking to make it a hat-trick.
The La Liga giants are favourites to win it this year at 7/2.
Zinedine Zidane can call on world-class talent in virtually every position. And most of his back-ups would get into nearly any other side too.
Cristiano Ronaldo may be heading towards the end of his career now. He’s managed to tweak his game to remain an exceptional goalscorer.
Even if teams manage to keep Ronaldo quiet, they’ll still have to deal with Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Isco and the rest. Good luck.
Can Tottenham perform at Wembley?
Real Madrid have been drawn with Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia in Group H.
Tottenham have to improve their form at Wembley to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were drawn in an easier group last year. One win at Wembley wasn’t good enough to take them through though.
Spurs have lost to Chelsea and drawn with Burnley at their temporary home this season. They need to adapt to the bigger pitch and quickly.
Napoli were one of the most exciting sides in Europe last season. After losing Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus, they moved Dries Mertens from the wing into the middle.
It worked spectacularly and they played thrilling, free-flowing football under Maurizio Sarri. They were just unlucky to draw Real Madrid in the second round.
Now with a year’s better understanding under their belts, they could be one of the dark horses.
Manchester City are one of the teams that will have to be especially wary of Napoli. They’ve been drawn together in Group F.
They’ll be looking to take a big step forward this year themselves. After two summer transfer windows, Pep Guardiola has now shaped the squad in his image.
Last season was the first time in his managerial career that he failed to reach the semi-finals. His Champions League record was one of the key reasons City were so keen to appoint him. Can he deliver?
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