Everything You Need To Know About This Week's Champions League Matchday 1 Action

The major European competition returns on Tuesday as the group stage begins
08:07, 13 Sep 2021

The Champions League returns for another season this week, and the 2021-22 edition promises to provide the usual bubbling cauldron of intrigue, sub-plots and excitement. Here is everything you need to know about a stacked Matchday 1 in the premier European club football competition.

Tuesday 14th September

Bayern Munich vs Barcelona - Group E

Kick-off: 20:00

Channel: BT Sport 3

The 2020 winners inflicted a psychological scar that is yet to heal when they last faced Barcelona in this competition. Bayern met the Catalan club on the way to that showpiece and walloped them 8-2 in the single-leg quarter-final. The defeat has become symbolic of a wider Barcelona self-destruction, most of which has actually been wrought in the boardroom, and Ronald Koeman’s men will be keen to arrest the slide at the Allianz Arena. 

Other Group E fixture: Dynamo Kyiv vs Benfica (20:00, BT Sport Extra 4)

Young Boys vs Manchester United - Group F

Kick-off: 17:45

Channel: BT Sport 2

Manchester United were eliminated at the group stage last campaign, and ended the season as defeated Europa League finalists. They face the Swiss champions as a vastly different proposition, with Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo in tow. After a brace on his Old Trafford return, Ronaldo will be keen to add to his all-time record of 134 Champions League goals.

Other Group F fixture: Villarreal vs Atalanta (20:00, BT Sport Extra 2)

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Chelsea vs Zenit St Petersburg - Group H

Kick-off: 20:00

Channel: BT Sport 2 and Ultimate

The holders welcome the Russian champions to Stamford Bridge after an unbeaten Premier League start. New signing Romelu Lukaku has 34 goals in 61 appearances in UEFA club competitions, and is coming off a dominant season as his former side Inter Milan won Serie A. He could be the difference in this intriguing opening clash for the Blues.

Other Group H fixture: Malmo vs Juventus (20:00, BT Sport ESPN)

Group G:

Sevilla vs Red Bull Salzburg (20:00, BT Sport 1)

Lille vs Wolfsburg (20:00, BT Sport Extra 3)

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Wednesday 15th September

Club Brugge vs Paris Saint-Germain - Group A

Kick-off: 20:00

Channel: BT Sport ESPN

All eyes will be on the reigning Belgian champions as they look to kick off their campaign with a statement win. Okay, that is perhaps a touch facetious. In truth, the headline-grabber in this clash is Lionel Messi’s first Champions League game for a club other than Barcelona. The Argentine, along with Brazilian teammate Neymar, missed the 4-0 win over Clermont in Paris. Both will return in time for this midweek trip to the Jan Breydel Stadion.

Manchester City vs RB Leipzig - Group A

Kick-off: 20:00

Channel: BT Sport 3

Manchester was not a happy hunting ground for Leipzig last season, as United pasted them 5-0 in an Old Trafford rout. They would have their revenge in the return game, beating the Red Devils 3-2 at home. Jesse Marsch’s men could be forgiven for being wary though, as last year’s finalists have made a strong start to the Premier League season. There will be an Etihad return for Angelino, after he was sold to the German side last February.

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Liverpool vs AC Milan - Group B

Kick-off: 20:00

Channel: BT Sport 2 and Ultimate

A Champions League fixture with a grand tradition, these two teams split the 2005 and 2007 finals. Much has changed since those days. Liverpool have added another Champions League trophy, as well as a Premier League title, since. AC Milan have only just emerged from their darkest period in modern times. The Rossoneri have won three out of three in Serie A this season and top the table, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal-scoring return at the weekend makes this an intriguing proposition.

Other Group B fixture: Atletico Madrid vs Porto (20:00, BT Sport Extra 3)

Inter Milan vs Real Madrid - Group D

Kick-off: 20:00

Channel: BT Sport Extra 2

The Italian champions meet the fading Spanish giants in what could be a symbolic passing of the torch. Madrid have ruled modern Champions League history, winning five of the last eight competitions. However, they have not even reached a final in the last three years. Inter are a different beast to their title-winning side, with a number of players moving on. They are unbeaten in three Serie A games this season, as they find their way under new coach Simone Inzaghi.

Other Group D Fixture: Sheriff Tiraspol vs Shakhtar Donetsk (17:45, BT Sport ESPN)

Group C

Besiktas vs Borussia Dortmund (17:45, BT Sport 1)

Sporting CP vs Ajax (20:00, BT Sport 4)

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