UEFA Champions League Preview
A preview to all of Tuesday’s Gameweek 1 Champions League fixtures.
Group A Previews
Paris St Germain v Malmo FF
The home side are huge favourites to qualify for the knockout stages from this group, they had a 100 percent record in the league without conceding a goal up until Friday night when Bordeaux earned a 2-2 draw in Paris.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was rested for the Bordeaux came to ensure he was fit to face the club at which he started his career.
Malmo defeated Celtic 4-3 on aggregate in the final qualifying round and will take confidence from that, although on the other hand, the clubs recent from in the domestic league hasn’t been great, only picking up 4 wins in the last 13 games in the Allsvenskan.
Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk
Real are likely to be without James Rodriguez for this contest, he picked up an injury on international duty, added to that, Danilo will also miss out with a foot injury.
Although many are expecting a Madrid win, Shakhtar will be hoping for an upset, they are coming in to the game in good form, just the one defeat in 13 games.
The Ukranian side have already defeated Fenerbahce and Rapid Vienna to get themselves this far.
The visitors will be hoping for a turn in fortune after disappointing exits in previous years, winning just four of their last 17 CL games.
Group B Previews
PSV Eindhoven v Manchester United
PSV are in fine form going in to this tie, a 6-0 away win at Canbuur stretched their unbeaten run to six.
The two sides have faced each other just the four times previously, with United picking up two wins, one draw and PSV taking the spoils in the other.
The visitors will be in high spirits following Sunday’s 3-1 win over arch rivals Liverpool, taking their points tally to 10 from a possible 15 so far this campaign.
It will be a special night for Memphis Depay, he is returning to the club he left for the Red Devils in summer.
Wolfsburg v CSKA Moscow
Wolfsburg will be hoping to continue their fine home form when they welcome CSKA Moscow.
The German side have lost at home just once in 2015, added to that they have began their league campaign strongly, picking up eight point from a possible 12.
This is the first time Wolfsburg have been in the CL since 2009, when their opening game that time around was also against CSKA.
The Russian side have made an unstoppable start to their campaign, they won all of their first seven games, but the 100% record was put to a stop at the weekend when Zenit held them to a 2-2 draw.
CSKA will be hoping their fortunes in Germany will take a turn for the better this time around after four defeats in four trips so far.
Group C Previews
Benfica v Astana
Benfica will be full of confidence going in to Gameweek 1 after a 6-0 win at the weekend, in which Jonas and Mitroglou both bagged a hat-trick.
The Portuguese champions will be looking to continue their impressive home record in the competition, just one defeat from the last 14.
At the same time, they will be looking to make amends for last years poor showing, where they finished bottom of Group C.
Astana have made history already after becoming the first Kazakh side to reach the CL group stage.
They more than deserved their spot after beating APOEL, HJK Helsinki and Maribor in the qualifying rounds.
The club was only formed in 2009 but they haven’t ever looked back and hold an impressive record of four defeats in 34 games this year.
Galatasaray v Athletico Madrid
Galatasaray have made an unusually slow start to this year’s domestic campaign, just one win from five has left them tenth.
The Turkish side failed to win any of their six group stage matches last season, picking up just one point and finishing rock bottom of the group.
Athletico finished runners-up in this competition two years ago, falling short to Real Madrid in the final, their rivals knocked them out again last year, this time in the quarter-finals.
The Liga BBVA side were yet to concede a goal this season until they met Barcelona at the weekend, where they let a 1-0 lead slip to eventually be defeated 2-1.
Group D Previews
Manchester City v Juventus
City are taking part in their fifth CL campaign this time around, the side are yet to make it past the last 16.
The Premier League side have failed to get the better of Juve in any of their three matches in Europe, two draws and one defeat.
It came as a blow at the weekend when Sergio Aguero picked up an injury at Crystal Palace and it has been comfirmed he will miss this one.
Claudio Marchisio is the notable absence for the Italian giants, he picked up an injury to his left abductor at the weekend.
Juventus have had a very shaky start to their Serie A season, picking up just one point from their first three games.
City will be buoyed by this after they have made a perfect start themselves, five wins from five games.
Sevilla v Borussia Monchengladbach
Sevilla will be hoping the CL can kick-start their campaign after a poor start domestically, 2 points from a possible 9.
They will be hoping to continue last season’s impressive European form, they won all seven of their home ties en route to their second Europa League success in two years.
Monchengladbach end a 37-year absence from Europe after finishing third in Bundesliga last season.
The German side will be looking to get one back on Sevilla after crashing out of the Europa League at the hands of the Spaniards last season.
Although, current form doesn’t look too pretty, they have lost all four of their league games so far whilst shipping 11 goals.
Granit Xhaka will serve his European suspension after seeing red when these two sides met last season, whilst it seems captain Martin Stranzl will miss the tie with a fractured cheekbone.
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