April 14, 2024

The UEFA Champions League is back with holders Manchester City in action on Tuesday.

Here are five matches to watch:

Manchester City vs Red Star Belgrade

Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
When: 19:00 GMT

Man City hope to continue their unbeaten streak from last season’s campaign as they take on Serbian side Red Star Belgrade.

The hosts will be without the injured John Stones, Jack Grealish, Mateo Kovacic and Kevin de Bruyne. However, Erling Haaland, who was the Champions League’s top scorer last season, is expected to start.

City's Rodri celebrates scoring their first goal with Ilkay Gundogan and Erling Haaland. [REUTERS/Molly Darlington]
Haaland (centre) will be key to Manchester City’s title defence [File: Molly Darlington/Reuters]

Feyenoord vs Celtic

Where: Stadion Feyenoord, Rotterdam, Netherlands
When: 19:00 GMT

Injuries have ravaged both teams, who are domestic champions of their respective leagues.

Celtic are without defenders Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki, Stephen Welsh and Yuki Kobayashi, and wingers Liel Abada and Marco Tilio are also out.

Feyenoord are without injured goalkeeper Justin Bijlow while striker Santiago Gimenez is suspended. But the Eredivisie side are in fine scoring form after hitting six, five and then six again in their last three matches.

During their last Champions League group stage campaign in 2017, the Dutch side won once and lost five of their games.

AC Milan vs Newcastle

Where: San Siro, Milan, Italy
When: 16:45 GMT

Newcastle are back in Europe’s biggest club tournament after an absence of 20 years. They face the tall task of taking on last season’s semifinalists AC Milan at the San Siro but can be heartened by the fact that the Italian side has won just one of their last 11 matches against an English side.

The English team have former Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali on their side after he joined the Magpies in July.

This is Milan’s 20th Champions League campaign, the second most of any Italian side after Juventus (23). They crashed out of the first round of group stages once in the past 14 campaigns (2021-22).

Paris Saint-Germain vs Borussia Dortmund

Where: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
When: 19:00 GMT

The last time these two teams met was in the last 16 in the 2019-20 campaign. PSG lost their first leg away 2-1 but won the return leg 2-0 before eventually making it to the final.

The perennial French champions, without Neymar and Lionel Messi, will count on their star player Kylian Mbappe to score in a group that also has AC Milan and Newcastle.

Borussia Dortmund’s record against French teams in 14 matches has been a mixed bag with the German side winning eight and losing six. But in their recent league game against Freiburg, Dortmund scored six goals, so entertainment for tonight looks assured.

Kylian Mbappe during training
Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe during training [Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters]

Barcelona vs Antwerp

Where: Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium, Barcelona, Spain
Where: 19:00 GMT

Reigning La Liga champions Barcelona have failed to make it out of the group stage of the Champions League in their last two tries.

Xavi Hernandez’s team, fresh off an impressive 5-0 win against Real Betis in La Liga, will host the Belgian champions at the Olympic Stadium because Barcelona’s regular home ground of Camp Nou is undergoing renovations.

Antwerp are coached by former Barcelona midfielder Mark van Bommel, and the Dutchman has said his team won’t be afraid to test themselves and will try to play their aggressive, physical, attacking style.

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