The new season in the Champions League will start on Tuesday. Already the opening day of the group stage will be extremely tense in Group F. Paris SG will host Borussia Dortmund, and Milan will meet Newcastle.
The two teams that did not start the season as planned will meet at Princes Park. The Parisians lost 2:3 against Nice on Friday, even Kylian Mbappe’s two goals were not enough. PSG is only in fifth place after five rounds.
The two teams met in the round of 16 in March 2020, when Borussia was better at home with 2:1, and Neymar and Juan Bernat decided at the Park of the Princes. PSG progressed to the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win before losing 0-1 to Bayern in the final at the final tournament in Lisbon in August 2020.
“All the journalists are asking me if Mbappe can lead us to win the Champions League. For the European title, you need 23 quality footballers, not just 11. Roles must be divided,” emphasized coach Luis Enrique, who won the treble with Barcelona in 2015.
Hummels lifted Dortmund after a poor startOn May 27, Borussia Dortmund wasted a great opportunity to win the title of German champion after eleven years, but only drew with Mainz in the last round (2:2). Many tears flowed at the Westfalen Stadium. The big question is when the next opportunity will present itself, as Bayern have had a really bad season.
At the start of the new season, Borussia is far from the right form. In the 1st round, after a very poor performance, Donyell Malen secured three points against Cologne in the 88th minute (1:0). In Bochum (1:1) and at home with Heidenheim (2:2), they suffered two slips. Defender Mats Hummels shone in Freiburg, scoring two goals (2:4). For the 16th season in a row, he was among the top scorers in the Bundesliga.
“The key is to start the group part successfully. It is always difficult to play in Paris, but I am sure that we have a quality team and we can take all three points. PSG wants to play dominantly on home turf, but it’s not all about possession,” emphasized coach Edin Terzić.
“PSG have incredible strikers. Mbappe is really quick and skilful in front of goal. I must be well placed before his shots,” added goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.
Draxler is also moving to QatarGerman international Julian Draxler left PSG and will continue his career in Qatar. Al-Ahli bought out the midfielder’s contract until the end of this season. PSG did not release the financial details of the transfer, but the British Sky reports that the Parisians will get around 20 million euros for it. The 29-year-old Draxler will stay in Doha until 2025. Al-Ahli finished eighth in the twelve-member Qatari league last season.
Last week, the Italian Marco Verratti also left PSG for Qatar – the French should get 50 million euros for him, and a month ago the Senegalese defender Abdou Diallo also left Paris for Al-Araba.
Draxler, who became world champion with Germany in 2014, played for Schalke and Wolfsburg, and came to the French capital in 2017 for 36 million euros. Last season he played for Benfica as a loan player.
Pioli: We’re not talking about the derby defeat anymoreInter eliminated Milan 5-1 in the city derby at the San Siro on Saturday. The red-blacks will try to pick themselves up on Tuesday at 18:45. when they host Newcastle.
“Newcastle plays classic English football. They are great at interruptions. They play very aggressively, we will have to have duels in the middle of the pitch. The heavy defeat against Inter was very crushing for us. The Champions League match comes at the right time. We don’t talk about losing the derby anymore, because we have to focus on the Champions League, our group is the most difficult and every game will be decisive,” said Stefano Pioli.
Guardiola: The key is for the players not to relax after the trebleManchester City will start their title defense with a match against Red Star. In the Premier League, the Blues are the only team with a full income after the 5th round.
“We want to take the first step on Tuesday. Many teams have won the Champions League once. We couldn’t do anything special with one title. Still, we can be proud of this title. The key is not to let the players relax after the Triple Crown,” said Pep Guardiola at the press conference.
Bakhar expects a brave and smart game at the EtihadRed Star midfielder Marko Stamenić is looking forward to the big challenge at the Etihad Stadium: “Manchester City have proven that they are the best team in the world. Our desire remains to advance to the round of 16.”
Belgrade coach Barak Bakhar added: “Pep Guardiola is the best coach of all time for me. The biggest wish is that on Tuesday after the end of the game I will be able to say that we played bravely and smartly. I have no higher expectations.”
1st round, Tuesday, Group E, at 21:00: FEYENOORD – CELTIC
LAZIO – ATLETICO MADRID
Group F, at 18:45: MILAN – NEWCASTLE
Milan: Maignan, Calabria, Thiaw, Tomori, Theo Hernández, Krunic, Loftus-Cheek, Reijnders; Leao, Giroud, Pulisic.
Newcastle: Pope, Trippier, Schär, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno Guimarães, Tonali, Almiron, Isak, Gordon.
Judge: Jose María Sanchez (Spain)
At 21:00: PARIS SG – BORUSSIA (D)
Paris SG: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Marquinhos, Škriniar, Hernandez, Ugarte, Vitinha, Zaïre-Emery, Dembelé, Kolo Muani, Mbappe.
Borussia (D): Kobel, Ryerson, Süle, Hummels, Bensebaini, Sabitzer, Reus, Can, Malen, Brandt, Adeyemi.
Judge: Jesus Gil Manzano (Spain)
Group G, at 18:45: YOUNG BOYS – RB LEIPZIG
At 21:00: MANCHESTER CITY – RED STAR
Man. City: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Rúben Dias, Guardiol, Rodri, Foden, Bernardo Silva, Doku, Álvarez, Haaland.
Red Star: Glazer, Degenek, Mijailović, Dragović, Stamenić, Hwang, Ivanić, Bukari, Mitrović, Krasso, Olayinka.
Judge: Joao Pinheiro (Portugal)
Group H, at 21:00: BARCELONA – ANTWERP
SHAHTAR DONECK – PORTO
Wednesday, Group A, at 18:45: GALATASARAY – COPENHAGEN At 21:00: BAYERN – MANCHESTER UNITED
Group B, at 21:00: SEVILLA – LENS ARSENAL – PSV EINDHOVEN
Group C, at 18:45: REAL MADRID – UNION BERLIN At 21:00: BRAGA – NAPLES
Group D, at 21:00: BENFICA – SALZBURG REAL SOCIEDAD – INTER