Champions League returns with familiar faces in new places

Sports Desk, Sep 13 (EFE).- The new UEFA Champions League season kicks off on Tuesday with several highly anticipated games, including a clash between heavyweights Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

The Catalans will start their European season against the same team that beat them 8-2 in the quarterfinals in 2020.

Barcelona will have to shake off the trauma of that humiliation without departed Argentine star Lionel Messi, whose new team Paris Saint Germain take on Club Brugge on Wednesday.

Messi’s old nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his own headline-grabbing transfer this summer, is gearing up for his second Manchester United European debut against Swiss team Young Boys.

The 36-year-old Portuguese star will hope to kick on from his excellent second Premier League debut against Newcastle, when he scored a brace in a 4-1 win.

Their fellow Premier League rival Chelsea return to the continental stage after sweeping both the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup titles at the expense of Manchester City and Villarreal respectively.

They take on Zenit with their spirits high, having dropped only two points four games into the Premier League season.

Fallen Italian giants Juventus visit Malmo hoping to reverse their sluggish start to the season. Two defeats and a draw have seen the 36-time Italian champions sink to 16th in the Serie A table.

Europa League champions Villarreal will hope to mark their first Group Stage appearance in 10 years with a win against Atalanta.

The opening day also features clashes pitting Dynamo Kyiv against Benfica, Sevilla versus Salzburg and LOSC face to face against Wolfsburg. EFE

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