The 2021/22 UEFA Champions League draw has thrown up some interesting fixtures to await these season, with some big name clubs squaring up early in the group stage competition.
The road to Saint Petersburg has begun, with the Champions League draw made and the biggest and best sides in Europe drawn against each other.
There are plenty of fixtures we await for. Superpowers against one another, old rivalries to be settled and tactical battles to be had, last season rematch as the continent’s finest square off.
5 Interesting Fixtures to Watch out for
There’s so much exciting football for fans to watch in these season’s Champions League group stage.
Manchester City vs Paris Saint-Germain
One of the biggest fixtures not to watch in the group stage. A repeat of last year’s semi-final sees Pep Guardiola up against Mauricio Pochettino once more, as Lionel Messi’s new side face a fearless City.
PSG and Manchester City are the two new big spending on the block in European football, both having only got as far as the final. A win early on in this season’s edition of the tournament against one another would put down a massive marker.
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich
One of the fixtures the world fans would be expecting again.
Are we looking at another 8-2 ……. Now with the absence of Lionel Messi.
The last time these two met, it was humiliating – but since then, Barcelona have kickstarted a rebuild.
A match-up against German champions Bayern Munich shows them just how far they’ve come since that horrible night in Portugal and whether or not they’re capable of venturing deep into the competition.
Bayern, meanwhile, crave what they see as their trophy back. Another beating of Barca – plus the defensively resilient Benfica.
Manchester United vs Villarreal
A rematch of last season’s Europa League final as Manchester United will be hoping for a revenge with Ronaldo upfront.
United were huge favourites in last season’s Europa League final between the pair, yet lost in an endless penalty shootout.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty to prove – not least that he can dismantle a deep block like this – and will want to set the record straight.
Don’t forget though, Unai Emery is in the same boat. The serial winner at Europa League level has never really impressed at the elite level and will surely want to better Ole Gunnar Solksjaer once more on this stage.
Chelsea vs Juventus
Chelsea look set to defend their title as last season UEFA Champions League winner.
Romelu Lukaku returns to Italy soon in his Chelsea career, as the European champions face the returning Max Allegri side.
Juventus are not the force they once were, couple with Cristiano Ronaldo departure.
But as Allegri has proved in Europe in the past, his team can be very difficult to break down.
Chelsea still in restructuring mode, looking at how they won the Champions League last season – a hard-to-break-down side, Thomas Tuchel may come a cropper.
Trips to Malmo and Zenit should be walkovers for both the west Londoners and the Old Lady, you’d expect. Those two big clashes will be key for determining the group winner.
Atletico vs Liverpool
A revenge for the German coach?………..
Jurgen Klopp was well-beaten by Diego Simeone – whose Atletico became the first side to defeat the German over two legs with Liverpool when they meet in 2019/20 Champions League.
A rematch comes at a point where Atletico are arguably stronger. Liverpool will want to test their mettle against the LaLiga champions as a litmus test of whether they’re back to their best or not – and grinding out a win against El Cholo’s deep block would be a big result.
With Porto and AC Milan in this group, it’s certainly winnable for Liverpool, who’ll be favourites – but a couple of complacent slip-ups along the way and they’ll be sweating on qualification…
Drop your opinions on these upcoming matches? Which is a must watch for you…