Paris Saint-Germain take on Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday. Surprisingly, these two European giants have not faced each other in a competitive match since Juventus ran out 9-2 aggregate winners in the 1996 UEFA Super Cup.
Much has changed since then, of course, with PSG’s trajectory shooting massively upwards since being taken over by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, helping them purchase superstars such as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi along the way.
However, the Champions League continues to elude the Parisians, with their 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the final in 2020 the closest they have come to lifting Europe’s elite competition for the first time.
Juventus, meanwhile, have won the European Cup on two occasions in their history, although they are considered the eternal bridesmaids having lost in seven other finals.
Since losing in the final to Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid in 2015 and 2017 respectively, the Turin-based side have not progressed beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League, disappointingly losing to Lyon, Benfica and Villarreal at the last-16 stage in each of the last three seasons.
Expect PSG to have too much quality for Juventus, who are missing several key players with injuries. The Parisians look capable of going far in this season’s Champions League, whereas the visitors may struggle to go beyond the last-16 stage once again.
Man City‘s quest for Champs league glory begins at Sevilla
Manchester City‘s latest in a long line of quests for Champions League glory begins on Tuesday, as La Liga giants Sevilla welcome the Premier League champions to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Group G.
The Citizens were dumped out in the semi-finals by Real Madrid last year, while Sevilla were eliminated from the group stage before unsuccessfully challenging for Europa League glory.
The breakup of the Jules Kounde–Diego Carlos defensive partnership has had a profound effect on the Sevilla team, though, and Lopetegui has steered his side to just one point from their opening four La Liga fixtures.
Man City ran out 5-2 winners over two matches when they first met Sevilla competitively in the 2015-16 group stage, and if the home side were not already fearing an in-form Haaland enough, the 22-year-old struck four goals in two games for Borussia Dortmund against Sevilla in 2020-21.
With a new-look defence already under the cosh due to injuries and their attackers largely failing to fire, Sevilla’s European baptism of fire is unlikely to end with home celebrations.
City’s Premier League title defence may have already hit a couple of snags, but Guardiola’s side are a dangerous beast when seeking to bounce back from a disappointment, and a comfortable away win is the only outcome that we can see here.
Celtic welcome defending champions Real Madrid
Celtic have won all seven of their matches at the start of the 2022-23 campaign, while Real Madrid have been victorious in their first five, four of which have been in La Liga.
Celtic could hardly have warmed up for this match any better, with the Hoops thrashing bitter rivals Rangers 4-0 in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.
Celtic will play in Group F of this season’s Champions League alongside Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk, and while Los Blancos are the huge favourites to top the section, second looks open, and there is no question that Celtic Park will be bouncing on Tuesday for this glamorous fixture.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, are the holders of the European Cup, lifting the trophy for the 14th time last season by beating Liverpool 1-0 in the final.
Los Blancos are also the reigning Spanish champions, and they already claimed some silverware this season, beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 in the UEFA Super Cup towards the start of last month.
This has all of the makings of a brilliant match, and we are expecting an entertaining contest this night. It would certainly not be a surprise to see a draw or a Celtic win in Glasgow, but we just have a feeling that Real Madrid’s quality and experience will allow them to secure all three points here.
Dinamo Zagreb host Chelsea in group E
This will be Chelsea’s 19th season where they are taking part in Europe’s elite competition, as the club hope to win their third Champions League title.
The Blues kick off their Group E exploits with a trip to Croatia’s capital, where they hope to take three points off the country’s best football team, Dinamo Zagreb, to send a message out to the rest of Europe that they are here to cause a stir as unlikely challengers for the most coveted European trophy in football.
This is Chelsea’s first journey to Eastern Europe since 2018/19, when they travelled to the Czech Republic to take on Slavia Prague in the Europa League, a competition they went on to win. If that is anything to go by, fans will hope this could be their year once again.
Chelsea come into this game off the back of a slender victory over West Ham despite their poor performance.