GENEVA: As a second wave of coronavirus cases strikes Europe, the Champions League is going to once again send out elite players criss-crossing the continent.
Soccer’s biggest club competitors has a back-up strategy to ensure the group phase can be completed, even if there is a delay caused of the pandemic.
The strategy is for 32 groups to each play 6 video games in only 50 days, finishing by Dec. 9.
Keeping the whole competitors on schedule will likewise secure a reward fund of 2 billion euros ($ 2.3 billion).
Defending champ Bayern Munich and battle-tested Atlético Madrid are strong favorites to advance from Group A.
Robert Lewandowski, voted UEFA’s finest gamer in Europe last season, has actually begun this season by scoring at a goal-a-game ratio for the German club. Atlético included Luis Suarez, who fell out of favor at Barcelona.
Salzburg satisfied in its Champions League debut last season under American coach Jesse Marsch, however the club has because offered its 3 main forward, consisting of Erling Haaland to Borussia Dortmund.
Lokomotiv Moscow, the Russian league runner-up, finished last in its group in the previous 2 seasons.
Real Madrid has actually never failed to advance from the group stage and is looking to do it for the 24 th straight season.
The record 13- time European champions lead a group with possibly one of the most depth in quality.
Shakhtar Donetsk reached the Europa League semifinals in August, however the Ukrainian club was routed by current group opponent Inter Milan 5-0. That was part of Romelu Lukaku’s streak of scoring in 8 straight European games.
Madrid will play house video games at its tiny training school while no fans are permitted into Spanish venues. The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is being renovated.
Shakhtar will play in Kyiv amidst its seventh season of exile from Russian-backed conflict in Donetsk.
Pep Guardiola will be attempting to lead Manchester City to its first title in the competition for the fifth time– in a season in which the club was originally prohibited from playing.
Guardiola will go up against 3 Portuguese coaches.
Sérgio Conceição led Porto to a domestic double and now a 24 th look in the group phase. And Olympiakos, coached by Pedro Martins, won its first Greek league title in 3 years and is in the group phase for the 20 th time.
Liverpool leads a group preferably formed for hipster analysts and lovers of pure, attacking soccer.
Liverpool and Ajax have integrated for 10 European titles because they last fulfilled in the competitors in 1966.
Like Ajax’s run to the semifinals 2 seasons earlier, Atalanta was a revelation last season before losing to Paris Saint-Germain on two late objectives in the quarterfinals.
Danish club Midtjylland is another debutant. The club was created just 21 years ago and has a reputation for management decisions based on statistical analysis.
The previous two Europa League champions and two more newbies with extremely various histories will complete in Group E.
Sevilla and Chelsea have won 6 of the previous 8 Europa League titles, and Chelsea also won the Champions League in 2012.
Chelsea enhanced its squad for this season by purchasing Rennes’ goalkeeper Édouard Mendy last month.
Rennes has kept talented France midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, who at the age of 17 is older than the Krasnodar club.
Krasnodar was founded only in 2008– 107 years after Rennes– but qualified to go into UEFA competitions in each of the previous 6 seasons.
As champ of Russia, Zenit St. Petersburg is the top-seeded group in Group F despite putting last in its group last year.
Dortmund and its fleet of young aggressors– including Haaland and 17- year-old American Giovanni Reyna– should begin as the favorites.
Lazio is back after a 12- year absence with one of the most diverse teams, including players from at least 12 non-Italian nations.
Club Brugge is also in the group.
The very first match in between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is set up for Oct. 28, when Juventus hosts Barcelona. The return match is on Dec. 8.
Barcelona has actually advanced to the knockout round in 16 straight seasons, while Juventus has for the past six.
Tuesday’s video game at Barcelona is the club’s first in a Champions League group in 25 seasons, and the very first for a Hungarian group since 2009.
Ferencváros coach Serhiy Rebrov supervised of Eager beaver Kyiv in 2016 when the Ukrainian club played its only knockout games in the last 20 years.
Eager beaver is now coached by 75- year-old Mircea Lucescu, a Champions League regular during his 12 years at Shakhtar.
Edinson Cavani was betting Paris Saint-Germain when his brand-new club, Manchester United, last won a game in the Champions League.
The teams reunite on Tuesday at Parc des Princes, where a stoppage-time penalty for United in March 2019 gotten rid of PSG in the round of 16.
Likewise reunited are PSG and Leipzig after their semifinal match in August, won by the French champs 3-0.
Turkish champion Istanbul Başakşehir begins its first group campaign after dropping to last in its league and failing to score in four games.