We have lineups! The big takeaway is that Leo Messi isn’t starting. That should be a huge boost to BVB, but Antione Griezmann and Luis Suarez could still do a ton of damage if Favre isn’t careful.
Well we’re here — the first day of the UEFA Champions League group stage. While Bayern Munich won’t play until tomorrow, there are quite a few big fixtures on matchday 1 that we’re sure you’ll want to take about, so here’s a live thread for it all!
Obviously, the big standout game tonight is Borussia Dortmund vs Barcelona. Lucien Favre’s team just got done demolishing Bayer Leverkusen in the league, but to say there there is a gulf in quality between Leverkusen and the Catalans would be a huge understatement. Barcelona will likely have both Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele back and ready to feature, so Dortmund will have to be on point to come away from this game with any kind of result. Hopefully, the yellow wall can give them the boost they need.
The other big fixture for the night is Napoli vs Liverpool. The current UCL holders begin their campaign with a tough opponent — BUT it’s likely that Jurgen Klopp’s side will be far too much for the Italians to handle, even though the game is being played at Naples.
Finally, the last juicy picture for today should be Benfica vs RB Leipzig. Julian Nagelsmann doesn’t have a stellar record in the Champions League so far, but that was with Hoffenheim and facing the likes of Manchester City and Lyon. Benfica and Leipzig are far more evenly matched, and a strong display here could help restore some the damaged reputation of Bundesliga clubs in Europe. Let’s just hope Nagelsmann gets his tactics right.
Time: 9 pm local time, 3 pm EST [Note: Inter-Slavia and Lyon-Zenit kick off early — 7 pm CEST]
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