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Preview of the first Matchday of the Champions League (19.09)

Ever since the football season kicked off, fans around the world eagerly awaited the return of the UEFA Champions League, which is clearly accepted by all as the pinnacle of European club football. This season will be very special for the football world, as it will mark the first season to be played without Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The first matchday of this year’s tournament, slated for September 19th, 2023, assures an exciting line-up of fixtures. In this preview, we will have a closer look at some key fixtures, focusing on English teams and the highly anticipated clash between BSC Young Boys and RB Leipzig. Buckle up!

Group F: AC Milan vs. Newcastle United // Paris Saint Germain vs. Borussia Dortmund

Group F dubbed the “Group of Death” will see captivating clashes between top European teams. First, we have the Italian giants AC Milan taking on English underdogs Newcastle United for the early kick-off. Both teams have a rich history in European competition. In as much as Newcastle’s last appearance was in the 2002/03 season, this clash will be an exciting contest.

AC Milan will be looking to make a strong start and build on their strong form in Serie A where they are on a hot streak, bar their recent mishap in the ‘Derby de la Madonina’ against city rivals Inter. On the other hand, Newcastle United will be eager to prove their mettle on the European stage. It will be a UCL debut for many Newcastle players, and after the flamboyant season they had last year, it’s time to set sights on the grand European scene.

This game will be a test of skill and determination as these teams battle it out for an early advantage in the group. The Rossoneri can count on their playmaker Raphael Leao to pull the strings from midfield, whilst the Magpies will rely on an in-from Alexander Isaak to provide goals.

Over to the second clash of the group. All eyes will be riveted on the action unfolding at the Parc des Princes, as two European powerhouses lock horns. With star-studded squads featuring the likes of Mbappe, Dembele, Haller and Malen, the stakes will be high for both sides as they have recently witnessed slippery starts to their respective seasons. Thus, this match could mark a turning point for the winner. Expect goals, end-to-end action, and a fine display of blistering counter-attacking football. Overall, Group F will provide a thrilling spectacle as these football powerhouses battle for supremacy.

Predictions:

  • AC Milan 2 – 1 Newcastle United.
  • PSG vs. BVB: Both Teams to Score.
  • Kylian Mbappe anytime goalscorer
  • Olivier Giroud anytime goalscorer

Group G: BSC Young Boys vs. Red Bull Leipzig // Manchester City vs. Red Star Belgrade

The match between BSC Young Boys and Red Bull Leipzig is undoubtedly one of the most significant fixtures of the first matchday. With both teams hungry for a strong start, the potential for a thrilling encounter is immense in what could be another early kick-off showdown.

The Swiss Champions, BSC Young Boys, will be looking to make an impact on home soil. With the support of their passionate crowd, Young Boys will leave no stone unturned to secure a victory. RB Leipzig, known for their dynamic style of play, will rely on their young attacking talents to dominate the game. It is bound to be a captivating showdown that could go either way. Anticipate a closely contested match with plenty of excitement.

This fixture equally holds significance for our German and Swiss friends and football enthusiasts. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit SchweizerSportwetten.com, your go-to site for Swiss football betting, to make the most out of this thrilling clash. The platform will grace you with expert tips and a wide range of betting possibilities to enhance your Champions League experience.

Group G certainly does not want us to catch our breath as it features another entertaining encounter. English and European champions Man City look to continue their dazzling start to the season with a statement victory against the lowly Serbian side Red Star Belgrade.

Pep’s tactical genius will once more be tested, as he is expected to make a few tweaks in his starting line-up. The champions have been a dominant force and have annihilated every team they have faced in the PL this season. Nevertheless, this star-studded side has also shown moments of defensive vulnerability, as clean sheets have not been forthcoming. This could offer Red Star a glimmer of hope.

Predictions:

  • Man City 4 – 1 Red Star Belgrade
  • BSC Young Boys 1 – 3 Red Bull Leipzig
  • Erling Haaland anytime goalscorer
  • Xavi Simons anytime goalscorer

Group H: Barcelona vs. Antwerp // Shakhtar Donetsk vs. FC Porto

Barcelona and Antwerp will square it off at the Montjuic Olympic Stadium. Unusual location, but this is due to the current renovations being carried out at the Spotify Camp Nou. Despite facing a myriad of challenges, Barça remains a force to be reckoned with, boasting a fine balance between young talents and veteran quality. The squad is in firing form and the goal threat can come from anyone on the field, as we saw during this weekend’s thumping victory in La Liga.

As for Antwerp, this will be their very first UCL group stage match in their history. The club will be looking forward to making a strong impression despite being paired with an ogre. We expect a sweet flowing tiki-taka gameplay from Barcelona and a rather easy victory in this David vs. Goliath-type clash.

Shakhtar and Porto will go face-to-face in Hamburg. The Ukrainian champions have only been a shadow of themselves in the most recent editions of the Champions League, failing to win any of their last eight home games in the competition. This doesn’t sound good for them as they’re set to test Porto who sits atop the Primera División. Sergio Conceicao’s side is a regular participant in the knockout stage, and thus will want to do the job neatly to land a much coveted second place.

Watch out for a tight contest, as this match will provide an opportunity for both teams to lay down a marker and assert themselves in a highly competitive group.

Prediction:

    • Barcelona to win to Nil
    • Shakhtar vs. Porto: Both Teams to Score

Group E: SS Lazio vs. Atletico Madrid // Feyenoord vs. Celtic

Spanish conquistadores Atletico Madrid will set sights on the eternal city for an epic entry to this year’s UCL edition. Known for their solid defence and disciplined style of play, “El-Cholo’s men” will be hoping this year could finally be their year.

The Romans have not been at their best recently. With only one win picked up from the last four matches, things are looking bleak at the Stadio Olimpico this season. The contest nonetheless hasn’t lost any bit of its flavour as we expect an overly offensive side to take on a defensively seasoned one in what could be a cagey contest. Both sides are tipped to qualify from the group so, a stalemate could suit either side.

To close off group E, Dutch side Feyenoord will welcome Scottish champions Celtic. Both teams have a rich history in European competitions and boast passionate fan bases. Another similarity they share is their thirst for goals, as each team has been firing back-to-back.

While Feyenoord will be looking to make a statement on their home turf, Celtic will be determined to kick off their campaign with a positive result and end their away game-losing run in the UCL. Await an enthralling contest between these two proud clubs as they look to set the tone for their Champions League journey.

Prediction:

      • Lazio vs. Atletico: Draw
      • Feyenoord vs. Celtic: Both Teams to Score

The first matchday of the UEFA Champions League promises to deliver thrilling football action and intense competition. Whether it’s the battle between traditional giants, the clash of underdogs, or the debut of new talents, each match will showcase the passion and skill that defines Champions League football.

Read – Five talking points ahead of the Champions League action

Read Also – Iconic Performances: Asprilla’s brilliant treble downs the mighty Barca at St James’ Park

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