The Champions League is back and we’re all set for another thrilling campaign which features six British teams.
It’s the first time since 2007 that both Rangers and Celtic have appeared in the competition and they’ll be joined by Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs.
Plus, there’s plenty of other big games featuring Europe’s elite on Matchday 1, including PSG vs Juventus, Inter Milan vs Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid vs Porto.
Lionel Messi has the chance to catch up with Cristiano Ronaldo’s record UEFA Champions League goal tally in 2022-23, with the Portuguese legend unable to add to his tally this season following Manchester United’s failure to qualify for the competition.
Messi’s total of 125 goals is 15 fewer than Ronaldo’s 140, so whilst it’s unlikely that the Argentine will go as far as matching the record this season – Messi has never scored more than 14 in a single UCL campaign – he could put pressure on Ronaldo, considering he is also two years younger than his rival.
Haaland is scoring at a trajectory never seen before in the UEFA Champions League. When he makes his UCL debut for Manchester City, Haaland will play his 20th match in the competition. He’s already guaranteed to have the record goal tally by a player after 20 Champions League appearances, with his 23 goals in 19 games already seven goals more than both Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roberto Soldado managed in their first 20 UCL apps (16 goals).
Manchester City will be hoping that the signing of Haaland will be the final piece of the puzzle in their mission to win the UEFA Champions League. This will be their 12th season in the competition – all of those in successive campaigns since 2011-12 – and the closest that they have come so far was in 2020-21, when they finished as runners-up to Chelsea.
Only 14 teams have won more Champions League matches since 1992 than Manchester City (56), but all 56 of City’s wins have come since 2011-12 – the only clubs to have won more since then are Real Madrid (85), Bayern Munich (85) and Barcelona (69). Guardiola could well reach 100 wins as a coach in the Champions League this season, but he’d need his Manchester City side to at least make the knockout stages to make this happen.
Here are the fixtures for the opening matches of the 2022-23 Champions league.
Tuesday 6 September
GNK Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea FC
Borussia Dortmund vs F.C. Copenhagen
FC Salzburg vs AC Milan
Celtic FC vs Real Madrid CF
RB Leipzig vs FC Shakhtar Donetsk
Sevilla FC vs Manchester City FC
Paris Saint-Germain vs Juventus
SL Benfica vs Maccabi Haifa FC
Wednesday 7 September
AFC Ajax vs Rangers FC
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Sporting Clube de Portugal
SSC Napoli vs Liverpool FC
Club Atlético de Madrid vs FC Porto
Club Brugge vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen
FC Barcelona vs FC Viktoria Plzeň
FC Internazionale Milano vs FC Bayern München
Tottenham Hotspur vs Olympique de Marseille
— Ferdinand A Baah