Champions League is back! Teams to be wary of this season

Champions League is back! Teams to be wary of this season

"Tottenham are looking at two scenarios: they've a miserable season and they're not qualifying for the Champions League or getting anywhere near the Premier League", Souness told The42.

As the group stage of the UEFA Champions League opens this Tuesday, there are records in the offing.

4/1 favourites Real Madrid, have a record 12 European Cups to their name, three of which have come in the last four years, and Los Blancos now have the chance to become the first club since Bayern Munich (1974-76) to win the tournament three times in a row.

"It's a very important day for me, much more important than you can imagine".

"We know very well what the competition demands from you, and I think it is so important, that experience from last season".

It could be argued that Liverpool, without a title in 27 years, are in a similar position, though the key difference is that European football is something of a passion on Merseyside, and, despite the domestic drought, the club saw Champions League success as recently as 2005.

"Cristiano doesn't just contribute goals, he's a leader, he always wants to win and he transmits that to everyone else". The Spaniard has only once experienced life in the latter stages - a last-16 showing with Valencia (2012/13) - although it's worth remembering that he took charge of the club in December of that season. Olympiakos and Sporting are regular qualifiers but rarely advance, with Sporting weakened by the recent sale of midfielder Adrien Silva to Leicester. Furthermore, no Premier League team has reached the Final since the Blues five years ago. This will likely be considered the weakest of the eight groups.

The Ukrainian champion is always fighting against the disadvantage of not playing a real home game in three years due to the conflict involving pro-Russian separatists around its home city.

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City avoided tougher options by being drawn into top-seeded Shakhtar's group.

Still, Napoli was one of the more hard opponents for City from the third-seeded teams and eased past Nice in the playoffs round. "It's a learning curve for me".

Two of the revelations of European football last season go head-to-head in Group G as Leipzig welcomes Monaco on its Champions League debut.

The French team comes up against Porto in a rematch of the 2004 final won by the Portuguese team.

Barca President Josep Maria Bartomeu has claimed the Catalans will have a "more competitive" side this season than last despite losing Neymar after splashing out a fee that could rise to 145 million euros on 20-year-old French winger Ousmane Dembele to replace the Brazilian. PSG is one of five clubs to reach the knockout stage in each of the previous five seasons, along with Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern and Real Madrid.

Mauricio Pochettino has never been a lucky man with Spurs in the Champions League and will be relishing the clashes at Wembley.

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