The UEFA Champions League Games We Can’t Wait For
As a wise man said recently, “I love football.” That same man, granted, also said, "as flies to wanton boys are we to the gods, they kill us for their sport," so we might want to take anything Eric Cantona says with a pinch of salt.
The bloke was bang on the money on one thing, though; there’s a whole lot to love about the beautiful game, and the UEFA Champions League draw that followed his speech threw up a few more good reasons! That’s because the pool stage of the competition, every game of which will be seen on Virgin Media Sport (Virgin TV 400), is going to include some absolute crackers.
So grab your calendar and save the dates; these are the early-season games we just can’t wait to see…
NAPOLI v LIVERPOOL
8pm, Tuesday September 17th
Talk about getting off to a cracking start! The sides were drawn together last year too – and promptly traded home wins – so there’s already no love lost. The reigning champs will be eager to begin their defence of the title with a win, but the Neapolitans are an outstanding side at home; prepare for early fireworks!
PSG v REAL MADRID
8pm, Wednesday September 18th
If bank balances were all that mattered, then this might be the biggest game in world football – mind, it’s still not far off anyway! Two star-studded sides they may be, but their records in Europe’s top tournament could scarcely be more different; Real a consistent winner over the past decade, PSG still to make a final. If that’s to change, we might get an early clue here!
ATLÉTICO MADRID v JUVENTUS
8pm, Wednesday September 18th
A pair of traditional superpowers – with four final appearances in the past six seasons between them – will lock horns in the opening week, with far more than bragging rights up for grabs. Bayer Leverkusen have been tipped as a dark horse in this group, so a hot start is essential; a win could go a long way towards sealing progression…
SPURS v BAYERN
8pm, Tuesday October 1st
If Spurs were in dreamland with last year’s run – all the way to the final, before they lost to domestic rivals Liverpool – then it’ll be back to earth with a bang when the German giants hit London on matchday two. Potchettino’s men haven’t set the world alight yet this term, and the visitors are perennial contenders for the continental crown; expect fireworks!
BARCELONA v INTER MILAN
8pm, Wednesday October 2nd
The much-feared ‘Group of Death’ tag was proudly won by Group F – which also includes Borussia Dortmund – and this is just one of the mouthwatering ties it throws up. Antonio Conte brings his side to the Camp Nou for a game that could shape the fortunes of both teams – and if they do enough to upset Messi and co., the shockwaves will extend throughout the rest of the competition, too!
Virgin Media Sports is the place to be for every game from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League – find out more on the home of European football right here.