Our partners utilize technologies, like cookies, and collect surfing data to supply you with the very best internet experience and to personalise the content and advertising shown to you. Please let us know whether you agree. By Emlyn Begley BBC Sport Can an unwanted win the Champions League? What shape are the La Liga rivals in? Could Ajax replicate last year’s heroics? European football’s greatest competition returns this week with a few fixtures worthy of these knockout phases. On Tuesday, holders Liverpool go to Napoli, Chelsea welcome Valencia along with Borussia Dortmund sponsor Barcelona, while on Wednesday, Juventus traveling to Atletico Madrid and Paris St-Germain host Real Madrid. BBC Radio 5 Live will have commentary of Napoli v Liverpool Shakhtar Donestk along with Olympiakos v Tottenham v Manchester City on Wednesday. Two of those 3 championships to win the championship of this season are English – Premier League and also holders Liverpool champions Manchester City. The Liverpool of jurgen Klopp are expecting to do what one team have handled since the competition had been as the Champions League in 1992 – retain the trophy. Real Madrid’s’three-peat’ – when they gained in 2018 and 2016, 2017 – was the very first time a team had won successive European Cups since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990. Consistency may be the key. Actual only named 13 starters throughout their three finals. Premier League leaders Liverpool still have 10 of the starting XI in the 2018 last defeat by Actual, using only goalkeeper Loris Karius having departed, and may conceivably name last season’s closing line-up on a regular basis this year. Manchester City are the bookmakers’ favourites to win Europe’s elite competition for the very first time. They look in wonderful shape (albeit possibly slightly less so after Saturday’s shock defeat by Norwich – only their second loss since January). Pep Guardiola’s side won the clean sweep of English decorations every year, and have picked up 198 points in their previous two complete Premier League seasons. They’ve added to their group whilst star midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has returned following an injury-hit season. Add to that the fact Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero are scoring a goal a match or more this season and they have a big likelihood of lifting the trophy in Istanbul on 30 May 2020. “When you speak to high clubs, leading Italian clubs, top French clubs, they’re all pretty unanimous that English clubs will be those to fear from the Champions League,” football journalist James Horncastle mentioned on last week’s BBC Radio 5 Live Football Daily. Tottenham will be hoping to go one better than last season, when they lost to Liverpool in the last. They reached that stage despite not having signed up a player all year and losing striker Harry Kane to injury for crucial games. Spurs have bolstered since then, however they have had an start with two wins out of five Premier League games, to this campaign. Frank Lampard would probably likely be a Champions League director for the first time as a young Chelsea yield to Europe’s best table after a year off, during which time they won the Europa League. Lamparda 2012 European champion as a Blues player, replaced Maurizio Sarri this summer and, together with the club under a transfer embargo, has appeared to youth. All 11 of their Premier League goals this year were scored by English kids who were on loan in the Championship last year – Tammy Abraham, that was at Aston Villa, along with Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, who had been with Lampard in Derby. Barcelona are the next favourites to win the championship, however the champions’ previous two European titles had been 2011 and 2015. Both of Ernesto Valverde’s seasons accountable have ended with a Champions League implosion following a three-goal triumph – against Roma in the 2018 quarter-finals then against Liverpool from the semi-finals earlier this year. He has freshened up things, with the advent of forward Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid and midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax, as well as the development of wonderkid Ansu Fati. Superstar Lionel Messi is to play with this year after trauma, but he is in the squad for their opening game against Borussia Dortmund. “He is 32 and for the first time I have started hearing stories of people close to Messi saying:’How about if he has just got two years at Barcelona,'” Spanish journalist Guillem Balague said. “I went into panic… only two more years old Messi? “We haven’t seen the top of Barcelona nevertheless this year. It has been a bad start but there is still time to have that corrected.” Barcelona’s eternal rivals Real Madrid don’t look in the very best of shape up to now. Zinedine Zidane is looking to win the Champions League for a fourth period as Actual supervisor – he resigned after three in a row came back in Marchand after their European exit. His rebuild of the club has so far not materialised as planned. They spent over #200m on five players on the summer, but Zidane had hoped for much more – like midfielder Paul Pogba out of Manchester United – and he was unable to move on some players he didn’t want, such as ahead Gareth Bale. In fact, none of the new signings started in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Levante, though Eden Hazard came off the bench for his debut. “It must be a must-win month,” explained Balague. “If things do not go well in September we may be seeing a new coach, certainly by Christmas. “It is not just about results. Things have worked as Zidane anticipated, and things aren’t functioning the way [president] Florentino Perez expected. “There was going to be a revolution, Zidane said that himself last season. Instead, we have observed the players. Out of all the ones that are new , only Eden Hazard will go into the line-up. Everyone else will be on the bench.” Lots of observers are interested to understand how the new-look Atletico Madrid get on this year. Diego Simeone recouped more in fees and spent over # 200m this summer. One of the players to come in have been Benfica ahead Joao Felix (more on him later), Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier, Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente and Espanyol defender Mario Hermoso. Three of the renowned back four abandoned free transfers – Diego Godin, Filipe Luis and Juanfran – also Griezmann to Barca, Rodri to Manchester City and Lucas Hernandez into Bayern Munich. It’s a decade because Atletico, who have never won the Champions League, have been removed in the knockout phases to a group not for example Cristiano Ronaldo, who is in this season’s group stages with them. City competitions Real beat them in four years, including two thirds. And Ronaldo saw a hat-trick as Juventus overturned a 2-0 deficit in the previous 16. That ended up being a huge moment. Balague stated:”It had a bearing on the future as well as current of Atletico. For Simeone, this was proof that the team required to eliminate players like Godin and Juanfran. Now he’s got an exciting, very versatile group.” Valencia, who play with Chelsea in the opening match, seem to be going through a now-traditional self-destruction. Just as things were looking good, they sacked the director who got them into the Champions League and directed them to the Copa del Rey last season – substituting Marcelino with Albert Celades final week. There are 3 other groups expected to compete for the prize, all perennial champions of the countries – Juventus (eight Italian titles in a row), Bayern Munich (seven consecutive German titles) and Paris St-Germain (half the past seven French leagues). Juventus – whose last Champions League title came in 1996 – have added youth and dynamism to their squad, together with #67.5m Netherlands centre-back Matthijs de Ligt the most celebrated recruit. That registering was particularly significant, after the loss of captain Giorgio Chiellini into some long-term knee injury. Three complimentary transfers came in – Arsenal and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey, Paris St-Germain and France midfielder Adrien Rabiot and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, a Juventus legend that just left a year ago for PSG. And obviously that they have the greatest goalscorer at Ronaldo of the Champions League. Their squad is so big that midfielder Emre May and forwards Mario Mandzukic have been left out of the Champions League selection. Horncastle stated:”Sarri explained the group was too big in the summer. He explained:’We’ve got six players many and we must sell players.’ They were not able to. This is really on the bar – not Sarri. They moved and couldn’t promote Paulo Dybala or Mandzukic. It’s been a genuine problems for them.” Bayern Munich, who sponsor Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday, move to a year without Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery about the wings (or in the treatment room) for first time in a couple of years. For a little while it looked like they wouldn’t sign replacements, however, Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic have fostered their choices. French Globe Cup-winning full-backs Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard were their additional two big-money signings, but the anticipated overhaul did not quite materialise. Where to start using Paris St-Germain? Is this season they finally get their act together in Europe? That is what people have been wondering for approximately seven decades. The French giants seem no closer to attaining their owners’ purpose of being crowned European champions and appear to be going backwards. They have gone out at the past 16 for the past few decades, having reached four consecutive quarter-finals before that. They are without Neymar, that failed to receive a go to Barcelona this summer, for half of the group point because of a ban following his response to a season’s collapse against Manchester United. He was booed to the team in the weekend on his return. But they’ve added forward Mauro Icardi for their frontline this summer, in addition to finally investing in holding midfielders – Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye. Both leading scorers in Champions League background, Juventus ahead Cristiano Ronaldo (126) and Barcelona captain Lionel Messi (112), go without mentioning annually at the listing of possible stars. The pair shared, or have won, the Golden Boot at every one of the past 12 seasons. Elsewhere, this might be a major season for Atletico Madrid’s new signing Joao Felix. They signed the 19-year-old from Benfica for #113m and he has already shown some real traces of quality in pre-season and the opening weeks. The Portuguese just made his pro debut last August, became the youngest hat-trick scorer at the Europa League and play with 15 league goals as Benfica won the national title. He had been the substitute for Griezmann of Atletico, even though signing ahead of the Frenchman left for Barcelona. Neymar requires his reputation to be boosted by a time at the Champions League and possibly win the PSG enthusiasts back. The two of his previous seasons in Paris have ended through injury, and he is at risk of gaining a flat-track bully standing in France, when he does not have it. PSG team-mate and perennial Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe might have a big season ahead of him. It might be the final season at his hometown team of that the French World Cup winner if media reports are to be believed. The 20-year-old scored 33 goals in 29 Ligue 1 games last season, but has managed only one Champions League knockout goal for the club in two seasons. Elsewhere, Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling’s form this year makes him look a candidate to be one of the top players in the tournament of this season. Boss Guardiola says that he is capable of reaching Messi or Ronaldo level. Ajax’s tragic last-second semi-final defeat by Tottenham felt as the ending of an era. Contrary to Barcelona or PSG’s highs in the past, it never looked like that side were likely to have a chance. Like Monaco’s Ligue 1 title-winning squad at 2017, Ajax’s staff was always destined to be gutted by the big-spending elite of Europe. De Jong’s move to Barcelona during the summer have been announced, and captain De Ligt – that ended up joining Juventus – was very likely to depart every rich club interested. Those two were key to Ajax’s success. However there was perhaps not the exodus people together with Denmark forward Kasper Dolberg’s move to Nice the sole other selling of longer or # 10m. Winger Hakim Ziyech looked set to leave, but has extended his contract, and midfielder Donny van de Beek a Madrid goal, has stayed with the club. Dusan Tadic – an unlikely star of the surprise run of last season – has stayed put. The Dutch championswho had to come through qualifying rounds seem like they might have functioned well, together with Sevilla winger Quincy Promes their biggest move. They’re unbeaten in two Eredivisie and Champions League qualifiers this year, and sponsor Lille on Tuesday. If there is to be a surprise package this season, Group G seems a origin. RB Benfica, Leipzig, Lyon and Zenit St Petersburg, who signed up Barcelona winger Malcom this summer, all have fascinating players in their squad. Are not going to appeal to the romantics as an energy drinks firm formed in 2009 them. However they have a decent likelihood of a great run this season. They have among the world’s most fascinating young managers in Julian Nagelsmann, who has three and a half years of managerial expertise with Hoffenheim despite just being 32. Leipzig have superstar Timo Werner up front, and future France centre-back Dayot Upamecano in defence. And they signed two players – long-term goal Ademola Lookman on a permanent deal from Ethan and Everton Ampadu from Chelsea. They brought in midfielder Christopher Nkunku out of PSG and went for ahead Patrik Schick. They’re after drawing 1-1 with winners Bayern at the 15, the unbeaten Bundesliga leaders. Benfica have recruited well after dropping Felix with striker Raul p Tomas joining from Real Madrid after two seasons on loan at Rayo Vallecano. Lyon could be poorer than last year, with Tanguy Ndombele joining Spurs, Ferland Mendy going to Real Madrid and captain Nabil Fekir departing for Betis. Elsewhere, Atalanta – at a group together with Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk and Wednesday’s competitions Dinamo Zagreb, can be a team. They are seeded bottom because this is actually their Champions League debut, but they ended third in Serie A last year – above AC Milan, Inter Milan and Roma. {Gian Piero Gasperini’s negative|Th Read more here: https://tanahsejukpropertindo.com/2019/12/06/2019-kentucky-derby-odds-las-vegas-names-new-favorite/