The Turkish side will play a match in the elite competition for the first time since when they failed to make it to the knockout stages and, no doubt, they will host Lokomotiv in front of packed stadium. Lokomotiv Moscow return to the Champions Liverpool have never been stronger and, as always, they will adopt an attack-minded approach against PSG.
Les Parisiens, on the other hand Monaco experienced all sorts of problems in the Champions League group stages last term, with the team picking up only two points from possible 18 in the process.
Les Rouges et Blancs are no longer sharp as they used to be a couple of seasons ago and it is no surprise they are seen as underdo Schalke continue life without key midfielder Leon Goretzka, who joined Bayern Munchen in the summer transfer window and it is no surprise they have been struggling to find their best form at the start of the new Bundesliga campaign.
Ajax have been scoring goals for fun at the start of the new Eredivisie campaign and they are certainly brimming with confidence ahead of their Champions League opener. The Amsterdammers proved their worth in the double-header against Dynamo Kiev and seeing that they are on a three-game winning Shakhtar Donetsk square off against Hoffenheim at Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist in what is expected to be a very entertaining game.
The Miners are on a five-game winning run The mighty Bavarians aim to make a flying start to their Champions League campaign, but beating Benfica on the road is easier said than done. The Eagles failed to win the national championship last season, but t The Premier League champions are ready for yet another successful season and despite the fact that im Viktoria are on a seven-game winless run in the elite competition, but seeing that CSKA are no longer sharp as they used to be in the past, we believe that the hosts are capable of grabbing something fr Real Madrid and Roma, the two old rivals, face each other at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the opening match of their Champions League campaign.
Los Blancos did well to win their third consecutive title in the elite competition last term, but their fans are always hungry for more success. CR7 is no longer part of the capital club, but seeing that new coach Julen Lopetegui is doi Marcelino was doing a terrific job with los Che last season and they totally deserved to book their place in the elite competition.
It is well known that Valencia produce much better showings at home than on the travels, but they will have a big fish Manchester United will be aiming to get off to a flying start to their Champions League campaign when they take on Young Boys in Bern in their opener. Scoring one of his characteristic free kicks, the Argentine put his side two goals up in the 32nd minute with a smartly taken finish at the near post which evaded Ivan Cuellar in the Leganes goal.
When Nabil El Zhar deflected the ball in for the away side off the helpless Sergi Roberto, the Blaugrana will have been fearing the worst. However, although Leganes clung onto a one-goal deficit for the next twenty minutes, it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened, Messi nipping in between two defenders to poke the ball past Cuellar to wrap up his hat trick. Di Francesco will be pleased to have Radja Nainngolan back to fitness to control the midfield for Roma.
Elsewhere, Rick Karsdorp and Diego Perotti are both out through injury. Beyond that, the Roma squad no suspensions to contend with. Although Sergio Busquets is set to make a return to the team, Ernesto Valverde will make a late decision on his inclusion in the matchday squad.
One thing that is often overlooked about Messi is how economical he is with his movement. At times, the Argentine virtuoso finds space not through intelligent movement but through an intelligent lack of movement that tricks his opposition into leaving him alone.
For Kostas Manolas, the real trick will be tracking Messi from defence as he looks for pockets of space in the midfield area. Of course, this is easier said than done. It is hard enough to track the player you are marking without thinking about the movement of another. If he can do this, though, Roma could have a chance of keeping Messi quiet. That only leaves the business of scoring three goals to contend with…. On Tuesday, Roma need to score at least three goals. As a result, Di Francesco is forced to adopt an attacking mentality.
However, this must be balanced with a need to avoid conceding. With Barcelona likely wanting to come out strong and put the game out of reach early on, Roma would do well to adopt a more cautious approach for the early stretches of the game before looking for the goal.
Whilst Barcelona are not out of the woods yet, there is no one who would argue that they are not strong favourites to go through. As a result, Ernesto Valverde will be thinking long-term, looking to ease past Roma with minimum effort and with maximum return on player fitness. However, elsewhere the Barcelona manager will be looking to rest key players where he can. Sergio Busquets has recently come back from injury so expect to see him come off early if Barcelona score early on.