Our team profiles for the 2019/20 Champions League campaign
Our team profiles for the 2019/20 Champions League campaign

Champions League group stages: Take a look at all 32 teams in the goup stages with our verdict and statistics

As the Champions League returns this week, we profile all 32 teams involved in the group stages.

Here is our guide to every team, with a look at their domestic standing from last season, their best campaign in the competition and key statistics.


Liverpool lift the European Cup for a sixth time
Liverpool lift the European Cup for a sixth time
  • Champions League winners/Premier League runners-up
  • Champions League best: Winners six times

Can the Reds make it three finals in a row? Real Madrid did it and their final in Kiev may have been a changing of the guard between two teams who certainly fit the bill of European powerhouses. With Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino & Sadio Mane fit and firing they can be a match for anyone – and after Barcelona felt the force of Anfield last season not many teams will fancy getting a result against Jurgen Klopp’s men.

They lost all three away group games last season though, and only sneaked through with a narrow win over Napoli thanks to a last-minute Alisson save, but went from strength to strength from there before overpowering Lionel Messi and co in another epic Anfield evening.

Only injuries will seemingly stop them from challenging on multiple fronts again and, if anything, they seemed to get stronger as both European and domestic football reached its crescendo in 2019/20. They’ll again be a tough team to beat.

Stat attack

  • Liverpool will be looking to become the first English team to reach three consecutive Champions League/European Cup finals.
  • Over the last two Champions League campaigns, Liverpool have scored more goals (65) and won more games (15) than any other side in the competition.
  • Liverpool are unbeaten at Anfield in all European competition since October 2014 (W16 D6), since a 0-3 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage of the 2014-15 season.

Manchester City

Vincent Kompany and Manchester City lift the 2018/19 Premier League trophy
Vincent Kompany and Manchester City lift the 2018/19 Premier League trophy
  • Premier League champions
  • Champions League best: Semi-final

The Premier League’s Brexit party when it comes to this event as they just can’t seem to get along with life in European competition and usually can’t get out quick enough, but this is the season when Pep Guardiola will throw everything at the Champions League, don’t worry about that!

The one blot on his impeccable copybook is that he can’t even get to a final without the name Messi on his team-sheet despite being at super clubs Bayern and City – even more so at the latter when money is literally no object in his team building.

City fans have not really embraced this competition either but the fact that they have been beaten by English sides in the last two years will hurt both them and Guardiola – especially as he’s twice made strange selection decisions when perhaps out-thinking himself to get the better of a familiar foe. They must do better this year.

Stat attack

  • None of Manchester City’s 48 Champions League group games have ended goalless. There have been 161 goals scored in those matches, at an average of 3.35 per game.
  • Pep Guardiola reached the semi-finals in each of his first seven seasons as manager in the Champions League but hasn’t made it past the quarter-finals in each of his three seasons with Man City.
  • Pep Guardiola has won the Champions League on two occasions as a manager (2009 & 2011, both with Barcelona). A third trophy would equal Zinedine Zidane, Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley’s record.


Lionel Messi: Celebrations for the Barca star against Manchester United
Lionel Messi: Celebrations for the Barca star against Manchester United in the Champions League last season
  • La Liga champions
  • Champions League best: Winners five times

With four wins in the last 14 years, five further semi-finals and only once failing to make the quarter-finals in that span, Barca have rightly become huge hitters in European circles, but the Blaugrana have become big game bottlers in recent years.

Losing a first leg lead to Atletico before a 3-0 hammering in Juventus in successive quarters, was bad enough, but to then throw away 4-1 and 3-0 first leg leads at Roma and Liverpool respectively was close to criminal.

They say lightning doesn’t strike twice but for the same team to suffer those two huge upsets, and play so meekly and poorly in both games can’t help but set alarm bells ringing.

The response has been to splash out on signing Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie De Jong so they could well go all the way this time, but they’ll have to banish some demons along the way. And that’s without mentioning Lionel Messi’s early season injury as, whisper it quietly, maybe age is catching up with him?

Stat attack

  • Barcelona have progressed past the group stage in each of their last 17 participations in the Champions League, last exiting via the group stage in 2000-01 under Llorenzo Serra Ferrer.
  • Barcelona’s Lionel Messi was the Champions League top scorer in 2018/19 (12 goals) for the sixth season; that’s one fewer than Cristiano Ronaldo (7). He is 14 goals short of his Portuguese counterpart in the all-time scoring list in the competition (112 goals vs 126).
  • Barcelona have won 29 of their last 32 Champions League games at the Camp Nou (D3), with their last defeat dating back to May 2013 against Bayern Munich (0-3).


Chelsea beat Arsenal to win the 2018/19 Europa League
Chelsea beat Arsenal to win the 2018/19 Europa League
  • Europa League winners
  • Champions League best: Winners once

You won’t find many people who believe Chelsea can go all the way under the inexperienced Frank Lampard and a transfer embargo, but they do get top seed stature courtesy of their Europa League win over Arsenal.

With Olivier Giroud an expert at European goalscoring and even Christian Pulisic having plenty of Champions League experience they should have enough to get through the group stages, but a knockout win would be a big ask.

Stat attack

  • Since the Europa League winners gained automatic entry to the Champions League (2015-16), none of the winners of the tournament have made it past the Champions League last 16 stage.
  • Chelsea have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League 14 times in their previous 15 appearances.
  • Chelsea have the best win rate in the Champions League group stages (inc. group stage 1st and 2nd) among all English teams (min. 7 games), with the Blues winning 59% of their games (57/96).


Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates for Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates for Juventus
  • Serie A champions
  • Champions League best: Winners twice

The dominant force in Italy with eight Serie A titles in a row, but Old Lady of Juventus is more accustomed to being the bridesmaid rather than the bride after losing seven European Cup finals – more than anyone else.

Cristiano Ronaldo was bought to add to their modest tally of two titles and after falling to Ajax’s young guns they responded by signing the Dutch side’s young skipper Matthijs De Ligt and PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

Maurizio Sarri won the Europa League last season, can he win the big one this time around? Only a win will satisfy the owners but they may just find a team or two too strong.

Stat attack

  • Juventus have been shown more red cards than any other team in Champions League history: 26 (since 1992/93).
  • Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri lifted the Europa League last season with Chelsea – only three managers have ever won the UEFA Cup/Europa League and then the European Cup/Champions League in consecutive seasons (also Rafael Benitez, Jose Mourinho and Bob Paisley).
  • Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals in the knockout stages of the Champions League in 2018-19, taking his tally to 65 in 79 appearances, more than any other player. Over half of his Champions League goals have been scored post-group stage (65/126


PSG celebrate at Old Trafford
PSG celebrate at Old Trafford last season
  • French champions
  • Champions League best: Semi-finals

Like Manchester City, PSG have been proving that money can’t buy you Champions League success as even with the weight of their Qatar owners’ billions behind them, they’ve not managed to get beyond the last eight under their reign.

Defeat to Man United last season was a sickener, and made it three years in a row that they failed to get beyond the last 16, which is just not good enough for this side. Another performance like that will see the end of coach Thomas Tuchel – and they could have to do that without Neymar.

Stat attack

  • PSG haven’t progressed further than the quarter-finals in the last seven seasons – they have been knocked out in the round of 16 in the last three campaigns. Their best performance in the Champions League/European Cup is a semi-final in 1994/95 when they were eliminated by AC Milan.
  • PSG striker Kylian Mbappé has scored (14) or assisted (8) 22 goals in his first 22 Champions League starts.
  • Thomas Tuchel has never gone further than the quarter-finals in his two participations as manager in the Champions League (Last 16 with PSG in 2018-19 & QF with Borussia Dortmund in 2016-17).

Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski celebrates his goal for Bayern Munich at AEK Athens in the Champions League
Robert Lewandowski celebrates his goal for Bayern Munich at AEK Athens in the Champions League
  • Bundesliga champions
  • Champions League best: Winners five times

After being there or thereabouts for the last few years, Bayern looked old and ponderous against a vibrant Liverpool side last season which prompted a clear-out of the old guard such as Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic have only arrived on loan but their added quality will be a huge boost for Niko Kovac. On the face of things the German giants still look a bit off the pace of the very top sides.

Stat attack

  • Bayern Munich have reached at least the quarter-finals in 10 of their last 12 Champions League participations, making the final on three occasions in this run (2010, 2012, 2013).
  • Bayern Munich were knocked out in the round of 16 under Niko Kovac in last season’s Champions League; their worst performance in the competition since falling at the same stage in 2010-11.
  • Robert Lewandowski has scored 36 goals in just 52 Champions League appearances for Bayern Munich – only Thomas Müller has scored more for the club in the competition (42 goals in 105 apps).

Zenit St Petersburg

  • Russian champions
  • Champions League best: Last 16

It’s an eighth appearance in Europe’s premier competition for the Russians and, while they have emerged from the group stages three times from six starts, they have not won a knockout tie since way back in 1985, so there’s work to do. Coach Sergei Semak will hope new signing from Barcelona Malcom can add some extra quality to his outfit.

They were the glaring odd man out in pot one, only getting in due to Russia ranking as the sixth strongest league, and the team everyone wanted to draw.

Stat attack

  • Sergei Semak won his only Champions League match as manager, beating Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund, 2-1 in a last 16 clash in March 2014.

Real Madrid

Eden Hazard signs for Real Madrid from Chelsea
Eden Hazard signs for Real Madrid from Chelsea
  • La Liga third
  • Champions League best: Winners 13 times

What can we say about the most successful team in Europe – and it’s not even close – who saw their three-year reign as champions of Europe end with a whimper when hammered by Ajax.

You can’t be too hard a team that won three in a row and four out of five Champions Leagues can you, but there’s no surprise that their run ended the season after Cristiano Ronaldo left.

Eden Hazard will now carry the weight of expectation on his shoulders at a troubled side that is dealing with Zinedine Zidane’s fallout with Gareth Bale – and it’ll be interesting how they can manage that with the Welshman set to stay despite the manager wanting him gone.

They are packed with talent, obviously, but you wouldn’t be comfortable backing them with any great conviction.

Stat attack

  • Real Madrid have won the European Cup/Champions League on 13 occasions – including four of the last six – more than any other team in history. In fact, they’ve won each of their last seven finals in the competition.
  • Real Madrid have always made it out of the group stages, including reaching the semi-finals in eight of the last nine Champions League campaigns – the only exception came last season when they were knocked out in the round of 16.
  • Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has won the Champions League/European Cup every season he has taken part in the competition (2016, 2017, 2018) – he’s also the only manager to win it in three consecutive seasons. He’ll be attempting to become the first ever manager to win the competition four times – he’s currently joint-top with Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti.
  • Real Madrid have scored in each of their last 28 Champions League games under Zinedine Zidane.

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid's stadium will host the Champions League final
Atletico Madrid's stadium hosted the Champions League final last term
  • La Liga second
  • Champions League best: Final

It’s all change for the three-time beaten finalists (no team has been in more without winning), with a host of their usual star cast departing and the bank being broken to land talented teenager Joao Felix for £110m as replacement for Antoine Griezmann – no pressure then!

Midfielder Rodri left for Man City, while Mexico international Hector Herrera, Felipe, Sime Vrjaljko, Marcos Llorente and Kieran Trippier have also followed Felix through the doors at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Stat attack

  • Atlético Madrid will be without Antoine Griezmann who left them this summer for Barcelona – the French striker has scored or assisted 54% of Atlético’s goals in the Champions League since 201516.
  • Since Diego Simeone’s first Champions League game as Atletico Madrid manager, they have kept more clean sheets (2013-14 to present) than any other team in the competition (34).


Fernando Llorente celebrates his goal for Tottenham against Man City in the Champions League quarter-final second leg
Fernando Llorente celebrates his goal for Tottenham against Man City in the Champions League quarter-final second leg
  • Premier League fourth
  • Champions League best: Final

What can you say about Tottenham’s campaign in Europe last year?!

Talk about a rollercoaster ride. After not making any summer signings, they gained just a point from their first three games and had to grab a draw in Barcelona and have Inter slip up at home just to get through the group stages.

From there was the VAR drama at Man City to the late, late mayhem in Ajax to see them through to a first final, which in comparison was the dampest of squibs with a disappointing loss to Liverpool.

Spurs have since strengthened, for once, but they have not started the domestic season well and will have to improve to come anywhere near emulating last season’s heroics. That experience will make them a good side in Europe though.

Stat attack

  • Tottenham will be appearing in the Champions League for the fourth consecutive season; they had only participated in two of the previous 61 editions of the European Cup/Champions League before this current streak (2010-11 & 1961-62).
  • Tottenham conceded the most goals in the Champions League last season (19). Indeed, the only English clubs to concede more in a single CL campaign were Newcastle in 2002-03 and Leeds in 2000-01 (both 21).
  • Tottenham have lost three of their last four Champions League matches (W1), as many defeats as they’d registered in their previous 18 (W11 D4 L3).


Dusan Tadic celebrates his goal
Dusan Tadic celebrates for Ajax
  • Dutch champions
  • Champions League best: Winners four times

It seems incredible that Ajax had to qualify for the group stages after their efforts last season, but they made it through to then jump into pot two as they try and replicate last year's barnstorming run to the semis.

Coming within seconds of the final was heartbreaking, and they then lost their two top stars Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs De Ligt, but they managed to keep the rest of the squad together.

They should be a danger again but it is a huge ask to get anywhere near last year's success.

Stat attack

  • Ajax won six games in the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League, as many as they did in their previous four participations in the competition (six wins in total in 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15).
  • Dusan Tadic was involved in 10 goals (six goals, four assists) in 12 Champions League appearances for Ajax last season. Four of those goal involvements (one goal, three assists) came in his six knockout stage appearances in the competition.

Borussia Dortmund

Jadon Sancho has been a star for Dortmund
Jadon Sancho has been a star for Dortmund
  • German runners-up
  • Champions League best: Winners

Outclassed in the last 16 by Spurs in 2018/19, they have Mats Hummels back from Bayern to marshal their defence and have also brought in the highly-regarded Julian Brandt from Bayer Leverkusen.

They looked great in last year's group, spanking Atletico 4-0, but Tottenham exposed a perhaps widening gap between Dortmund and the top English sides.

Stat attack

  • Dortmund have won just four of their last 16 games in the Champions League (W4 D3 L9), failing to find the back of the net in four of their last five matches in the competition.
  • Mario Götze has failed to score in his last 1,092 minutes of action in the Champions League, that’s more than 18 hours without finding the back of the net, his longest drought in the competition.


Carlo Ancelotti is facing Liverpool for a ninth time as a manager
Carlo Ancelotti is in his second season as Napoli manager
  • Italian runners-up
  • Champions League best: Last 16

But for Alisson Becker's late save at Anfield, Napoli would have knocked Liverpool out and last season's Champions League landscape would have looked a lot different.

They Serie A side are still dangerous, hard to beat and a difficult prospect in front of their fantastic home fans - definitely one to avoid. Plus, with a three-time European Cup winner in Carlo Ancelotti, there is always hope.

Stat attack

  • Napoli finished third in their group in last season’s Champions League behind PSG and Liverpool, losing just one of their six matches (W2 D3).
  • Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has won the European Cup/Champions League on three occasions (Milan x2, Real Madrid x1) – a joint-record alongside Zinedine Zidane and Bob Paisley.

Inter Milan

Romelu Lukaku scored on his Inter debut
Romelu Lukaku is part of a new-look Inter Milan side
  • Italian fourth place
  • Champions League best: Winners three times

Plenty of familiar faces on show at Inter as Antonio Conte takes charge of the Italian three-time competition winners and has Romelu Lukaku to call upon after his big-money move from Manchester United.

Diego Godin also offers an experienced head after his switch from Atletico Madrid while Alexis Sanchez will have a chance to repair his damaged reputation with his loan switch expected to go through.

Stat attack

  • Internazionale will be making their 20th appearance in the Champions League/European Cup – only Juventus (34) and AC Milan (28) have had more among Italian sides (inc. 2019-20).
  • Only city rivals AC Milan (7) have won more European Cup/Champions League titles than Internazionale (3) among Italian teams. Inter’s last success came back in 2010 under Jose Mourinho.

Shakhtar Donetsk

Celebrations for Shakhtar Donetsk
Celebrations for Shakhtar Donetsk in the competition last season
  • Ukrainian champions
  • Champions League best: Quarter-final (2010/11)

The best team in Ukraine by 11 points last season, Shakhtar are an experienced club having reached the last eight in this and won the Europa League in the not-so-distant past.

Another case of playing for third with them though, and it's a long trip no team wants to make, especially in colder conditions.

Stat attack

  • Shakhtar have alternated between getting eliminated via the group stage and reaching the knockout stage in each of their last nine CL participations – going out in the group stage in 2018/19.
  • Shakhtar Donetsk have had 15 different Brazilian players score for them in the Champions League (excluding own goals) - only FC Porto (22) have had more.


Joao Felix in action
Joao Felix will be a big miss for Benfica
  • Portuguese champions
  • Champions League best: Winners twice

A team with a rich history in the competition but that's from the good old days and the loss of superstar teenager Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid will be a big blow to recover from.

They had a decent Europa League run last season but this is another step up.

Stat attack

  • Benfica have won the European Cup/Champions League on two occasions, in 1961 and 1962, the joint-most for a Portuguese team alongside Porto. However, only Juventus have lost more finals (7) than the Lisbon side (5).
  • Benfica have won just two of their last 13 matches in the Champions League (W2 D1 L10), beating AEK Athens in both October and December 2018.


Lyon celebrate with the Emirates Cup
Lyon celebrate with the Emirates Cup in pre-season
  • French third place
  • Champions League best: Semi-final

As Manchester City found out last year, Lyon can be a dangerous outfit, but since then they've lost Tanguy Ndombele, Nabil Fekir and Ferland Mendy so are seriously weaker than last season.

Moussa Dembele and Memphis Depay still offer an attacking threat though for Sylvinho's side - with the former Arsenal and Barcelona full-back taking charge of his first Champions League campaign as manager.

Stat attack

  • This is Lyon’s 16th Champions League appearance, more than any other French club. They reached the knockout stages of the competition every season from 2003-04 to 2011-12 but have managed it only once ever since (2018-19).
  • Seven of Lyon’s last nine Champions League games have ended in a draw, the only win during that time coming at Manchester City in last season’s group stages (2-1).

Bayer Leverkusen

Filip Kostic reacts after Bayer Levekusen score
Filip Kostic reacts after Bayer Levekusen score
  • German fourth place
  • Champions League best: Final

They're certainly not the team they were when they made the final back in 2001, but they usually make a decent fist of things when they make the group stages. Seems reasonable to expect them to challenge again to qualify for the knockout stages.

Stat attack

  • Since 2004-05, Bayer Leverkusen have progressed past the group stage and into the round of 16 in five of their last six appearances in the Champions League.
  • Bayer Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz has yet to win a Champions League game as manager (W0 D2 L4, with Dortmund). Each of their last four Champions League managers have failed to win their first match in charge in the competition.

RB Salzburg

FC Salzburg's Munas Dabbur celebrates scoring in the Europa League
FC Salzburg's Munas Dabbur celebrates scoring in the Europa League
  • Austrian champions
  • Champions League best: Group stage

Just a second go at the Champions League for the ambitious Austrian outfit who were only knocked out of the Europa League by Napoli (4-3 on aggregate) in the round of 16 - and on that form they may be able to ruffle a few well-groomed feathers.

Stat attack

  • FC Salzburg are one of just four Austrian sides to have competed in the Champions League since 1992-93, with 2019-20 only their second participation.
  • FC Salzburg were eliminated at the group stage in 1994-95, winning just one of their six games (D3 L2). Back in 1994-95, they were known as Austria Salzburg before a takeover in 2005.
  • FC Salzburg have lost only two of their last 15 matches in European competition (inc. qualifiers), winning 11 times (D2).


  • La Liga fourth place
  • Champions League best: Final

One of the more established European sides, Valencia are long way from their glory days of Rafa Benitez around the turn of the century, but they're still good enough to put up some decent displays as they showed last season, but just without enough cutting edge to do any serious damage.

Jasper Cillessen is the club's new keeper, and he joins Russian Denis Cheryshev and Eliaquim Mangala as new arrivals.

Stat attack

  • Valencia have reached the final of the Champions League/European Cup on two previous occasions, although neither have ended with victory. They lost 0-3 against Real Madrid in 2000 and were beaten on penalties by Bayern Munich the following season (1-1, 4-5 pens).
  • Valencia have reached the Champions League group stages in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2012-13 (3 in a row) – that was also the last time they made it to the knockout stages of the competition, before being knocked out by Paris SG in the round of 16.

Dinamo Zagreb

  • Croatian champions
  • Champions League best: Group stage

The runaway Croatian champions won the league by 25 points, but they'll find it tougher going after making it through the qualifiers to line up against the best in Europe. They'll be lucky to get even a point from their adventure.

Stat attack

  • Dinamo Zagreb have qualified for the Champions league for a seventh time, and the first since the 2016-17 season, when they lost all six of their group stage games against Lyon, Juventus and Sevilla.
  • Dinamo Zagreb have lost each of their last 11 consecutive Champions League matches; their joint-worst ever run in the competition. Only one side has ever lost 12 consecutive Champions League games; RSC Anderlecht between December 2003 and November 2005.


  • Greek runners-up
  • Champions League best: Quarter-final

We know what we're getting now with the first team to make and then progress in European competition - they will have a fanatical home crowd behind them, but will offer little away from home and will be lucky to scrape a third place finish.

Stat attack

  • Olympiakos have played 116 Champions League games in their history, 12 more than all other Greek teams combined (Panathinaikos 74 & AEK Athens 30).
  • Olympiakos are winless in eight Champions League matches (D1 L7), since a 2-1 victory against Dinamo Zagreb in November 2015. It’s their joint-longest winless run in the competition alongside an eight-game run ending in October 2003.

Lokomotiv Moscow

  • Russian runners-up
  • Champions League best: Last 16

They earned just one point in last year's group stage as they finished bottom, but that was at least some improvement from only making the Europa League the season before - when they lost to Moldova's Sheriff Tiraspol and Czech side Fastav Zlin.

Stat attack

  • Lokomotiv Moscow have lost six of their last seven matches in the Champions League, winning the other (2-0 vs Galatasaray in November 2018).
  • Last season, Jefferson Farfán became the 18th South American to score for at least three different teams in the Champions League, and the only player from Peru to do so.


  • Belgian champions
  • Champions League best: Group stage

Just the two previous group stage appearances by the new Belgian champions, as they just about edged out Brugge for the title. They upset a few when making the last 32 of the Europa League last season, but the Champions League is a different kettle of fish and it'll be far too hard a task for them.

Stat attack

  • Genk finished bottom of their group in both 2002-03 and 2011-12, with the Belgian side yet to register a win in the Champions League (W0 D7 L5). No side has played more Champions League games without ever winning than Genk (12 – level with Partizan Belgrade and SK Rapid Wien).
  • Only RSC Anderlecht (12) and Club Brugge (7, incl. 2019-20) have appeared in more Champions League campaigns than Genk among Belgian teams (3, incl. 2019-20).


  • Turkish champions
  • Champions League best: Semi-final

The most-seen Turkish club in the Champions League, Galatasaray have Ryan Babel and Jean Michael Seri in their ranks from Fulham, along with Steven Nzonzi from Roma as names you may know but, while they'll give anyone a game at home, they're nowhere near the same team on the road and are set to struggle.

Stat attack

  • Galatasaray have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League on three occasions, with two of those coming in their last five participations (2013 & 2014).
  • Galatasaray have only won two of their last 20 matches in the Champions League (D5 L13), losing the last three in a row.

RB Leipzig

Julian Nagelsmann speaks to the media
Julian Nagelsmann is RB Leipzig's new boss
  • German third place
  • Champions League best: Group stage

A second appearance after last year's third place in the group for Leipzig, where they were one of the more entertaining sides with 21 goals scored in their six matches.

Young German coaching sensation Julian Nagelsmann is the star attraction while Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu and former Everton man Ademola Lookman offer a familiar flavour for Premier League viewers. Timo Werner is a regular in the transfer window reports so it'll be interesting to see how he can perform this season.

Stat attack

  • Julian Nagelsmann failed to win any of his six Champions League matches as manager with Hoffenheim last season, conceding at least two goals in each match and finishing bottom of group F.
  • Julian Nagelsmann (32 years) will be the youngest manager in the Champions League in 2019-20, with the German at least nine years younger than next the youngest coach, Frank Lampard (41).
  • Timo Werner scored three goals from just seven shots on target in the Champions League back in 2017-18, more than any other RB Leipzig player. In fact, Werner went on to score seven times in all European competition in 2017-18 - the highest total by an RB Leipzig player in a single season.


  • Italian third place
  • Champions League best: Debut

A Champions League debut for the surprise Italian package that just pipped Inter Milan to third place in the table, and Gian Piero Gasperini's men will be determined not to just make up the numbers.

They've got a pretty solid recent European record with just one defeat in 14 - and they'll provide a typical stubborn Italian test for opponents.

Stat attack

  • Atalanta’s best performance in European competition came back in 1987-88 in the Cup Winners’ Cup, when they reached the semi-final, losing out to Belgian side KV Mechelen.
  • This will be Atalanta’s sixth campaign in European competition (exc. qualifiers), having previously played in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963-64 and 1987-88, and the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 1989-90, 1990-91 and 2017-18.


  • French runners-up
  • Champions League best: Last 16

They managed to pip Lyon to second place in the league last season, but have since lost Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal after scoring 33 goals last campaign.

Christophe Galtier makes his debut as manager in the Champions League for what will be a tough campaign to even nab third place and a spot in the Europa League.

Renato Sanches is an interesting signing from Bayern Munich.

Stat attack

  • Lille have won none of their last eight home games in the Champions League, their last victory dating back to October 2006 against AEK Athens (3-1) when the game was played in Lens.
  • Lille finished in last place in their group in each of their last two Champions League participations (2012-13 & 2011-12), losing seven of their 12 games in the process (W2 D3).

Crvena Zvezda

Serbian champions

Champions League best: Winners once

The winners of arguably the worst ever European Cup final, beating Marseille on penalties in 1991 as Red Star Belgrade, the Serbian champions won through the play-offs to return to the Champions League after going out in the group stages.

They did, however, enjoy a famous win over eventual champions Liverpool in Belgrade last season as they proved what a hostile away day they can provide for even the biggest of teams.

Stat attack

  • Crvena Zvezda have lost only once in their last 13 home matches in all European competition (W6 D6), losing to PSG in last season’s Champions League.
  • Canada’s Milan Borjan made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Champions League group stage last season (39).

Club Brugge

  • Belgian runners-up
  • Champions League best: Final

Champions League winner Simon Mignolet is back in Belgium after signing for Brugge in the summer but he'll be hard pressed to get anywhere near the latter stages again with his new team. The 1978 finalists were once a European force but nowadays are sadly just also-rans looking for the occasional upset.

Stat attack

  • Last season, Club Brugge exited the Group Stage with a record of W1 D3 L2; finishing in third place within Group A behind Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid, but ahead of Monaco.
  • Club Brugge have won just one of their last 14 matches in the UEFA Champions League (W1 D4 L9); this coming in a 4-0 rout at Monaco in November 2018.

Slavia Prague

  • Czech Republic champions
  • Champions League best: Group stage

Czech champions but no-hopers in the big leagues - there's just no positives you can put forward for them making waves in the tournament. They'll have a decent home crowd behind them but third place is their absolute ceiling.

Stat attack

  • This will be just the second appearance for Slavia Prague in a UEFA Champions League campaign and their first since 2007-08. They qualified after defeating CFR Cluj in the Playoff Round of qualification.
  • Slavia Prague are one of only three clubs from the Czech Republic to have previous played in the UEFA Champions League since 1992. They have played six times in the competition, which is fewer than both Sparta Prague (56) and Viktoria Plzen (18).

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