What to watch for in to­day’s games

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

AC­TION kicks off to­day, as Real Madrid be­gin their de­fence of the tro­phy and Le­ices­ter City make their de­but in the com­pe­ti­tion (all kick-offs 2:15am lo­cal time): Group E Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur (ENG) vs Monaco (FRA) at Lon­don The match will be played at Wem­b­ley, which the vis­i­tors may ap­pre­ci­ate due to the fact they were thrashed 4-1 in the Europa League at White Hart Lane last sea­son. Spurs are play­ing at Eng­land’s na­tional sta­dium while they build a new sta­dium next to their cur­rent home. Wem­b­ley hosted the fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion in both 2011 and 2013. The hosts made an ul­ti­mately failed bid for the Premier League ti­tle last year with a thrilling young side led by Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­als Harry Kane and Dele Ali. Their highly rated Ar­gen­tine coach Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino is re­gal­vanis­ing the side who won 4-0 away at Stoke City at the week­end. Kane ended his goal drought scor­ing the fourth for Spurs and his first in 10 games for club and coun­try. Monaco go into the tie in a buoy­ant mood as goals from Djib­ril Sidibe, Adama Traore, Fabinho and Kamil Glik pow­ered them to a 4-1 win at Lille on Septem­ber 10. They travel to Lon­don as French ta­ble-top­pers af­ter spend­ing the sum­mer beef­ing up their de­fence and cut­ting off dead wood.

Group F Real Madrid (ESP) vs Sport­ing Lis­bon (POR) at Madrid Real be­gin their quest to be­come the first club to re­tain the tro­phy in the Cham­pi­ons League era with an in­trigu­ing home tie against Cris­tiano Ron­aldo’s first club. Ron­aldo’s win­ning penalty in the fi­nal shoot-out against Atletico Madrid clinched Real a record 11th ti­tle last sea­son. The Por­tuguese star made a goalscor­ing re­turn in his first ap­pear­ance since limp­ing off in the Euro 2016 fi­nal 1-0 win over France in Septem­ber 10’s 5-2 de­feat of Osasuna. Ron­aldo’s boy­hood club turn up at the San­ti­ago Bern­abeu in good shape af­ter a 3-0 win over Mor­eirense at the week­end main­tained their per­fect start to the Por­tuguese sea­son. Un­der Jorge Je­sus they are back in the group stage af­ter los­ing to CSKA Moscow in the play-offs last sea­son.

Group G Club Brugge (BEL) vs Le­ices­ter City (ENG) at Bruges, Bel­gium Af­ter their fairy­tale Premier League ti­tle tri­umph last sea­son, Le­ices­ter be­gin their maiden Cham­pi­ons League voy­age with the short trip to Bel­gium to face Club Brugge at the Jan Brey­del­sta­dion. This will be the Foxes’ first Euro­pean game since a 3-1 de­feat to Red Star Bel­grade con­demned them to a first-round exit in the UEFA Cup in Septem­ber 2000. How­ever, for their man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri this is the start of a sixth Cham­pi­ons League cam­paign with a sixth dif­fer­ent club. Le­ices­ter come into the game on the back of a 4-1 de­feat at Liver­pool, but Michel Preud’homme’s side also lost at the week­end, go­ing down 1-0 at Waasland-Bev­eren on Septem­ber 9. Club Brugge are the only Bel­gian club ever to have reached the Euro­pean Cup fi­nal, los­ing 1-0 to Liver­pool at Wem­b­ley in 1978.

Group H Lyon (FRA) vs Di­namo Za­greb (CRO) at Lyon, France Di­namo will be look­ing for re­venge af­ter suf­fer­ing a 7-1 whip­ping at home by Lyon in 2011-12, the French club’s big­gest vic­tory in the Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion. Lyon, who went as far as the semi-fi­nals in 2010, lost all three home group stage games last sea­son. They have since moved into an im­pres­sive new sta­dium, but coach Bruno Ge­n­e­sio has a se­lec­tion headache at the mo­ment with sev­eral key play­ers, in­clud­ing for­ward Alexan­dre La­cazette (thigh) and striker Na­bil Fekir (knee), on the in­jury list. A 3-1 loss at home against Bordeaux at the week­end would not have helped morale ahead of the clash with Di­namo, the most suc­cess­ful Croa­t­ian club, but who have never pro­gressed be­yond the group stage. –

Photo: EPA

Le­ices­ter fans hope their Foxes can show up to play with the big boys in their Cham­pi­ons League de­but.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.