MANCHESTER (Sporting Alert) — The new Champions League campaign kick-off on Tuesday with eight games and the following are the live TV channels and fixtures for the opening group matches of the tournament.
Live TV Channels: Al Jazeera Sport HD3, ESPN3 Australia, Sportsnet World, Sportsnet World Online, Sky Sport 2, Sky Sport 2 HD, Sky Sport Austria, Sky Sport 1, Sky Go, Sky Sport 1 HD, beIN Sport MAX 7, Digi Sport 1, Fox Soccer 2Go, MSG Plus, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Net, Fox Sports Florida.
Defending champions Bayern Munich, now being coached by Pep Guardiola will start the defense of their title when they host CSKA Moscow in Group D at Allianz Arena.
Some are already backing the defending champions to open with a win, but Guardiola believes it won’t be as easy as reports are claiming.
“It’ll be complex. They’re a physically strong team,” said Guardiola.
Club captain Philipp Lahm also rates the Russian side as challenging opponents, which know how to play together as a team.
“They have good individuals,” Lahm said, adding “but their greatest strength is unity and determined team play.”
Also in Group D, Manchester City, under new boss Manuel Pellegrini, will look to win their first ever group game in the Champions League when they come up against Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic.
Captain Vincent Kompany has been training with the team and could make a return to competitive action for the first time since suffering a groin injury in the opening game of the season.
Another English Premier League side, Manchester United, EPL champions kick-start their campaign under new manager David Moyes at home against a very tough Bayer Leverkusen side.
Nani is suspended for this game, following his red card against Real Madrid in the knockout stage last season, while Danny Welbeck (knee) and Phil Jones (ankle) remain doubtful for the clash.
However, Shinji Kagawa trained ahead of the game and could feature, while Wayne Rooney will again wear a protected head band in the game.
Leverkusen boss Sami Hyypia believes his side has been playing good football in recent weeks and strongly backs his team to go to Old Trafford and challenge the EPL side.
Real Sociedad host Shakhtar Donetsk in the other Group A game, a group that is expected to be more competitive than it looks.
Meanwhile, a new look Real Madrid squad start its Group B campaign at Turk Telekom Arena against Galatasaray.
World record signing Gareth Bale made a scoring debut in the starting lineup for the Spanish giants over the weekend, but manager Carlo Ancelotti admits that the Wales international could start this game on the bench.
Spanish and club skipper, goalkeeper Iker Casillas will start in goal for the first time this season after the manager confirmed that the former first choice will take over Diego Lopez in the starting role Tuesday night.
In other games in the Champions League on Tuesday night, Paris Saint Germain travel to face Olympiakos and Benfica host Anderlecht in Group C, while the other game in Group B will see FC Kobenhavn take on Juventus.
Champions League Fixtures – Times (EST)
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
2:45 – ‘ Manchester Utd vs. Bayer Leverkusen
2:45 – ‘ Real Sociedad vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Group stage, Group B
2:45 – ‘ FC Kobenhavn vs. Juventus
2:45 – ‘ Galatasaray vs. Real Madrid
Group stage, Group C
2:45 – ‘ Benfica vs. Anderlecht
2:45 – ‘ Olympiakos vs. Paris Saint Germain
Group stage, Group D
2:45 – ‘ Bayern Munich vs. CSKA
2:45 – ‘ Plzen vs. Manchester City