European football kicks off on Tuesday with the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have long been the best team in England, with three successive Premier League titles to prove it. Will they continue their good form in UEFA this season?
City’s championship campaign ought to begin comfortably in a group with just RB Leipzig as a real threat – but with other more established European forces hungry for vengeance (they beat Bayern Munich and Real Madrid en route to last year’s final), it won’t be easy.
Manchester United kick off their UEFA journey against Bayern Munich. The England captain and former Tottenham striker will lead the German side against Erik Ten Hag’s side. Harry Kane was Ten Hag’s top priority in the summer transfer window, with United’s desire to sign the England captain no secret. However, finances and Tottenham’s reluctance to sell to a Premier League rival proved problematic.
Now, an in-form Kane might compound their early-season woes in Bavaria. Ten Hag’s team’s defensive and attacking numbers are declining, off-field difficulties are getting worse, and three defeats in their first five Premier League games have raised concerns.
The Gunners are competing in Europe’s top club competition for the first time since the 2016/17 season. It will be a fresh test for many of Arsenal’s young players, including Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Ben White, and Aaron Ramsdale. It will also be Mikel Arteta’s first appearance in the Champions League as a manager.
Despite missing the competition for six seasons, expectations are still high for Arsenal when they kick off their season against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium. Arteta has an unfamiliar task as Arsenal seeks to win the competition for the first time.