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Champions League: Opponents guide (1)

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The Champions League is back. Europe's most-prestigious club tournament, with its significant financial rewards and iconic theme music, returns to action this evening with the first round of eagerly-anticipated group games.

The last few seasons have proved difficult for British sides in the Champions League. While the home contingent had previously forged a somewhat formidable reputation within the competition, they have struggled to keep the pace with their German and Spanish counterparts of late.

Tonight's fixture list sees Manchester United host Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford in what is new manager David Moyes' very first European fixture in charge of the Red Devils while fierce domestic rivals Manchester City are hoping to markedly improve upon their last two disappointing forays into this tournament away to Czech club Viktoria Plzen.

On Wednesday, Arsenal commence their potentially tricky Group F campaign with a trip to French giants Marseille, while returning Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will want to permanently banish painful memories of the last time he took charge of Chelsea in a Champions League fixture - against Rosenborg in 2007 - as the Blues welcome FC Basel to Stamford Bridge.

Neil Lennon's Celtic, meanwhile, who face an enormous task to progress to the knockout stages, face a daunting visit to the San Siro and AC Milan.

Here, GMS provides the lowdown on each team who are due to face off against British opposition in the Champions League this week...

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Topics:
Manchester United
Manchester City
Football
Chelsea
Arsenal

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