The 2019/20 Champions League starts today

Chelsea v Arsenal - UEFA Europa League Final

There’s nothing quite like the Champions League, is there?

Domestic football is great but the thrill that the European competition provides is hard to match.

For a start it pits the greatest clubs on the continent against each other.

This week alone we get to see Borussia Dortmund take on Barcelona, Napoli versus Liverpool, Atletico Madrid against Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain versus Real Madrid.

And then there’s the excitement that comes in the knockout rounds.

All hell breaks loose when away goals are in play.

You get thrilling comebacks like the ones we saw in both semi-final ties last season.

Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

All that and more begins today as the group stage gets underway.

Liverpool are the defending champions following their triumph over Tottenham Hotspur in the final last season.

The Reds’ form in Europe over the past two years has been remarkable.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League  Final

Jurgen Klopp’s side have appeared in each of the last two finals, fuelled by a dynamic front three and imperious defence spearheaded by Virgil van Dijk, as well as their immense backing at Anfield.

However, Liverpool aren’t the favourites to win the Champions League this season.

Manchester City are 33/10 favourites with GiveMeBet at the time of writing, with Barcelona at 5/1 and Liverpool 13/2.

Pep Guardiola’s City were undone by Norwich at the weekend and are already five points behind Liverpool in the Premier League.

And their form over the years in Europe leaves little reason for comfort.

But City proved their class as they fended off Liverpool in the title race last season and if they can transition those performances into Europe, this could be their year.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg

Elsewhere, any team that includes Lionel Messi in it stands a chance and Barcelona’s addition of Antoine Griezmann only strengthens their case.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane reigned supreme in Europe during his first spell at the club. They could certainly win a 14th title.

But perhaps no team enters the competition with as much expectation as Juventus.

The Italian giants were busy in the summer, signing Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot, Gianluigi Buffon and Matthijs de Ligt.

They join a squad that already includes Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala.

Juventus v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Group H

Under new manager Maurizio Sarri, fresh off winning the first trophy of his career with Chelsea, Juventus are serious challengers.

We can’t wait for the action to get started.

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