Antoine Griezmann could be set to renew his contract at Barcelona.

The France international has faced criticism for failing to live up to expectations since joining Barca from Atletico Madrid last year.

However, Griezmann may join the list of players renewing with the LaLiga giants.

 

TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN SET FOR BARCELONA RENEWAL

Griezmann could be among the next group of players to renew at Barcelona, according to EFE.

It claims Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto may also re-sign, amid reports players are reducing their wages at the club.

It comes after Barcelona announced the re-signings of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Gerard Pique, Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet on Tuesday.

Griezmann scored 15 goals in 48 games for Barca last season, while he is yet to net in four appearances in 2020-21.

 

ROUND-UP

- A former Barcelona head coach could be set for a new job. Marca reports Palmeiras have made a move for Quique Setien after the departure of Vanderlei Luxemburgo.

- Despite signing Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias in the close season, Manchester City are reportedly look for another defender. Fabrizio Romano suggested the Premier League giants are monitoring Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres.

- Christian Eriksen's Inter future remains uncertain. CalcioMercato reports Inter turned down a loan bid from Borussia Dortmund in the close season, but the Serie A club could be open to the midfielder leaving in January.

- After Virgil van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury, Liverpool are linked with defenders. The Sun says Brighton and Hove Albion would demand at least £50million for Ben White if the Premier League champions make a move for the centre-back in January.

Real Madrid great Guti said he would sign Paris Saint-Germain duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for Los Blancos, while mocking Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann.

LaLiga champions Madrid have been heavily linked with a blockbuster move for PSG star Mbappe, who is out of contract in Paris at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Neymar, who swapped Barcelona for PSG in a world-record €222million deal in 2017, has previously been linked with Madrid.

As Madrid prepare for Saturday's Clasico against bitter rivals Barca at Camp Nou, Guti talked up Neymar and Mbappe while poking fun at Griezmann, who has struggled to establish himself since arriving from Atletico Madrid in 2019.

"I'd sign Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for Real Madrid and for Barcelona I wouldn't sign anyone, just for Griezmann to stay," Guti, 43, said as he laughed while discussing the Clasico.

"There are many great players in this game, but I'm going for the youngsters.

"Surely it'll be Ansu Fati at Barcelona and Vinicius [Junior] at Real Madrid [who can make an impact]. They're very talented players who are going to bring a lot to LaLiga."

Both Madrid and Barca will enter the Clasico on the back of LaLiga defeats, while the former were also stunned by Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

Madrid suffered a shock 1-0 loss to newly promoted Cadiz at the weekend and Lionel Messi's Barca succumbed to Getafe by the same scoreline.

Zinedine Zidane's Madrid are a point adrift of Real Sociedad with a game in hand, while Barca are ninth and four points off the pace, having played a game less.

"It won't determine who'll win LaLiga, but it is an important match," said Guti, who won five LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies during his playing career at the Santiago Bernabeu. "Mentally, if a player does well or a team wins, then it can do you good for what is still to come in LaLiga.

"It's a test for both of these teams to see what level they're at and to see what they can achieve this year."

Zinedine Zidane believes he can arrest Real Madrid's form slump and restore order amid growing pressure after the club's shock Champions League loss to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Madrid suffered back-to-back home defeats in all competitions under head coach Zidane for the first time following Wednesday's 3-2 loss against visiting Shakhtar in their Group B opener, having been stunned 1-0 by newly promoted Cadiz in LaLiga at the weekend.

Shakhtar led 3-0 at half-time as Madrid conceded three first-half goals in a Champions League match for the first time in 15 years, before Los Blancos rallied through Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior goals in the second 45 minutes but it was not enough.

Pressure is mounting on Zidane ahead of Saturday's Clasico showdown against Barcelona after Madrid tasted a third consecutive Champions League defeat for the first time since 1986 but the under-fire boss remains convinced he is the right man for the job in the Spanish capital.

"I see myself capable of fixing this, that's what I'm going to try," Zidane, whose Madrid were eliminated in the Champions League last 16 in 2019-20, said in his post-match interview. "And the players are going to try, too.

"We are going to look for the solution and we're going to find it. Now we have to prepare for Saturday's game [away to Barcelona]."

Out-of-favour forward Luka Jovic – who lasted 59 minutes before being replaced by Vinicius – spearheaded Madrid's attack with Karim Benzema on the bench, while Eder Militao partnered Raphael Varane in the absence of superstar captain Sergio Ramos.

Shakhtar were missing 10 first-team players due to coronavirus but the Ukrainian visitors blew Madrid away in the first half at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, where strikes from Mateus Tete and Manor Solomon sandwiched a Varane own goal.

"It's a bad feeling [that we have after this result], of course," Zidane said after Madrid lost their opening Champions League game at home for the first time ever. "It ended up being a mix of everything. We made a mistake leading up to the first goal and afterwards the truth is that we were missing a bit of confidence, a bit of action, a bit of everything in the first half.

"I am happy for the players who reacted and changed in the second half, because they don't deserve such things. It was a bad game, a bad night. I'm the coach, I'm the one who needs to find a solution, and I'm not going to find it tonight."

Zidane added: "I am responsible and since the first half was negative, I have not done something right. The first goal changed everything and [ultimately] cost us. But this [Champions League campaign] has just begun and we are not going to give up."

Lionel Messi is preventing Antoine Griezmann from expressing himself at Barcelona as the Frenchman continues to be overshadowed by the superstar captain, according to Arsene Wenger.

Griezmann arrived from LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid in a blockbuster €120million transfer last year but he has struggled to establish himself alongside Messi at Camp Nou.

An unused substitute in Barca's 5-1 Champions League rout of Ferencvaros on Tuesday, Griezmann has failed to score in four LaLiga appearances this season – only managing one shot on target without creating a single chance.

While Messi has just one league goal, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has registered seven shots on target and created six chances for his team-mates.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger believes France international Griezmann is being hindered by Messi's presence in his preferred central attacking position.

"Not playing at his position is complicated in the long term," Wenger told beIN SPORTS.  

"At the start, the guy accepts it but, if he does not meet his needs in the long term and he feels that the position does not allow him to express his qualities, he will become discouraged.

"Today, he is a player who must play in the centre because he has a great work rate, a precision in his passes. 

"He can be dangerous with the last pass and by scoring goals, but there is congestion because he is in the range of play of Messi."

In his first season with Barca last time out, Griezmann scored nine goals, supplied four assists and created 33 chances in 35 LaLiga appearances.

Griezmann finished 2019-20 with 15 goals in all competitions – a tumultuous campaign which saw Barca dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid and humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

The 29-year-old scored 133 goals in 257 games for Atletico between 2014 and 2019.

Luka Modric is confident Real Madrid will recover from a dreadful week after they suffered a second straight home defeat ahead of Saturday's Clasico at Barcelona.

LaLiga champions Madrid will head to Camp Nou at a low ebb after their 1-0 reverse at the hands of Cadiz was followed by a 3-2 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

Zinedine Zidane's side were three goals down at half-time, before a sublime Modric strike sought to launch a comeback.

Vinicius Junior got another back, yet the Brazil winger was then in an offside position in front of the Shakhtar goalkeeper when Federico Valverde scored a stoppage-time equaliser that was struck off as a result.

Sergio Ramos was not involved and Karim Benzema started from the bench as Zidane turned one eye towards Barca, but Modric recognised Madrid were not good enough against a Ukrainian outfit missing 10 first-team players due to coronavirus.

"In the first half, we were not up to the competition," Modric said. "In the second, we tried to improve and we improved, but it was not enough to try to draw or win the game.

"We have to improve - this is obvious. We lacked confidence today in everything we did in the first half. But we have to continue.

"The next game is coming quickly and there is no time to complain. We have to do better in the next games.

"Zidane told us that we have to press more and better than in the first half, that we are together. I think that in the second half we have done it and we have scored two goals.

"It is a tough defeat but there is still a lot to do. I'm sure we'll improve.

"They scored the first goal and we lowered our heads and lost confidence. In general we are not happy but we are sure to go better.

"For the next game, we have to be together, trust in ourselves and in our quality. We have not forgotten how to play football.

"El Clasico is always a different game and we are sure we can be up to the task."

Luis Figo has called on "everyone" in football to oppose a potential European Premier League, saying the competition would "destroy football as we know it".

A Sky News report on Tuesday claimed Liverpool and Manchester United were among clubs in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain to hold talks over a breakaway competition.

Wall Street bank JP Morgan is said to have prepared a $6billion (£4.6bn/€5.1bn) funding package, while FIFA was reported to have given its support to the proposals.

The alleged plan follows failed attempts from the same two elite Premier League clubs to push through Project Big Picture, which would have secured increased voting rights on matters in England for 'big six' clubs.

As with Project Big Picture, though, the mooted European Premier League has been met with opposition.

Former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter winger Figo, who briefly ran for FIFA presidency in 2015, has added his voice.

Responding to comments from ex-United captain Gary Neville, who described the idea as "another wound for football", Figo made his displeasure clear.

"What I read about this Super League idea will destroy football as we know it," said the 127-cap Portugal international, who retired at Inter in 2009.

"It's all about greed and keeping the game for a few elite clubs, while killing the other clubs and leagues that fans love.

"Football should unite! Everyone should oppose it!"

Figo's decision not to continue with his pursuit of the FIFA presidency five years ago came due to his refusal to "go along with" a process that delivers "absolute power to one man".

European football's governing body and Champions League organisers UEFA had opposed a potential "super league" on Tuesday, saying the competition would "inevitably become boring".

The existing Champions League structure is set to be revamped after the 2023-24 campaign, with plenty of posturing around the elite club game in Europe focused upon what shape this might take, although the backers of the European Premier League purportedly have ambitions to launch as early as 2022.

What does the future hold for Kylian Mbappe?

For so long, the Paris Saint-Germain forward has been tipped to join Real Madrid.

However, Mbappe is believed to be attracted to the idea of leaving Parc des Princes for Anfield.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE INTRIGUED BY LIVERPOOL

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is interested in a move to Premier League champions Liverpool, according to Le Parisien.

Mbappe is contracted to PSG until 2022 but the France international forward has reportedly made it clear he has no plans to extend his deal in Paris.

He has long been linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid, though the 21-year-old is attracted to Liverpool's style of play. Barcelona have also emerged as a possible destination.

 

ROUND-UP

Zinedine Zidane retains the backing of Madrid following last week's shock defeat to newly promoted Cadiz, says AS. Head coach Zidane has come in for criticism after Madrid's first loss of the season. While delivering LaLiga glory last term, Zidane is reportedly under pressure to succeed in the Champions League following their last-16 exit in 2019-20.

- The Daily Star says Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil is wanted by MLS outfit DC United. Wayne Rooney previously played for DC between 2018 and 2020.

- Todofichajes claims PSG and United are interested in Inter midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has struggled to establish himself in Milan since arriving from Tottenham in January.

Tottenham are close to agreeing a contract extension with Spurs star Son Heung-min, reports The Athletic.

Ronald Koeman said Barcelona have a great future but called for patience after their 5-1 Champions League rout of Ferencvaros.

Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele were all on target for Barca, who made a winning start in Group G on Tuesday, while Gerard Pique was sent off in the second half.

Barca are coming off a tumultuous 2019-20 season, which saw the club dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga and humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

The embattled Spanish powerhouse turned to Netherlands boss Koeman and the Dutch head coach has overseen just one loss in five competitive matches this season.

"We play different," Koeman told reporters after Barca became the first team ever to have two goalscorers aged 17 or under in a single Champions League match thanks to Fati and Pedri.

"We have made changes on the team, we have made changes on the squad, we have chosen young people, so we can't expect more from this team right now.

"We're good, this team is gonna have a great future, but it must improve. Playing with young players, different tactics…. Be calm, I ask you to give a margin.

"We are going to improve. We can't demand it in two or three weeks, but you'll see that soon the team will play better, will be more comfortable, but we need time."

Antoine Griezmann was an unused substitute at Camp Nou, where Koeman opted to use Pedri and Dembele off the bench after Trincao started alongside Messi and Fati.

Messi became the first player to score in 16 successive Champions League campaigns after his 27th-minute penalty opened the scoring for Barcelona.

Fati doubled the lead with a volley as he became the first player to have scored two Champions League goals before celebrating his 18th birthday.

On Griezmann's absence, Koeman – whose Barca face Madrid in Saturday's Clasico – added: "We look for the best eleven for each game, today we have opted for Trincao playing wide, and then Ousmane [Dembele] in order to have depth on the wing.

"Let's see Saturday, it will be another game. It's my job to prepare the team and have the best squad for each moment."

Barcelona sensation Ansu Fati said he is continuing to learn from superstar captain Lionel Messi after setting a Champions League record on Tuesday.

It was a record-breaking night as LaLiga giants Barca opened their Group G campaign with a 5-1 rout of Hungarian visitors Ferencvaros at Camp Nou.

Messi became the first player to score in 16 successive Champions League campaigns after his 27th-minute penalty opened the scoring for Barcelona.

Fati doubled the lead with a volley as he became the first player to have scored two Champions League goals before celebrating his 18th birthday.

"Messi is still Messi," Fati told Movistar post-match. "He can score in any action. 

"We are very happy to have him here with us and I continue to learn from him."

"We start with a good victory, we have to continue like that," Fati added. "It's [his goal] thanks to all my team-mates, they make things easy for me. It's a fantastic pass from Frenkie [De Jong] and I just had to push the ball."

Philippe Coutinho, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele were also on target for Barca, while defender Gerard Pique was sent off in the 68th minute.

Barca are the first team ever to have two goalscorers aged 17 or under in a single Champions League match thanks to Fati and Pedri.

"It's good for the team, it means we're good," Fati replied when asked about Barca's attackers scoring goals.

"The more competitive there is between us, the better. We all come out better."

Barca will now turn their attention to Saturday's Clasico showdown against bitter rivals and defending LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

Madrid, who have a game in hand, are third and one point behind Real Sociedad, while Ronald Koeman's Barca are four points off the pace, having only played four matches.

"I approach it with maximum enthusiasm," said Fati. "It's a Clasico, I've always dreamed of competing in it."

Gerard Pique, Frenkie de Jong, Clement Lenglet and Marc-Andre ter Stegen have all signed contract extensions with Barcelona, the LaLiga giants announced.

Barca said the agreements come after weeks of negotiations and include "temporary salary adjustments" in response to difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Pique, who was sent off in the second half of Barca's 5-1 Champions League win over Ferencvaros on Tuesday, has signed an extension until June 2024. 

The 33-year-old's future at Camp Nou had been in doubt after saying he would be the first to step aside following a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in last season's Champions League quarter-final.

Pique has played 548 games for Barca, who say his extension is subject to him featuring in an unspecified number of games from the 2021-22 season. 

De Jong, who created Ansu Fati's second goal in the win over Hungarian visitors Ferencvaros with a sublime scooped pass, extended his deal until June 2026 and has a termination clause of €400million.

The Netherlands international has featured 47 times for the club across all competitions since joining from Eredivisie powerhouse Ajax, scoring twice. 

Barca goalkeeper Ter Stegen and defender Lenglet, meanwhile, have signed extensions until 2025 and 2026 respectively.

Ter Stegen, who has missed just eight LaLiga games since becoming first-choice goalkeeper at the start of the 2016-17 campaign, has a termination clause of €500m, while France international Lenglet's has been set at €300m.

Barca face bitter rivals and LaLiga champions Real Madrid in the season's first Clasico on Saturday before travelling to Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Manchester United, Barcelona and Juventus all made winning starts to their Champions League campaigns as the group stage got up and running.

Tuesday's headline fixture saw two heavyweights in a head-to-head Group H clash, as United saw off Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 thanks to Marcus Rashford's late strike. The England forward's last three goals in the competition have all come on the road, with the last two netted at Parc des Princes.

The victory means United, who have also now scored a record nine Champions League own goals thanks to Anthony Martial's mistake, have won 10 consecutive away matches in all competitions for the first time.

Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring with his 11th spot-kick for United. Since 2012-13, PSG have conceded more penalties (18) and more penalty goals (13) in the Champions League than any other side.

Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman became the fifth manager to take charge of at least six teams in the Champions League – after Carlo Ancelotti (eight), Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez (all six) – as his Barca side took on Ferencvaros.

It finished 5-1 to the five-time European champions, with Lionel Messi converting a 27th-minute penalty to become the first player to score in 16 successive Champions League campaigns in the process.

Ansu Fati doubled Barca's advantage before the break, making him the first player to have scored two Champions League goals before turning 18. Philippe Coutinho, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele completed the rout.

Elsewhere in Group G, Juve overcame Dynamo Kiev thanks to Alvaro Morata's maiden Champions League double, while Andrea Pirlo became the third Bianconeri coach to win his first away game in charge in the competition.

Frank Lampard experienced his first 0-0 draw as Chelsea manager in a stalemate with Sevilla.

From players in the top five European leagues, only Tottenham star Harry Kane (eight) has provided more assists this season than Borussia Dortmund's Giovanni Reyna (four), though Erling Haaland's latest effort that came with a little help from his team-mate arrived in a 3-1 defeat to Group F rivals Lazio.

Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati were on target as Barcelona opened their Champions League campaign with a thumping 5-1 win over Ferencvaros at Camp Nou on Tuesday, although Gerard Pique was dismissed for the hosts.

Ronald Koeman's side suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Getafe in LaLiga at the weekend and looked shaky in the early stages against their Hungarian opponents, who were making their first appearance in the Champions League group stages for 25 years.

Messi's penalty shortly before the half-hour mark settled any nerves, though, while Fati doubled their advantage in the 42nd minute.

Philippe Coutinho added a third early in the second half before Ihor Kharatin pulled one back for the visitors from the penalty spot after Pique had been dismissed for bringing down Tokmac Nguen inside the area. Barca had the final say, however, substitute Pedri scoring his first goal for the club eight minutes from time and Ousmane Dembele adding a late fifth.

Ferencvaros were far from overawed in the early stages against their illustrious opponents, twice going close to taking the lead inside the opening 20 minutes.

Nguen had a fine strike ruled out for offside before Isael crashed a powerful drive against Neto's crossbar from 10 yards.

They were left to rue those close calls in the 27th minute when Messi powered home from the spot after he had been tripped in the area by Adnan Kovacevic.

It made the Argentina international the first player in Champions League history to score in 16 consecutive seasons.

Fati was denied by the outstretched leg of Denes Dibusz but then got the better of the Ferencvaros goalkeeper three minutes before the interval, steering a volley inside his left-hand post after a sublime looped pass from Frenkie de Jong.

Fati turned provider for Barca's third seven minutes after the restart, Coutinho receiving his impudent back-heeled pass before sending a deflected effort past Dibusz.

Kharatin restored some pride for the visitors 20 minutes from time after Pique clumsily hauled down Nguen as he entered the penalty area following a ball over the top.

Any hopes of a dramatic comeback were extinguished, however, as Pedri turned home from 12 yards and Dembele thundered home from Messi's pass in the final 10 minutes to seal a comfortable three points.

Lionel Messi became the first player to score in 16 successive Champions League campaigns after his penalty opened the scoring for Barcelona against Ferencvaros.

Barca were 2-0 up by the interval at Camp Nou, with Messi scoring from the spot in the 27th minute and Ansu Fati volleying in a second.

Messi's strike means the Argentine superstar has now netted in Europe's elite club competition in 16 consecutive seasons.

No player in Champions League history has scored in more campaigns overall than Barca's number 10, who is level with Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs in that regard.

While Messi may be entering the twilight of his Barca career, one player who is at the other end of the spectrum is 17-year-old Fati.

With his 42nd-minute effort, the Spain international, who enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough season last term, became the first player to have scored two Champions League goals before turning 18.

Fati added an assist shortly after the restart, turning provider for Philippe Coutinho to make it 3-0 to Ronald Koeman's side.

Sergio Ramos has been omitted from Real Madrid's squad for their opening Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk. 

Madrid's captain was a fitness doubt for the match at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano after picking up a knock to his knee in the disappointing 1-0 defeat to Cadiz on Saturday. 

Ramos did not train with his team-mates on Tuesday, so it was no surprise to see him absent from a 19-man squad ahead of Wednesday's fixture in the group stage of the competition. 

Head coach Zinedine Zidane had been non-committal on Ramos' involvement when asked about his skipper at a pre-match news conference on Tuesday, prior to the squad announcement. 

"There's an issue with Sergio Ramos, he hasn't trained with the team," Zidane said. 

"We won't take any risks with the players; the players have to be fit. He's got a knock, we have to wait and see how he feels, it's true today he didn't train at the same tempo as his team-mates."

It remains to be seen if Ramos will be fit enough for Saturday's first Clasico clash of the season against Barcelona, which takes place at Camp Nou.

As well as Madrid and Shakhtar, Inter and Borussia Monchengladbach are the other teams to make up Group B.

The Champions League returns this week after a short hiatus, with beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain looking to get back up and running – and exact a measure of revenge – against Manchester United.

Juventus begin European competition under new head coach Andrea Pirlo, who faces one of the most experienced coaches in the game in Mircea Lucescu.

Barcelona will endeavour to banish memories of August's 8-2 obliteration by Bayern Munich when they face Ferencvaros for the first time, while Chelsea will hope to improve the poor record Premier League teams have had of late against Sevilla.

Here's the key data from Tuesday's matches in Europe's elite competition...

Dynamo Kiev v Juventus: Pirlo feeling the weight of history

Twice a Champions League winner with Milan in 2003 and 2007, Pirlo's first game in the competition comes away to Dynamo Kiev. None of the previous eight Juve head coaches have lost their first match in charge.

In fact, Juve have only been beaten on matchday one in the competition once in 20 previous seasons, winning 11 of those games and drawing eight. That one defeat was a 3-0 loss at Barcelona three years ago.

Dynamo boss Lucescu will be 75 years and 83 days old on Tuesday, making him the oldest coach in Champions League history, overtaking Jupp Heynckes (who was 72 and 357 days old in May 2018). If he wants to celebrate in style, he will need to inflect just a fifth group-stage defeat on Juve in 34 games.

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United: Mbappe chasing Messi record

PSG's last home defeat in the competition was that famous loss to United in the 2018-19 round of 16, when Marcus Rashford's late penalty secured a 3-1 win for an understrength Red Devils and sent them through on away goals.

If they are to start their quest for a return to the final with a win, Mbappe might be the man to do it. He has scored 19 goals in the tournament and, at 21 years and 305 days old, he needs just one against United to become the youngest player to reach 20. That would surpass Messi's record, set back in 2010 when he was 22 years and 267 days old.

Of course, if United's unsteady defence focuses on Mbappe, they risk leaving Neymar unchecked. Only Messi (45) had more carries with a take-on in last season's Champions League than Neymar (36), and nobody progressed further with the ball than the Brazil star (1,279 metres).

Barcelona v Ferencvaros: Koeman's worrying numbers

Barca have not lost any of their previous 31 home group games since Rubin Kazan stunned Pep Guardiola's men 2-1 back in October 2009. When you consider Ferencvaros have not been in the competition since 1995-96, when they conceded 19 goals in six matches, you would not expect that Barca run to be stopped.

However, coach Ronald Koeman heads into his first European game in charge with a pretty poor record. The fifth coach to take charge of at least six teams in the competition, after Carlo Ancelotti (eight), Claudio Ranieri (six), Jose Mourinho (six) and Rafael Benitez (six), he has the worst win ratio (26.3 per cent) of anybody to manage at least 50 games in the tournament.

Still, he has Messi. The Barca captain has been involved in at least one goal in 38 of his previous 43 group-stage starts, scoring 56 times and assisting 16.

 

Chelsea v Sevilla: Can Werner lift English spirits?

Sevilla, who knocked United out of last season's Europa League semi-finals, have won all three major European matches against teams from England. Chelsea, meanwhile, have taken one victory from their previous nine Champions League meetings with teams from Spain, drawing five and losing three.

Frank Lampard will hope Timo Werner can make the difference. The forward was involved in nine goals in his last 11 Champions League games for RB Leipzig (seven scored, two assisted) and could become the third German to score for Chelsea in the competition, after Michael Ballack (four goals) and Andre Schurrle (two). He has, however, never scored at home.

Other fixtures:

Lazio v Borussia Dortmund:

3 – Dortmund's last Champions League win in Italy was a 1-0 victory over Milan in March 2003, courtesy of a Jan Koller goal. They have lost all three such visits since.

8 – Only Robert Lewandowski (10) scored more group-stage goals last season than Erling Haaland (eight). Haaland averages a goal or assist every 50 minutes in the competition.

 

RB Leipzig v Istanbul Basaksehir:

6 – Istanbul Basaksehir are the sixth Turkish team to play in the Champions League. Only one of the previous five won their first match – that was Trabzonspor, who beat Inter 1-0 away in September 2011.

14 – RB Leipzig's Hwang Hee-chan created the most chances in open play in the Champions League group stage in 2019-20 (14) when he played for RB Salzburg. He was directly involved in six goals in his six group-stage appearances (three goals, three assists) and was one of two players to both score and assist three goals in the group stage, along with Kylian Mbappe.

 

Rennes v Krasnodar:

2 – Rennes have lost just twice at home in major European games, winning five and drawing seven of those 14 matches, all of which were in the UEFA Cup/Europa League between November 2007 and December last year.

36 – Krasnodar boss Murad Musayev is 36 years and 345 days old, the second-youngest coach in this season's competition (behind Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann, 33). He could become the fifth-youngest to win his first game and the youngest since Andre Villas-Boas in September 2011.

 

Zenit v Club Brugge:

11 – Artem Dzyuba has been directly involved in 11 goals in his 12 Champions League group-stage matches with Zenit (eight goals, three assists). That run includes goals in both games against Belgian side Gent in 2015-16.

19 – Of the 51 teams to have featured in at least 40 Champions League matches, only Steaua Bucharest (9.5 per cent), Dinamo Zagreb (11.9 per cent) and Anderlecht (16.7 per cent) have a lower win percentage than Club Brugge (19 per cent). They have won just eight of 42 matches.

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