A look at our Champions League opponents: RBL and Başakşehir lead the way!

A successful matchday 3 in Group H | Manchester lose in Istanbul | RBL pick up three points against Paris Saint-Germain | All the info on what's happening in Group H | Current domestic league standings

With matchday 3 of the Champions League in the books, it's still all left to play for! RB Leipzig picked up three points at home against Paris Saint-Germain and are back in second place in the group. In the other Group H match-up, İstanbul Başakşehir picked up a surprise 2-1 win over Manchester United. 

An overview of all the results so far:

  • Matchday 1:
    RB Leipzig
    2-0 Istanbul Basaksehir
    Paris Saint-Germain 1-2 Manchester United 

  • Matchday 2:
    Manchester United 5-0 RB Leipzig
    Istanbul Basaksehir 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain 

  • Matchday 3:
    RB Leipzig
    2-1 Paris Saint-Germain
    Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 Manchester United

Read on for a closer look at our group stage opponents in this season's Champions League. 

Paris Saint-Germain

Die Roten Bullen faced a familiar face in the group stage in Paris Saint-Germain; the French champions beat RB Leipzig 3-0 in the semi-finals of last year’s Champions League tournament. It was a hard-fought match between the sides, which didn't feature both Neymar or Kylian Mbappé. PSG took an early lead through Ángel di María, but RBL were able to find an equaliser just before half-time through Christopher Nkunku. Emil Forsberg would score the winning goal from the spot in the 57th minute. Paris were down to nine men in the late stages of the game, with both Idrissa Gueye and Presnel Kimpembe being sent off for two bookings. 

Thomas Tuchel’s side are currently first in the French first division, Ligue 1.They began with consecutive defeats before registering seven wins in a row. PSG beat Nantes 3-0 this past weekend. 

Before the transfer window closed, PSG were able to strengthen by signing the Italian Moise Kean. The 20-year-old joined the club on loan until the end of the season from Everton. The French champions also signed Danilo Pereira (from FC Porto) and Rafinha (FC Barcelona).

After reaching last year’s Champions League final, which PSG lost 1-0 against Bayern Munich, the aims for this season are to at least match that achievement.

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Manchester United

This opponent is a big one: Manchester United have won the Champions League three times (2007/08, 1998/99 and the 1967/68 European Cup) as well at the Premier League on 20 occasions (most recently 2012/13).

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side haven’t had the best start to the season, currently occupying 15th place in the league. They’ve lost three of their opening six games, including a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal last time out. They have, however, qualified for the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

Manchester United were active in the transfer market, notably signing Edinson Cavani (from Paris Saint-Germain), Alex Telles (FC Porto) and Donny van de Beek (Ajax).

Solskjær’s men made it to the semi-finals of the Europa League last season before being beaten 2-1 by eventual champions Sevilla. They qualified for this season’s Champions League by finishing third in the Premier League last season.

RBL travelled to Manchester on matchday 2 in the Champions League. They returned home empty-handed, however, after a 5-0 loss at Old Trafford. United made several changes to their starting XI against Istanbul Basaksehir, but fell to a 2-1 defeat against the defensively strong Turkish side. 

Istanbul Başakşehir FK

Die Roten Bullen will take on a Champions League newcomer in İstanbul Başakşehir F.K. After two exits in the Champions League qualifying stages in the 2017/18 and 2019/20 seasons, the team from Istanbul have qualified directly for the group stages following their triumph in the Turkish Süper Lig last season. This will be their first ever season in Europe’s top club competition.

Head coach Okan Burkuk’s team have made a poor start to the season so far, losing their opening three league matches. After a draw on matchday 4, they followed it up with three consecutive wins, and currently sit in seventh. The incumbent champions of Turkey’s top tier beat Konyaspor 2-1 last time out. 

Istanbul Başakşehir signed out-of-contract playmaker Giuliano shortly before the transfer deadline, who had last played for Al-Nasr Riad in Saudi Arabia. Last season, the team from the Turkish capital also picked up a player who is well-known in Germany - Berkay Özcan, who had previously played for Hamburger SV.

Istanbul Başakşehir were RB Leipzig's first group-stage opponents in this season’s Champions League. Julian Nagelsmann's side started their campaign with a 2-0 win at home against the Turkish side. Istanbul picked up their first ever Champions League win with a 2-1 triumph at home against Manchester United on matchday 3. 

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