The Champions League gets underway again in a week. Die Roten Bullen begin the group stage with a home game against İstanbul Başakşehir on 20th October.
We were placed in Group H at the draw in Genf (all the details). Our opponents are:
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Manchester United
- and Istanbul Başakşehir
We’ll take a closer look at our three Champions League opponents and see what sort of form they’re in.
Die Roten Bullen will face 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.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are currently fourth in the French first division, Ligue 1.They began with consecutive defeats before registering four wins in a row. PSG beat SCO Angers 6-1 in their last match.
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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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 twenty occasions (most recently 2012/13).
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side haven’t had the best start to the season, currently occupying 16th place in the league. They’ve lost two of their opening three games, including a 6-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur 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.
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 three of their four league matches and currently sitting bottom of the Turkish top division. The incumbent champions of Turkey’s top tier picked up their first point of the season on the last matchday with a 0-0 draw against Göztepe.
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 F.K are the first group-stage opponents of RB Leipzig in this season’s Champions League. The Turkish Champions will visit the Red Bull Arena on 20th October.