The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious club tournament, and this year for the first time, all of the group stage matches are being played simultaneously across five nations.
The teams are placed in groups according to the results of their qualifying group, and depending on their results in the group stage, the eight teams have been seeded. However, because all the matches are being played simultaneously, and many are in stadia where FIFA regulations mandate smaller numbers of fans, an easier television deal for the networks involved and positive publicity for the tournament, the traditional game has been somewhat left behind.
The fixtures for each of the 32 teams in the group stage appear below. Note that the margins of victory are spotty, with some teams taking several games to wrap up wins. Also, on a very unusual note, the group stage matches should get a lot more attention — and not just because of the extensive coverage on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
It will be fascinating to see how each of the teams approaches these fixtures, which should be compelling viewing for fans.
Formations and Dribbles
The Champions League group matches will be played in six of the 15 stadia that have no standing room capacity. Here is a list of those stadiums:
Stadio Vincenzo Montello, Teatro Dei Martiri, Stadio Flaminio, Stadio San Giovanni Scuole, Stadio Teatro Cavallino, Stadio Piccolo Bruno Panatti, Stadio Brera, Stadio Sasso, Stadio Sant’Agata Artigliere, Stadio Piazza Vincenzo, Stadio Fiumicino, Stadio Reggio Emilia, Stadio Caccia, Stadio Marcello Maggiore, Stadio Olimpico Antitrust
Perhaps the biggest numbers of spectators on show are in the stadium number shown. According to UEFA’s website, the total capacity of all stadia in the group stage matches is 30,500. That’s the lowest number of capacity in the knockout phase of the competition since 1929 — and it’s an improvement over UEFA’s usual figure of 20,000.
In order to attend the matches as many fans as possible, matches will be played on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in prime time across the time zones. Both semifinals and final are also due to be played in one of the stadia.
Group Play Rosters
Teams in Group Stage include: Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Hoffenheim, Napoli, Porto, Ajax, AS Roma, Apoel Nicosia, Benfica, Club Brugge, Lille, Basel, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Hoffenheim, Napoli, Porto, Ajax, Apoel Nicosia, Benfica, Club Brugge, Lille, Basel, Real Madrid, Juventus, Manchester City, Liverpool, Benfica, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Porto, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Schalke 04, Manchester United, Barcelona, Ajax, APOEL Nicosia, Olympiakos Piraeus, Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, Bayern Munich, Juventus, FC Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Viktoria Plzen, CSKA Moscow, Schalke 04, APOEL Nicosia, Benfica, Tottenham Hotspur, Apoel Nicosia