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Champions League Matchday 1: Game-by-game preview

Get the lowdown on the remaining eight Matchday 1 games as the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League group stage gets under way.

The best of the best compete on the ultimate stage in the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League group stage; get all the key information for the eight remaining fixtures coming up on Matchday 1.

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Wednesday 20 September

Galatasaray vs Copenhagen (18:45)

Both these sides came through the play-offs and Galatasaray will be optimistic of getting through the group stage for the first time since 2013/14 given the range of attacking options at Okan Buruk's disposal. Copenhagen edged past Polish champions Raków to make it this far and Jacob Neestrup insists they need to play with more freedom to make an impact here: "I'm looking forward to a group stage where we have to go out and let ourselves loose a bit more."

Did you know?
Okan Buruk was in the starting XI when Galatasaray won both their previous European trophies, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000.

Picked your Fantasy side?

Real Madrid vs Union Berlin (18:45)

A fairy-tale opening game for the German side as their first ever group stage match takes them to the most decorated side in European Cup history, 14-time winners Real Madrid. "Matches against Real Madrid and Napoli are exceptional," said Union president Dirk Zingler after the draw. "Today has made not only me, but many Unioners very happy."

Did you know?
Union's Rani Khedira is the younger brother of Sami Khedira, the midfielder who helped Madrid complete 'La Décima' by winning their tenth European crown in 2014.

Classic Real Madrid Champions League goals

Bayern vs Man United (21:00)

A repeat of the dramatic 1999 final was one of the stand-out stories when the draw was made but United face the daunting task of trying to overcome a Bayern side that have won all 12 group stage games in the past two seasons. The Red Devils will also have to cope with England captain Harry Kane in his first game against a club from his home country but history may be on their side here – Kane won only six of his 19 games against United as a Tottenham player and scored a modest five goals.

Did you know?
United have only won one of the eight Champions League games between the sides since that 1999 decider, and lost all three quarter-final ties.

Classic Bayern vs Man United goals

Sevilla vs Lens (21:00)

The return of Sergio Ramos was a timely boost to a Sevilla side reeling from defeat in their opening three Liga games and the mentality of the four-time Champions League winner will be crucial to their chances of turning round their early season form. "I had the opportunity to return home, do it as a leader with the hope of lifting a title," the 37-year-old said. "I wake up every day for this goal, I believe we can do it. We know it is very difficult, but the first thing we can do is believe in it."

Did you know?
Sevilla have faced a French side in three of their last five group stage quests, winning three of those six matches against Lyon, Rennes and LOSC Lille.

Arsenal vs PSV Eindhoven (21:00)

"There are some beautiful games to play, some very difficult matches as well, and we are looking forward to starting the journey," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta following the draw. PSV are one of those tricky games and Gunners fans will need no reminding of how the Dutch side clipped their wings in the 2006/07 round of 16; they also plundered seven goals in their play-off tie against Rangers to book their group stage berth this time around.

Did you know?
Arsenal have not lost to PSV in the Champions League group stage (W2 D2).

Highlights: PSV 5-1 Rangers

Braga vs Napoli (21:00)

"We have the ambition to be competitive and play every game to the end," said Braga coach Artur Jorge after they were paired with one of the stand-out sides of 2022/23, adding: "Napoli dominated the Italian league last season. They are a sleeping giant." The Partenopei were far from dormant in the competition last season, becoming the first Italian team to score 20 times in a Champions League group.

Did you know?
Braga's 2022/23 European campaign was ended by Italian opposition when they were beaten 7-2 on aggregate by Fiorentina in the UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-offs.

Watch classic Napoli Champions League goals

Benfica vs Salzburg (21:00)

The Eagles have impressed in the last two Champions League campaigns, making it to the quarter-finals on both occasions, but are hoping that the desire and competition know-how of the returning Ángel Di María could make the difference this time around. "He didn't want to know what his salary would be," said Rui Costa. "He told me: 'I really want to play for Benfica'."

Did you know?
Salzburg are without a clean sheet in 23 away games in European competition.

Real Sociedad vs Inter (21:00)

"Last season, we went on an incredible run that saw us reach the final in Istanbul and come so close to achieving the dream," said Inter coach Simone Inzaghi. "We want to do really well again. We're Inter and want to continue to dream." This is the sixth consecutive Champions League group stage where Inter have been paired with a Spanish outfit but last season was the only occasion they tasted victory, when they crucially beat Barcelona 1-0 en route to qualification.

Did you know?
La Real have only won one of their eight games against Italian sides in European competition, losing four.

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