SportSoccer

Champions League returns with a bang

Depay set to return to PSV Eindhoven in Man Utd colours
Depay set to return to PSV Eindhoven in Man Utd colours

The Champions League is back and here is your sundayworld.com guide to the games that matter for the Premier League giants.

TONIGHT

CHELSEA v MACCABI TEL AVIV (Group G)

Jose Mourinho may look to use the Champions League to reboot his team’s morale as they are in a group that offers easy passage to the last 16.

After their latest defeat against Everton on Saturday, three points is a must for the Blues in this first tie and for Maccabi coach Slavisa Jokanovic, the chance to return to his former club is a source of great delight.

“We knew we would have a tough group, but to get Chelsea makes this special for me,” says the coach who led Watford into the Premier League last season.

They may be tough to beat at home soil, but Maccabi should out of their depth against an out-of-sorts Chelsea.

ONE TO WATCH: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Not at his best this season, Hazard (inset) needs to spring into life quickly.

VERDICT: Chelsea get the win they need.

DINAMO ZAGREB v ARSENAL (Group F)

A thrilling away goals Champions League play-off win against Norwegian side Molde handed Dinamo a place in the group stages, but they will be confronted with a harsh reality when the action begins, with Zoran Mamic and his team likely to be outclassed by Arsenal and Bayern Munich in this group phase. 

Mamic was caught up in a scandal that has seen him accused of taking backhanders in transfer deals earlier this year, but he remains in place for the Champions League challenge.

ONE TO WATCH: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

The criticism has continued to flow for Arsenal’s lead striker (inset) in the first few weeks of this season and he needs to respond with goals.

VERDICT: Arsenal will be too strong. Their big battles in this group will come against Bayern.