If Real Madrid have begun the Spanish league season in disappointing fashion, their arch-rivals Barcelona are not looking much more convincing as they prepared on Monday to face Fenerbahce in the Champions League on Tuesday. Bayern Munich beat Valencia in May this year to win the Champions League. They started their campaign this season against Sparta Prague at home in a Group H encounter. But the German club is well short of full strength with Stefan Effenberg, Mehmet Scholl and Jens Jeremies still sidelined with injury. Bayern have also had a sluggish start in its defense of the Bundesliga title. They are in third place as of now. In comparison, Sparta Prague seem to be in excellent form winning their last four league games. The 1999 champions, Manchester United wil play their opening match at Old Trafford against French club Lille. United will be under considerable pressure to win it this year. It is their manager Sir Alex Ferguson's last season. Barcelona have arrived for a practice session ahead of their group F encounter against Turkish champions Fenerbahce. Barca have not been in the best of form after being held to a 0-0 draw by strugglers Osasuna. And with star mid-fielder Rivaldo also out with injury, the pressure will be on the Spanish giants.Barcelona who were knocked out in the first stage last season just about managed to qualify this time. That happened after Rivaldo scored a hat-trick against Valencia in their final league match last season that included the now famous reverse kick. Italian giants Juventus take on Scottish champions Glasgow Celtic in what promises to be a thrilling encounter. Henrik Larson is the key for the Scottish giants. For Juventus, the return of Edgar Davids from a drug suspension will be a much-needed boost. The other matches have Norwegian champions FC Roosenberg taking on Portuguese club FC Porto in Group E. While Lyon play host to Bayer Liverkusen of Germany in Group F. In Group G Deportivo la Coruna take on Greek champions Olympiakos. And the last match has Spartak Moscow kicking off early against Dutch side FC Feyenoord.
Topics : Football