Barcelona begin their bid for a fifth Champions League title on Wednesday night when they host fellow four time winners Ajax at the Camp Nou in group H.
Despite the two clubs’ long European history surprisingly it’s the first time the pair have met.
Gerardo Martino took over as Barca coach from Tito Vilanova and after four wins from four in La Liga so far the former Newell’s Old boy boss is looking forward to making his debut in Europe’s top club competition
He said: “The chance of leading a team into the Champions League is very important in the career of any coach. So I am really excited and my expectations are high.’‘
2011 champions Chelsea open up their account with a home game against FC Basel.
Before leaving the club in 2007 boss Jose Mourinho complained about the quality of his squad strangely comparing them to eggs.
In his second stint in charge Mourinho appears happier with the players available to him for the group E opener.
The self proclaimed special one said: “(The players are) Beautiful young eggs. Eggs that need a mum, in this case, a dad, to take care of them to keep them warm during the winter, to bring the blankets to work and improve them.”
Club record signing Mesut Ozil and France striker Olivier Giroud have recovered from an illness and a knock to the knee respectively and will feature in Arsenal’s opening Group F match in Marseille.
But Arsene Wenger won’t be traveling with his full A-team as Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Abou Diaby, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta are all sidelined through injury.
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