Barcelona open their bid to become the first back-to-back winners of the Champions League when they start their campaign against Roma in Italy on Wednesday in Group E. The club’s two summer signings Arda Turan and Aleix Varda will not be eligible to play until January.
Serie A runners up Roma under its American ownership have added Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah to the fold to strengthen their challenge. They look set for safe passage through the group.
Bayern have reached three finals in the last six years and remain one of the favourites this time around. There’s no Franck Ribbery but new boys Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa could prove to be astute singings.
Elsewhere in Group F Arsenal are without Jack Wilshire and Danny Welbeck for their opener against Dinamo Zagreb who are back in the Champions League after a two year absence.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho shrugged off criticism of his side’s worst start to a domestic top-flight season in 29 years. “I am champion of England why should I be in trouble,” he said and confirmed he will make changes for the clash with Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv in Group G
Porto goalkeeper Iker Cassillas is set to make a record-equaling 151st Champions League appearance when the Portuguese giants take on Dynamo Kiev. He won the title three times with Real Madrid.
In Group H Lyon will have to cope without their dynamic attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir who suffered a serious knee injury on international duty with France. He’s likely to be out until after Christmas.