The Champions League is back: it’s time to get the doubles in

An enthralling group stage draw means there will be some incredible nights of European football to look forward to on BT Sport

The Champions League is back: it’s time to get the doubles in

The group stage hasn’t even kicked off yet but the drama has already begun in this year’s Champions League.

The draw has created some amazing stories: Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford, Spurs being drawn alongside Barcelona (not to mention Inter and PSV) and Liverpool facing ties against PSG and Napoli. It means pubs and clubs have some huge nights of European football to look forward to with all Champions League and Europa League matches live and exclusive on BT Sport.

And it gets even better this year with back-to-back games giving venues the chance to attract football fans earlier and keep them in for a little bit longer.

It all begins on September 18. The following matches featuring the Premier League contingent in September and October should help you pull a crowd in.

Tuesday September 18
Inter v Spurs, 5.55pm
Liverpool v PSG, 8pm

How about this for a way to start the tournament?

Spurs face a tricky away tie to Inter, which brings back memories of a young lad called Bale bagging a hat-trick at the San Siro (whatever happened to him?).

That alone is a decent session right there but it is followed by last year’s runners-up Liverpool facing the big-spending and hotly fancied PSG. The likes of Neymar and Mbappe should be taking to the pitch on what could be one of those very special European nights at Anfield.

Wednesday September 19
Young Boys v Man Utd, 8pm
Man City v Lyon, 8pm

The Manchester clubs start their campaigns at the same time, which means pubs will either nail their colours to the mast or look to provide multiple viewing opportunities.

Real Madrid take on Roma and Juventus face Valencia in two other tasty looking ties on the opening Wednesday of the group stage.

Tuesday October 2
Hoffenheim v Man City, 5.55pm
Man Utd v Valenica, 8pm

On Match Day 2 the pubs and clubs of Manchester have the chance to show the city’s footballing giants in back-to-back clashes.

City, as top seeds, have the most favourable looking draw and should be confident of progressing. Their local rivals look to have a tougher challenge, which means taking three points against Valencia could be vital.

Wednesday October 3
Spurs v Barcelona, 8pm
Napoli v Liverpool, 8pm

If Spurs fans can’t get to Wembley they will most definitely want to be at the pub to watch what should be a very special game. They took eventual Champions League winners Real Madrid apart at the home of English football last season. Can they do the same to Messi & co?

Meanwhile Liverpool have a big night of their own, away to Serie A runners-up Napoli.

Tuesday October 23
Shakhtar Donetsk v Man City, 8pm
Man Utd v Juventus, 8pm

Manchester United against Juventus is already one of the classic encounters of European football but it will be even more special this time with Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford with his new club.

Meanwhile City will take on Shakhtar Donetsk, who beat them 2-1 at the same stage last season.

Wednesday October 24
PSV v Spurs,  5.55pm
Liverpool v Red Star Belgrade, 8pm

Another chance to show Premier League sides in consecutive games on the same night – that should boost those midweek takings. You’ve also got the option of Barcelona v Inter Milan at 8pm as well.
And all that is just the Champions League. Arsenal, Chelsea, Rangers and Celtic will all feature in the group stages of this year’s Europa League, which begins on Thursday September 20.

All UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches are live and exclusive on BT Sport.

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