The most prestigious club competition is back and was set to kick off on 25 June, exactly 24 days after Liverpool were crowned champions for a sixth time in Madrid. Now that the transfer window for all leagues has closed, it is safe to start evaluating each clubs chances of achieving ultimate success in the competition.
Can Liverpool join Los Blancos as the only club to defend their title or will the other football giants knock the Reds off the European summit?
Let’s find out more about this year’s Champions League:
Dozen Options On The Bench
Every club will have the opportunity of choosing from 12 players as substitutes, giving managers plenty of options (or headache) from the bench.
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This concept was introduced in the Liverpool, Spurs final, and is set to continue throughout this season of the tournament. However, clubs will be able to bring on a fourth substitute during extra-time, as was the case last season.
Away Goal Rule
For Spurs fans, the away goal rule was a gift that kept on giving when it came to the Champions League, however other teams like Ajax can attest to how cruel this rule can be.
For now, the away goal rule still stands however, this contentious point in football will be reviewed in the coming months and we could see it scrapped altogether.
Since the introduction of VAR (Video Assistant Referee), we’ve seen some controversial decisions being made, no less than in the Premier League. The handball rule seems to be a source of much of this controversy.
Going forward, all goals will be disallowed if there was a handball involved during the build-up, regardless of whether there was intent or not.
2019/2020 Champions League Final Venue
This year’s final will be held at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, a good omen for Liverpool and their fans as this was stadium where they famously beat Milan in a penalty shootout after clawing their way back from a 3-0 halftime score line. They also claimed a Super Cup against Chelsea this year in Istanbul.
What teams are the in group stages?
Spain: Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia
England: Manchester City, Liverpool (holders), Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur
Italy: Juventus, Napoli, Atalanta, Internazionale Milano
Germany: Bayern München, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen
France: Paris Saint-Germain, LOSC Lille, Lyon
Russia: Zenit, Lokomotiv Moskva
Ukraine: Shakhtar Donetsk
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