Champions League preview
The 2012-13 UEFA Champions League group stage gets underway on Tuesday evening, with Arsenal and Manchester City both in action.
Last Updated: 18/09/12 12:37pm
The 2012-13 UEFA Champions League group stage gets underway on Tuesday evening, with Arsenal and Manchester City both in action in their respective pools.
It's been four months since Chelsea ended an agonising wait for European glory in Munich, and this time around the English sides have the chance to claim victory on home soil, with Wembley the stage where the prize will be decided next May.
The Gunners and Premier League champions City will both get things started on the road on Tuesday as they bid to emulate the Blues' success from last season.
Arsenal kick off their Group B campaign at Montpellier, live on Sky Sports 2HD, and will be feeling buoyed after hitting Premier League newcomers Southampton for six in a 6-1 triumph on Saturday.
Montpellier are making their first appearance in the Champions League and the French champions will be wary of Arsene Wenger's in-form Gunners, who sit third in the early league standings.
The other Group B fixture is the clash between Greek giants Olympiakos and German side Schalke in Athens, with both teams boasting unbeaten domestic records this season.
Manchester City's maiden Champions League campaign ended in a group-stage exit last year and the league champions will be desperate to better that performance, but face a tough test as they travel to the Bernabeu to take on Real Madrid in their first 'Group of Death' outing.
City will be hoping to take advantage of Los Blancos' shaky early form in La Liga and make a bright start in Madrid, with Borussia Dortmund and Ajax lying in wait in their remaining Group D games.
Those two European heavyweights, and respective winners of the Bundesliga and Eredivisie, go head-to-head in the other match of that group at the Signal Iduna Park.
AC Milan, pipped to the Serie A title by Juventus last season, will begin their bid to add to their seven European titles when they take on Belgian side Anderlecht at the San Siro in Group C.
The other game in that pool will see Spanish side Malaga host Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg, boosted by the summer arrival of highly-rated forward Hulk from FC Porto.
In Group A, big-spending French heavyweights Paris St Germain play host to Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev, who have not progressed past the group stage in their last 10 attempts.
Completing the evening's action is FC Porto's trip to Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb, taking part in their fourth Champions League campaign.