Real Madrid begin the defence of their Champions League crown on Wednesday, having seen off local rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties at San Siro in May.
The concluding set of matchday one fixtures in Europe’s elite club competition will feature plenty of battle-hardened teams, but Leicester City make their debut as Legia Warsaw fly an often-absent flag for Poland.
Wembley also returns to the Champions League stage to host Tottenham’s campaign, while a global superstar will enjoy a memorable reunion.
Using Opta data, we take a look at the best stats ahead of the concluding eight games in the opening round of group-stage fixtures.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 13, 2016
BAYER LEVERKUSEN v CSKA MOSCOW
– Bayer Leverkusen have won their last three encounters with Russian clubs in all competitions, all against Zenit St Petersburg.
– Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow have lost all five of their away games against German opposition in the Champions League, scoring three and conceding 13 during this period.
– This is Bayer Leverkusen’s 11th appearance in the Champions League. Only Bayern Munich can boast more among German clubs (20).
– Leverkusen’s last six Champions League games have produced 25 goals, an average of 4.2 goals per game, but they have only won one of their previous eight group games.
– CSKA have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 22 Champions League games, their last shutout being in November 2011 against Trabzonspor (0-0). They have won only four times during this run, losing nine of 10 away from home.
TOTTENHAM v MONACO
– Tottenham have won all four of their home games against French clubs in European competition, scoring 11 and conceding five.
– Monaco have won only one of their last five away games against English opposition (D2 L2), against Arsenal in the 2014-15 Champions League round of 16 when they were 3-1 victors.
– Tottenham are in the Champions League group stages for the second time after 2010-11. They were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Real Madrid.
– Spurs are the first team since Arsenal to play their Champions League home games at Wembley. The Gunners did it in the 1998-99 and 1999-00 group stages, winning only two of their six games (D1 L3).
– Monaco have failed to score in eight of their last 12 Champions League outings. In their last participation during 2014/15, they were knocked out in the quarter-finals, despite scoring only seven goals in 10 games.
REAL MADRID v SPORTING CP
– Real Madrid have won the European Cup on 11 occasions – including two of the last three (2014, 2016) – more than any other team, and are looking to be the first team to retain their title since AC Milan in 1990.
– Madrid are playing in the Champions League for the 20th consecutive season, the longest current run. They have always made it out of the Champions League group stages.
– In the group stages, Real Madrid have won 17 of their last 19 games (D2). They’ve also kept a clean sheet in nine of their last 10 group games.
– Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in the history of the Champions League (93 goals in 127 games). With Real Madrid, he has found the net 78 times in 75 games.
– Ronaldo’s only previous Champions League appearance against former team Sporting CP was in the 2007/08 group stages with Manchester United. He scored in both games.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) September 13, 2016
LEGIA WARSAW v BORUSSIA DORTMUND
– This is the first meeting between a Polish and German club in the Champions League since 1996-97 when Borussia Dortmund faced Widzew Lodz in the group stages. Dortmund won 2-1 at home and drew 2-2 in Poland.
– This is Legia Warsaw’s second appearance in the Champions League after 1995-96 when they reached the quarter-finals, only to be knocked out by Panathinaikos.
– Legia went through three rounds of qualifying to reach this season’s group stages, eliminating Zrinjski Mostar, Trencin and Dundalk.
– Borussia Dortmund – winners in 1997 – are one of three German clubs to have lifted the European title along with Bayern Munich (five) and Hamburg (one).
– Mario Gotze started all 17 Champions League games he played with Borussia Dortmund; with Bayern Munich, he started 16 of 26 matches in the competition (62 per cent).
CLUB BRUGGE v LEICESTER CITY
– Club Brugge’s only previous encounter with an English club in Europe’s top competition was in the 1978 final against Liverpool, which they lost 1-0.
– Leicester City are in the Champions League for the first time in their history. They’re the first English team to make their debut in the tournament since Manchester City in 2011-12.
– Leicester are the sixth club managed by Claudio Ranieri in the Champions League, only Carlo Ancelotti (seven) has more. His best performance to date was a semi-final with Chelsea in 2003/04.
– This is Club Brugge’s fifth Champions League participation, their first since 2005-06. They have never reached the knockout stages, finishing third in their group in each of their four previous Champions League campaigns.
– Brugge are winless in their last eight games against English clubs in all competitions (D2 L6), failing to keep a clean sheet in any of those games.
— Christian Fuchs (@FuchsOfficial) September 13, 2016
PORTO v COPENHAGEN
– Porto have faced Danish clubs four times at home in European competition, winning all four and not conceding a single goal.
– Meanwhile, Copenhagen are winless against Portuguese opposition in all competitions (D1 L3), losing both of their trips to Portugal, each time against Benfica.
– Porto have made it to the Champions League group stages for the 21st time, which equals the record held by Barcelona and Real Madrid.
– Andreas Cornelius and Federico Santander scored 53 per cent of Copenhagen’s goals in this season’s Champions League qualifiers (8 out of 15).
– Porto have lost only two of their last 12 Champions League group games (W7, D3), but those were their last two outings, against Dynamo Kiev and Chelsea at the end of last season’s group stages.
LYON v DINAMO ZAGREB
– Lyon’s 7-1 victory in Zagreb in November 2011 – which included four goals from Bafetimbi Gomis – is their biggest win in the Champions League.
– The Ligue 1 side have reached the knockout stages in nine of their last 10 Champions League campaigns. The only exception came last season though, when they finished bottom of their group.
– Dinamo’s 70 per cent losing rate in the Champions League (21 defeats out of 30 games) is higher than any other team in the competition (minimum 20 games).
– Mathieu Valbuena has never scored at home in the Champions League across 22 games with Marseille and Lyon.
– Lyon have reached the knockout stages in nine of their last 10 Champions League campaigns. The only exception came last season though, when they finished bottom of their group.
JUVENTUS v SEVILLA
– Juventus have lost only one of their 15 home games against Spanish opposition in the Champions League (W8 D6), against Deportivo La Coruna in March 2004.
– Juve have won the European title on two occasions (1985 and 1996). They have however lost the final more times than any other club (six).
– Sevilla have won the Europa League/UEFA Cup five times in the last 11 seasons, including the last three.
– Juventus have lost only two of their last 35 home games in the Champions League (W22 D11). Both of those defeats were against Bayern Munich.
– Sevilla are winless in their last five away games in the Champions League (D1 L4). They’ve also failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight on the road.