Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appreciates the expectations on his Manchester United side are high as they return to Premier League action against West Ham.

United are unbeaten in 28 away top-flight games – the longest run in English league history – conceding just 19 goals in the process.

They have also won their last two meetings with Sunday's opponents as they go in search of a third consecutive win against West Ham for the first time since 2014.

However, following a surprise 2-1 Champions League loss to Young Boys on Tuesday, Solskjaer acknowledged his side need to respond on Sunday.

"They’re focused of course, a little bit disappointed but not too downbeat. We know it's a setback and we have to do better, and we've got five games to get the 10 to 12 points we need," Solskjaer told reporters.

"[It's] not the start we wanted but we're a good team that can bounce back again and the group is very good."

Asked whether the media's reaction post-match surprised him, Solskjaer responded: "No, it doesn't surprise me. I've got my job and we do our job, you tend to in the media get judged by behaviours and outcomes rather than intentions.

"It's black and white. But we go into the game with good intentions, we make changes with good intentions, go into a tackle and make a pass with good intentions.

"The outcome always decides which headline we'll see and very, very rarely is the game fantastic or really, really bad, it just hovers about good or not good enough.

"We know the expectations are high and we expect more of ourselves as well, the performance wasn't up to our standard."

Questions piled on regarding Solskjaer's capabilities following the surrender of a one-goal lead against Young Boys, with the removal of Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo being key issues for some.

But Solskjaer evaded questions over his management style or philosophy, instead insisting the desire of the United team could prove the difference between winning and losing this term.

"I don't sit here and claim and talk... football is a simple game and it's about making good decisions and being in a team," he continued.

"Sometimes we look too much into all the intricacies – it's passion, it's desire, who wants to win the ball? Which one of the strikers has the desire to get on the end of crosses?

"You can talk about all sorts, it looks nice on paper. But when you go out on that pitch, it's who wants to win, that’s one of the big things. You want winners and I think I'm getting there with my team, team players."

The United head coach is also hoping to have Edinson Cavani back from injury soon, with the Uruguay striker's only involvement for the Red Devils this season coming in a 37-minute cameo against Wolves at the end of August.

Since then, he has struggled with fitness issues, but Solskjaer is confident the former Paris Saint-Germain star can be involved again from next week.

"Edinson [Cavani] hopefully will start training with us after the weekend, maybe Monday, so maybe involved on Wednesday," he added.

"He had a fantastic season last season, the impact he made when he got his fitness… He struggled with niggly injuries early on.

"We feel that to get the best out of him this season we need to get him 100 per cent fit and not rush him. We’ve got a strong squad that will cope with having to let players heal and not risk any further injuries.

"I see Edinson having a massive impact, he's that type of personality and player. He can't wait to play and he's working really hard to get back on the pitch."

Cristiano Ronaldo was destined to be one of the best footballers in the world from the outset, according to former Manchester United team-mate Louis Saha.

The pair crossed paths during Saha's four-year stint at Old Trafford between 2004 and 2008, just as Ronaldo burst onto the scene following his arrival from Sporting CP.

The Portugal captain would go on to score 118 times in 292 appearances for United before sensationally returning for a second spell last month.

Ronaldo hit the ground running with a brace against Newcastle United – the only team he has a Premier League hat-trick against – in his first game back at the club last weekend and was also on target in a 2-1 Champions League defeat at Young Boys on Tuesday.

Saha said he recognised Ronaldo was a special talent soon after he first joined United.

"I saw it straight away," Saha told Stats Perform. "When you realise that the guy at this young age can do what he was able to do after a few games you realise that the guy is just an animal of work as well outside of the field.

"He is always obsessed about his game and how to improve straightaway.

"Maybe after a few months, he was already very confident in claiming that he was the best or he would be the best player in the world.

"So all those things were a big sign that the guy has something special in terms of skill, but [also] in terms of mentality and confidence.  All this make me fairly quickly believe that he had massive potential to be a top star.

"I'm not surprised from the moment he left United, I'm not surprised that he keeps doing it at this level because when you have the talent and you manage then to work harder than anyone who is a bit laborious, that's a fantastic combo."

However, it has not all been straightforward since Ronaldo's return, with 10-man United surprise losers to Young Boys on a landmark 177th Champions League appearance for the forward as he equalled Iker Casillas' record.

Ronaldo scored against his 36th different club in the competition on Tuesday, with 12 years and 132 days the biggest gap between Champions League goals for the same club in the competition's history.

But as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side failed to defend their one-goal lead, Ronaldo could be seen animatedly issuing instructions alongside his manager and Saha is interested to see how their new relationship will work.

"I think I will say that it could be strange for Ole in some way, more than for Cristiano because I think we have seen it all when he moved to [Real] Madrid and then to Juventus and improved as a superstar," he continued.

"So now to actually manage a player like that you played with, it must be a bit strange but at the same time, he's a very smart lad and at the same time, Cristiano is here to win.

"There is no conflict there. It's just about how to actually get the result they both want.

"I think he has the luxury to get to, let's say, the finished product in his hand. It's brilliant as a manager to be in that position and to [have] one of the best players in the world.

"So I don't think that is it any difficulty for him, just the players around will need to adapt. They need to play a certain way to optimise Cristiano Ronaldo, [he] is not 25 anymore. You have to play to a certain strategy."

Could Jurgen Klopp and Robert Lewandowski be set to work together again?

The pair enjoyed a successful partnership at Borussia Dortmund.

Now, Klopp is reportedly trying to lure the Bayern Munich forward to Liverpool.

 

TOP STORY – KLOPP WANTS LEWANDOWSKI REUNION

Liverpool are targeting Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, according to Fichajes.

Lewandowski worked with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund before joining Bundesliga rivals Bayern in 2014.

There has been talk Lewandowski could be ready for a new challenge amid links to Real Madrid and Manchester City, though Klopp is reportedly determined to reunite with the Poland international.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bild claims Dortmund have identified Chelsea forward Timo Werner as a possible option to replace Erling Haaland. Club are queueing up to sign Haaland, with City, Manchester United, Bayern, Liverpool, Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all reportedly interested. Should Haaland leave Dortmund, the Bundesliga outfit reportedly see former RB Leipzig star Werner as a potential successor.

- Fabrizio Romano says Inter forward Lautaro Martinez is nearing a contract extension at San Siro. He has reportedly turned down offers from Tottenham and Atletico Madrid.

Bayern, Inter, Real Madrid and Tottenham are interested in Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter, reports Calciomercato.

Chelsea are looking to sign Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to new contracts, according to Romano.

Manchester City had a "considerable chance" of signing Cristiano Ronaldo before he re-joined Manchester United, according to Fernandinho.

Premier League champions City were strongly linked with Ronaldo last month after it emerged he had asked to leave Juventus, where he had spent the previous three seasons.

However, United pulled of a stunning coup by agreeing a deal worth up to £19.67million (€23m) for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, 12 years after he had departed for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has made a fine start to his second spell at United with three goals in two games, but Fernandinho has suggested the Portugal captain could well have been a City player.

Asked how close his side came to signing the superstar forward, Fernandinho told ESPN Brasil: "I think they had a good, considerable chance. 

"I think his agent [Jorge Mendes] was here at the club renewing the contracts of Ederson, Ruben Dias, seeing the situation of Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo. 

"Obviously, if you're there at the table, you can talk about everything and every possible player."

Shortly after putting pen to paper on an initial two-year deal with United, Ronaldo revealed the part former boss Alex Ferguson had on his decision to opt for a return to Old Trafford.

And given the media attention surrounding the prospect of Ronaldo agreeing to join City, Fernandinho believes other factors played a part in the 36-year-old's decision.

"I think that a lot of expectations were also raised with the possibility of him coming here," the Brazilian said. "No doubt this ends up affecting not only the fans, but also the people inside the club. 

"But in the end, things didn't work out, he didn't close the deal, and ended up going to the red side of town. Life goes on."

After scoring twice on his second Old Trafford debut in last weekend's 4-1 win against Newcastle United, Ronaldo was again on target in the Red Devils' surprise 2-1 Champions League loss to Young Boys on Tuesday.

Ronaldo's 13th-minute opener made Young Boys the 36th different side he has scored against in the Champions League, a record the Portuguese now shares with Lionel Messi.

He also equalled another record in Switzerland on what was his 177th Champions League appearance, matching the number of games player by legendary Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Harry Kane's attempt to leave Tottenham did not go according to plan before the transfer window closed.

Despite interest from Manchester City, Kane remains in London with Spurs.

Kane could be prepared to sign another contract at Tottenham…

 

TOP STORY – NEW DEAL FOR KANE?

Tottenham star Harry Kane is open to a contract extension if the offer includes a release clause, according to Eurosport.

Kane wanted to leave Tottenham in the off-season, but a move did not materialise, despite interest from Premier League champions Manchester City.

The England striker, though, could be willing to re-sign on one condition.

Paris Saint-Germain, JuventusReal Madrid and Barcelona have previously been linked with Kane.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus could face competition from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich for City forward Gabriel Jesus, reports Calciomercato. Juve are keen to bolster their attack following Cristiano Ronaldo's exit but face a battle should Robert Lewandowski leave Bayern. Lewandowski has been linked with the likes of City and Madrid.

- Fabrizio Romano claims United are planning to offer Luke Shaw a new contract at Old Trafford. However, United are prioritising new deals for Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.

Liverpool are among the contenders to sign Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, says 90min. Haaland has been linked with United, City, Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Juve and PSG but 90min claims Liverpool have held talks with his agent Mino Raiola.

Cristiano Ronaldo bemoaned Manchester United's late collapse at Young Boys in the Champions League but the superstar is eyeing a quick response from the Red Devils.

Ronaldo made it three goals in two games since returning to United, however, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's 10 men still suffered a 2-1 loss after Jordan Siebatcheu pounced on Jesse Lingard's misjudged backpass in the 95th minute.

Having equalled former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas' record with his 177th Champions League appearance on Tuesday, Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 13th minute in the Group F opener.

The goal made Young Boys the 36th different side Ronaldo has scored against in the Champions League, a record he now shares with Lionel Messi.

But United paid the price after full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off 10 minutes before half-time – Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu's 66th-minute strike restoring parity for Young Boys, who went on to stun the visitors with the last kick of the game.

Ronaldo, whose United travel to West Ham on Sunday as they aim to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign, wrote via social media: "Wasn't the result we wanted, but now it's time to recover well and focus on the next game!"

The 36-year-old's strike for United came 12 years and 132 days since his previous Champions League goal for the Premier League club, breaking the record for the gap between goals for the same team in the competition previously held by Javier Zanetti for Inter (11y 315d, 1998-2010).

It was a difficult night for United, who managed just two shots against Young Boys – the fewest Opta have on record in any of their 138 Champions League matches since 2003-04. Their second and final shot of the match came in the 25th minute via Ronaldo.

United lost their first match in a Champions League campaign for only the second time, also doing so in 2015-16 under Louis van Gaal, a 2-1 defeat to PSV.

"It was a tough game, a tough surface. Away from home, we found ourselves going down to 10 men, [but] we looked comfortable in the game," United captain Harry Maguire told MUTV, with the club also due to meet Villarreal and Atalanta in the group.

"We conceded a scruffy goal which was really unlucky. Although we weren't playing our greatest football and we weren't the biggest threat at the other end of the pitch, we looked really solid, didn't concede many chances and then, obviously, they go away with the victory. 

"It's the first game in the group, we've got many games to bounce back, so we must do."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt Manchester United should have been awarded a penalty in their 2-1 Champions League loss to Young Boys, but blamed the defeat on a lack of concentration.

United appeared to be heading for a routine victory when Cristiano Ronaldo, who matched former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas' record with his 177th Champions League appearance, put them ahead in the 13th minute.

The goal made Young Boys the 36th different side Ronaldo has scored against in the Champions League, a record he now shares with Lionel Messi.

However, the game turned when Aaron Wan-Bissaka received a straight red card late in the first half for his foul on Christopher Martins Pereira.

United saw another decision go against them when Ronaldo went down under the challenge of Mohamed Camara, with referee Francois Letexier waving away his claims.

Young Boys made their personnel advantage count soon after through Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu's 66th-minute strike.

The Group F clash looked set for a draw, yet there was a final twist as a misjudged backpass from Jesse Lingard, who replaced Ronaldo in the 72nd minute, was pounced on by Jordan Siebatcheu to seal a famous win with the last kick of the game.

Asked about Ronaldo, Solskjaer said: "You can never be surprised by the man, he scored another goal, he should have had a penalty and sending off the other way. 

"He pounced on that mistake. He's exceptional but we have to look after him and it felt like the right moment to take him off."

On the penalty appeal, he added: "He shoves him with his arm and he's one-on-one with the keeper but [the referee] probably didn't do it as he'd have had to send him off and that's sometimes what you get with young refs."

Solskjaer, though, accepted United were the architects of their own downfall as they suffered another damaging away Champions League defeat akin to losses to Istanbul Basaksehir and RB Leipzig last season.

"Lack of concentration, make mistakes and you get punished," Solskjaer explained. "You get done. We did that last year, we conceded two sloppy counter-attacks against Basaksehir and lost that game in the last seconds today.

"Jesse wants to play it safe and misplaces the pass, concedes the goal, that happens in football. If Jesse gets that chance again he turns, swivels and boots the ball the other way. Discipline is a huge part of the game. Aaron's normally a very, very astute tackler, one of the best in the world.

"We know we've given ourselves a more difficult task, we did last year when everyone thought we were through after two games.

"You need 10 or 12 points, win your home games, one away from home. We've lost the opportunity to get three points but we've got two home games next and got to focus on those two."

A night of Champions League history for Cristiano Ronaldo ended in a stunning twist as Young Boys staged a memorable fightback to beat 10-man Manchester United 2-1 in Group F.

United appeared set for a routine victory in Berne when Ronaldo, who had scored twice on his second debut for the club against Newcastle United on Saturday, put them ahead in the 13th minute.

But Aaron Wan-Bissaka's red card late in the first half gave Young Boys hope, which was realised when Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu levelled matters with a 66th-minute strike.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men looked set to emerge with a creditable point having defended for close to an hour a man down, yet there was a remarkable late twist as Jesse Lingard misjudged a backpass and Jordan Siebatcheu slotted past David de Gea to secure a famous result for the Swiss side.

Cristiano Ronaldo was set to equal Iker Casillas' Champions League appearance record after being selected in the starting XI for Manchester United's clash with Young Boys.

Casillas holds the record after appearing 177 times in his glittering career across spells for Real Madrid and Porto.

However, he will have former team-mate Ronaldo for company, with the Portugal star set to add another record to his enviable list.

Ronaldo was selected for his second successive start since returning to United from Juventus, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United looked to improve on last season's group-stage exit from the Champions League.

Ronaldo started and scored twice for United on Saturday in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League, marking his second debut in style.

The former Madrid forward is the Champions League's record goalscorer having found the net 134 times. Fifteen of those goals were scored during his first spell with United from 2003 to 2009, with the rest coming across subsequent stints with Madrid and Juve.

He has lifted the trophy five times, once with United and on four occasions with Madrid.

His last appearance in the Champions League for United came in the defeat to Barcelona in the final in May 2009, 12 years and 110 days ago.

By playing against Young Boys, Ronaldo's gap between Champions League appearances will be the fourth longest gap for the same club, behind Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Ajax, 2006-18, 12y 189d), Timmy Simons (Club Brugge, 2003-16, 12y 280d) and Steed Malbranque (Lyon, 2001-15, 14y 194d).

Paul Pogba has yet to decide if he will stay at Manchester United beyond the end of the season, according to his brother Mathias.

The France midfielder is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

United are in the tricky position of knowing Pogba is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a team outside of the Premier League from January 1 and are keen to get their midfield maestro to commit to fresh terms.

However, Mathias Pogba says his sibling will make a decision about his future when the time is right.

Speaking to Spanish TV show El Chiringuito, he said: "Paul has yet to decide whether he intends to stay at Manchester United or leave next summer.

"The decision is up to him. Right now, he feels very good at Manchester United, especially this season.

"We will see. We will see when it is time to make a decision."

Pogba has been in flying form for unbeaten United in the Premier League this season, registering seven assists in only four matches – a record in the competition after that many games to start a campaign.

The World Cup winner's future has often been a hot topic of discussion, though recent reports suggest Pogba is leaning towards remaining at Old Trafford with the return of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo thought to be playing a significant part in his thinking.

United are top of the table on goal difference through four games having taken 10 points.

Cristiano Ronaldo can help Manchester United "do great things" after returning to Old Trafford, according to Diogo Dalot.

Portugal superstar Ronaldo netted twice in the 4-1 win over Newcastle United at the weekend to mark his second debut in style.

More than 12 years on from his previous Premier League outing – a record gap – the 36-year-old is still delivering the goods.

And compatriot Dalot is revelling in having the five-time Ballon d'Or winner back in red.

"It's fantastic not just for me, but for everyone to have Cristiano here," the full-back told the club's official website.

"He gives so much energy to everyone and he's been fantastic.

"On the day [he signed] there was a lot of speculation and it was very good news for everyone involved. Everyone was buzzing with his return to United.

"I texted him and congratulated about him coming back. He said how happy he was to be part of this club again and he wants to help the team and that's what we want.

"I think fans can expect the same Cristiano as always. To be here winning what he has won and playing like he is playing you can expect the best.

"We are here to help him and he is here to help us as well and I think with everything combined we can do great things."

Ronaldo's brace against Newcastle came 12 years and 124 days after his last in the English top flight – only Matt Jackson (13 years, 187 days) has gone longer in Premier League history.

At 36 years and 218 days, he became the oldest player to score a double in a Premier League match since Graham Alexander for Burnley against Hull in April 2010. Alexander was 38 years and 182 days old.

The arrival of Ronaldo before the transfer deadline capped an impressive window for United, who also signed star defender Raphael Varane from Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side face Young Boys in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.

Bernd Leno's future at Emirates Stadium is up in the air.

Aaron Ramsdale's arrival, on a deal that could reach a reported £30million, put Leno's first-choice position in jeopardy.

The 29-year-old German joined Arsenal in 2018 and has been number one since.

TOP STORY - ARSENAL CONSIDERS LENO SALE

Arsenal are contemplating selling German goalkeeper Leno next year following Ramsdale's arrival, claims the Daily Mail.

Ramsdale was selected ahead of Leno in Arsenal's 1-0 win over Norwich City on Saturday after the German had an indifferent start to the season

The report claims there is little chance Arsenal will sell Leno in January but that the Gunners signed Ramsdale believing he may usurp the German by the end of the 2021-22 season.

 

ROUND-UP

- As Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid circle, Paul Pogba is leaning towards extending his stay with Manchester United claims The Athletic. The report cites Cristiano Ronaldo's impact at United on Pogba's thinking.

- West Ham United have placed a £100 million price tag on in-demand Declan Rice with  Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all jostling for his signature according to Football.London.

- French midfielder Thomas Lemar is expendable following Antoine Griezmann's arrival and could be sold by Spanish champions Atletico Madrid claims Todo Fichajes. Atletico wants to raise transfer funds to bolster their squad.

- Football Insider claims that Bayern Munich are already working on signing Chelsea's German striker Timo Werner next year, with a January move not ruled out.

- Chelsea will open talks with England international midfielder Mason Mount on a new long-term deal according to 90min.

- Arsenal target Houssem Aouar will not leave Olympique Lyon mid-season reports Todo Fichajes.

Edinson Cavani will miss Manchester United's Champions League clash with Young Boys, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirming the striker suffered a slight strain in a friendly.

Cavani was not included as United went top of the Premier League in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Uruguay star has played only once this season and will not feature when United look to make a winning start to their European campaign in Switzerland.

Speaking at a media conference, Solskjaer told reporters: "Edi is hopefully back with us soon, he had a slight strain during the international break in a behind-closed-doors game. He's working hard to come back."

United, though, will have Cristiano Ronaldo at their disposal to potentially equal Iker Casillas' record of 177 Champions League appearances after he made it a second debut to remember against Newcastle following his move back to Old Trafford from Juventus.

The former Real Madrid star marked his return with a brace, his typically ruthless finishing looking like it will make United a force to be reckoned with after a transfer window in which they also added Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.

Asked about the quality he now has in his ranks, Solskjaer said: "This team has grown and matured over the last few seasons, that was always the plan.

"When I came in, we wanted a team with experience and quality who could challenge. David [de Gea] sat next to me, Harry [Maguire] has been here for a few years now, Raphael and Cristiano. We've learned."

Ronaldo's return and subsequent immediate impact has clearly increased the feel-good factor around United, with De Gea speaking to the influence he has had in a short space of time.

He said: "It's great to have Cristiano back home — the experience of Cristiano is amazing, he's a legend at the club already and it's great to have him back. It's massive for us."

United won each of their previous two Champions League clashes against Young Boys in the Champions League in 2018-19. Tuesday's opponents have won only one of their eight games against English opposition, but Solskjaer is not taking them lightly after Switzerland's shock win over France at Euro 2020.

"I was very impressed by the reaction in the game against France, when they were 3-1 down and you could see their quality when they turned that game around," said Solskjaer.

"I managed Molde against Basel and the game against Italy was impressive as well. Some of those players will be against us tomorrow."

Lionel Messi will be the highest-rated player on FIFA 22 after EA Sports revealed the upcoming game's top 22.

The latest edition of the long-running title will be released at the start of October and will see Messi representing a team other than Barcelona for the first time.

Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain in August and will give gamers the chance to line up with him, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe all in the same front three.

With a rating of 93, Messi will be the game's best player, excluding icons and special Ultimate Team cards.

 

The ratings of Neymar and Mbappe were also among those revealed on Monday, with the pair among five players on 91 – the other three are Cristiano Ronaldo, Jan Oblak and Kevin De Bruyne.

Of course, the game will give Manchester United fans the chance to include Ronaldo in their Red Devils side after he completed his return to the club following a 12-year absence.

Messi aside, the only other player to be rated higher than Ronaldo is Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

He broke Gerd Muller's long-standing record of 40 Bundesliga goals in a single season in 2020-21 as he netted 41 times en route to the title.

 

But it was not enough to topple Messi.

Even in a season that was largely underwhelming for Barcelona, Messi still managed to score 30 LaLiga goals and he set up another nine – only four players had more assists.

This perhaps goes some way to explaining why the six-time Ballon d'Or winner just pips Lewandowski to top-billing despite the latter's historic campaign.

FIFA 22's top 22 players:

Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain – 93

Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich – 92

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United – 91

Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City – 91

Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain – 91

Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain – 91

Jan Oblak, Atletico Madrid – 91

Harry Kane, Tottenham – 90

N'Golo Kante, Chelsea – 90

Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich – 90

Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Barcelona – 90

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool – 89

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Paris Saint-Germain – 89

Karim Benzema, Real Madrid – 89

Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool – 89

Joshua Kimmich, Bayern Munich – 89

Son Heung-min, Tottenham – 89

Alisson, Liverpool – 89

Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid – 89

Casemiro, Real Madrid – 89

Ederson, Manchester City – 89

Sadio Mane, Liverpool – 89

Barcelona host Bayern Munich as two Champions League heavyweights headline the first round of matchday one fixtures on Tuesday.

Barca will be without Lionel Messi for a European campaign for the first time since 2003-04 as they seek revenge against the Bundesliga outfit.

Manchester United – armed with the competition's all-time leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo – travel to Young Boys while reigning champions Chelsea begin at home to Zenit.

Italian giants Juventus make the trip to Sweden's most successful team Malmo, who are making their first appearance in the group stage since 2015-16 following their title win in 2020.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at the key Opta data ahead of Tuesday's fixtures.

Barcelona v Bayern Munich: Blaugrana out to make amends

Barcelona and Bayern Munich have not met in the group stages since 1998-99, but the Bundesliga side did inflict Barca's heaviest defeat since April 1951 with an 8-2 crushing in 2019-20's quarter-finals.

There are remarkable records at stake for both sides as well, Bayern boasting the longest unbeaten away run in the history of the competition (18), while Barca are unbeaten in their last 22 group-stage openers – stretching back to 1997-98.

However, Julian Nagelsmann's side have won 17 opening games in a row and they also have Robert Lewandowski to call upon, the forward scoring 28 times since the start of 2018-19 – eight more than any other Champions League player.

 

Young Boys v Manchester United: Ronaldo returns for another record

Young Boys have won only one of 13 games against English opponents in European competition as they prepare for Manchester United, who have lost just one of their last 21 openers.

However, United have been beaten in six of their 10 Champions League matches under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – as many as they did in their last 20 under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

Having not appeared for the Red Devils in 12 years and 110 days – the fourth longest gap between appearances for the same club – Cristiano Ronaldo could equal the all-time appearance record in the Champions League, moving level with Iker Casillas on 177.

Chelsea v Zenit: History favours the champions

The reigning Champions League champions have only lost two of 27 games when starting their title defence, with no side ever losing a home game immediately following continental success.

Zenit face an uphill battle, given they are winless in their last seven fixtures, while Chelsea are unbeaten in 11 games in the group stage.

Indeed, the Blues are unbeaten in six matches against Russian teams and, since the start of last season, no team have lost fewer matches (1) or kept more clean sheets (9).

 

Malmo v Juventus: Allegri's away-day specialists

Tuesday will be Malmo head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson's managerial debut in the competition after last appearing as a player for Milan in the 2005 final.

The hosts, though, have scored just three goals across 10 previous appearances, while Juventus have won their last five group stage away games.

The visitors will also have Alvaro Morata available, the forward one of only three Spaniards to score more than 20 Champions League goals after netting six times in eight matches last term.

 

Other fixtures:

Dynamo Kyiv v Benfica

143 – Dynamo Kyiv manager Mircea Lucescu (76) and Benfica's Jorge Jesus' (67) combined age of 143 is the oldest of two managers to face off in the Champions League.

25 – The hosts are one of 25 teams to play 100 or more fixtures in the competition, but they have the third worst loss percentage (49) behind Olympiacos (52) and Galatasaray (51).

Lille v Wolfsburg

1 – Lille have only managed one win against German opposition in nine attempts in European competition, last prevailing in 2002.

5 – Wolfsburg have won five of their last six Champions League games and have scored twice in four of those victories.

Sevilla v Red Bull Salzburg

64 – Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri is averaging a Champions League goal every 64 minutes, recording three braces for his six goals in eight games last campaign.

2 – Red Bull Salzburg have only won two of their last 15 matches in the competition, but both of them have come away from home against Genk and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Villarreal v Atalanta

15 – Villarreal forward Gerard Moreno has 15 Europa League goals but has never played in Europe's premier competition – since 1992-93 only three players have scored more and not played in the Champions League.

5 – Atalanta have won five of their last six away games, only losing against Real Madrid, while they have also progressed from their two previous group stage campaigns.

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