Cape Town -Europe’s top clubs can take a step closer to
continental glory with the return of the UEFA Champions League this week with a number of tasty ties on a lavish menu of fixtures.
French giants Paris St Germain host English league
leaders Chelsea in the first leg of their second round tie on Tuesday in a
match-up dubbed the “Battle of the Egos” between striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and
Blues boss Jose Mourinho.
PSG will have revenge on their minds after they were
knocked out of the competition on the away goals rule by Chelsea last season
following a quarterfinal tie that finished in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Expect much
the same entertainment out of this one – on and off the pitch.
Bayern Munich had made a slow start to 2015 before
this past weekend’s 8-0 hammering of Hamburg in the German Bundesliga and they
now take that rich scoring form to the Ukraine where they meet Shakhtar
The German giants will hold a distinct advantage as
the winter break in Ukraine means their opponents have not played a competitive
fixture in over two months.
Another German side faces a much more daunting task on
Wednesday night when Schalke host defending champions Real Madrid.
These two sides met at the same stage last season with
Real sauntering to a 9-2 aggregate win, which included a 6-1 victory in
Schalke will hope to have learned much from that tie,
but that will not necessarily make their task any easier.
Swiss side Basle are romping to the league crown in
their domestic championship and host the second-placed side in the Portuguese
Primeria Liga, FC Porto.
Basle are a much-improved side this season under their
Portuguese manager Paulo Sousa, who will relish this tie having been a star
player with Porto’s great domestic rivals Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.
PSG v Chelsea (SS3 at 21:00)
Shakhtar Donetsk v Bayern
Munich (SS5, at 21: 40)
FC Schalke 04 v Real Madrid (SS3, 21:00)
Basel v FC
Porto (SS5, 21:40)