Focus on the opposition facing England’s teams in the Champions League this week

By PA sport staff
·3 min read

English clubs resume European action after all four made a solid undefeated start to the Champions League groups stage last week.

Manchester City travel to Marseille and Liverpool host Midtjylland, before Manchester United face RB Leipzig at Old Trafford and Chelsea make the long trip to Krasnodar.

Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at the opposition clubs.

Coaches

Andre Villas-Boas has managed in the Premier League with Chelsea and Tottenham.
Andre Villas-Boas has managed in the Premier League with Chelsea and Tottenham (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Marseille: Andre Villas-Boas will be familiar to fans of English football, having managed in the Premier League at Chelsea and Tottenham. He has been in charge at the Stade Velodrome since May 2019. Villas-Boas won the Europa League with Porto in 2011.

Midtjylland: Former Denmark international defender Brian Priske served as assistant at Midtjylland and Copenhagen from 2011 to 2019. When Kenneth Andersen resigned as boss of the Danish club in August 2019, Priske succeeded him.

RB Leipzig: The German club are managed by one of the most highly-rated coaches in Europe, Julian Nagelsmann. Still only 33, Nagelsmann came to prominence at Hoffenheim and has continue to enhance his reputation at Leipzig, who he took to last season’s Champions League semi-finals.

Krasnodar: Formerly in charge of the club’s under-19 side, Murad Musayev was appointed as head coach in June.

European pedigree

Marseille: The French club won the Champions League in 1993, having been beaten in the final of the then-European Cup two years before. Marseille are making their 10th appearance in the Champions League group stage, but their first since the 2013-14 season.

Midtjylland: The Danish club, founded in 1999, are making their first appearance in the Champions League.

RB Leipzig: The club, formed in 2009, hit a new high in Europe last season by reaching the Champions League semi-finals. They beat Tottenham home and away in the round of 16 and saw off Atletico Madrid before losing 3-0 to Paris St Germain.

Krasnodar: Founded just 12 years ago, the Russian club are also making their Champions League debut.

Form

RB Leipzig are unbeaten so far this season, winning six of their seven matches in all competitions.
RB Leipzig are unbeaten so far this season, winning six of their seven matches in all competitions (John Walton/PA)

Marseille: Villas-Boas’ side began their Champions League campaign with a 1-0 defeat in Greece to Olympiacos, their first loss in five matches. They bounced back at the weekend with a 1-0 win at Lorient in Ligue 1.

Midtjylland: It was a baptism of fire in the competition last week for the Danes, losing 4-0 at home to Atalanta. That was a first defeat in eight games for Midtjylland, who won 3-2 at Brondby in the Danish league on Saturday.

RB Leipzig: Nagelsmann’s team are top of the Bundesliga with 13 points from five matches and are on a four-game winning run, including a 2-0 home victory against Istanbul Basaksehir in their Champions League opener.

Krasnodar: Eighth in the Russian league after 12 games, FK Krasnodar lost 3-1 at home to Spartak Moscow at the weekend. They began their Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw at Rennes. Krasnodar have won one of their last four matches.

Previous meetings

Marseille: Tuesday’s meeting at the Stade Velodrome will be the first against Manchester City in a competitive fixture.

Midtjylland: The Danes’ trip to Anfield will be the first time the two teams have played.

RB Leipzig: Wednesday’s clash at Old Trafford represents the first meeting of the two teams.

FK Krasnodar: The Group E fixtures in Russia will be the first competitive game between the two clubs.