The UEFA Champions League action continues on Wednesday with another two Anglo-German contests in the opening round of group games, including a mouth-watering encounter between Bayern Munich and Manchester City that would be worthy of the final itself.  

Focus will fall as well on Luis Enrique's first outing in the competition at the Barcelona helm, with the Catalan giants boasting a new-look defence and a star-studded attack. Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain set off down a path that has ended at the quarter-final stage in their last two campaigns, on a night when Rudi Garcia's Roma and Ernesto Valverde's Athletic Bilbao make their entrance harbouring hopes of going far.

Wednesday's fixtures
Group E
Roma-CSKA Moscow
Bayern Munich-Manchester City

Group F
Barcelona-APOEL Nicosia
Ajax-Paris Saint-Germain

Group G
Chelsea-Schalke
Maribor-Sporting Lisbon

Group H
Porto-BATE Borisov
Athletic Bilbao-Shakhtar Donetsk

Match of the day
Bayern Munich-Manchester City, Group E, 17 September, Munich
Acquaintances will be renewed in Munich as Bayern tussle with Manchester City for the third time in four seasons at this stage. The German champions and their English counterparts found themselves evenly matched in those recent campaigns, with both prevailing at home in 2012 and a pair of away wins following two years later. This time, however, the two clubs must also vie with ambitious rivals Roma, meaning that any points dropped at home could prove fatal. Neither Bayern nor City have settled into their usual rhythm so far this term – no doubt due to new arrivals still bedding in – but past meetings between these European heavyweights have always lived up to expectations.

Elsewhere
Lionel Messi and Neymar seemed at times last season to resemble rival soloists in a dysfunctional orchestra, but the early signs in 2014/15 suggest they have started playing the same tune. That certainly appeared true against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend, when Neymar buried a pair of goals from two Messi assists after being introduced on 63 minutes. The trick now for the duo will be to forge the same understanding with Luis Suarez.

Did you know?
No European champions have successfully defended their crown since the Champions League era was rolled out in 1993. Without fail, the victors have gone on to fall short the following year, despite several sides establishing periods of dominance in the days of the old European Champion Clubs' Cup. Real Madrid set the benchmark with five consecutive wins, while Ajax and Bayern both managed three and Benfica, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and AC Milan all posted back-to-back triumphs. Milan were the last club to claim successive titles, in 1989 and 1990, since when the trophy has changed hands each season.

On this day
There were fireworks on 17 September last year as the group stage kicked off with a record 30 goals in the first eight games of the new campaign. No team scored more of those than eventual winners Real Madrid, who began in sparkling fashion by dismantling Galatasaray 6-1.

The stat
23
Back on loan at Sporting Lisbon, Portuguese attacking midfielder Nani could prove a vital asset to the club with whom he began his career. The 27-year-old will bring priceless know-how to a young side with little Champions League experience, his 55 appearances more than double the total of 23 spread out through the rest of the squad.

Players to watch
PSG trio Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gregory van der Wiel and Maxwell will be taking a trip down memory lane when they turn out against former employers Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena. Ibrahimovic made a particularly big splash with the Dutch giants, racking up six goals in 19 Champions League outings to put himself third on their list of record scorers in the competition behind Jari Litmanen (20) and Patrick Kluivert (nine). As for Maxwell, he represented Ajax 23 times at this level between 2001 and 2006, while Van der Wiel struck one goal in 12 Champions League matches from 2006 to 2012.

Have your say
Will Roma find a way to qualify from a tough Group E that also features Bayern Munich and Manchester City?