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Ronaldo’s reunion with Mourinho, battle of Neymar and Salah… the best Champions League matchups


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The Champions League draw has thrown up some mouthwatering clashes.

This year’s group stage is laced with intrigue and promises to be one of the best renewals yet.

Here, Sportsmail take a look at six of the big clashes to look forward to.

See full list of groups at the bottom 

We look at the mouthwatering clashes and intriguing duels set for Champions League groups

Mo Salah v Neymar (September 18)

Neymar is the world’s most expensive player at around £200m and was bought by PSG last year to turn them into European champions.

As it was, PSG were dumped out by eventual winners Real Madrid in the last 16 while Liverpool went on to the final with Salah – who cost just £37m – their talisman.

Who would you rather have in your side? On the evidence of last season, the Liverpool man would get the nod and it will be fascinating to see how they fare on the same pitch at Anfield in September.

Neymar will go up against Mohamed Salah and Liverpool in the Champions League group stage

Salah and Co will first come up against Neymar's PSG on September 18

Neymar (L) and Mo Salah (R) collide in the groups as PSG and Liverpool go head-to-head

Ivan Perisic v Harry Kane/Kieran Trippier/Dele Alli/Eric Dier/Danny Rose (September 18)

Hi guys, remember me? Croatia midfielder Perisic was superb for his country as they came from behind to beat England 2-1 in the World Cup semi-final, the Inter man netting the equaliser.

That was a Three Lions team which included no fewer than five Spurs players. So it may be the case that they are out for revenge when they travel to the San Siro for their Group B opener.

Ivan Perisic tormented England at the World Cup and will come up against some familiar faces

Ivan Perisic tormented England at the World Cup and will come up against some familiar faces

Julian Nagelsmann v Pep Guardiola (October 2)

It is the young pretender versus the master. Hoffenheim boss Nagelsmann is 31 years old and was appointed at the age of just 28, making him the youngest manager in Bundesliga history.

He will be leaving the club at the end of the season to take charge of RB Leipzig and is already will being talked about as a future manager of Europe’s biggest sides.

He has taken Hoffenheim into the Champions League for the first time in their history, but the meeting with City’s Guardiola will provide a stiff test of his tactical credentials.

Pep Guardiola will provide a tough test for the young and hungry Julian Nagelsman

Nagelsmann, 31, has earned himself a strong reputation after guiding Hoffenheim to their first Champions League

Young pretender Julian Nagelsmann (R) will come up against the master Pep Guardiola (L)

Mauricio Pochettino v his old rivals (October 3)

The Spurs boss has gone on the record in stating he will never manage Barcelona because of his allegiance to their cross-town rivals, Espanyol, where he played and managed.

There was speculation of him replacing Luis Enrique last year but Pochettino felt moved to speak publicly about the reasons why he could never take charge at the Nou Camp, just as he never could at Arsenal.

This match-up gives the Argentine a chance to show his old rivals what they will be missing out on.

Jose Mourinho v Cristiano Ronaldo (October 23)

It may be the case that United boss Mourinho and Juventus star Ronaldo share the same agent, but it is said their relationship was uneasy during their time at Real Madrid, including reports of dressing-room rows. It was even said that Mourinho and Ronaldo only communicated through coaching staff.

Mourinho, in a recent documentary, also referred to the Brazilian Ronaldo as ‘the best Ronaldo ever’.

So while Ronaldo versus his old club is enticing enough, the meeting of Mourinho and his former player brings added spice.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be reunited with Jose Mourinho with Juventus drawing Man United

Cristiano Ronaldo will be reunited with Jose Mourinho with Juventus drawing Man United

Carlo Ancelotti v his old club (October 24)

Ancelotti, now in charge of Napoli, quit the Parisian club in 2013 to take charge of Real Madrid before moving on to Bayern Munich.

Indeed, he was axed by the German club following a 3-0 defeat to PSG in the Champions League group stages last season and this summer’s move to Napoli – where he replaced Chelsea bound Maurizio Sarri – is his first job since.

He will not get a warm welcome at the Parc des Princes and the locals are sure to be desperate to inflict another humiliation on the Italian. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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