Real Madrid v Apoel Nicosia

Real Madrid v Apoel Nicosia

Real Madrid v Apoel Nicosia

While Los Blancos have stuttered in their last two La Liga games, dropping points to Levante and Valencia, they have huge positives to take from the start of the season. This will only be the 31-year-old's third campaign in the competition after 2009-10 with Porto and last season with Monaco.

The four-time world player of the year's value to the team, however, has been highlighted by their struggles to put their chances away in the league.

Asked about Neymar's decision to leave Barcelona last month to become Paris Saint-Germain's new figurehead, Bale told the Daily Mail: "Well there's an argument for that". And, in the same breath, RB Leipzig could also be considered a surprise package, having finished as the shock second-placed team in the Bundesliga last term, already showing the team are more than capable of punching above their weight. Madrid became the first repeat victor in the Champions League era, which began in 1992-93, when they defeated Juventus in the final in June.

Five years later, they have been no African winners of the Champions League.

Click through the gallery above to see the latest Real Madrid training photos ahead of their Champions League match against Apoel Nicosia.

Junior Certs receive their results
This year is the first of results with the new English curriculum and marking system. English results show a slight increase in the numbers achieving an honours grade.

The Reds' backline remains unconvincing despite Matip's continued improvement, but they should have enough to get through a fairly comfortable group.

Manchester City must play Napoli, Feyenoord and Shakhtar Donetsk in the group stage.

The 21-year old sensation has been ruled out of the opening game in Group H and if you can think of the most freakish reason possible and times it by 100, then you have the explanation for Asensio's absence. Still, Napoli was one of the more hard opponents for City from the third-seeded teams and eased past Nice in the playoffs round.

Dortmund even beat Madrid to top spot in the group stage last season. The French team comes up against Porto in a rematch of the 2004 final won by the Portuguese team. But the Bundesliga runner-up was the team from the fourth seeds that most of the continent's heavyweights wanted to avoid.

"It's so important to try to win the game". APOEL famously reached the quarterfinals in 2012 against the odds.

Related news