Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo Gareth Bale Fabio Coentrao
Real Madrid begin the defence of their Champions League title with a home match against FC BaselReuters

Now that most of the European leagues have settled down a bit, it is over to the most exciting football competition in Europe to take centre-stage. The Champions League returns for the new season, with familiar faces, returning clubs and new upstarts looking to make their mark in the most important competition in European club football.

The Champions League draw threw up quite a few intriguing battles, and many of them will be witnessed on the opening matchday on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Two English Premier League sides face two of the Bundesliga giants in what promises to be a cracker of a couple of contests as Arsenal travel to the now familiar confines of the Westfalenstadion to take on Borussia Dotmund in their Group D opener.

This is the third time in four years that these two big names of European football have drawn each other in the group stages, and there will be a sense of déjà vu amongst the players when they take the field on Tuesday night.

"They're always good games when we face them," Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere told the club's official website. "It's a tough game and we go there first this time, so the hardest match of the group will be the first one.

"We can put a marker down in that game to say we're here to win this group. Even if we don't win the game, we don't want to lose it.

"The main one missing for them is [Marco] Reus, he's fantastic. I've watched him over the last few years and he's got better and better. Now he's one of the best players, if not the best player, in Germany so they'll miss him.

"But they've got quality players who can come in and they've made a good start to the season."

Last season Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in Germany, after Jurgen Klopp's men had pulled off a big 2-1 victory at the Emirates.

Another familiar matchup which will be witnessed in the first couple of days of Champions League action is between Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Like Dortmund and Arsenal, Bayern and Manchester City also were in the same group last season, with the two teams finishing first and second respectively.

The two teams, who will face each other for the third straight season in the group stages, split victories as well last season, and City will look to emulate the massive win at the Allianz Arena in 2013-14.

Another match to watch out for will be Liverpool vs Ludogorets. The Reds are returning to the Champions League after a bit of a hiatus, and Brendan Rodgers will be keen to make sure his UCL debut is a winning one against Ludogorets Razgrad, a team also making their debut in Europe's elite competition.

Liverpool will know the importance of an opening win having drawn champions Real Madrid in the same group, with the Los Blancos set to open the defence of their title against FC Basel.

All the other big teams will also be in action and the first two nights of Champions League football does promise to whet your appetite for plenty more to come.

Champions League Schedule (all matches 7.45 pm BST, 12.15 am IST, 2.45 pm ET): Tuesday: Group A: Juventus vs Malmo; Olympiakos vs Atletico Madrid.

Group B: Real Madrid vs FC Basel; Liverpool vs Ludogorets.

Group C: Benfica vs Zenit St. Petersburg; Monaco vs Bayer Leverkusen.

Group D: Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal; Galatasaray vs Anderlecht.

Wednesday: Group E: Bayern Munich vs Manchester City; Roma vs CSKA Moscow.

Group F: Barcelona vs APOEL; Ajax vs PSG.

Group G: Chelsea vs Schalke; Maribor vs Sporting Lisbon.

Group H: Athletic Bilbao vs Shakhtar Donetsk; FC Porto vs BATE Borisov.

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