European champions Real Madrid begin their Champions League defence with a clash against Swiss side FC Basel at the Bernabeu Stadium on Tuesday.
Where to Watch Live
Real Madrid's opening Champions League game is set for an 8.45 pm local time (12.30 pm IST) start with live coverage on Ten Sports in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action in the UK on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD and NOW TV, with the option to live stream the match online HEREor HERE.
Viewers in the US can watch the Champions League game on Fox Sports and ESPN Deportes, with an option to live stream HERE. Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can catch the action via live streaming HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can do the same HERE.
After their triumph against Sevilla in the in the UEFA Super Cup, the Los Blancos have looked off colour this season, succumbing to a defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup and losing two out of three fixtures in the La Liga, including another loss to Atletico.
While they were able to start the new La Liga campaign with a 2-0 win over Cordoba, they soon dropped to 13th position, following successive defeats against Real Soceidad (4-2) and Atletico Madrid (2-1).
The Spanish giants' form in the preseason was also not that great as they suffered defeats against Manchester United, Fiorentina, Roma and Inter Milan (penalties).
Real Madrid's drop in form this season has led to questions about Florentino Perez's summer transactions, where he bought the likes James Rodriguez (Monaco) and Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich) and sold off some key players including Ángel Di María (Manchester United) and Xabi Alonso (Bayern Munich).
Speculations on Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid future has also been a hot topic of discussion, with reports suggesting the the forward is looking to re-joining his former side Manchester United after being unhappy with Perez's policy of selling key players.
Despite everything, the defending European Champions will be expected to register a win in their opening Champions League fixture against FC Basel.
And Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti says that the Los Blancos are itching to bounce back following their defeat to Atletico in the Madrid Derby this weekend.
"This match comes at the right time to show a response and demonstrate what a good team we are. It's important to start this competition well. I think we will be competitive and we will try to win it again," the Italian boss said.
However, the former PSG manager insists that his side will not be taking the Swiss outfit lightly after watching them do a double over Chelsea last season.
"Basel are in good shape and last year they defeated Chelsea. The standard of Swiss football is improving and their national team has achieved good things," he added.
Basel will indeed be looking to do better in the Champions League this season after failing to make it out of the group stages in 2013/14.
Although they were able to beat Chelsea in both the home and away last season, they were only able to register draws and defeats against Steaua Bucharest and Schalke respectively.
This season they have been placed in an even more difficult group alongside Real Madrid, Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad.
However, Basel boss Paulo Sousa insists that playing against the best will only improve their own standards.
"Playing against the best will enable us to reach another level. I need to adjust some things but we must also maintain our identity. We are focused on the game and all the players want to be involved. This is a fantastic opportunity to perform on this stage. We will enjoy it," Sousa said.
Despite admitting that Real Madrid will be able to overcome their poor start to the 2014/15 campaign as the season progresses, Sousa is hoping to inflict further pain on the European champions.
"Despite the size of a club like Real Madrid, bad results can happen. I am sure they will solve their problems, but I hope that doesn't happen tomorrow. We want to be competitive and hopefully tomorrow we have a chance to win," he added on Monday.