By Tim Stannard
Koeman admits that Barcelona aren't favorites in new edition of the Champions League as Ferencvaros come to town
The soccer gods have been kind to Barcelona in their plentiful grace and abundance.
Probably for the first time in 2020.
The Camp Nou club might have spent the week stewing in its own juices of misery and self-reflection after the weekend's defeat at Getafe, before facing Real Madrid in El Clasico on Saturday....which is live and exclusive on beIN SPORTS with coverage beginning at 9AM ET.
Instead, Barca have a chance for a do-over in the first match day of the Champions League on Tuesday. Budapest outfit, Ferencvaros, are the Camp Nou visitors and some of Barca's stars will be...Hungary....to take advantage.
Ferencavaros are now officially veterans in the 2020-21 Champions League campaign, having started their qualifying journey on August 19, just five days after Barca were jettisoned from Bayern Munich's cannon of cruelty in the 8-2 loss in Lisbon.
The Hungarians needed away goals to get past Molde in the final qualifying round. That, added to the fact that Barcelona have not lost a group stage game at home since 2009 - a run of 31 matches - suggests that Ronald Koeman's men might be able to turn a few frowns upside down before Saturday's Clasico.
Two of those frowns belong to Lionel Messi, who Koeman admitted pre-match was not in the best of form, and Antoine Griezmann, a player who might get chance number 40 to prove that he can click at Camp Nou.
With the general weirdness of 2020 and the memories of the Bayern hammering still fresh in Barcelona's collective mind, Koeman is understandably modest about the club's ambitions in the Champions League this season - "we aren't the favorites, but we can go far."
The targets for Tuesday's clash are more immediate - grabbing some goals and building a little confidence before Real Madrid come to town.
The Sports Burst live show will go over to Barcelona for all the latest at 12PM ET. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page and XTRA channel.
Cavani misses out on PSG return as di Maria returns to boost hosts
PSG are arguably starring in the tie of the round in the first Champions League match day with the Parisians hosting some familiar foes in the Parc de Princes - Manchester United.
It was the EPL outfit who knocked PSG out of the 2018-19 competition in fairly dramatic circumstances, but it's fair to say that PSG has gone onwards and upwards since that moment with a final appearance in 2020...unlike Manchester United, which has sort of gone sideways.
One of the big narratives ahead of the game was cruelly removed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Monday when announcing that former PSG hotshot, Edinson Cavani would not be traveling for the match having only had the single training session with United.
PSG's own story heading into the match also concerns who is missing - Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes are absent from the midfield, to reduce the amount of cleat-bearing resistance. Mauro Icardi also remains on the injury sidelines. However, Angel di Maria does return with the Argentinean's domestic suspension not carrying into European competition.
Rennes make Champions League history
Elsewhere in Tuesday's Champions League matches, the goals could be in abundance in the clash between Chelsea and Sevilla. LaLiga's Europa League winners are traveling to Stamford Bridge to face a side that concedes nearly two goals a game, these days.
Rennes face a big moment of their own with Europe's surprise package making its debut in the Champions League after finishing third in Ligue 1, last season. The Krasnodar clash is another milestone for the club's 17-year-old Eduardo Camavinga.
While Europe's Champions League group stage is only just beginning, the 2020 edition of the Copa Libertadores group stage is wrapping up this week and all the action will be live across the beIN SPORTS network from Tuesday through Thursday.
Group G finishes off at 6:15PM ET. While Santos are home and dry at the top, Defensa y Justicia, Olimpia and Delfin all have a chance of grabbing second spot to move into the knockout stages or the Copa Sudamericana.
At 8:30PM ET, Penarol have a must-win match on beIN SPORTS against Athletico Paranaense to have a chance of progressing from Group C.
Basketball makes beIN SPORTS debut
Before signing off, if you are missing the NBA, then beIN SPORTS can help plug the gap with some top-flight European basketball with the FIBA Champions League tipping off today at 2:20PM ET on beIN SPORTS XTRA. Iberostar Tenerife take on the Bakken Bears, with plenty of American talent in both rosters.
The second semifinal of Africa's Confederations Cup is also live, live, live on beIN SPORTS at 2:50PMET. Pyramids of....well....Egypt are facing Guniea's Horoya for a chance of playing RSB Berkane in Sunday's final.