Champions League 2020/21 - Your essential group-by-group guide as Europe's top club competition returns on BT Sport

The European footballing elite convene once again to challenge for the most coveted prize in club football with Bayern Munich seeking to defend their throne against a crowded field of contenders - and every match is exclusively live on BT Sport!

By George Mills Published: 20 October 2020 - 3.35pm

The Champions League is back! The biggest names on the planet go head-to-head for the ultimate prize in club football once again.

And as ever, BT Sport is the only place to watch every single match all the way through to the final on Saturday 29 May – with the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul playing host.

Every minute of the action is available right across our network, with games shown on TV as well as being available to live stream on the BT Sport app and BTSport.com.

Who will conquer Europe?

Champions League top contenders ranked

We cast our eye over the bookmakers' 10 favourites for this year's crown and analyse their chances of going all the way.

Don’t forget, when watching on the app or online, our enhanced video player puts you in charge, with access to the interactive timeline along with a whole host of real-time data.

The ever popular Champions League Goals Show returns for another season, with our European football experts keeping you across all the 8pm kick-offs every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the group stage.

Read on for our group-by-group guide, as well as broadcast details for every matchday 1 fixture, or jump to a group of your choice using the table below.

Teams

Bayern, Atletico, Salzburg, Lokomotiv

Teams

Real, Shakhtar, Inter, Gladbach

Teams

Porto, Man City, Olympiacos, Marseille

Teams

Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland

Teams

Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes

Teams

Zenit, Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge

Teams

Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvaros

Teams

PSG, Man Utd, Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir

Groups

Teams

Bayern, Atletico, Salzburg, Lokomotiv

Real, Shakhtar, Inter, Gladbach

Porto, Man City, Olympiacos, Marseille

Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland

Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes

Zenit, Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge

Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvaros

PSG, Man Utd, Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir

Group A

Prediction: Bayern Munich (1st), Atletico Madrid (2nd), RB Salzburg (3rd), Lokomotiv Moscow (4th)

Without doubt the most in-form team in Europe right now, it would take a brave soul to bet against Hansi Flick's ferocious Bayern Munich side topping this group having cantered to victory in both the European Super Cup and German Super Cup already this season. Atletico Madrid, twice finalists under coach Diego Simeone in this competition, have looked some way short of their best for a while now, but should still have enough to see off a youthful Salzburg into second place. The Austrian outfit are renowned for their player development pathway having brought through the likes of Erling Haaland, Sadio Mane and Dayot Upemacano in recent years and are well capable of causing a shock in the group stages - as Liverpool and Napoli almost found out during last year's tournament. Ultimately their inexperience saw them drop into the Europa League and Salzburg will likely suffer a similar fate this time around, with Russian runners-up Lokomotiv Moscow propping up the table.

Time & date

5.45pm, Wednesday 21 October

Channel information

BT Sport ESPN HD

Time & date

8pm, Wednesday 21 October

Channel information

BT Sport ESPN HD

Matchday 1 fixtures

Time & date

Channel information

5.45pm, Wednesday 21 October

BT Sport ESPN HD

8pm, Wednesday 21 October

BT Sport ESPN HD

Group B

Prediction: Real Madrid (1st), Internazionale (2nd), Shakhtar Donetsk (3rd), Borussia Monchengladbach (4th)

The Champions League is Real Madrid's competition; the 13-time holders may not be the force they once were, but Zinedine Zidane's men have outstanding pedigree in this tournament and are tough to overlook as group winners. Last season's beaten Europa League finalists Inter should have enough about them to cruise into second place, despite manager Antonio Conte's well-documented struggles in the competition. Their success will hinge upon the form of deadly duo Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez up top, the latter of whom is poised for a real breakout year on the biggest stage. Serial group stage stalwarts Shakhtar can give anyone a black eye on their night but lack the personnel to really trouble the big two over six games. Borussia Monchengladbach's first appearance in the competition for four years could be a brief one - but the Germans qualified for the tournament on merit having sealed a top four spot in the Bundesliga with the third-best defensive record last season and should not be underestimated.

Time & date

5.30pm, Wednesday 21 October

Channel information

BT Sport 1 HD

Time & date

7.45pm, Wednesday 21 October

Channel information

BT Sport Extra 2 HD

Matchday 1 fixtures

Time & date

Channel information

5.30pm, Wednesday 21 October

BT Sport 1 HD

7.45pm, Wednesday 21 October

BT Sport Extra 2 HD

Group C

Prediction: Man City (1st), Marseille (2nd), Porto (3rd), Olympiacos (4th)

It'll be a decade since Pep Guardiola last lifted the Champions League trophy by the time the final rolls round next May, but the Spaniard's Man City side remain among the favourites to lift this year's trophy. Injuries have already wreaked havoc upon the start of their domestic campaign but City have qualified for the latter stages for five years straight and, barring complete disaster, will make it six ahead of their Group C rivals. The fight for second place could be where the real intrigue takes place with Ligue 1 runners-up Marseille returning to the competition for the first time since 2014. Andre Villas-Boas' men will fancy themselves over a Porto side stripped of many of their best assets during a summer of much change. Greek side Olympiacos, who famously ended Arsenal's European journey last year, could make themselves a nuisance once again but are unlikely to pull up any trees.

Time & date

7pm, Wednesday 21 October

Channel information

BT Sport 3 HD & Ultimate

Time & date

7.45pm, Wednesday 21 October

Channel information

BT Sport Extra 4 HD

Matchday 1 fixtures

Time & date

Channel information

7pm, Wednesday 21 October

BT Sport 3 HD & Ultimate

7.45pm, Wednesday 21 October

BT Sport Extra 4 HD

Group D

Prediction: Liverpool (1st), Atalanta (2nd), Ajax (3rd), Midtjylland (4th)

The race for qualification from Group D could be much closer than many might gather from a glance at Liverpool's rivals on paper. The Reds have shown themselves not be to immune from a tremble at this stage of the competition and were it not for a miracle save from Alisson, Jurgen Klopp's men would have been bumped into the Europa League the year they ended up winning the tournament in 2019.

Ajax's new boys in town

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After reaching the semi-finals two years ago, Europe's elite came calling. Now Ajax have assembled a new cast of promising youngsters.

Enter Atalanta; last year's quarter-finalists were only denied a place in the final four after leaking two goals to PSG in stoppage time. Gian Peiro Gasperini's side are bonafide Serie A title contenders and one of the most prolific sides across all of Europe's major leagues. Ajax, having lost almost all of the impressive core that took the competition by storm two years ago, will be competitive but are unlikely to match those heroic exploits, while Midtjylland should simply enjoy the scenery while it lasts.  

Time & date

7pm, Wednesday 21 October

Channel information

BT Sport 2 HD

Time & date

7.45pm, Wednesday 21 October

Channel information

BT Sport Extra 3 HD

Matchday 1 fixtures

Time & date

Channel information

7pm, Wednesday 21 October

BT Sport 2 HD

7.45pm, Wednesday 21 October

BT Sport Extra 3 HD

Group E

Prediction: Sevilla (1st), Chelsea (2nd), Rennes (3rd), Krasnodar (4th)

Having taken a gold-plated sledgehammer to the idea Frank Lampard would be the custodian of a patient, youthful rebuild at Chelsea - following a lavish summer of spending in west London - qualification from their Champions League group is the bare minimum that should be expected this autumn. However, building chemistry between so many new faces is not an overnight project, as evidenced by the Blues' early season inconsistencies, and Sevilla look perfectly poised to capitalise on the Premier League giants' teething problems. Reigning Europa League champions helmed by former Spain manager Julen Lopetegui, the Andalusian side will have ambitions of making a mark in the Europe's top competition this time round. Rennes, who finished third in Ligue 1 to qualify for the competition boast some fine domestic talent among their ranks - including eye-catching midfielder Eduardo Camavinga - but are likely to end up in the Europa League. Krasnodar, meanwhile, will continue to rely on opposing teams suffering from travel fatigue to score any points.

Time & date

7pm, Tuesday 20 October

Channel information

BT Sport 3 HD & Ultimate

Time & date

7.45pm, Tuesday 20 October

Channel information

BT Sport Extra 4 HD

Matchday 1 fixtures

Time & date

Channel information

7pm, Tuesday 20 October

BT Sport 3 HD & Ultimate

7.45pm, Tuesday 20 October

BT Sport Extra 4 HD

Group F

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund (1st), Lazio (2nd), Club Brugge (3rd), Zenit St Petersburg (4th)

Alongside Ajax, Dortmund can pride themselves on a reputation as one of the most prolific talent factories in European football. They bolstered that reputation this summer with the capture of English prodigy Jude Bellingham from Birmingham and the 17-year-old has already made a solid impact at the club. Manager Lucien Favre will not go down as one of Dortmund's most beloved coaches, but the Frenchman should be credited for the emergence of the likes of Jadon Sancho, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Gio Reyna and Erling Haaland as genuine stars. They will top the group with Lazio fired into second place by the goals of Italian poacher Ciro Immobile, who has tallied 103 strikes in just 142 games with the Rome outfit. Belgium's Club Brugge - who almost upset Real Madrid in memorable fashion last year - and Russian league winners Zenit St Petersburg will contest third spot in the hopes of dropping down into the Europa League.

Time & date

5.45pm, Tuesday 20 October

Channel information

BT Sport ESPN HD

Time & date

7.45pm, Tuesday 20 October

Channel information

BT Sport Extra 2 HD

Matchday 1 fixtures

Time & date

Channel information

5.45pm, Tuesday 20 October

BT Sport ESPN HD

7.45pm, Tuesday 20 October

BT Sport Extra 2 HD

Group G

Prediction: Juventus (1st), Barcelona (2nd), Dynamo Kyiv (3rd), Ferencvaros (4th)

It's been a while since we were treated to the sight of Messrs Messi and Ronaldo lining up against one another, but the old foes will lock horns in the European group stages for the very first time this year. With age catching up to both men, the window of opportunity to Champions League glory is narrowing by the year, but both Juve and Barca should have more than enough quality to ensure their participation in the knockout stages of the tournament. Now coached by former Bianconeri man Andrea Pirlo, Juve look the strongest side on paper while Ronaldo Koeman's Blaugrauna have a point to prove given their European woes over the previous few years. Dynamo Kyiv are usually lively for a game or two but their feint chances of qualification will be impact by the likely lack of a hostile home crowd to call upon. Playoff qualifiers Ferencvaros are the safe bet to prop the table up.

Time & date

5.30pm, Tuesday 20 October

Channel information

BT Sport 1 HD

Time & date

8pm, Tuesday 20 October

Channel information

BT Sport ESPN HD

Matchday 1 fixtures

Time & date

Channel information

5.30pm, Tuesday 20 October

BT Sport 1 HD

8pm, Tuesday 20 October

BT Sport ESPN HD

Group H

Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain (1st), Manchester United (2nd), RB Leipzig (3rd), Istanbul Basaksehir (4th)

Without question this year's group of death, Group H sees last year's finalists PSG pitted against Bundesliga title contenders RB Leipzig, Turkish Super Lig winners Istanbul Basaksehir and three-time tournament winners Manchester United.

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Thomas Tuchel's French giants should be considered favourites given their succeess in the previous edition of the competition, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils could face a gruelling fight to secure their place in the next round. Far from convincing in the early stages of the domestic season, they will be tested thoroughly by Julian Nagelsmann's well-drilled Leipzig but with star power across the pitch, United will feel they can prevail against this early test. All aboard the nostalgia express with Premier League alumni Martin Skrtel, Demba Ba and Nacer Chadli likely to be on display for Istanbul during the group stages but Okan Buruk's men are a safe bet for fourth place.

Time & date

7pm, Tuesday 20 October

Channel information

BT Sport 2 HD

Time & date

7.45pm, Tuesday 20 October

Channel information

BT Sport Extra 3 HD

Matchday 1 fixtures

Time & date

Channel information

7pm, Tuesday 20 October

BT Sport 2 HD

7.45pm, Tuesday 20 October

BT Sport Extra 3 HD