By Muambo Edward
Football Writer, Cameroon
The group stage of the prestigious UEFA Champions League kicks-off this Tuesday September 17, 2019, with five Cameroonian players looking forward to help their teams pick up wins.
Red Bull Salzburg vs Genk
Indomitable Lions defender Jérôme Onguene and Red Bull Salzburg will host Belgian outfit Genk for their first game this Tuesday in Group E at their Red Bull Arena.
The 21 year old native of Mbalmayo has played five league games so far this season for the defending Austrian champions, in seven league games. They currently occupy the top spot on the log with 21 points from a possible 21.
This will be the first meeting ever in European club competitions between the two clubs. It will be only the third time a Belgian team is confronting an Austrian team in the UEFA Champions League.
In the 2005/2006 competition, Rapid Wien and Club Brugge were drawn in the same group and Club Brugge won both games.
Red Bull Salzburg are in the champions league for the second time, after previously competing in the tournament in 1994/1995. They are only one of four Austrian teams to participate in the tournament since the 1993/1994 tournament.
In their maiden participation in the tournament in the 1993/1994 season, Salzburg managed just a win, drawing three and losing two. They were then known as Austria Salzburg before a takeover in 2005 led to a change of name.
This will be Genk’s third participation in the tournament. They previously took part in the 2002/2003 and 2011/2012 tournaments.
They are yet to register a win the tournament, drawing seven and losing five. No other team has played more games in the competition without recording a win. They are level with Partizan Belgrade and Rapid Wien.
Napoli vs Liverpool
Still in Group E, defending champions Liverpool FC travel to Italy to take on Napoli. Their 28 year old Cameroon defender Job Joël André Matip has become an established player in the team just like he was in the second half of last season.
He only missed Liverpool’s first league game of the season against Norwich City. He has featured in their other four league games and has even registered a goal in the league, adding to his goal in the Community Shield.
He is having a very good season so far.
This will be the fifth time Liverpool and Napoli are meeting in the European club competitions. They came against each other twice at the group stage of the UEFA Europa League in the 2010/2011 competition and met again twice at the group stage of the UEFA Champions League last season.
Napoli had the better of Liverpool at the Stadio San Paulo thanks to a 90th minute strike from Lorenzo Insigne.
English clubs have dominated Italian clubs in European competitions, including qualifiers. The English clubs have won the last seven successive games against Italian clubs, which is the longest such run ever.
Napoli have won just one of their six last meeting against English clubs in European competitions, losing the other five and failing to score in three of those games. Their only win was that 1-0 win against Liverpool in last season’s tournament and interestingly, Liverpool did not attempt a single shot on target in that game. It was the first time in 74 games in the competition that they failed to have a shot on target.
Ajax Amsterdam vs Lille
In Group H, 24 year Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana and last season’s semi-finalists Ajax will host French Ligue 1 runners-up Lille.
The Cameroon goalkeeper has been an ever present for the reigning Dutch champions since the start of the season.
They are currently joint top with PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Eredevisie with 13 point from five games.
He has already featured in preliminary games this season for Ajax in the competition and will without any doubt keep his place against Lille.
This will be a first ever competitive meeting between Ajax and Lille. Lille are now the seventh different French club to face the four times Champions League winners in European competitions. The other six are Auxerre, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, PSG and Strasbourg.
Including qualifiers, the Lille have not been victorious in any of their last 11 game in European club competitions, drawing six and losing five and managing just five goals in these games.
PSG vs Real Madrid
30 year old Indomitable Lions captain Jean-Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and 18 year old forward Alexandre Fressange with French Champions PSG will welcome 13 times record winners Real Madrid.
Choupo-Moting has already bagged three goals in three league games this season, as many as he managed in 22 last season. He has found a new lease of life at the French capital, and is a man in confidence.
With Mbappe and Cavani injured, he has a good chance to lead the line the French team in this game.
The absences of Kylian Mbappe and Edison Canavani has led to the inclusion of Cameroon teenager Alexandre Fressange who has been in good form with the U-19s, into PSG’s squad for the game.
This will be a ninth meeting between the two teams in European club competitions and four of the previous eight have been in the UEFA Champions League.
Choupo-Moting’s PSG have not won any of their last five competitive games against Real Madrid, drawing two and losing three. Real Madrid have won the last three in a row against PSG.
But PSG are difficult to break down at the Parc des Prince. They are unbeaten in 21 successive UEFA Champions League at home at the group stage, winning 15 and drawing 6. The last they lost at home in the Champions League was in December 2004, in a 1-3 loss against CSKA Moscow.
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