The tasks facing the British sides in the Champions League this week

Champions League football returns this week (Nigel French/PA)
Champions League football returns this week (Nigel French/PA)

The Champions League returns this week with England’s four clubs all hoping to make a big step towards the knock-out stages, while Celtic are in need of a spark to ignite their campaign.

Holders Manchester City can seal their place in the next round with a win, while Arsenal also top their group, but Newcastle and Manchester United have work to do.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the teams the British contenders face in the latest round of fixtures.

Manchester City v Young Boys (Tuesday)

The Swiss Super League leaders will come to Manchester on Tuesday hoping for a night similar to the one they enjoyed on the other side of town back in December 2021. Having already beaten Manchester United 2-1 in Bern, Young Boys earned a point from a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford as Fabian Rieder cancelled out Mason Greenwood’s early goal.

The challenge at the Etihad is likely to be very different, however. City top Group G after opening up with three straight wins, the last of them a 3-1 victory over Young Boys in Bern, and can secure qualification with a win.

Young Boys, the reigning Swiss champions, are playing in the Champions League for the 10th time, and the first since the 2021-22 campaign, when they finished bottom in their group despite taking four points off United.

Since their last meeting with City, Young Boys have played three straight games away from home, and come into the match on the back of a 4-1 league win over Winterthur.

Borussia Dortmund v Newcastle (Tuesday)

Newcastle United v Borussia Dortmund – UEFA Champions League – Group F – St. James’ Park
Borussia Dortmund beat Newcastle when the sides met at St James’ Park (Will Matthews/PA)

Newcastle will travel to the famed Westfalenstadion level on points with Dortmund in the so-called ‘group of death’, Group F, and looking for revenge after losing the reverse fixture 1-0 at St James’ Park.

But Bayern Munich demonstrated it is far from an impenetrable fortress as recently as Saturday, and Dortmund, who have made it to the knock-out stages in eight of their 10 most recent Champions League campaigns, come into the game bruised from a 4-0 home hiding by their rivals.

But Dortmund, the 1997 European champions, are no pushovers in this competition, and have lost only two of their last 10 Champions League group-stage matches, winning four and drawing four.

However, they have struggled for goals in the competition this season, with Felix Nmecha’s goal in Newcastle the only one they have scored in their opening three games, having lost 2-0 to Paris St Germain and drawn 0-0 with AC Milan.

Atletico Madrid v Celtic (Tuesday)

Celtic v Atletico Madrid – UEFA Champions League – Group E – Celtic Park
Diego Simeone remonstrates with officials during his side’s 2-2 draw at Celtic Park (Andrew Milligan/PA)

In need of a win to have any chance of getting off the bottom of Group E, Celtic face a daunting trip to take on two-time Champions League runners-up Atletico Madrid.

Brendan Rodgers’ side managed to frustrate Atletico at Celtic Park in a 2-2 draw last month. That was the seventh time the two sides have met and the third draw, with Atletico having won the other four matches.

That result saw Diego Simeone’s men surrender top spot in the group to Feyenoord, having taken five points from their opening three fixtures but at least avoiding defeat up to this point.

They were not so lucky in LaLiga at the weekend as a 2-1 defeat at Las Palmas ended a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

Copenhagen v Manchester United (Wednesday)

United needed a stoppage-time penalty save from Andre Onana to preserve a 1-0 win when these two sides met at Old Trafford last month, a defeat which left Copenhagen bottom of the group with only one point from their opening three games.

Jacob Nestrup’s side have taken their frustrations out on the Danish Superliga, scoring nine goals in their three domestic games since to take nine points, the most recent win a 4-2 victory away to Randers, results that have kept them top of the table.

The Danish champions began their Champions League campaign in the second qualifying round, routing Iceland’s Breidablik 8-3 on aggregate, but had a harder time seeing off Sparta Prague and Polish champions Rakow Czestochowa on their way to the group stages.

United striker Ramus Hojlund, 20, could come up against 18-year-old twin brothers Oscar and Emil, both part of former club Copenhagen’s squad for the competition, with Oscar having appeared as a late substitute in Manchester.

Arsenal v Sevilla (Wednesday)

Arsenal’s 2-1 win at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium last month kept Sevilla winless in Group B and in urgent need of points if they are to find a way through to the knock-out phases.

Sevilla drew their opening two fixtures. They led French side Lens 1-0 at home in their opener courtesy of Lucas Ocampos’ early strike, but had to settle for a point after Angelo Fulgini levelled.

They were pegged back once again in a dramatic conclusion to their trip to PSV Eindhoven, where they were 1-0 up and 2-1 ahead before Jordan Teze snatched a 2-2 draw deep into stoppage time.

Wins have been hard to come by and they have not enjoyed one in LaLiga in their last five, drawing four straight after losing at Barcelona, and that has seen them slip to 15th in the table.