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Official: Real Madrid’s schedule for the Champions League group stage

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Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

In a little under two weeks, the group stages of the UEFA Champions League will kick off and champions Real Madrid will begin the defence of their European crown.

The defending champions of Europe have been drawn in Group F along with familiar foes Shakhtar Donetsk, Bundesliga giants RB Leipzig and Scottish champions Celtic.

And UEFA has now released the official schedule for the group stages of the Champions League which is set to begin on September 6.

Real Madrid will kickstart their journey in the continental competition against Celtic away from home, which will come only a few days after a tricky La Liga clash against Real Sociedad at home.

A week later, Los Blancos will lock horns with RB Leipzig at the Santiago Bernabeu on September 14, which will only be days before the derby against Atletico Madrid, post which teams will fly off on the international break.

Upon return from the two-week break, Real Madrid will face Shakhtar Donetsk in their third Champions League fixture on October 4, at home, before facing the Ukrainian giants away from home a week later on October 11.

Real Madrid’s penultimate fixture in the group stages of the Champions League will come against RB Leipzig on October 25 at the Red Bull Arena. They will finally bring an end to the first round of the continental competition with a home game versus Celtic on November 2.

Having lifted the trophy last season, the pressure will be on Carlo Ancelotti & co. to repeat the heroics again this time out. And while the draw might seem to easy on the paper, away trips to Leipzig, Shakhtar and Celtic could prove to be tricky affairs.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid were offered Man City loanee in January, club decided against move – Romano

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Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP /AFP via Getty Images

Joao Cancelo’s loan move to Bayern Munich from Manchester City in the final days of the January transfer window came as a huge shock.

The Portuguese international signed for the Bavarian giants on a loan deal until the end of the season with a non-mandatory purchase option worth €70 million.

But, according to Fabrizio Romano, before his move to Bayern Munich, Cancelo was also offered to Real Madrid, who decided against signing any player in the January transfer window.

The Manchester City loanee has been on Los Blancos’ radars in the past, but the club made it clear that they are uninterested in signing any new players during the winter window.

As things stand, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez are Carlo Ancelotti’s options at right-back, but there are concerns over their fitness and longevity.

But, as things stand, Real Madrid have no plans to sign a new right-back in the summer as they have full faith in both Carvajal and Vazquez.

Furthermore, Romano adds that the Merengues believe that they have a top right-back for the future in the form of Vinicius Tobias.

The teenage Brazilian joined the club in April last year from Shakhtar Donetsk on loan with a purchase option. He has been earning rave reviews for his performances for Real Madrid’s Castilla outfit under Raul Gonzalez.

So, there is a good chance that the Spanish and European champions will sign Tobias permanently.

All these factors seemingly compelled them against making a move for Cancelo when he was offered to the club last month. The Portuguese international has already made his debut for Bayern Munich and registered an assist on his debut.

Whether they decide to sign him permanently for €70 million in the summer remains to be seen. As for Real Madrid, though, there do not seem to be any imminent plans to reinforce the right-back position.

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