Champions League guide: Group G in focus
Group G is one of the most unpredictable in this season’s Champions League, with all four teams in with a good shot of reaching the knockout stages.
French champions Lille are arguably favourites to top the table after keeping together most of their title-winning squad, including midfielder Renato Sanches and forward Jonathan Ikone.
Sevilla gave the LaLiga big boys a real scare last season before falling away to finish fourth.
They have won the Europa League a record-breaking six times but will see this group as a chance to make their mark at Europe’s top table.
However, FC Salzburg and Wolfsburg will also feel that this year’s draw has handed them a realistic chance of progression.
The Germans went all the way to the quarter-finals last time they were in the Champions League but Austrians Salzburg will need to improve on their two third-place finishes over the last two seasons.
Champions League Group G fixtures
Check back throughout the group stage for the latest results and match reports
Tuesday September 14
Sevilla 1-1 FC Salzburg
Lille 0-0 Wolfsburg
Wednesday September 29
FC Salzburg 2-1 Lille
Wolfsburg 1-1 Sevilla
Wednesday October 20
FC Salzburg 3-1 Wolfsburg
Lille 0-0 Sevilla
Tuesday November 2
Wolfsburg 2-1 FC Salzburg
Sevilla 1-2 Lille
Tuesday November 23
Lille 1-0 FC Salzburg
Sevilla 2-0 Wolfsburg
Wednesday December 8
FC Salzburg 1-0 Sevilla
Wolfsburg 1-3 Lille
Key fixture: FC Salzburg vs Lille
The opening fixture of the group stage sees Lille travel to Salzburg, who must make home advantage count if they want to reach the round of 16.
The French outfit have got off to a rocky start this season, winning just one of their first four games in Ligue 1 and Salzburg could catch them off guard.
Die Roten Bullen began their Champions League campaign in thrilling fashion two years ago, when they beat Genk 6-2 in their opening match.
Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland bagged a hat-trick in that game and the Austrian club will be hoping a new star can announce themselves against Les Dogues later this month.
One to watch: Renato Sanches
Lille’s 24-year-old midfield wrecking ball Sanches has already had a rollercoaster career.
The Golden Boy winner was the youngest player in Portugal’s Euro 2016 winning side.
But after the highs of that summer — when he also moved from Benfica to Bayern Munich — came the lows of a loan spell at Swansea City in the 2017-18 season, when he famously passed the ball to an advertising board.
Sanches has managed to turn his career around at Lille over the past two seasons after joining for a club-record fee of £18million in 2019.
His ability to break down compact defences helped LOSC win Ligue 1 — his fourth league title in six years.
Breakout star: Karim Adeyemi
There are high hopes in Salzburg that Karim Adeyemi could be Red Bull’s next big thing.
The one-cap German international is already on the radar of clubs like Bayern Munich, and for good reason.
Adeyemi, 19, came through Salzburg’s feeder club Liefering before making 29 appearances for Die Roten Bullen last season.
But things have really clicked into gear this campaign, with the teen scoring six goals in his first six Austrian Bundesliga matches of 2021-22.
French champions Lille probably have enough quality in their squad to at least reach the knockout stages, if not win the group.
Sevilla are likely to be their main challengers but both Wolfsburg and Salzburg will push those two sides all the way — and one could even cause an upset.
Expect the gap between top and bottom of the table to be much narrower than in the Champions League’s other groups, with each team capable of taking points off each other across the six rounds of action.
All information correct as of 8pm, September 14, 2021