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Champions League rivals

Latest news from Juventus, Bordeaux and Haifa

In just under a week, Bayern kick off their 2009-10 Champions League campaign with the trip to face Maccabi Haifa. In next Tuesday’s parallel Group A fixture, Juventus host Girondins Bordeaux in Turin. But how have Munich’s group stage opponents begun the new season? What are the early pointers in terms of form, and have there been any significant changes to their squads? has done the research.

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Just like at Bayern, the Juventus training ground is quiet right now, with 15 players away on international duty. However, the star of the last few weeks is still in Turin: former Bremen man Diego (pictured) was not called up by Brazil, but is already a hero to Juve fans. Christened “King Diego” by sports daily Corriere dello Sport, the midfielder scored twice in a 3-1 victory away to AS Roma, even receiving an ovation from the home fans when he left the field.

“Diego is our new deadly weapon,” enthused keeper Gianluigi Buffon, “his name isn’t the only similarity with Maradona. We’ve not had such a creative player at Juve for a long time. It’s not surprising our fans have started to dream.” The dream in question is a first Serie A title since the club’s compulsory relegation in 2006. The Bianconeri have opened with two straight victories and appear well-placed to challenge for the trophy won four times on the trot by Inter.

Shortly before the transfer deadline, the Vecchia Signora (old lady) of Italian football also brought in Italy hardman Fabio Grosso from Olympique Lyon. However, veteran striker David Trezeguet is in his last season at the club. “I’ve decided to end my adventure in Turin. Ten years is the right point in time,” said the 31-year-old, who mainly features as a sub nowadays – his likely role when Juve return to Rome next Saturday to face early high-flyers Lazio, also on six points from two games.