The 2020 UEFA Champions League is back in action starting tomorrow, 8 August, with some spicy ties lined up in the round of 16 right before we head into the quarters. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is the UEFA Champions League?
The UEFA Champions League brings together the top-division clubs across Europe’s various competitions and is considered the most prestigious football tournament on the continent.
The qualification rounds kicked off in June last year before 32 teams qualified to compete in the group stage in September. Fast forward to March 2020 and we were in the midst of the second leg of the round-of-16 ties before the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic took over, forcing the tournament to be postponed.
Now that restrictions have started to ease and we’re seeing more sports come back into action, the Champions League too is resuming its fixtures — and we’re rejoicing.
When is the Champions League restarting?
The Champions League is back on screens starting 8 August, but as goes with most games played in Europe, the time difference isn’t on our side — unless you’re a very earlier riser.
The start time for most games is 5am AEST. We suggest sleeping early the night before so you can wake up in time for kickoff, with a large mug of coffee in hand, before continuing with the rest of your day.
Champions League fixtures, quarter-finals and final
The remaining round of 16 second legs will be played at the home teams’ stadiums behind closed doors while the quarter-finals, semis and final will take place in Lisbon, Portugal.
Round of 16 – second leg
August 8 at 5:00am AEST
- Manchester City vs Real Madrid (2-1)
- Juventus vs Lyon (0-1)
August 9 at 5:00am AEST
- Bayern Munch vs Chelsea (3-0)
- Barcelona vs Napoli (1-1)
August 13 at 5:00am AEST
- Atalanta vs Paris St-Germain
August 14 at 5:00am AEST
- RB Leipzig v Atletico Madrid
August 15 5:00am (TBC)
- Napoli or Barcelona vs Chelsea or Bayern Munich
August 16 5:00am (TBC)
- Real Madrid or Manchester City vs Lyon or Juventus
- The last-four encounters will take place on 19 August. The time is yet to be confirmed.
Champions League final
The big clash will take place on August 24 at 5:00am AEST at Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal.
How to watch the Champions League matches live in Australia
Unless you’re using a VPN, the only way to watch Champions League fixtures in Australia is via Optus Sport, which will set you back $14.99 per month. However, as of this weekend, Optus is giving locked down Victorians complimentary access to the service. If you’re in the state, all you have to do is download Optus Sport on your preferred platofrm and watch Champions League for free.
If you’re outside Victoria, you will still need to download the service via the Apple or Google Play stores. You’ll be able to watch games on all Android & iOS devices as well as Fetch TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Xbox One S and Xbox One X.
Use a VPN instead
When it comes to consumer rights, deliberately circumventing geo-blocks is a murky area. However, there are currently no laws prohibiting the practice in Australia. Optus might not like it, but you can’t be fined.
Once again, BT Sport has exclusive rights to show the Champions League in the UK, so that’s your go-to channel if you’re using a VPN.
Installing one will enable you to to alter your IP address to tune into a channel being aired in another country. We have a couple of strong VPN recommendations below, but if you’re after a wider selection, check out our list of the best VPNs from last year.
PureVPN is currently offering a 15-day trial for only $0.99 after which you can pay $10.95 for a per month plan or $8.33 for a six-month plan (priced after a 24 per cent discount). Once you’re done watching sports, you can even use it to access US Netflix.
You can use NordVPN to watch all of the remaining Champions League matches . Currently, the service is offering its three-year plan for $3.49 per month which is a whopping 70 per cent saving on your total cost. If you’re unhappy, the plan is fully refundable within 30 days.
Alternatively, you can opt for its two-year plan which will save you 58 per cent and costs $4.99 per month. The one-year plan with a 41 per cent saving will set you back $6.99 per month.
If you don’t want to commit long-term, there’s an option to pay $11.95 per month and cancel anytime.
This article was originally written by Chris Jager and has been updated since its original publication with new information from Optus Sport.
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