UEFA Champions League Preview

Written by Square in the Air

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The blare of Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ will be music to the ears of millions of football fans when the UEFA Champions League returns for another year this Tuesday night. It looks like it’s going to be a stellar campaign for the Spaniards who boast five teams in this year’s competition.

On last season’s performance you’d have to give Juve a chance but, seeing as they’ve departed with Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez, they might not make it much further than the group stages. For the English sides it doesn’t look too rosy either. Manchester City have a troubling habit of flopping in Europe, Arsenal have failed to get past the first knockout phase in all of their last five attempts and, well, Chelsea seem in a world of trouble at the moment.

Manchester United could go far, but this campaign might be a season too early, as they continue to rebuild after parting with Sir Alex Ferguson. German representatives Wolfsburg are a team heading in the right direction and did look worth following until they were drawn in the dreaded ‘Group of Death’. They could actually be in danger of an early bath.

Of course their domestic counterparts Bayern Munich will put up a strong challenge for the coveted trophy and are far better drawn in Group F. 

Group G is the other one that sets up a walk in the park for a European giant as Chelsea look set to brush aside Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The Champions League will be a welcome change of scenery for Jose Mourinho’s men who are struggling domestically and look shorn of the swagger that carried them to the Premier League title last year. The likes of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Willian will get a bit more time on the ball in Europe.

Like Chelsea, Zenit St Petersburg will be happy to be starting a fresh in Europe as their start to the domestic season has been a bit rocky.  Main man Hulk is on target at the moment, with five goals in eight games, and he will be sure to terrorise a few defences.

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