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Teams to watch out for in this season's Champions League

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
951   //    01 Sep 2018, 20:24 IST

Image result for champions league groups 18/19

The 2018/19 Champions League Group Stage draw has been made, and it had some key groupings.

Juventus will face Man United, with Ronaldo returning to an old stomping ground.

Liverpool holds a “group of death” with Napoli, PSG, and Red Star Belgrade.

Record-winning holders Real Madrid face Roma, CSKA Moscow, and Plksen.

Barca has Tottenham Hotspur, PSV, and Inter.

Bayern faces Benfica, Ajax, and AEK.

Real Madrid, of course, will be looking to make it fourteen titles. But their bitter enemies Barca will be seeking to win their first CL since 2015. Juve hasn’t won it since 1996, and the last team from Serie A to win it was Inter in 2010. Inter too will be looking to make a mark again in it, especially as their city neighbours won’t be in the competition.

Of the English teams, Liverpool – losing to Real Madrid in the final 17/18 – will want to go one better. And City will want to match a record-breaking Premier League win with a CL title. Spurs have established themselves as a force in the Premier League and will look to cement their place amongst Europe’s elite. Man United, with problems on and off the pitch, will to re-establish themselves in the higher European echelon.

Bayern will be strong again, though PSG – with the world’s most expensive player and a recent World Cup winner – will be seeking to ensure they match their massive spending with European success.

So who will, or can, stand out? Which players and clubs will be the major players? Will there be any surprises?

If Real Madrid doesn’t make it four in a row, then who will resume their place as European Champions?

The Champions League is surely the greatest club show on Earth. And as the best and brightest in Europe match each other, it will surely be a highly intriguing season.

Juventus

Juventus v SS Lazio - Serie A

Ronaldo was bought by Juventus for a key purpose – to help them win the Champions League.

He is without a doubt one of the best players who has ever lived. And his successes at Man United and Real Madrid have made him a legend of the game. Juve is a world giant, like Man United and Real Madrid, but they haven’t won the CL since 1996, and the days of Vialli and Ravenelli.

Can he help Juve? This is the intention, and Max Allegri is under pressure to deliver. Juve has Serie A in the bag, as it were. But then they need to move up a level and ensure they can challenge effectually. It will be interesting, especially as Ronaldo goes back to Man United, where he was instrumental in helping them win the 2008 CL vs. Chelsea.


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