UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2012-2013 ANALYSIS
Hello all! This is an exciting field of 32 teams who have all been successful in their domestic campaigns. There are a lot of familiar faces and a couple of surprise contenders. Here is a breakdown of the teams and predictions.
FC Porto (Portugal), Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine), PSG (France) and Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)
The Portuguese did not make it past the group stages last year and PSG acquired Zlatan Ibrahimovich from AC Milan. Expect fire works on and off the field. Can you imagine him and Mario Balotelli on your team? I see FC Porto and PSG going through.
Arsenal (England), FC Schalke (Germany), Olympiakos (Greece) and Montpellier (France)
Arsenal has brought in Lukas Podolski and Santi Carzola. Their defence has improved as well. Still don’t know why they sold RVP to Manchester United. Schalke made it to the semi finals 2 seasons ago and have a proven goal scorer in Dutch international Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Verdict Arsenal and FC Schalke to qualify from group.
AC Milan (Italy), Zenit St Petersburg (Russia), Anderlecht (Belgium) and Malaga (Spain)
AC Milan sold Ibrahimovic to PSG and replaced him with Giampaolo Pazzini. Zenit St Petersburg has the cash to splash around and they flexed their financial muscle by acquiring ‘Hulk’ from FC Porto for 50 million Euros. AC Milan and Zenit St Petersburg to advance comfortably.
Real Madrid (Spain), Manchester City (England), Ajax (Holland) and Borussia Dortmund
This is the group everyone is talking about. Each team has won their league so it is a clash of the titans. If Sergio Aguerro and Carlos Tevez are on form, the argentians can take City a long way in the competition. Real Madrid has acquired Luka Modric from Tottenham Hotspurs to bring creativity to their midfield. This is a tough one to call. I pick Real Madrid and Man city by the slimmest of margins to qualify out of their group.
Chelsea (England), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), Juventus (Italy) and FC Nordsjaelland (Denmark).
Chelsea has invested heavily in new acquisitions notably Eden hazard and it is still left to the jury if Fernando Torres can get the goals. Juventus will also be in the mix. It is going to be ugly for FC Nordsjaelland. They are going to be the whipping boys of the group. I pick Chelsea and Shakhtar to qualify.
Bayern Munich (Germany), Valencia (Spain), Lille (France) and Bate Borisov (Belarus)
Bayern Munich has been in 2 of the last 3 finals albeit on the losing side. In Arjen Robben they have a match winner who can change a game in the blink of an eye. Valencia will battle with Lille for the runners up position. I pick Bayern Munich and Valencia to qualify.
Barcelona (Spain), Benfica (Portugal), Spartak Moscow (Russia) and
Barcelona has won the competition 3 times in the last 6 years (2006, 2009 and 2011). With the world player of the year (who also scored the winning goal in the world cup 2010 and the goal that took Barcelona through against Chelsea at Stamford bridge) dominating the midfield along with Xavi, look for them to progress. Benefica are also experienced in the champion’s league and Oscar Cardozo will get them goals. Spartak Moscow with their Nigerian International striker Emmanuel Emmenike will battle with Benefica for 2nd place. I see Barcelona and Benfica advancing to the knockout stages.
Manchester United (England), Braga (Portugal), CFR Cluj (Romania) and Galatsaray (Turkey)
Manchester United has acquired RVP and Shinji Kagawa and will get out of this group to banish the shock of last year’s early exit. Braga was in the finals of the Europea league in 2011. They have a Brazilian striker Lima who will score goals. Manchester and Braga to advance.
So there you have it! I do hope you all enjoy all the matches.
Contributing writer – Segun Ariyo (a.ka. MR. FOOTBALL)
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