Thursday, August 28, 2014

Champions League 2014-15: finally some football!

Wow! The World Cup is only a faraway memory of drama and mediocre football when one can look forward to the 2014-2015 Champions League, whose groups were drawn today.

Group A:
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Juventus
  • Olympiakos
  • Malmo
Zlatan's old team of Malmo are a welcome Swedish return to the Champions League after many years. Atletico Madrid will be looking to repeat (or improve) last year's final, while Juventus and Olympiakos could in the end be the winners in this group!

Group B:
  • Real Madrid
  • Basel
  • Liverpool
  • Ludogorets
The surprising Bulgarians, who could easily become the neutral's darlings, face the defending champions, as well as the darlings of many, Liverpool. Basel has before shown that they must never be understimated.

Group C:
  • Benfica
  • Zenit St. Petersburg
  • Bayer Leverkusen
  • Monaco
Benfica and Bayer Leverkusen are two teams that play entertaining football, and are bound to be worth seeing. Zenit St. Petersburg is always a difficult team, while the Monaco fancy boys are not likely to win friends (at least not me).

Group D:
  • Arsenal
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • Galatasaray
  • Anderlecht
One of my favourite groups, with four fantastic teams. Always had a soft spot for Dortmund, while Arsene Wenger's Arsenal continues to be interesting year after year. Galatasaray will always create atmosphere with their fans while Anderlecht... Well, Anderlecht sucks, but I hope to get to watch them!

Group E:
  • Bayern Munich
  • Manchester City
  • CSKA Moscow
  • AS Roma
Manchester City continues to look for success in the Champions League, and this year may be their year. Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola is still an awesome side, but not as awesome as yesteryear. AS Roma should not be underestimated and are a welcome return to the CL, while CSKA Moscow will be quickly forgotten.

Group F:
  • FC Barcelona
  • Paris St. Germain
  • Ajax Amsterdam
  • Apoel Nicosia
Barcelona and Paris are without a doubt favourites in this group, where their clash will be one of the ones to watch in the tournament. Ajax Amsterdam are a nice team, always worth a good match, and Apoel Nicosia have before caused trouble. And I like them because they eliminated Aalborg!

Group G:
  • Chelsea
  • Schalke 04
  • Sporting Lisbon
  • Maribor
Mourinho's Chelsea look like favourites in this group, and Chelsea could get far indeed. Schalke 04 are solid but can be shaken, and the same for Sporting Lisbon, who seems set to fight for second spot with the Germans. Maribor eliminated Celtic, and it is great to have a team from beautiful Slovenia in the Champions League!

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