European Review: Champions League


Having studied a little of the form for the upcoming games, it struck me as rather irrelevant as any team can beat another on a good day. Stats would have told me very little, as the likes of Plzen, Celtic, Austria Vienna and even Atletico Madrid have been in and out of this competition, or in Atletico’s case they have not been in it since 2009 – so getting their form in the competition from that long ago would be pointless. The likes of Celtic and Plzen as i have just mentioned have gone through long arduous qualifying campaigns throughout the quiet months of the summer – so beating poor 3rd rate teams from around the globe shows us nothing.

Having done transfer pieces and other varying articles, as well as the stats for the league games – we have built up a knowledge of these sides – both myself and James have watched and studied Football for years, so we know what we are on about! For the early stages of the Champions and Europa League’s, we will offer our opinions and also give tips, and do these reviews every game-week…so enjoy!

Bayern (1/5, Home) vs CSKA Moscow

Both these sides have had good starts to their league campaigns, CSKA sit top after a close 1-0 win over Rostov, who have been impressive so far. Bayern left it until the 2nd half to beat a stubborn Hannover 2-0, and remain unbeaten this season with four wins and a draw. CSKA are a good side but the Champions of Europe should win this easily – 3-0.

Benfica (1/2, Home) vs Anderlecht

Benfica have had an iffy start this season, until their 2-0 win over Pacos this weekend they had a record of W1 D1 L1 – that after going much of last season unbeaten. Change in personnel may have affected them a little, but they should be okay. Anderlecht have looked brilliant (I know, the Belgian league isnt the best) but do concede against the better sides like Zulte Waregem, so with Benfica’s slick passing and possession retention they should win, 2-1 our guess.

Juventus (2/5, Away) vs Copenhagen

Juventus have made a good start to the season after winning the title in Italy – a few wins and a draw against Inter at the weekend. Copenhagen have been dreadful so far this year, drawing nearly every game and conceding at least 1 a game. Should be cut and dried, 3-0 Juve

R Madrid (8/13, Away) vs Galatasaray

This one could be spicey – Gala defeated the Galactico’s just a few months ago in the latter stages, but could not prevent an aggregate loss. Madrid look much more solid now, Mourinho’s head was possibly elsewhere at the time of that last game, with his job more than seemingly gone as he had already hinted at a Chelsea return. Gala have had an average start to their season, a win and three draws so far is average for a side who should be winning most games, although the competitiveness in Turkey is slowly getting there! Madrid, with new boys Bale, Illarramendi, Isco et al should take this, 3-1

Man City (8/11, Away) vs Viktoria Plzen

Man City have a jekyll and hyde nature about them this season, They mullered 10 man Newcastle, yet struggled against the likes of Stoke – so for Plzen attacking their defence is key. Without Kompany, City look a bit lost at the back, and with competition high up front, in defence it is a different story. Plzen have won 6 and drawn 2 in the Gabrinus Liga in the Czech league so far this season, so come into the game on a high, despite drawing with Liberec friday evening. City should win, but dont be surprised to see a 1-1 or 2-2, the Czechs can play! We are going with City though, 3-1.

AC Milan (4/9, Home) vs Celtic

Like Man City, Milan have also been a bit inconsistent so far. A 2-0 loss at Torino says it all. With Kaka returning, as well as Balotelli, Montolivo, Poli and more, they should be too much for a average Celtic side who have lost their two best players in Wanyama and Hooper. They have started well in Scotland, but drawing anything from that is as much help as asking Liverpool fan the question “who will win the league this year?” –  means nothing! The SPL is about the same quality as the English Championship, maybe worse. Easy Milan win for us, 4-1.

At Madrid (8/13, Home) vs Zenit

Atletico have made a brilliant start to the season. With David Villa replacing Falcao, and others such as Arda Turan and Diego Costa stepping up to the plate, they have made real progress. Zenit have also started fairly well, having retained Hulk and Axel Witsel, much to the disgust of their Ultra’s, who want all players of that ethnic diversity out of ‘their club’ – what scum! This is Madrid’s first season back in the CL since 2009 – so they will be looking to get through. 2-1 Atletico.

Porto (8/15, Away) vs Austria Vienna

Despite losing Moutinho and Rodriguez to Monaco, Porto remain strong and have had a good start to their season, winning 4/4 so far. They have replaced quality with quality, but at a cheap price – Porto and Benfica are renowned for doing so, both making £2-300m profit from player sales in the past decade. Vienna have had a shaky start to the season and sit 5th after 8 games. They managed to come through qualifying to get into the group stages. This is as far as they will get, with Poro, Zenit and At Madrid in their group. We see a 3-1 Porto win in this one.

Barcelona (1/7, Home) vs Ajax

Barca have had a steady yet unspectacular start in La Liga – a 7-0 thrashing of Levante has been followed by two 3-2’s agains Valencia and Sevilla, despite being two/three goals to the good. Ajax have been decent, a couple of good wins, but the odd draw and loss thrown in. Easy win here for Barcelona – 3-0.

Chelsea (1/3, Home) vs Basel

Like Barcelona, Chelsea have been average despite a large outlay on signings and a change of manager, but will eventually get back to form, they have been uninspiring to say the least! Basel have had an average start, poor infact! 3 wins from 7 leave them 3rd and three points behind leaders Young Boys. Should be straight forward for Chelsea, who defeated them twice in the semi finals of the Europa League last season. 3-1.

PSG (11/10, Away) vs Olympiakos

After a poor start PSG are starting to find their feet. Three wins in a row give them the perfect platform going into this game, and they will want to rack up some early points against the so called poorer sides. 11/10 great value considering the gulf in class between these two, mainly thanks to a big investor! Olympiakos are by miles the best team in Greece, with the decline of Panathinaikos in recent years thanks to financial difficulties. We are going with 3-1 PSG.

Stay tuned, tomorrow afternoon we have tips for the Champions League games, as well as another article…what will it be about? Visit tomorrow!