UEFA Champions League: The return of European football and the drama within
|Barcelona will aim to take the fight to PSG in Paris on Tuesday when the two meet in the first leg of the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Champions League football returns on Tuesday with mouthwatering fixtures, much to the delight of hundreds of millions of fans and neutrals all over the globe.
The anticipation, right from the moment the last ball was kicked at the end of the group stages, down to the draws that pitched Barcelona against PSG and RB Leipzig against out of sorts Liverpool.
There are lots of interesting fixtures across grounds but the news is in the buzz, the Champions League is back!
Football fans are aware of the annual break of Neymar, the Brazilian is always injured at this time of the year and never available for the first leg of the round of 16, his most prized asset, his sister’s birthday falls around the time and everyone knows where his loyalty lies.
Barcelona haven’t been the best team in La Liga, they have strung some wins together to climb the table but there exists lots of fragility in the squad.
Ronald Koeman certainly isn’t a popular man at the moment and not many believe he’ll still be in the dugout after the coming elections.
Liverpool’s trip to Leipzig comes at a time they need some positive news, they crashed at the King Power Stadium on Saturday after taking the lead and as results went against them at the end of the weekend, they now sit sixth on the log, fueling rumors of a likely exit of Jurgen Klopp.
RB Leipzig are a modest club with lots of dreams, their relationship with Salzburg means they can trade talents from time to time much to the envy of European heavyweights.
Their form isn’t at the very best but they will take confidence from the fact that their opponent of the day aren’t at their very best neither.
The Champions League is a very different ball game.
Form means nothing when the spiritual anthem blasts through the speakers, pride and honor at stake, teams eyeing glory and fans seeking bragging rights, it’s a special night in Europe.
What do we expect from the sides that go up on Tuesday night? Barcelona can exploit the absence of Neymar but can they predict PSG?
Mauricio Pochetino is settling in a bit slowly but sometimes it takes time considering how talented the squad is, finding the perfect XI could be more tasking than expected for the Argentine.
Interestingly, neither of them is topping their respective leagues despite both being superpowers.
PSG aren’t too far away from the top, just a matter of one game but Barcelona will need Atletico Madrid to drop points for them to have a chance at topping the La Liga table.
For Liverpool, they have to take a step back, reevaluate a lot of things and return to basics.
It’s not enough to put every excuse on injuries, teams lose players from time to time and manage to adapt with the available materials, Liverpool need to adapt.
Goalkeeper Alison has been the culprit for the past two games, directly committing errors leading to goals for the opposition, does that by any means lower his credibility? Certainly no.