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Champions League Preview

Champions League Preview

The carnival is back in town.

The carnival is back in town.

The carnival is back in town.

The bluster. The anthem. Pundits, journalists & fans using the official units of football measurement - Messis & Ronaldos. Great crashing waves of hyperbole (see what I did there?)

The Champions League is back.

We decided to ask a few of our journalists to preview the upcoming season & get their picks for the year.


J.S. Leatherbarrow - Editor


Thing I'm most looking forward to:

Seeing if Spurs can replicate Liverpool last year & watching Kai Havertz’ first foray into this level. I also think it will be fun to watch Red Star Belgrade - who are in for the second successive season. The 1991 champions are back.

Thing I'm least looking forward to:

Every single piece of media coverage centred around the seemingly eternal battle between Messi & Ronaldo. They are so great but there is so much more to enjoy in football than two players. No matter how brilliant they are.

Darkhorse:

Bayer Leverkusen. I’ve picked them as an outlier. Despite losing Julian Brandt to Dortmund, they still have richness in attack in the young genius that is Kai Havertz & Leon Bailey. Decent defence too. If they can get through a fairly tough group, they could grow into the tournament - just as Ajax did last season.

Shock early exit:

Juventus to the Europa League - this is tied in with my dark horse pick of Leverkusen, as they are in the same group.

Overachievers:

I’ll go with Leverkusen again - as I feel that they could go deep if they put a run of form together. If not, I think Zenit St. Petersburg could do well this year.

Winners:

Atlético Madrid

Breakout star of the season:

It can only be Kai Havertz at Bayer Leverkusen. I wrote recently about why he is the most promising young player in Europe. He has absolutely everything needed to be the best player of his generation. If you want to know what his ceiling is - think Zinedine Zidane.

Swansong:

Ronaldo. He is showing signs of decline. Still a great player but I feel that this will his final year of being able to come anywhere near to his own mighty standards.


Alex Mansfield - Columnist


Thing I'm most looking forward to:

Liverpool trophy defense

Thing I'm least looking forward to:

Liverpool trophy defense

Darkhorse:

Nagelsmann's RB Leipzig

Shock early exit:

Barcelona into the Europa League.

Overachievers:

Atalanta

Winners:

Liverpool or PSG


Ewurama Kakraba-Ampeh - Columnist


Thing I'm most looking forward to:

How Chelsea's cup run plays out.

Thing I'm least looking forward to:

VAR drama (ugh)

Darkhorse:

Inter Milan

Shock early exit:

Juventus

Overachievers:

Napoli

Winners:

Liverpool

Breakout Star of the season:

Mason Mount


Will Rivard - U.S. Correspondent


Thing I am looking forward to the most:

Can Spurs follow Liverpool’s blueprint, get back to the Final and lift the trophy?

Least looking forward to:

(a) subpar coverage from Bleacher Report in the ( b) Liverpool title defense.

Darkhorse:

Napoli

Biggest surprise:

PSG to reach the semifinals.

Breakout player:

Tammy Abraham

Winner:

Extremely difficult to pick, if everyone stays relatively fit I can see Spurs winning it all, if not Manchester City!

Swansong:

The core of that Juventus side, they are aging and if it doesn’t happen for them this year we could see massive changes.


It all begins again. To join in the discussion follow us on Twitter & let us know your own picks for the 19/20 Champions League.


Words by FATC Newsroom. Artwork by FATC Staff. All rights reserved.



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