The Champions League season 2013-14 is just some days away from the kick-off - the draw has already taken place, giving us many interesting groups.
Last season's Champions Bayern Munich look better than ever, signing Thiago Alcantara and Mario Goetze from Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund respectively. Finalists Borussia Dortmund's side does look a bit weaker than how they were the last time around.
New players,new surroundings and new teams will be there and this new season may well give us a new Champion and one who can rule the world for several years to come. So, here are some predictions as to how this season is going to give us something new.
1.Manchester City will advance into the round of 16
Former English Champions Manchester City will advance into the round of 16 this season.They do have reigning Champions Bayern Munich in their group but teams like CSKA Moscow and Vitoria Plzen in their group won't be able to trouble them. The Citizens were knocked out in the group stages in the last and last to last season. They were present in the Groups of Death in both the season and thus, failed to deliver.But this time around, I see them advancing comfortably into the round of 16 along with the big guns.
2.Arsenal may not be able to advance.
Arsene Wenger managed Arsenal are unfortunately placed in this season's group of death which includes German giants Borussia Dortmund, Marseille and Italian giants Napoli. But, the trophy-stricken English side lacks the firepower needed to advance into the next round.
They have not spent a single pound in the transfer market but still have signed free agents Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini.
Other teams in their group have bought players in the market, the best being Napoli who have signed Gonzalo Higuain and Pepe Reina. But if Arsenal want to advance from the Group Stages, they would have to work and play hard and Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey will have a huge task on their hands.
3.Bayern Munich and Barcelona may not become the Champions
After signing Gareth Bale, Real Madrid will have the strongest side on paper.Barcelona also look good but their current state tells us that they are struggling a bit here and there.
Messi and Neymar have not played very well with each other and Neymar is only being used as a substitute.
Bayern don't have a 100 percent winning run in their early games and are also struggling a bit.Gareth Bale and Ronaldo can together form a devastating strike force which can annihilate any opponent.So, we could very well see a new European Champion in the name of Real Madrid-possibly.
4.Chelsea and Juventus will struggle
The Blues from London have good old Jose Mourinho back and his return will bring many new hopes of winning titles. But Chelsea have a pretty young side consisting of Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Andre Schurrle.
These guys are well talented and can become the ones for the future for Chelsea, but experience is the key in the Champions League.No doubt Frank Lampard and John Terry are there to help them but their own inexperience may just let them down.
While, Juventus are a good team but their performance has been pretty much like Manchester City who fail to do well in the Champions league. So, there is some predictability in these sides and both Chelsea and Juve will struggle to hit the right notes.
5.AC Milan, Manchester United and PSG will have the same seasons.
All of these three sides are actually excellent sides.But Milan and United have a bunch of young players like Balotelli and El-Sharaawy for Milan who have scored many times but in pressure situations-they have failed. United have Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck who will become better players in the coming next season only.
But in PSG's case - something is terribly wrong. Laurent Blanc doesn't seem to look good enough to manage a club as big as the capital side.So far nothing looks to be going right for them.
Young players and a new gaffer for United, not enough ability for Milan, new manager for PSG tells us that these teams may only go as far as the Round of 16 or the Quarter Finals- pretty much like their last season's campaigns.
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