We are halfway done with the Champions League group stage, and things are heating up in the football world.
Upsets, dominations and exciting matches have defined the first half of the UEFA Champions League 2018.
With exciting matches come exciting stories, so here are 6 stories to watch for:
Messi’s Injury, Barcelona Stays Strong
In a match against Sevilla during the La Liga season, Messi fractured his right arm 17 minutes into the game.
The recovery period has been stated to be approximately 3 weeks and he would miss the El-Clasico on October 28th.
The marquee match-up would miss both him and Ronaldo, as the latter left for Juventus in the offseason.
However, Barcelona FC stayed sturdy, with solid performances of 4-2 and 2-0 wins against Sevilla and Inter Milan respectively given their depth at the frontline.
It would be interesting to watch Barcelona play through this injury without their superstar.
Real Madrid’s Struggles
Since the above-mentioned departure of Ronaldo, the Los Blancos have struggled mightily and achieved only 4 wins and a 7th place, 9 games into the season.
The various injuries to their main players and adjustments to a new coach have made matters worse.
That has translated to their Champion’s League campaign as well, with an uncharacteristic 1-0 loss to CSKA Moscow and barely winning 2-1 against Plzen.
The defending UCL Champions are looking vulnerable and if they are not careful, they could very well be knocked out early.
Juventus’ Strong Start, Ronaldo’s Asterisk
One team’s struggle became another’s triumph, as Ronaldo’s new team has come out blazing hot.
Through 12 games, Juventus has gone 11-1 with 0 losses to remain unbeaten, including games in the Champion’s League.
While Ronaldo has not been the star for every game, his presence has definitely been felt.
However, there’s a crack in Ronaldo’s shining armour, as an off-pitch issue continues.
For those unaware, he is currently being sued on the allegations of rape.
While he remains confident, it would important to watch out for any breaking news that might involve this case.
Tottenham Spurs’ Struggles
While the Spurs have had a decent start in the English Premier League, securing a top 5 position through 9 games, their success has not translated into their Champion’s League campaign.
Going winless in 3 games, the Spurs are in danger of being knocked out early in the group stage.
Granted, they are in a table with the giants of Inter Milan and Barcelona. But their winless first half is cause of concern.
Letting in 8 goals across 3 games, they looked lost for the most part during their Champion’s League start so far.
Miracles can happen, but it seems unlikely for this Spurs team.
UEFA Champion’s League Group C
The Champion’s League most exciting table delivered with impressive games between the 3 juggernauts of Liverpool, Napoli and PSG.
It would continue to remain exciting as all 3 teams have a strong to decent chance of qualifying for the next round.
With 3 games left in the group stage, it would fun to watch which team edges out for the top 2 spots in the group.
You can refer to our earlier predictions here.
If I were you, I won’t be missing any Group C games.
Manchester United’s Horrendous Form
The Red Devils have been the team you either love or hate. And this season has been a tremulous one.
Similar to Real Madrid, they are near the bottom of the EPL table (10th) and faltered during the Champion’s League first half.
And just like Real Madrid, they are still in position to make the second spot in their table.
However, something needs to be done about this team before they slip out of contention in every major competition (both EPL and UCL).
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