The Champions League is currently on the semi-finals. The round of 16 was very interesting with unexpected results. Manchester United defeated Paris Saint-Germain, and the elimination of Real Madrid shocked every soccer fan because they lifted the previous Champions League trophies 3 times in a row. This meant an end of history for Real Madrid and now the fans are excited to see the team that will make new history.
To predict the winner of the 2019 UEFA Champions League, it is needed to analyze the strength of the clubs based on their recent matches, the players and the teams’ strategies. With the analysis of the teams, we can anticipate which team has a better possibility to win the league.
All the clubs in the Champions League are doing well in their leagues, but there are two teams we really need to focus on: Barcelona and Liverpool. They are showing unbelievable performances. The key players of each team are leading them to the top. Thus, a lot of soccer fans are expecting that one of those teams will win, and it would be good to compare the teams for a more enjoyable experience.
Barcelona is taking first place in La Liga, the soccer league of Spain. Barcelona has reached 77 points. This is 9 points more than the second ranked team, Atlético Madrid which has one of the best forward, Antoine Griezmann who leads the team to be tough competitor for Barcelona. Lionel Messi is the forward of Barcelona and now he is one of the biggest reasons the team is able to stay in the highest spot. He scored 33 goals and assisted 13 in 33 games, which is one goal per game. As a result of his success, one of the legendary French soccer players, Theirry Henry said, “Every player on the planet is in Messi’s shadow. If you want to step out of Messi’s shadow, you should try another sport.” Barcelona has currently scored the most goals in the league, and as Messi continued to impress, the fans’ expectations for his performance and the team’s success is much greater. However, every team has some problems. Barcelona’s striker Luis Suárez is stuck in a slump. He missed big chances, specifically in the most in recent matches. He is the striker of the team, but he has only scored one goal in the last 9 matches. Nevertheless, many fans are still expecting some goals from him because he has shown good performance in big matches in previous years. The key players for Barcelona are Lionel Messi, Arthur Melo, and Marc-André ter Stegen.
Liverpool is pretty much the only team that is comparable to Manchester City in the Premier League in the aspects of the strength of the players and as a team. Liverpool has reached 88 points in the league which is 2 point more than Manchester City. Their two wing forwards, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah are showing great performances. However, they are struggling with the frequent mistakes of the goalkeeper, Alisson Becker. Alisson made a critical mistake in the last match with Bayern Munich which almost gave Bayern Munich a goal. Furthermore, it’s also hard to expect good performances from the back up strikers, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi considering they haven’t played a lot of games which can demean their sense of play. Although Liverpool is bearing a hard time with these problems, they are maintaining the finest form with the best center backs, Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum. Liverpool has never won the Champions League, so if the players can overcome the psychological burden, the Champions League would not be as difficult for them. The key players for Liverpool are Mohamed Salah, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Virgil van Dijk.
Manchester City holds first place in the Premier League in England, but seems not in the Champions League. Manchester City had the second match of round of 8 with Tottenham Hotspur on April 17. It was Man City’s home, and they actually won Tottenham with score of 4-3. Despite their victory against Tottenham, the thing that intercepted their ticket for quarter-final was the rule of Champions League. On the first match of round of 8 with Tottenham was played in Tottenham’s home. Tottenham won Manchester City with score of 1-0. The total score is 4-4, but because Man City did not score any goal in Tottenham’s home while Tottenham has scored in Man City’s home, Tottenham gets the ticket for semi-final by the away goals rule. What Man City has to focus now is the league trophy. The key players for Manchester City are Sergio Agüero, Fernandinho, and Bernardo Silva.
These are the basic analysis for the two teams. Since many strong teams are competing fiercely and showing unpredictable results, it enougly is worth one of the most interesting Champions League. The 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League ends in June. Some teams will need more time to prepare, while others are already well prepared. Soccer has many variables, making it hard to foresee one particular team that will win. Therefore, there are other teams that have a chance at winning.
picture from Fernandopascullo, Wikipedia