Week 2 of the Champions League has arrived already! This week the big boys are playing, in my opinion the best 3 teams positioned to win the competition are in action; Bayern, City and Atletico. Last weeks fixtures were very hard to call whereas in my opinion this week is pretty straightforward. Lets get into it!
Atletico vs Chelsea
This is the big one, Chelsea are coming into this with a new manager who reached the final last year, Tuchel will be looking for redemption but unfortunately for him, he may have gotten the worst possible draw for his Chelsea side. Unless Cristiano Ronaldo plays for your team, chances are you are not getting past Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, just ask Jurgen Klopp.
Chelsea come into this game having dropped their first points under Thomas Tuchel, while their record has been impressive, their performances haven’t, even the most bias Chelsea fans will tell you they don’t look threatening(trust me I talk to them daily). A team that’s struggled to create chances and breakdown defences against a Don Simeone side? Things are not looking good for Chelsea, but its the Champions League, anything can happen I guess.
While Chelsea have lacked a threat going forward, they have been more defensively stable, however they will be without 36 yr old Thiago Silva who’s out with a muscle issue. In more positive news for Chelsea fans, Christian Pulisic travelled with the team. As for their opponents, they are also without a key defender with Jose Gimenez missing the tie.
I think Atletico will be too resilient for Chelsea tonight, I just don’t see how they break them down and then at the other end I see my boy Joao Felix carrying Suarez and punishing the Chelsea defence that looked easily penetrable against Southampton. I reckon Atleti win this comfortably 2-0 before wrapping things up in the return leg, unfortunately I see no route to victory for Chelsea fans. I then fancy Atleti to go on a very good run here and reach the Semis at the very least!
Real Madrid vs Atlanta
The greatest club in the history of this competition returns tonight against Atlanta who are decently placed in 5th in Serie A this year, having also recently lost their two best players in Papu Gomez and Amad Diallo. Madrid are looking to break their own record and win a 14th Champions League, there’s a sense that a good run is needed for Zidane as they look unlikely to retain their La Liga title. However Atalanta should not be overlooked by Madrid especially with threats like Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata lurking.
Madrid’s injury list is madness, a real injury crisis, it goes as follows:
- Sergio Ramos
- Karim Benzema
- Federico Valverde
- Eder Militao
- Eden Hazard
- Dani Carvajal
- Alvaro Odriozola
Madness! The likely front three tonight is Asensio, Diaz and Vinicius Jr, if you fell into a coma during Madrid’s infamous 3peat and then woke up to see this front 3 you’d probably be wishing the doctor pulled the plug long ago, Madrid’s attempts at replacing Ronaldo’s goals have fell so incredibly flat. Luckily enough their midfield withstood the injury crisis and will be in full strength tonight. As for Atlanta they have a full strength team bar Hans Hateboer who’s out through injury.
Madrid never like to make it easy for themselves and I see that continuing tonight with a defeat to Atalanta, I do however see them going through on aggregate in the return leg before bowing out in the quarters, I don’t think they’ve got enough to mount a serious challenge this year, big investment is needed for them to get back to where they were.
Man City vs Monchengladbach
At the start of the season I had City in my top 5 to win but now they’re my no.1 favourites, their defence is finally sorted and their midfield and attacking options need no stating. They come into this game on a 18 game win streak looking to defeat a Monchengladbach side who are in 8th this season in the Bundesliga, things aren’t looking too good for them as their manager is on his way to Dortmund at the end of the season. A key player to look out for is Denis Zakaria, United fans crying out for a DM should pay close attention as he is highly touted.
Team news & Prediction
Gladbach have a full strength team, the same goes for City besides Nathan Ake, if you even remembered he plays for them. With KDB and Aguero coming back to fitness it’s gonna be long for Gladbach. I see nothing more than a comfortable win for a City side that I feel will unfortunately do the quadruple this season, I just don’t see how you stop them domestically and funnily enough the biggest threat to Pep’s CL hopes is Pep himself as he loves to do something stupid like play a full back in false 9 in the big games, I fancy him to use that brain inside his bald head this year though and take City all the way.
Bayern Munich vs Lazio
The holders are back tonight looking to become only the second team in Uefa Champions League history to retain the trophy. They’re not in the best of form and only lead the Bundesliga by two points having failed to pick up a win in their last two. However this is the Champions League, and Bayern are always the team nobody wants to face, when they’re in full flow they’re almost unstoppable, just ask Arsenal fans what their last memories of the competition are. They let the deadwood go last summer and strengthened their team with Leroy Sane, although he hasn’t lit things up like they would have hoped, as of yet.
Team News and predictions
Bayern have a host of injuries including Gnbary, Muller, Pavard and Tolisso, meanwhile Lazio are without Luiz Felipe and Stefan Radu. Lazio should not be overlooked by Bayern especially with Immobile and Correa in their forward line, with Bayerns injuries this might not be as easy as many may think, I think they’ll concede tonight but also grab a vital away goal before getting the job done in Germany. I then see them making it to the finals to come up against either City or Atletico unless they meet earlier, in that case that’s where I think Bayern might bow out, but I wouldn’t go putting any money on that!
Thanks for reading!
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