UEFA Champions League Predictions

These are the teams that have a shot at Europe’s most coveted club title

The Champions League is a competition in which Europe’s best soccer clubs compete for total glory. It is essentially the world cup of club soccer, but it occurs every year. The league and group stage champions qualify to make a total of 32 teams in attendance. They then play the group stage and continue competing in a bracket-style tournament until they reach the finals. This year’s competition will be a good one in particular, as many strong teams stand out.

Does this need any explanation? Liverpool is currently sitting atop the premier league with a 22 point margin and is set to become one of the only teams to win the Premier League unbeaten. They have an extremely strong starting lineup, featuring an attack that has scored 40+ goals in 20+ games. This attack features Salah, Firmino, and Mane, a deadly front three that plays with insane pace and skill in front of goal. Their defense, headed by Van Dijk, has also been equally as solid and has kept 11 clean sheets in the league this year. Plus, their backup players are able to play just as well as starters, so they lose nothing when considering new options from the bench. Last year, they cruised to the final and there is no reason they won’t continue their European dominance this year.
Juventus are also top of their league and lately have been in extremely good form. At the time of writing, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 10 goals in his last 6 games and is looking better than ever under manager Maurizio Sarri’s side. Sarri has also given Dybala a new spark, as well as Gonzalo Higuain. New defensive signing De Ligt has been extremely solid and Juventus also has other versatile defensive options including Alex Sandro and Cuadrado. Plus, Chiellini will return from injury soon, so they will have their captain back. With their notoriously solid defense and reignited attack, Juventus will establish themselves as one of the strongest contenders this season.

Strong Contenders
1.Real Madrid
Previously, Real Madrid won three Champions League titles in a row before an early exit to Ajax last year. After Zidane was reappointed, Real Madrid climbed back to the top of the league and recently won the Spanish Super Cup. Benzema has gained his old form back and proven his value to the club by scoring in many crucial games. New signing Mendy was a much-needed addition to the defense and the surprise emergence of Valverde in the midfield has boosted the Spanish giants close to where they once stood. Madrid also has a strong bench they are able to rely on, including the likes of Marcelo, Rodrygo, and James. Assuming injuries don’t trouble them as they have in the past, Real Madrid should be able to make a strong run in the competition.
PSG holds a strong lead in the league and with their current team, they look to be strong contenders for the title. They have never won this title before, but their insane offense will attempt to change that. Their strong attacking core(that scored 57 goals this season alone) includes Mbappe, Neymar, Icardi, Di Maria, and Cavani. I would dare to say this is the best offense in the world besides Liverpool’s. An extremely solid midfield which includes Veratti, Sarabia, and others back up this attack, so they are able to work well together to terrorize even the best of defenses. They also recently signed Navas, a very quality goalkeeper. If they can overcome their lack of Champions League experience and average defense, PSG could be serious contenders for their first Champions League title.

1. Dortmund
Dortmund has a very solid squad and has done very well at the European level for quite a while, but face a tough first-round opponent in PSG. PSG does have a history of losing important games, such as choking a 4-0 lead to Barcelona in 2017. Dortmund’s high fitness allows counterattacking late in the game when teams get tires, which is effective against fit, attacking-focused teams such as PSG. Their defense is solid, including dual-threat Hakimi, as well as Akanji and Hummels locking down the center back positions. With Reus running a solid attack featuring talented Sancho, wonderkid Haaland(who is currently averaging a goal every 19 minutes), and a good supporting midfield including Witsel and new signing Can, this team has the potential to pull off a huge upset early on and move onto the later stages of the competition.
2. Chelsea
Similarly to Ajax(who made a surprisingly far run in last year’s competition), Chelsea has a young, but extremely talented squad. Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s manager, has won the competition himself, so he knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level. Their solid defensive pairing of Rudiger and Tomori combines experience with strength and size. Their midfield has been extremely impressive, with Jorginho emerging as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League paired with World Cup champion Kante. Their young, pacy offense has many options, including Pulisic, Mount, Abraham, Pedro, Hudson-Odoi, Willian, and many others. Plus, they most recently won the Europa League, so they know what it takes to play at the European level. With such great squad depth and the perfect mixture of young talent and experience, Chelsea will give teams a run for their money and have a chance to make a deep run in the competition.