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Tuesday, March 28, 2023
HomeSportsWho is the Champions League favourite? Who doesn't get a title...

Who is the Champions League favourite? Who doesn’t get a title shot? We distribute all playoff participants into subgroups

Date: March 28, 2023 Time: 07:19:00

In the world of e-sports, a system of distribution of equipment to the so-called “shooting galleries” is widespread. The “Tir-S” (or “Tir-A”) list includes the best of the best, and the “Tir-D” list (the letter may be different, closer to the end of the alphabet) includes strangers. This is an unofficial, but quite convenient way to understand the strength of teams, especially in a single tournament.

In this article I propose to borrow the concept and transfer it to football, specifically to the 2022/23 Champions League. Predicting the Champions League is a thankless task, but the first matches of the round of 16 opened up answers to some Euroseason questions, thanks to which it became clear who and what can be counted on.

“S-shoot” (favorites): “Real”

Before the match with Liverpool, I did not call Real Madrid favourites, but the result of the match (5-2) and the general assessment of the state of the Spanish team made me reconsider my vision of the most obvious winner of the tournament. .

Real Madrid has lost ground in the domestic league and sometimes stumbles in individual matches, but in the Champions League Madrid is impeccable. The current champion of the tournament acquires a certain special status in the Champions League, which allows him to feel like a dominator. Casemiro’s departure, Toni Kroos’ injury, the winter recession and other incidents did not prevent Real Madrid from continuing to be the main contender for the next long-eared trophy.

A-shooters (not favorites, but above the rest): Napoli, Bayern, PSG, Manchester City

A pair of PSG and Bayern in the round of 16 is a real sadness and tragedy of this season’s Champions League, because two teams that could play the final at the same time find out among themselves who will fly in the first stage of the playoffs

But it is unusual to see Napoli in such a company. A team that is not even always in the top three in the Italian championship has suddenly become one of the favorites to win the Champions League. The Neapolitans this season won against Liverpool (4:1), Juventus (5:1) and also won an important victory over Eintracht in the first game of the Champions League playoffs (2:0). In addition, Napoli flies almost alone to the Scudetto, which unties the hands of Luciano Spalletti, allowing him to give himself to the maximum in the Champions League. Almost no one has this luxury.

Manchester City is also one of the main favourites. Yes, the team did not impress in the round of 16, and they often stumble in the Premier League, but still, the “citizens” remain the most powerful force in Europe, and their wide bench allows them to fight on several fronts.

“B-Tier” (middle peasants capable of surprising): Inter, Benfica, RB Leipzig, Borussia

Inter almost missed out on catching Napoli in Serie A, which means it’s time to take on the Champions League, which hasn’t gone very well in recent years. The last time the Blue and Whites reached the 1/4 final was already in the 2011/12 season. In the current draw, he has already eliminated Barcelona, ​​​​and also won the first match against Porto (1: 0). Inter knows how to tune in and show their best football in important matches.

Benfica can become an analogue of Ajax from the 2018/19 model, which then had one foot in the final. The first Portuguese club in the group with Juventus, Maccabi and PSG never lost, thanks to which they took first place. It’s hard to imagine a Benfica victory in the Champions League, but it will definitely reach the later stages, shaking up the most obvious favourites.

RB Leipzig also have the potential to reach at least the semi-finals, but they had no luck with the draw that landed them at Manchester City already in the round of 16. However, even against him, the team held on in the first game (1:1), which means that the Germans can surprise in the second leg.

Borussia, despite the departure of Erling Haaland, have only gotten stronger this season. The club shares first place in the Bundesliga with Bayern, quietly left the Champions League group and in the first match of the 1/8 final broke with Chelsea (1:0). Dortmund is on a roll, which scares any rival.

“C-shoot” (his maximum is the quarterfinals): Milan, Tottenham, Porto, Chelsea

Milan and Tottenham met in the round of 16, and that’s good for either of them. The move to the quarterfinals, given the state of both teams, is comparable to a miracle. Milan cannot overcome the post-championship syndrome, and Tottenham continue to suffer numerous problems under the management of Antonio Conte, whose departure in the summer is no longer hidden. It would be more logical and correct for them to concentrate on their championships.

Porto are a tough nut to crack at Champions League level, but there are no prerequisites to reach the higher stages of the tournament. Yes, the team took first place in the group, but the composition of the participants was rather weak. Even if Porto miraculously pass Inter, they definitely won’t jump above the quarterfinals.

Chelsea is simple. The team is in a clear crisis, fighting with itself, and is clearly far from winning the Champions League.

“D-shooting” (they have no chances for the Champions League): “Bruges”, “Eintracht”, “Liverpool”

Club Brugge and Eintracht Frankfurt should have seen their playoff run as a miracle from the start, so their placement in this category should come as no surprise. And the situation worsened especially for them after the first defeats against Napoli and Benfica at home, which turned the return games into an almost empty process.

Liverpool would have been much higher before the first game, but a 5-2 loss leaves me no choice but to push them into the worst shooting range. The reds are not capable of coming back from three goals this season, not even at the Santiago Bernabéu. The Euroseason for the team is over.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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