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European competition might be in its infancy, but that doesn’t mean the usual contenders aren’t starting to show us what they’re made of ahead of what promises to be a truly memorable Champions League campaign this season. Plenty of questions have been asked already, too. Just how will Barcelona fare without Lionel Messi? Will Messi’s new side in PSG finally be able to secure the European crown, or will current holders Chelsea retain the trophy?
One thing is for sure, though, and that’s the competitive nature of the Champions League and the unmissable action it serves up season after season. It’s the competition that features the best talent around, in the best stadiums in Europe, and with some of the most respected managers pitting their wits against each other in some truly mouthwatering clashes. It’s a special competition that captivates global audiences too, with fans regularly engaging in debates on Twitter and other social media sites. What lies ahead is a season full of twists and turns, but the cream generally rises to the top. Of course, there can be the odd surprise package too, but that is a rarity when assessing the competition overall throughout the years.
With some of Europe’s big guns battling it out to be crowned the best side in Europe, below is a look at the realistic contenders who are in with a strong chance of making the final at FC Zenit’s Gazprom Arena on 28 May 2022.
With the innovative Julian Nagelsmann at the helm, many are expecting Bayern Munich to evolve further and pose a real threat to the rest of Europe’s major clubs this season and beyond. The 34-year-old is regarded as one of the brightest minds in football currently, with his Bayern tenure already getting off to a dream start after he won nine of his first 10 games in all competitions as manager – the most any Bayern manager has won in their first 10 games in charge. Talents such as Leroy Sané and Serge Gnabry are progressing well under the young German coach, in particular. As the Champions League reaches its crucial stages, no side will want to draw Bayern.Whiile all the focus was on PSG’s signing of Lionel Messi, Bayern’s players went quietly about their business. They are current favourites in the sports betting on line at 888 Sport, and many will believe they deserve to be there.
Pep Guardiola’s side will be desperate to make amends after losing to Chelsea in the final of the competition last season. They have more than enough to do so too, with a strong defensive unit providing a solid platform for the team’s wealth of attacking options to flourish. A lack of a striker could come back to haunt them in the latter stages of the competition, but if there is a team who can cope without a focal point in attack, then it’s a Pep Guardiola side.
Paris Saint Germain
(Image via https://twitter.com/BarcaUniversal)
The team everyone is keen to monitor this season, Lionel Messi’s move to PSG brings with it a heap of expectation and the subsequent pressure that inevitably comes with that. Whether or not Mauricio Pochettino will be there in the knockout stages should the team achieve it remains to be seen, but they generally kick further on as the competition progresses. Now, with the likes of Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, and Georginio Wijnaldum on their books, PSG looks better equipped than ever before.
The current holders will be keen to do the unthinkable and retain their European crown come the end of the season. With the acquisition of Romelu Lukaku in particular, the Blues have added another layer to what was already a well-oiled, hard-to-beat side. It will be tough for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea to win the competition again, but stranger things have certainly happened before.
Other contenders include Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, and Atletico Madrid.