UEFA Champions League Preview

Jaime Halstuch
Staff Writer

Smile, cheer, be happy, it’s back, the UEFA Champions League is back. The fans, the players, the coaches, everything and everyone that makes the Champions League great is back. Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons have light again. Since we last saw the Champions League, there has been a couple of losses including Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Benzema, Liverpool, Chelsea, Juventus, and Spurs just to name a few. There have been some new additions too, Real Sociedad, Red Star Belgrade, Arsenal, Celtic, Newcastle, Union Berlin, and more. This season is looking good, with two very interesting groups, new stars, amazing stadiums, and an incredible transfer window. Welcome to the 2023-2024 edition of the UEFA Champions League.

Bayern’s newest piece Harry Kane (Tom Weller/AP)

The first thing we must talk about is the transfer market. Will Havertz, Declan Rice, and Timber be able to perform for Arsenal is one of the biggest questions, because if they do Arsenal could become a candidate for the semifinals. Bayern finally got a striker; Harry Kane could be that piece Bayern needed to win it all once again. Talking about strikers, can Joselu step up Mr. Florentino Perez’s #9? He is an amazing player, but does not quite reach Real Madrid’s high standards. Bellingham is one of the best transfers of the season, but Real Madrid does not have a clear reference in the opposition box. PSG finally ended their soap opera between Neymar and Mbappe, Messi also left, they had the worst transfer market out of the big teams. City let Gundogan, Laporte and Mahrez leave, but don’t worry Kovacic, Gvardiol, and Doku are there to fill up the spots. Milan with RLC and Captain America Chistian Pulisic could repeat the performance from last season, this time without Tonali, Newcastle’s new star, and Brahim who’s loan expired and went back to Real Madrid. Finally, Barcelona, Gundogan, Cancelo (loan), Joao Felix (loan), Iñigo Martinez, and Oriol Romeu, came in. Dembele, Ansu Fati (loan), Busquets, and Alba, are the main players that left. The Xavineta of the Joaos turned on their engines, if this team stays healthy, we would be seeing FC Barcelona once again as a top team. Also pay attention to Real Sociedad, Lens, Feyenoord, and Galatasaray, they all have good teams with good coaches, at least one of them will go through.

One of the pieces that will determine Manchester United’s future Mason Mount (Jay Barratt/Getty Images)

Manchester United is a story all to themselves as there have been plenty of doubts such as Onana who has not been able to perform to the level he has shown before. Are we going to see the comeback of Mason Mount? Man United had a player be placed on the league’s domestic violence accusations list, Anthony. Will Sancho and ten Hag be able to solve their differences? Manchester United is closer to a soap opera than to a soccer team. From the Glazers not knowing what to do with the club, to Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview that still has an effect. Manchester United has had more drama than the Kardashians, with Anthony joining Mason Greenwood on the domestic violence accusations list, which is not a good look off the field for a team that is having plenty of troubles both on and off the field. A terrible 3-0-4 record to start the English Premier League, they were absolutely outclassed by Bayern in the first UCL match. A big lost to Galatasaray at home could leave them out, because playing at the famous “Turkish Hell,” back in 1993 it already happened Man United players are not used to this. Kobenhavn tied with Galatasaray and played a great game against Bayern, I would not be surprised if Manchester United does not advance.

This UCL edition gave us two groups that are going to be amazing for very different things. Group F, also known as the “death group”, with PSG, Newcastle, AC Milan, and Borussia Dortmund. This group is one of the toughest to predict. PSG lost a lot of talent and did not acquire much; the team is clearly weaker. Newcastle is one of the best teams in the Premier League, now with Tonali, this team could give us a lot of surprises. AC Milan with Theo Hernandez, Rafael Leao, Giroud, and Maignan is just amazing, however they have an inconsistency problem. RLC has replaced Tonali to perfection. Dortmund has a great team, it’s just impossible to know what to expect from them. Group E is interesting because of the fans, these have very passionate fan bases from different realms of Europe, that don’t like each other, matches are going to be heated in and outside the pitch, Simeone just loves it.

Who are the real favorites (in order) to win the European throne. First and foremost, the biggest team in the world, the king of Europe, as always, the main favorite, never rule them out. If it’s not Haaland or De Bruyne, it’s Julian Alvarez, Rodri could win the Ballon d’Or this year, best team in the world line by line, and the best coach in the world, Man City is by names the favorite to take it home again. Bayern Munich has the prolific goal scorer Kane. Not a great start in Bundesliga, but a great start in UCL, that 4-3 vs Man U is a lie, they should have won by two or three goals. Barcelona has had a great start; all the signings are performing amazing, but I still have my doubts. Games like the one for La Liga against Sevilla really have me questioning myself if this is just another season where the Cules will be let down, this is Xavi’s ultimate’s test to prove that he is a great coach.

This is soccer and it’s impossible to know what is going to happen, and that is the best part of it. All the best teams in the world fighting for the European throne. Tuesdays and Wednesday are fun again, this will be a great group stage, and the playoffs will be even better. See you in Wembley, on July 1st, 2024.

Contact Jaime at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest