The Champions League returns this week and Italy still has two teams in the game: Inter and Juventus. The Nerazzurri will play their next round at Anfield against Liverpool tomorrow, with a loss big enough to recover from: Inzaghi’s side were sunk by an unfair 0-2 in the first leg, but the Inter we saw on Friday against Salernitana he was able to turn it around and can and should believe.
Juventus, on the other hand, find themselves in a more favorable situation: the bianconeri drew 1-1 in Spain at the Ceramica stadium against Villareal and next week they will have the chance to play for qualification at home. Even if on paper the old lady started as favorite at non-AAMS and ADM sites, it must be remembered that Emery’s Villareal are the reigning Europa League champions.
Qualifying for the Champions League is complicated for Inter
Inter desperately need a miracle to qualify for tomorrow’s round at Liverpool. The Reds are one of the top favourites: Klopp’s side are solid defensively and lethal in attack, the stifling pressure directed by the whole team never gives opponents the freedom to think. There are strong regrets for the first leg: Inter had prepared them well, had a good chance to take the lead and for 75 minutes managed the Reds’ dangerous offensive wave well. The result of the first leg was too tough for what Inter showed on the pitch. The good news is that starting this year there is no longer a double goal rule in away games at home to draws; if the Nerazzurri win by a two-goal margin, they can play extra time even if they suffer a goal.
In the Champions League, Juve can do well thanks to Vlahovic
Juventus, after bringing in a new player who arrived in January on a permanent basis, changed gears. The Bianconeri are fourth in the league, they won the first leg of the Coppa Italia 1-0 against Fiorentina and have an affordable run in Europe. Vlahovic made the difference early on in the Champions League: the Serbian took just 32 seconds to stamp his card and seal his first seal in Europe’s top competition. In addition to goals, the young striker born in 2000 is also the team’s center of gravity thanks to his physical ability to protect the ball skillfully from opposing defenders. The midfielders accompanied the action more regularly and the attackers moved better by making use of the spaces created by the Serbian.
Who are the favorites for this edition of the Champions League?
Like every year, the best teams in Europe play in this competition. Among our favorites of course have Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, PSG’s Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandoski or Liverpool’s rivals Inter Milan.
The Citizens are one of the absolute favorites for the title. Every year they seem to be the most complete team with the most amazing style of play and then soon the dream fades in the late stages, like last year when the team saw the trophy blown in the final round by their English cousins Chelsea. The feeling is that the team is at the end of the cycle and there is a great desire to consecrate this beautiful path with a trophy win with big ears.
Pochettino’s PSG immediately had to face the queen of the competition, Real Madrid. The mocking fate of the draw had decided to anticipate a possible final in the second round. The first leg to Paris was decided by Mbappe’s game; Wednesday in Madrid there will be a return and Ancelotti’s men are forced to face some absences, but the results are more balanced than ever.
Bayern Munich and Liverpool look like undefeated warships ready to crush any opponent they come across, even if they both struggle in the first leg. Liverpool were under pressure at the San Siro and Bayern did not go beyond the draw against Salzburg.