The most interesting club tournament 2018-19 UEFA Champions League is upon us.
Can Inter Milan or PSV Eindhoven upset the “easy” prediction that Barcelona and Tottenham will advance out of Group B?
After an odd season in which the Blaugrana ran away with La Liga and the Copa del Rey, all the while losing a shocker to AS Roma in the Champions League Quarter Final, Barcelona looked primed to return to the top of European football.
The availability of Phillipe Coutinho, in addition to the arrival of Arturo Vidal, Arthur, Clement Lenglet, and Malcom has provided the La Liga champions with a degree of depth they severely lacked last campaign.
How did they qualify: Barcelona qualified directly into the Group Stage by winning the 2017-18 Spanish La Liga.
Champions League draws have not been kind to the London-based club. Despite a lack of depth and summer transfer activity, Mauricio Pochettino’s men are well-drilled and feature a host of big names. With one of world football’s brightest tactical minds at the helm, they can challenge Barcelona for top of the group.
How did they qualify: Tottenham Hotspur qualified directly into the Group Stage by finishing in third place in the 2017-18 English Premier League.
The sleeping giants of Milan may be a sleeper pick to make a run in this competition. With the clinical Mauro Icardi and Lauturo Martinez leading the line and Ivan Perisic, Keita Balde Diao, and Radja Nainnggolan providing the creative spark, Inter have the perfect combination of experience, youth, and quality to terrorize opposition defenders.
How did they qualify: Inter Milan qualified directly into the Group Stage by finishing in fourth place in the 2017-18 Italian Serie A.
They have about a 0% chance of advancing to the knockout rounds, the Dutch-giants may be able to sneak into the Europa League. With a squad full of international talent and promising prospects, the quality is there. Hirving “Chucky” Lozano will be critical to any success they have this campaign.
How did they qualify: PSV Eindhoven qualified into the Play-off Round by winning the 2017-18 Dutch Eredivisie, and they beat BATE Borisov 6-2 on aggregate to advance to the Group Stage.