• Tottenham Travel To Madrid, Gather Up The Benefits, And Head On Up The Mountain

    Tottenham's 1-1 draw with Real Madrid felt significant. Not just in relation to potentially qualifying from Champions League Group H, but as a reference point for the future. For the players who took part, there's certainly value in knowing that an opponent's literal superiority doesn't have to lead to defeat. With the right tactics, discipline and execution, the odds can be upset and favourites can be derailed. It's a rather trite observation, but that's partly because it's one rarely justified, instead becoming one of those predictable, throw-away remarks made whenever clubs of a certain size achieve an unlikely result.  ...

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  • Manchester City Against Napoli: Inevitable Classic Or Cursed By The Football Gods?

    If ever a game is destined to finish in a goalless stalemate it is Manchester City’s hosting of Napoli tonight. In fact, it would probably be a wise decision to give the fixture a complete swerve and instead enjoy Spurs or Liverpool’s Champions League endeavours; even Billericay’s FA Cup qualifying fourth round replay with Brackley Town if you’re that way inclined. Anything but the incident-free snooze-fest that the present leaders of the Premier League and Serie A will surely churn out to everyone’s visceral disappointment at the Etihad. ...

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  • Morning Editorial: Liverpool Left To Rue Missed Chances Despite Attacking Riches

    Liverpool's last six games have seen them have 126 shots to the opposition's 49. They've scored seven goals and conceded 12. That number is of course skewed by the Manchester City game where they were reduced to ten men, but it shows that for all the general good play they're not ruthless enough in either box at the moment. For a second successive Champions League game Jurgen Klopp's side earned only a point from a contest they controlled, created the clearer chances and conceded as a consequence of their own lapses. ...

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  • Alberto Moreno’s 16 Month Journey From Sevilla Suffering To Sevilla Success

    “Worst ever Liverpool left-back.” “An embarrassment.” “Horrific.” Those were some of the kinder and less sweary reactions to Alberto Moreno's performance in the 2015/16 Europa League final. Some of the ire directed his way may have been over the top and the way he was presented as the sole scapegoat for that defeat may have been unfair, but there was no denying that Moreno was nowhere near good enough that night in Basel, as Liverpool fell to a 3-1 defeat against his former club Sevilla. ...

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  • Chelsea’s Coping Strategy Across Competitions Depends On Depth

    We saw something new from Antonio Conte's Chelsea in the Champions League: rotation. And he tells us we'll be seeing more of it. “If you think, like last season we play with only 13 players, you are crazy.” That was Conte's explanation for his policy of rotation on Tuesday night against Qarabag: though in truth, any changes were possibly less marked than many spectators expected. The team he picked was notable mainly for the introduction of Davide Zappacosta – scorer of a remarkable, if admittedly accidental debut goal. ...

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  • Morning Editorial: Paris Saint-Germain Finally Look Ready For Champions League Glory

    It's not often you can hear a pin drop at Celtic Park on a Champions League night, but by the time Edinson Cavani stooped low to score Paris Saint-Germain’s fifth goal in a 5-0 win last night, only the noise of the French team’s travelling fans could be heard. Thousands of Scots were streaming from the stands, out into the pouring rain, in dumbfounded silence. ...

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  • Champions League Tactical Preview: Barcelona vs Juventus

    Barcelona face Juventus in the Champions League group stages this season. We take a look at how they compare, and how they might perform tactically in the coming games. ...

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  • Champions League Tactics: Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic

    Celtic tpok on Astana in the Champions League playoffs, and, in partnership with BetBright, we take a look at Brendan Rodgers' preferred tactics ahead of the game. ...

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  • Disinformation Over Chelsea’s Champions League Draw Was Reckless

    The aftermath of the Champions League group stage draw is something akin to Black Friday for the travelling football fan. Once UEFA's interminable draw is over, there is the wait: and, an hour or two later, you learn just when you will be traipsing to the other side of the continent to see your team in action. ...

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  • Why Do Manchester United Always Get Easy Champions League Draws?

    Following last week’s Champion’s League group draw that once again pitted Manchester United against three eminently beatable opponents, a tweeted photograph did the rounds on social media detailing United’s group stage match-ups since 2006. The photograph reads like a who’s who of decent but unexceptional continental fare: Benfica (three times), Copenhagen, Rangers, Basel, CSKA Moscow (three times), Bursaspor, Braga. The list was long and ordinary and perhaps made even more notable for the teams that were nowhere to be seen, teams that you would reasonably expect to pop up at least once over the course of a decade: a Milan or Inter perhaps; a PSG; maybe an Ajax. The tweet was accompanied by the words: “This needs explaining”. ...

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