Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 3rd 2014 Contents The Champions League
is approaching the knock-
out stage and the usual
suspects are waiting to
Every year, there are
familiar faces and this sea-
son is no different. The
power of football remains
in Spain and Germany,
which is no surprise, given
that the two most recent
winners of the World Cup
were in 2010 (Spain) and
As we head into the deci-
sive last round of matches,
the battle is for seeding as
the top eight teams automatically avoid each other.
The draw is in December for the last 16.
Among the intrigue left in the group stage is the
battle to see which of Barcelona or Paris St German
finish top of their group, the final match will be played
in Spain, with the winner advancing as top seed.
Elsewhere it would appear, it is the normal status
quo with defending champions Real Madrid, last year s
beaten finalists Athletico Madrid, perennial finalists
Bayern Munich and former champions Chelsea, each
already topping their groups convincingly.
Among the others, Borussia Dortmund, while erratic
in the German League is leading Arsenal on points
heading into the last round. Two other English Clubs,
Liverpool and Manchester City have given themselves
hope with their respective last performances while
the once powerful Juventus will most likely finish sec-
ond and be in contention when the draw is made. Of
the other teams, it is safe to say that they are making
Real Madrid have started this season better than
ever and for the momentum seems to be with them
as their leading players are firing on all cylinders with
Cristiano Ronaldo especially looking fitter than at the
World Cup in Brazil while both Gareth Bale and Karim
Benzema have caught their scoring booths and even
the multi-talented and expensive James Rodriguez is
settling in comfortably after a difficult opening period.
While Barcelona have become over exposed with the
aging of some of their players and the sale and resulting
purchase of others, Athletico Madrid have remained
constant if not totally convincing with the loss of goal
scoring machine Diego Costa.
Chelsea is currently the outstanding team in England,
and their unbeaten status has given them the con-
fidence to believe in themselves and cause opponents
to doubt them. They are on course to reach far in this
Champions League contest.
On the other hand, the three other English Clubs,
Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal look short of
the quality and the belief to present much of an oppo-
sition to the Spanish and German teams. In the case
of City, this is particularly surprising, because they
appear to have a very strong outfit, that can match
the best and their most recent defeat of Bayern Munich
(3-2) would suggest such.
While Liverpool and Arsenal may identify injuries
as the major source of their struggles, there is certainly
a sense in the case of Arsenal, that they lack the
mental toughness to adapt and handle the Champions
Paris St Germain have to be respected because of
their gallery of stars but whether they possess the
togetherness to win the crown is questionable.
It would take a brave man to select one outright
winner based on form and class. I believe that any
of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Paris St
Germain can win.
I would love to be wrong and watch Arsene Wenger s
Arsenal surprise everyone including themselves, led
by the fit again Theo Walcott, Mezut Ozil and Oliver
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Andre E Baptiste
Giroud. But that is most likely my most expensive
I think my best bet would be one of those super
gifts that is available to any fan in T&T, at The Fan
Club chain of stores in MovieTowne, Trincity Mall
and Gulf City.
If Arsenal cant give me my wish, I won t mind a
gift items from the The Fan Club.
All my friends, please note. It s an Arsenal Champions
League success or The Fan Club. What say ye!
Banking on Arsenal
for a Christmas wish
Just a peek into what you can find at The Fan Club. Something from there or an
Arsenal Champions League win is my Christmas wish.
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