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Champions League

2013/14 UEFA Champions League Preview

The Champions League in the 13/14 season looks set to be very exciting. With many of the European giants entering the competition with new managers, we do not know what to expect.

Last season surprised us with the Germans taking over Europe and many expect the same again.

Bayern went on to win the competition and looked like they could take on anybody and win comfortably. Obviously, the 7-0 aggregate win over Barcelona was a massive shock to everyone as Barcelona were one of the favourites to win the competion.

They may be even stronger in the season to come after the appointment of new boss Pep Guardiola.

Pep is arguably the greatest manager out there now after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. He had five successful seasons at Barcelona and turned them into one of the greatest teams ever. Many wonder whether he will continue with his well known ‘Tiki-Taka’ style of footba

There is also Borussia Dortmund who are expected to be very worthy contenders to put last years heartache behind them and go one step further this year and win the competition.

However, after losing what was probably there best player in Mario Goetze, they may not be as strong as last season. They have already been busy in the transfer window trying to bolster their squad with the signings of Shaktar forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre Emrick Aubameyang from Ligue 1 outfit, Saint Ettienne. Both look to be very exciting upcoming players.

After a disappointing season in the Champions League from the Spanish Giants, We expect them to come back stronger and try and prove a point to those saying The dominance of Spanish football is over.

Both clubs will start the season with new managers and this could be the difference. Real Madrid have brought in a manager with a lot of experience in Europe in Carlo Ancelotti. He led Paris Saint Germany to the quater finals of the competition last season and some would say they deserved more.

However, Barcelona have now appointed a fairly unknown manager in Gerardo Martino and he has limited experience in Europe.

There is obviously then the English clubs.
Last season was also very disappointing for the English. Manchester City somehow failed to win a single game. This seemed very unlikely when you saw the team they had but when it came to European games, they were extremely poor. This also led to the departure of Roberto Mancini.
They then brought in Manuel Pellegrini who led Malaga to the quater finals of the Champions league, only to be knocked out after two goals in two minutes from Borussia Dortmund.
Pellegrini has a lot of experience and has a very respectable record in the UEFA Champions League. He has moved early and made four summer signings for around £90 million.
Fernandinho came from Shaktar for a fee believed to be €34 million. This seems like a lot of money for a player from Ukraine  but he is highly thought of around Europe. City also made two of their signings from Sevilla. Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas were brought in. Both are terrific players that will improve the city squad.
Finally, Stephan Jovetic was confirmed by Manchester City. Jovetic was wanted by many clubs around the world and is thought of as one of the best young players in Europe.
Chelsea went in to last season’s competition as the champions and as you probably know, no one has ever retained the title, so this meant that not much was expected from them.
However, they did under perform in the competition and this led to them failing to progress from the group. After this Roberto Di Matteo was fired just months after winning the competition for the first time in the clubs history.
They then appointed Rafa Benitez as interim coach and he then went on to win the Europa League. At the end of the season, it was confirmed that Jose Mourinho had made his expected return to the club. This once again makes them one of the favourites to win the competition.

Manchester United are another club that will start the new season with a new manager.

After last season’s exit to Real Madrid after an undeserved red card for Nani, They were expected to come back this season with the desire and hunger to win the competition.

However, it took a turn for the worst and Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement. This left the whole footballing world in shock and obviously, they moved quickly to announce his successor, David Moyes.

This wasn’t much of a shock as we all know that Sir Alex thinks very highly of David. Manchester United may not be a strong contender in Europe next season because they are going through a very different season to what they are used to.

Only the second manager in 26 years and have has pretty much no experience in Europe apart from one campaign with Everton.