Roma and Chelsea have each won one, drawn one, and lost one of their three meetings with one another, with the most recent being the thrilling 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge in October.
Chelsea FC and AS Roma meet at the Stadio Olimpico to finish up the second leg of their doubleheader, having previously shared the spoils in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge on October 18. While Champions League underdog Qarabag are seeking to upset Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitan.
Roma and Chelsea both look in fine shape in the Champions League right now, with them occupying the top two spots in the group and holding out of form Atletico Madrid at bay down in 3rd.
Their last meeting was just a few weeks ago when Roma made the trip to Stamford Bridge, and it didn’t disappoint in terms of entertainment. Chelsea went two goals to the good in the first half but was pegged back thanks to former Premier League duo Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko, who put Roma 3-2 up between them before an Edin Hazard equaliser to make it 3-3
Manchester United have endured their first difficult spell of the season this autumn, with a goalless draw against Liverpool being followed by a rather stale performance against Benfica in the return fixture in Portugal. They then suffered their first defeat of the campaign away to Huddersfield, and many suspected that this could be the start of a downfall of sorts.
Benfica were expected to be the team in the running for 2nd place when these groups were drawn, but the Portuguese side has been absolutely dreadful so far. They opened their campaign with a 2-1 loss at home to CSKA Moscow, and then followed that with an abject performance in Switzerland as they were beaten 5-0 by Basel. They did improve when they hosted Manchester United last time out, but the result was still a defeat
Manchester United have won four, drawn two, and lost one of their seven previous meetings with Benfica, and have won 100% of their home matches this season, winning by at least two-goals margin in 86% of them and conceding in just 14% of their game
Prediction: Man Utd Wins
PSG vs Anderlecht
Considering the amount of money PSG have spent, it’s unsurprising that they’re dominating. In all competitions, they have won 13 of their 15 matches and lost none. They have kept a clean sheet in all of their Champions League matches so far and have only conceded in two of their seven competitive home games this season.
This is not good news for Anderlecht, who come into this game having failed to score in all three of their Champions League games so far. All of these ended in a comprehensive defeat, with Celtic and Bayern Munich both beating them 3-0 and the aforementioned 4-0 thrashing at the hands of PSG.
PSG have won 100% of their Champions League games this season and kept a clean sheet in 100% of them. At home, the hosts have won 100% of their games and conceded in just 28% of them, whilst Anderlecht has failed to score in 100% of their Champions League matches.
Prediction: PSG Wins Over 2.5
Celtic vs Bayern Munich
Celtic’s luck in the Champions League group stage draw can be considered as quite poor, and as many expected when they drew alongside PSG, Bayern Munich, and Anderlecht they are all but out of the race for qualification to the latter stages.
Bayern Munich hasn’t been at their best this season either, but the appointment of Jupp Heynckes as a manager is a positive step forward and they will be confident going on towards the rest of the season.
The visitors worst result of the season was undoubtedly their 3-0 loss at PSG in round two of the Champions League group stages, but either side of that they picked up 3-0 wins against Celtic and Anderlecht and after their 2-0 win against RB Leipzig at the weekend, another win looks very likely on Tuesday.
Bayern Munich has won two and drawn one of their three meetings with Celtic, with the most recent being their 3-0 win at the Allianz Arena in October.
Qarabag has actually put in a few really good showings this season, one of which was their draw against Atletico Madrid. They were hammered at Chelsea, but their 2-1 loss at home to Roma is nothing to be ashamed of really and they can be happy with how the campaign has gone.
October’s goalless draw in Azerbaijan was the first-ever meeting between these sides.
This includes a revenge win over Juventus in the opening round of this group stage, where they beat the Serie A side 3-0 before edging past Sporting and beating Olympiakos last time out. They sit top of the group and look to have a very good chance of taking the top spot
Barcelona 3-1 win earlier this month was the first meeting between the Catalan giants and Olympiakos and has won 86% of their away games this season, keeping a clean sheet in 72% of them and seeing four or more goals in 0% of them.
Prediction: Barca Wins & Over 1.5
Sporting Lisbon were never expected to really compete for the top two spots in this Champions League group after being drawn alongside Juventus and Barcelona, and that’s proven to be the case, despite some spirited performances from the Portuguese side.
They have lost against both Barcelona and Juventus after beating Olympiakos in their group stage opener, but the 1-0 and 2-1 defeats respectively were by no means humiliating for them and they can take away a lot of positives from their performance.
Juventus reached the Champions League Final last year before their previously unbreakable defence crumbled under the pressure of Real Madrid. They beat Barcelona comfortably in the run-up to the final, but their group opener this year afforded the Catalan club a measure of revenge as they beat them 3-0 at the Camp Nou.
Juventus and Sporting Lisbon have each won one of their two meetings with one another, with both games ending 2-1.
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.