A Champions League clash, such as the upcoming one with Liverpool and Chelsea, in my opinion, is boring, as the reds and blues face each other in the Champions League for the fifth consecutive season. With Liverpool already beating Chelsea two times in the Premier League this season, can they do it again? I hope so, because if they do, there is a possibility of their facing Barcelona FC. This is the game I have been waiting for.
Barca is definitely one of the teams to keep your eye on, scoring goals and playing attractive football at the same time. Not that they haven’t lost, but they will still be difficult to beat. Liverpool players are at their best, especially after destroying Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Aston Villa, scoring 13 goals in the last three matches.
Now, it’s still too early to go on about how Liverpool will win the title and how they’ll knock over United, because that might not happen. Anyone who has watched them for long will know they lack consistency in league games, and tend to lose or draw with weaker teams. Liverpool is a much stronger team as far as the Champions League is concerned, and when they play, they seem to be kings, the true champions of Europe.
Barca fear facing the Reds, and Liverpool, too, are wary of Barcelona. Johan Cruyff spoke about his former team facing Liverpool, suggesting that Barca has to avoid Liverpool at all costs if they are looking to win the Champions League.
He talked about the Madrid game, saying "Against Madrid, Liverpool became a steamroller, and for sure, many of those who feared playing against Manchester United don't want to face Liverpool now."
Liverpool player Albert Riera also expressed the same sentiment as Cruyff, saying he hopes to avoid Barcelona in the Champions league too.
"Barcelona is playing unbelievable football this year."
"They are one team we wouldn't like to see in the Champions League against us," stated Reira.
Joking with his Spanish teammate Xavi, Arbeloa said ‘"I have already said to Xavi that we will knock them down a few pegs because they are very high up."
The Barca player responded to the red, saying "They look at us and see we are very strong. As Arbeloa says, Barcelona are the team to beat, therefore we have to be humble, because even though we are in form, the season is long."
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola’s views differ from those of Cruyff. Whether it's mind games or he genuinely means it, he stated that he believes that Arsenal is the more worrisome team. He also says that the Gunner’s style of football is very similar to that of Barcelona.
Barcelona and Arsenal do share that smooth passing game, that silky, “sexy” football that we all crave, but whether that would be enough to go to a Champion’s League final and win, is a test that both Arsenal and Barcelona will be put through. Liverpool F.C. are specialists on Europe’s biggest stage and if they have taught us anything, it’s that saviour Rafa Benitez can make any group of players into a Champions League machine, as the squad had a change of personnel almost every season and yet managed to reach the semi-finals, if not the finals, each time around.
Either way, there will be a lot to prove for many teams, be it the players from Barca, who can give their ever-demanding fans a double, if not the treble, this season, or Arsenal, whose coach still stands by the fact that his players are mature enough and do have what it takes to go all the way. Either way you look at it, we have a long and exciting road of Champions League mania ahead of us!
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