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milos degenek - red star belgrade, champions league underdogs

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Rooting for the Champions League underdogs? Here are the teams you should be watching

The new Champions League season is set to get underway, with the group stage fixtures to commence tonight. While everyone expects teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern to perform well, here are the dark horses of the European competition. 

GalatasarayGalatasaray

(they play Lokomotiv Moscow tonight)

The numerous fans of the Turkish side are understandably jubilant at the team’s return to the Champions League. Galatasaray could be one of the competition’s surprises and an important resource for FootballCoin managers looking to assemble a top team. What do Galata have working for them?

  • They’ve won the Turkish Super Lig last season, despite a very hard thought contest that saw four teams battle it out for the top spot.
  • The team will be looking to make amends, after last season they suffered a painful defeat to Östersunds FK in the preliminary stages of the Europa League.
  • Their current UCL group can also prove to be of help, with Galata having been drawn in arguably the easiest group in the competition.
  • The team’s squad features some considerable star power. Players like Muslera, Maicon or Belhanda will relish the opportunity of playing on such a big stage.

Ajax Amsterdam

(plays AEK Athens tomorrow)

frenkie de jong - ajax amsterdamThe four time Champions League winners finished only second in the Eredivisie. But there are a few reasons for the Dutch side to be optimistic about their chances of creating a considerable offset.

  • The team has been active in the transfer market, with the likes of Daley Blind (formerly of Man Utd) and Dusan Tadic (formerly of Southamption) joining the squad.
  • While finishing above Bayern is likely out of the question, they will need to better AEK Athens or Benfica in order to qualify to the next round, a realistic objective.
  • They are said to have one of the best set of young players in Europe. Many of those already have a good deal of experience in European competitions. After all, Ajax played Man. Utd. in the Europa League final of 2017.

Crvena Zvezda

(plays Napoli today)

Red Star Belgrade are another former Champions League winner, that has not made significant waves in the competition recently. In fact, this is the first time they’ve qualified to the group stage in 26 years. Here’s why they could create a few surprises along the way, as well as offer FootballCoin managers a good selection of players.

  • The team has qualified  at the expense of the far more financially prosperous Red Bull Salzburg. The victory showcased the Serbian team’s quality and ambition.
  • They are a team lacking recent experience in the UCL and they’ve been drawn in a very difficult group, alongside Napoli, PSG and Liverpool. This may mean that Red Star’s players will be forced to rise up to the occasion, as playing safe will unlikely do them any favors.
  • Individually, some of their players are no strangers to European football, with the likes of Serie A battle-scarred Nenad Krsticic and once prodigy Mark Marin playing for the Serbian side.

A fantasy football selection is often elevated by the very elements that miss most managers’ eyes. Don’t hesitate in investigating these teams’ squads. They have a good chance of surprising many, and in doing so, win you important prizes. And don’t forget to register for the FootballCoin contests .

Eduard Bănulescu

 

 

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