Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Premier League in Europe

Champions League

The Champions League commences Round of Sixteen play this week with two Premier League participants travelling to the continent. Tottenham Hotspur visits defending Serie A champion AC Milan on Tuesday. The Italian side is fifth in recent table standings, the same position Spurs currently holds in the Premier League. Tottenham Hotspur Manager Antonio Conte this week questioned his players ability to play under pressure. It should be telling how his players respond to their poor performance of the weekend and the questioning by the manager. Chelsea is at Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday. Dortmund is third in the Bundesliga, just three points behind table leader Bayern Munich. Chelsea, meanwhile, have been shambolic in dropping all the way to ninth in the Premier League table. New manager Graham Potter has his hands full in trying to assimilate a multitude of expensive new players into a coherent style of play. Critics of Potter will highlight that Chelsea are suffering some of the same goal scoring issues which afflicted Potter’s Brighton teams.

Europa League

Manchester United heads to Barcelona Thursday for a classic match between two of the biggest names in world football. Both sides have had their struggles in recent years but seem on the upswing. Barcelona’s financial problems forced the legendary Lionel Messi to PSG. The Spanish club has retooled, however, and currently leads rival Real Madrid by 11 points at the top of the La Liga table. Manchester United has emerged from the controversial departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to climb to third in the Premier League. Supporters are thinking titles could be in store under Manager Eric ten Hag who has been getting elite goal scoring from star Marcus Rashford since the World Cup break.

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