Home » ARTICLES » Why Bayern Munich, Manchester United And Chelsea Can Win The Champions League!

Why Bayern Munich, Manchester United And Chelsea Can Win The Champions League!

published :

What sides really can win the Champions League this year? Realistically it will be one of the usual suspects, won’t it?

I believe this season’s competition will be won by one of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, the reigning champions Chelsea or Manchester United.

So why Bayern Munich?

The Bavarians are the losing finalists from last year’s edition when they lost it at their home ground to Chelsea on penalties. They are expected to challenge for the title again this season.

Their domestic season is off to a flyer and there are already talks of them taking a psychological stranglehold on the Bundesliga title. They have good quality players all around and have bought Javi Martinez from Athletic Bilbao in the summer window.

Mental weakness remains a stumbling block for this side. This was a major reason for their loss to Chelsea in the final last season and only their performances in the big games both domestically and abroad which will show whether they have shaken off the cobwebs or not. I expect Jupp Henyckes` side to go till the quarters for sure. Beyond that, the tie and their fortune will decide where they end up come May 2013.

So why Manchester United?

The Red Devils last won this trophy in the rain in Moscow in 2008.They`ve reached two finals since but were beaten soundly by Barcelona on both occasions (I hate writing that part!).

They have a strong squad and their attacking options are world class. The addition of Arsenal’s captain Robin van Persie in the summer window has seen them add a top quality goal scorer to their ranks. He had scored 37 goals last year for the Gunners and already has 8 for United.

His partnership with United’s talisman Wayne Rooney is blooming and is an ominous sign for defences both in England and in Europe. Add quality wingers like Antonio Valencia, Nani, Ashley Young and the Japanese playmaker Shinji Kagawa and you have an attack which can change shape at will and can score goals in myriad ways.

The problematic part is the midfield and the defence. They rely too much on Paul  Scholes for ideas and lack a top notch ball winner, a leader in the middle of the park. Players like Moussa Dembele and Marouanne Fellaini have made a mockery of their central midfielders. They need to get Darren Fletcher back into the side fast so that they can add the much needed steel to their midfield.

Worryingly the defence needs to get its act together fast! It has looked shaky far more than usual and when a side like Stoke City starts giving the home side scares at Old Trafford, it is high time that things are tacked urgently.

Their injuries are easing up now and so by February when the knockout ties commence, they ought to have a fully fit defence. Their group is easy so qualification shouldn’t be much of an issue. But top sides in the knockout stages punish your weakness remorselessly and unless United get their act together, they will once again miss out on a European title.   They may make it to the quarters but things will get far tougher thereafter and their weakness may just see them lose out!

So why Chelsea?

The reigning European champions have a star studded attack. Eden Hazard, Oscar, Juan Mata, Fernando Torres make many a Blues fan drool and their expansive brand of football this season has shown a shift from their defensive strategies of last season.

They have looked solid this season and have not lost a match as yet. They sit top of their league and would love to win the Champions League title on English soil this season.

Whilst their attack is in top shape, it is their defence which (you may brand me crazy for saying this!) is their weakness. They have shown signs of weakness at the back and good attacking sides like Real Madrid or United will undoubtedly look to pounce on such weaknesses.

Gary Cahill and David Luiz have looked strong at the back but the pair are error-prone and do give the opposition chances. Petr Cech, however, is in good form once again and at 30, is entering the peak of his career as a goalie. I would rate them as potential finalists only if the draw goes their way and they avoid Madrid or Barcelona in the semis (I know they beat the Catalans last year but flukes don’t happen forever). 

In hindsight all six sides that I have mentioned would feel confident about their chances this year. Let us hope that we get a feast of top quality football ending in a grand spectacle at Wembley in May.

By Yashasvee Prasad @yash647