Group H: PSG, United or Leipzig, one will fall

Andres Onrubia


Probably one of the toughest groups in the Champions, with a finalist, a semifinalist, a national champion and a great who returns among its four components. Difficult to make forecasts, because so much PSG, Manchester United and RB Leipzig they have conditions to be in the next phase. Much will depend on the results they are able to obtain between them. More complex seems the matter for him Istanbul Basaksehir, although visiting it in Turkey It will not be an easy game for any of his three rivals. Precious group and without margin of error.

The group starts strong with the dispute of PSG-Manchester United, rematch of the round of 16 match a few seasons ago in which the English left out of the Champions to the parisians in the Princes Park. This duel will mark the course of both, who will be measured again on the penultimate day in Old trafford. He RB Leipzig, for his part, he will find difficulties in the central section of the league, although he will be able to decide his classification on the last day by receiving at home at United. Dangerous match for both of us.

He PSG brushed the Champions League in 2020. In an atypical year due to the expansion of the coronavirus, the Parisian team reached the final of the maximum continental competition for the first time since the arrival of the sheikh, overcoming a psychological barrier that seemed insurmountable in recent years. This season, the champion of the League 1 will look for the orejona in one of the most decisive years for the project of Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. This course could be the last of Mbappe Y Neymar in the French capital. Both end their contract in 2022 and the two stars have a good chance of leaving the PSG in summer. It could also be the last season of Tuchel, since the German has not convinced by game and results despite having guided his team to play their first final of the European cup. After barely signing Icardi Y Florenzi and, after having lost several capital pieces such as Thiago silva or Cavani, he PSG He will try to win the only tournament that has resisted him since the arrival of the Sheikh.

The star: Neymar

The Brazilian is one of the best players in the world and the star on which the PSG. This is your last chance to win the Champions in Paris. The player who receives the most fouls from Europe likes to absorb the ball and that generates advantages in case of coming out of the pressure but it also means many fouls. Better inside, as he came playing last season and also with Brazil.

The coach: Thomas Tuchel

Always in the eye of the hurricane, he has managed to win titles and reached the final of the Champions. Maybe that gives you credit, although some of your methods don't like it. He burst into German football first at Mainz and then at Dortmund. It was felt that he could be a first-rate technician and that led him to Paris. Like all its predecessors, it has managed to dominate France but also reached a Champions League final. There is the difference.

The arrival of Danilo Pereira It gives a lot more muscle to a midfield that needs workers to contain all the offensive weight of the team, as it was seen in the last ChampionsIt is also key that Neymar have freedom of movement from midfield upwards, with Mbappe looking for the spaces per band.

The bet of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer for young people has marked the way since their arrival in Old trafford. The Norwegian coach has designed his team around several footballers with their entire career ahead of them, who have joined the millionaire signings of Pogba, Maguire or Bruno Fernandes, called to be an indispensable piece in this project. Based on goals and assists, the Portuguese is a fixture. With Rashford as an emblem – player of the quarry and very young despite the years he has been in the elite – other young people have joined as Greenwood, whose debut came precisely two years ago, in a qualifying round of the Champions League. From Gea he remains a starter, although Henderson is seriously threatening on the bench. The arrival of Van de beek It gives more alternatives in the center of the field to a team that has the big problem in the bottom of the closet. When the starting eleven fades, doubts about the team's performance arrive.

The star: Rashford

He is only 22 years old but it is already a reality. Rashford is the icon and the leader of this new generation of Manchester United. Charismatic and well-liked type, not only for his facet on the field but also outside, he was taking over the left wing of United's attack and right now he is indisputable. Quick, with a goal and very clever in the unchecking behind the side,

The coach: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

A very dear guy in Old trafford, is having trouble standing out as a technician although he has returned to United to Champions and that's enough. He was hired for knowing the philosophy of the club and for trying to find a new generation among the young players who, like his own, could once again dominate in England. Of course, at a strategic level it has not left great sensations yet. He needs to take a step forward.

It is not clear what fit it may have Van de beek in the team, among other things because Pogba Y Bruno fernandes They are two quite similar stickers. Very interesting last minute incorporation of Alex Telles to the side, like that of Cavani as a center forward to compete for the position Martial. A United with many alternatives.

In ten years, the Leipzig has changed the fifth division for a subscription to the Champions. Red Bull gives you wings and, in the case of RB, his third participation in the maximum continental competition since he achieved promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016. He put to the test in the final eight in Lisbon that he is capable of eliminating teams of the stature of Atlético de Madrid and it is no coincidence. A lot to blame Nagelsmann, who is facing his second season at the helm of the East Germans and has endowed them with a game system tailored to their players. He Leipzig It is still a vertical and fast team, but, at the same time, it manages the times much better and competes like a great. It remains if it continues to shine without Werner. The German international decided to change the Red Bull Arena by Stamford Bridge and leave the goals in the hands of Poulsen, Forsberg and the Spanish duo formed by Elm Y Angelino. Behind, Upamecano He is the leader of a defense of three and the most reliable.

The star: Upamecano

Pure power. The young French center-back endows the Leipzig of muscle and good ball output. Decided to renew with Leipzig, but his future looks white. Of the defenders with the most future of Europe. Powerful, he sometimes even trusts himself more than he should, has good ball output and is quick to anticipate. He must correct some logical flaw for his age, but his future is splendid. He already was since he broke into the elite.

The coach: Julian Nagelsmann

Of the most revolutionary trainers in Europe, very young, his method of total attack has paid off, including having reached the semifinals of Champions. He earned the respect of the people with Hoffenheim, whom he led to Europe as one of Germany's top scoring teams. In Leipzig it has gone even further. It will not take long to manage a great club, he has current football between his eyebrows.

A team with long lanes, three centrals and many players with the will to attack. That is the risk of this RB Leipzig that congregates many people in positions close to the area. On the contrary, it is easy to reach into him because he also concedes too much back. A very colorful team and in the line of what is the current pressure football.

In the last 35 years, only once (Bursaspor 2009-2010) had been in Turkey a champion who was not one of the big three of the country: Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe or Besiktas. Hence the surprise and expectation generated by the title won by Basaksehir, a club that has immediately aroused suspicions among football fans due to its exponential growth in recent years. The background of its creation is political and even religious. Turkey It is a secular state but with a strong Islamic influence, especially propagated by Erdogan and his subjects. No team had ever held that place among the fans, who had followed the country's secularism without mixing politics with sports. He Basaksehir not. The injection of money – without knowing very well where it came from – was allowing the squad to be reinforced with illustrious, albeit veteran, names. Robinho (even though I'm gone), Skrtel, Demba Bá, Topal and Rafael are some examples.

The star: Chadli

The star signing for this first season in the Champions. Wants to be in the next Eurocup in a Belgian team in which it is very expensive to enter, especially in the offensive zone. In Turkey he will be able to play with much more freedom than in his last seasons, in which he was even delayed to the full-back position as a winger even in the national team. He had his peak at Tottenham, although he has dropped a lot since then

The coach: Okan Buruk

A real feat what he has done with Istanbul Basaksehir, has the support of Erdogan and the whole family. He feels powerful and they have also given him high-level signings. Known to the general public for his time as a player, in which he was one of the fixtures of the best Turkish team in history and that allowed him to even sign for Inter Milan. As a coach, he hadn't been so lucky, at least to date.

In Turkey has played with two ends and is a team that hurts due to its offensive power, especially for what they contribute Visca, Chadli or Demba Ba. It remains to be seen how it behaves in Europe and against more powerful rivals. They also know how to speculate and it is a team that knows how to suffer, despite having important names in the squad. He arms well in defense.