Juventus vs Manchester United

Juventus vs Manchester United Preview: Will United turn up this time?

The reason why both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were sacked by Manchester United was their inability to guide Manchester United to the Champions League. The former was sacked two days after it became mathematically impossible for the team to finish in the top four, even though the reality was that it had been confirmed much earlier.

Van Gaal was sacked two days after winning the FA Cup with United in 2016. They finished fifth that season and therefore missed out on qualification for the elite European competition.

In contrast, Jose Mourinho booked United’s place in the Champions League at the end of his first season in charge after winning the Europa League. United bowed out in the first knock-out round following the group stage though, after putting up very little fight against Sevilla.

Still, in the following season, United finished second and again qualified for the competition, and supporters will be hoping for improved performances in this campaign. Read More

Crvena Zvezda vs Liverpool Champions League preview

Crvena Zvezda vs Liverpool: Close the gates and catch that Liverbird

It’s been more than a year since the Serbian giants lost a home game.

A deep look into the club statistics across all possible competitions would reveal a remarkable piece of information: the Belgrade behemoths last suffered a home defeat at the hands of Arsenal (1-0) on 19th October 2017.

Since that moment, Crvena Zvezda have embarked on an astonishing stretch which currently stands at 23 matches at Stadion Rajko Mitic without a single defeat.

It was in no small part that Crvena Zvezda goalkeeper Milan Borjan stands as the one player responsible for such an amazing feat. The Canadian international has been one of the most notable Crvena Zvezda players this season in the Champions League and Twelve’s numbers are there to support such a claim. Read More

Tottenham vs PSV Eindhoven

Tottenham vs PSV Eindhoven Preview: Spurs struggling with fixture pile up

Despite their best ever start to a Premier League season Spurs have found it difficult to get going especially with the recent fixture congestion.

Tottenham’s Champions League clash with PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night will be their fourth game in the space of eight days and after not adding to their squad in the summer, Spurs are struggling to keep their players fit. With injuries to Dembele, Danny Rose and Eric Dier, Spurs will be relying on less favoured players over this tough period.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side were unconvincing in their 3-2 victory over Wolves, having nearly blown a 3-0 lead. Goals from all three of Spurs’ attackers (Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane) put Tottenham in a very comfortable position after 68 minutes. However, after conceding two penalties in the space of 11 minutes Spurs endured a very shaky last 10 minutes trying to hold onto the lead. Read More

Inter vs Barcelona

Inter vs Barcelona Preview: Catalans to secure a last 16 spot?

FC Barcelona will look to clinch a berth in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League when they visit Inter Milan at the San Siro on Tuesday night.

Ernesto Valverde’s men will be looking to continue their good form of late, having won their last five matches in all competitions and this with the likely addition of Lionel Messi. The Argentine has missed Barcelona’s last four matches, including the 2-0 win against Inter at the Camp Nou. However, he has been included in the squad list despite not receiving the green light as of yet.

Messi’s absence has coincided with the rebirth of Luis Suárez, as it’s the number 9 who’s been carrying the goal scoring load. The Uruguayan has netted six goals since Messi went down with his shoulder injury (three of which came in the clasico against Real Madrid) and is back to his best. Read More

PSV Eindhoven vs Tottenham Hotspur Champions League Preview

PSV Eindhoven vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Containing Chucky

In Tottenham’s first two games of the season Pochettino fielded a creative but lightweight midfield. In the opening 45 minutes Spurs created enough chances to gain a lead and in the second half the opposition realised they should take advantage of Spurs’ somewhat soft midfield and press back. On both occasions Pochettino brought Mousa Dembele off the bench to calm the game down and see out the win.

Saturday’s victory over West Ham was much the same affair, only with Harry Winks and Mousa Sissoko in place of Eriksen and Dele to form the initial midfield trio with Eric Dier. Read More

Liverpool vs Crvena Zvezda

Liverpool vs Crvena Zvezda Preview: Time to hit top gear

Mohamed Salah’s 50th goal in English football and the Reds’ 200th victory on the road in the Premier League era were a perfect introduction for the Champions League clash against the Serbian champions Crvena Zvezda.

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp might be pleased to be “winning average games” for the first time in his career following his team’s hard-fought 1-0 win at Huddersfield but the Reds will need to up their game in order to remain in the running for major honours this season.

Klopp’s men need to be winning average games with more ease in order to gain mental strength and boost optimism both within the squad and around it.

With another potentially ‘average’ match on the horizon, Liverpool have a chance to hit top gear again, following a string of low key performances and results which have not been up to the standards Jürgen Klopp has introduced at Anfield. Read More

Barcelona vs Internazionale Champions League Preview

Barcelona vs Internazionale Preview: Who will save Valverde?

A potential thriller awaits at Camp Nou on Wednesday, not just because it pits La Liga’s champions against one of Serie A’s heavyweights, but also as it could go a long way in deciding who wins Group B. Both teams have a full haul of six points and will be keen to open-up some daylight at the top of the table.

Let’s go right away to Twelve’s Leader Board comparing players of both teams during this Champions League season. It’s no surprise to see Lionel Messi as the best performer. From the Neroazzuri side, Mauro Icardi stands out as the best performer.

Barcelona vs Internazionale Champions League Preview
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Manchester United vs Juventus Champions League Preview

Manchester United vs Juventus Preview: xG king of Italy comes to town

José Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge this weekend, to seek revenge and break Manchester United’s curse at their bogey ground. It looked like a new United catastrophe performance when Antonio Rudiger headed the hosts into the lead.

The visitors were beheaded, but Anthony Martial scored twice in the second half to almost give United an unlikely victory. Ross Barkley had different plans, though, as he scored a dramatic equalizer deep into stoppage time to salvage a 2-2 draw. Read More

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City: A Cold Tuesday Night in Ukraine

Is there anything to win when you put your billion-Pound star ensemble on an airplane and travel across Europe to play in the cold of the Slobidshchyna? At least three points in the Champions League group stage. That is the motivation for Pep Guardiola, knowing that Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City might not turn out to be pretty. But that is not what City is all about right now.

Some football philosophers may suggest that the best teams sometimes look average and win nevertheless. That is what Manchester City have done in the past few weeks. Usually, head coach Guardiola comes up with a variety of tactical ideas; some outlandish, most brilliant.

But the Catalan also knows how valuable his players are and how many of them can make match-altering moves. It is the beauty of the current City squad that the likes of Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sané battle for two spots in the starting XI, that Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus often battle for one berth, with Guardiola knowing that each of them can rip through defences and score the one decisive goal. Read More

Tottenham vs Barcelona Champions League Preview

Tottenham vs Barcelona Preview: Whose Ball Is It Anyway?

David Wagner dominated the tactics board on Saturday with his Huddersfield side pressing Tottenham Hotspur into a mess. They limited Eric Dier to a poor performance with 78% pass success rate and Paulo Gazzaniga just 52%.

But it mattered for nothing as Spurs’ individual supremacy shone in the transitional and improvisational moments, giving Tottenham a misleadingly comfortable 2-0 scoreline.

The chance for Tottenham to test their talents against Barcelona is an exciting challenge. The two teams haven’t met in senior competition for decades, but it’s coming at the wrong time for the north Londoners.

Issues in midfield remain unresolved after an event-less transfer window. Post-World-Cup fatigue is hurting a team with no less than nine players in the semi-finals. Spurs are suffering a slow start to the season. Now, just in time, an injury crisis has set in. Dele, Aurier, Eriksen, Lloris, Vertonghen and Dembele are all doubts. Read More