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 Posted by Michael Cox
3 days ago

Manchester City capable of exceeding expectations in Europe

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop gives his take on the UEFA Champions League's group of death and teams that may surprise us during the group stage.

Manchester City have claimed four major trophies in the past four seasons -- an impressive haul, irrespective of the amount of money invested during that period. Two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup represents significant progress for a club that had previously won nothing since 1976.

Today's Champions League draw was of particular importance to City, however, because over the past three years they've flopped in Europe -- only once have they progressed to the knockout stage. ...

 Posted by Simon Curtis
3 days ago

Third UCL meeting with Bayern is a sign of Man City's progress

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop gives his take on the UEFA Champions League's group of death and teams that may surprise us during the group stage.

In Manchester City's long and illustrious history, there has been a notably thin spread of seasons in which the club has pitted its wits against the best of European competition. Since a somewhat inauspicious start in continental battle way back in 1968-69 featuring a much-heralded, but ultimately embarrassingly brief, two-leg flirtation with disaster against Fenerbahçe, the club has been a relatively infrequent visitor to the fields of Europe.

Once that Malcolm Allison-inspired debacle had b...

 Posted by Jonathan Johnson
3 days ago

PSG to benefit from early tests

The ESPN FC crew discuss the possible Champions League group-stage upsets.

Paris Saint-Germain were drawn in Group F of this season's UEFA Champions League alongside Barcelona, Ajax and APOEL. The group has more than a hint of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in its flavour, with two of the three teams in the group listed among the Swede's former clubs. More importantly, however, the draw finally hands the French champions the early test they have needed for the past two seasons in the competition.

- Report: Barca, PSG look to secure top spot
- Brewin: New-look Barca face old fr...

 Posted by James Horncastle
3 days ago

The Champions League's must-see games

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop gives his take on the UEFA Champions League's group of death and teams that may surprise us during the group stage.

Amid the awkward small talk of UEFA's interim chief exec Gianni Infantino, and the fumbling of balls by Real Madrid legends past and present, the groups for the 2014-15 Champions League were drawn, throwing up encounters new and old between historic powers, the nouveau riches and the hip. Here are a selection of the matches to look out for.

Group A: Atletico Madrid vs. Juventus (Oct. 1, Dec. 6)

The Old Lady goes to the "Mattresses" (Los Colchoneros). Memories of Christian Vieri and his move...

 Posted by Rob Train
3 days ago

A deceptive Champions League draw for Real

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop predicts the sleepers and biggest disappointments for this year's group stage.

The faintest flicker of a smile betrayed Emilio Butragueño at the Champions League draw in Monaco after Real Madrid narrowly avoided Juventus by drawing FC Basel out of Pot 2, one ball before the Italian giants were pulled out of the plastic bowl. The worst of the best had fallen elsewhere. Next to be drawn in Group B alongside the defending champions were Liverpool, followed by Champions League debutants Ludogorets Razgrad, who beat Steaua Bucharest on penalties in dramatic fashion -- defende...

 Posted by David Usher
3 days ago

Unknown hovers over Liverpool in UCL

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti touches on the 8 groups including the familiar matchups that were pulled in the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.

After four seasons without Champions League football, Liverpool could not have wished for a better re-introduction to the big time having been matched up with mighty Real Madrid. The reigning European champions and biggest draw in world football represent the perfect "welcome back" present for Brendan Rodgers' side, and in many ways this was just about the best draw Liverpool could have wished for.

Being in Pot Three had opened up all manner of permutations for Liverpool, not all of them pl...