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2019-2020 European Soccer Season: The Prem, La Liga, Champions League and All The Rest

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I think this year we should have one thread covering the whole season, all leagues, all cup competitions.  

Premier League action kicks off today (Liverpool v. Norwich City 3pm).  La Liga next weekend.  Transfer windows are closing.  Champions League and Europa League qualification is underway.  The 2019/2020 season is here!

Some story lines (so far):

Will young Christian bloom at Chelsea? (First game at Manchester United on Sunday 11:30am, not a bad introduction)

Can Eden Hazard and Zidane bring glory back to the Bernabeu?  

Do Messi and Ronaldo have enough left in the tank for another Champions League run?

Can Man City win the Prem and win Champions League?

Will anyone in Germany challenge the Bayern-Dortmund duopoly?

Are there any serious challengers to Juventus is Serie A?

Ligue 1, does anyone care?

Post your thoughts below...

 

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23 minutes ago, DanielK said:

Obligatory COYS post.

ok, story line for Daniel:  Can Tottenham finally win something...anything?  😀

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10 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Can Everton sneak into the top 4? 

Not likely. 

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I can't remember where I saw the quote now, but one of the footie analysts was asked who could legitimately win the EPL crown this season.

His answer: "Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Man City's B team".

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Liverpool v. Chelsea to decide the best team in Europe via some fake UEFA trophy. Wednesday August 14 3pm TNT 

Liverpool qualified by winning Champions League, Chelsea by winning Europa League. 

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With league games last weekend and this weekend, will this just be a contest to see which team's bench is better?

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La Liga kicks off this afternoon with Barca playing against Bilbao.  Messi is out, so the front 3 will be Suarez, Griezeman and Dembele.  How will they mesh?

In the Premier League, the key match up is Man City v. Spurs.  Spurs finally spent some money on transfers and this game will indicate whether they closed the gap against the top 2.  

Madrid spent a boat load of money but have they adequately replaced Ronaldo?  We find out against Celta.

Everton spent a ton of money but they can't even beat Crystal Palace.  We'll see if the money is well spent against Watford this weekend.  

Also keeping my eyes on Chelsea v. Leicester (can Chelsea get into the top 6?), Atletico Madrid vs. Getafe (is Joao Felix really the next Ronaldo?), Liverpool vs. Southhampton (did Liverpool regress after not spending any money?), and Arsenal v. Burnley (are they Gunners gonna make top 4?)

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I cannot bring myself to root for Chelsea, but I hope that Pulisic has an outstanding season.

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6 hours ago, DanielK said:

I cannot bring myself to root for Chelsea, but I hope that Pulisic has an outstanding season.

He looked good v Liverpool. Nice assist and a good goal that started a step offsides and was called back.

He did not look out of place at all. 

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Man City, and De Bruyne specifically, looked awesome, except they didn't win.  Notwithstanding the result, I think Man City is a much better team than the Spurs and there's still a gap btwn those 2 teams (except Spurs somehow find a way to draw/win head to head).

Liverpool and Arsenal did win, so they're atop of the table.  Both are fun teams to watch.

Barca looked awful without Messi and Suarez.  Trade Dembele+ for Neymar?

 

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A win at Wolves and Manchester United (today 3pm) and ManU goes top of the table on GD.

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33 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Man City, and De Bruyne specifically, looked awesome, except they didn't win.  Notwithstanding the result, I think Man City is a much better team than the Spurs and there's still a gap btwn those 2 teams (except Spurs somehow find a way to draw/win head to head).

But, to your point the other day, that gap is narrower than last season. MC was clearly more composed on the ball,  and had 10 shots on goal to Spurs 2. But possession was only 55-45, and passing was about the same gap. Spurs were without Dele and Son, and a point on the road against MC was more than anyone expected. Broke MCs 15 game EPL win streak.

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Arsenal v. Liverpool is the most exciting match-up this weekend.  Both have won their first two matches (and are the only 2 teams to have won their first 2 matches).  A draw?

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Arsenal has no back line, Spurs has a contract problem with their most creative midfielder, Chelsea has a bunch of talented but inexperienced young players, and Man U can't take a penalty kick.  So it's looking like a two horse race again.  😅

After 2 weeks in La Liga, the jury still out on Atletico Madrid (they won both games but only 1-0), Real Madrid looks like they didn't improve much from last season, and Barca proves that Griezmann is a great signing.

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Quote

 

When is the Champions League draw?
It takes place on Thursday, Aug. 29 in Monaco. The draw ceremony is expected to begin at noon ET / 6 p.m. CET. (4 p.m. GMT)

What are the draw pots?
POT 1: Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit St Petersburg

POT 2: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Shakhtar Donetsk, Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax, Benfica

POT 3: Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Salzburg, Olympiakos, Club Brugge, Valencia, Inter Milan, Dinamo Zagreb

POT 4: Lokomotiv Moscow, Genk, Galatasaray, RB Leipzig, Slavia Prague, Red Star Belgrade, Atalanta, Lille

One team from each pot will be drawn into a group, making eight groups of four clubs.

 

from ESPN FC.

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Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray.

Group B: Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Olympiakos, Red Star Belgrade.

Group C Manchester City, Shaktar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta.

Group 😧 Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moscow.

Group E: Liverpool, Napoli, Salzburg, Genk.

Group F: Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Slavia Prague.

Group G: Zenit St. Petersburg, Benfica, Lyon, Leipzig.

Group H: Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, Lille.

No group of death.  

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No group of death, but D, F, and H have slightly harder paths to the next round than others.

G is a waste.

Citeh got a cupcake draw.

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Wednesday:  Atletico v. Juventus.  Felix v. Ronaldo.  Could be a fun one for the neutrals.

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Liverpool losing is pretty shocking to me.  Importantly, neither team seemed to have played much defense 🤔

Barca was lucky to come away with a draw - the 16 y.o. was getting bullied all over the pitch and was eventually replaced by Messi.  

I'm not sure Chelsea's loss to Valencia qualifies as a shock.

Atletico v. Juventus should be more exciting than PSG v. Real Madrid as the two latter teams are wracked by injuries and suspensions.

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Real Madrid and Tottenham have started Champions League poorly as both are winless after two matches.  Chances are they'll recover and get out of the group stage as the second team.

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