Soccer Magazine

UEFA Champions League: Group A Preview

By Simplyfutb01 @simplyjuan11

Group A is undoubtedly the “group of death” in this year’s UEFA Champions League. I’m not sure it’s the hardest group ever, as Diego López maintains, but it’s up there.

Here’s a closer look at the teams, starting with Villarreal CF:

Villarreal (Spain), pot 2:

  • League finish: La Liga, 4th place.
  • European competition: UEFA Europa League, semifinals.
  • Biggest strength: Strike pairing of Giuseppe Rossi and Nilmar. Among Europe’s best, without a doubt.
  • Biggest weakness: Defensive frailties. None of the club’s center backs consistently impresses: Mateo Musacchio, Gonzalo Rodríguez, or Cristián Zapata. And the wing backs (save the injured Ángel López) are highly inexperienced.
  • X-factor: Wing play. Borja Valero is suspended for the first two group stage games, and Rubén Cani runs hot and cold. The young wing backs also tend to be cautious, but Joan Oriol is developing into a threat on the left. The 4-2-2-2 does not function without width.

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