UEFA Champions’ League Group D Preview


(@Championsleague/via Twitter)


By: Rania Elhilali


Another season of football comes another set of group stages matchups where Europe's finest teams are in a battle for the infamous Champions League trophy. Among the group stages are Group D which is featuring a little deja vu for Inter Milian, Real Madrid & Shakhtar Donetsk who, in last season’s group stages ended up together. The fourth team set to join this group of tension and unfinished business between matchups is Sheriff Tiraspol, the first Moldovan club to feature in the UCL.


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Inter Milan

Inter who are current Serie A title winners face a lot of pressure this campaign, as in the last group stages they faced an early exit from the competition as they had finished fourth in the group. Inter also has lost coach Antonio Conte, which means Simone Inzaghi will have eyes on him to own up to the expectations the club and fans have set. Inter also has had an eventful summer transfer, in which the club lost two key players in Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi. They also signed free agents Roma's Edin Dzeko, AC Milan's Hakan Calhanoglu and PSV's Denzel Dumfries. The Inter squad will definitely be looking toward Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez in filling the attacking void Lukaku had left. Overall the Nerazzurri will be looking to improve their group stage results and make it out of Group D into the round of 16, Milan will face Spanish giants Real Madrid in their first game, who in last season's matchups took the six points and went top of the table.


Key Players

Edin Dzeko

Lautaro Martinez

Nicolo Barella

Marcelo Brozovic


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Real Madrid

Ancelotti’s side will look to recreate the past of 2014 with this season's UCL. Like Italian rivals Inter, Madrid comes into the 2021-2022 UCL season with losing two key players, centre-backs Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos but also acquiring Bayern Munich defender David Alaba and talented Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga. The los blancos above all will look to rerun the last four champions of the last eight seasons and take it all the way, with a team that has nothing but top-notch experience with Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Gareth Bale, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard with coach Ancelotti, and potential future stars Vinicius Junior, Valverde and Camavinga. The Spanish giants are ready to lead and finish at the top of Group D with style and quality.


Key Players

Karim Benzema

Casemiro

Vinicius

Courtois


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Sheriff Tiraspol

The new boys in town, Sheriff Tiraspol, come into the UCL with their first time having reached the group stage after knocking out Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb. They will face a challenge like nothing before as they take on Spanish giants Real Madrid and 2020-2021 Serie A winners Inter Milan. The Moldovan team on screen might easily be written off, but on paper they have Adama Traore who has certainly proven that he can be a threat to defenders and goalkeepers alike on the attacking side of things. Overall the new guys in town will be a fun team to watch in the group stages as they embark in their first ever feature in the UCL.


Key Players

Adama Traore

Sebastien Thill

Frank Castaneda

Georgios Athanasiadis


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Shakhtar Donetsk

Shaktar will hit the ground running in their matchups with Group D as they will look for nothing but to improve on their last season's ucl exit from the Europa League as they finished third in the group stages. The Ukrainian club can clearly put up an upset as they beat Real Madrid twice in previous meetings and drew two points from Serie A winners Inter last year. The club will hope for a deeper run in the UCL or the Europa League with newly named coach Roberto De Zerbi that brings unique attacking formations and coaching to compete with the two giants.


Key Players

Lassia Traore

Fernando

Alan Patrick

Marlos