UEFA Champions League Group D is almost a duplicate of Group B from the last year. Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk, and the new face, Sheriff Tiraspol. It is a pity we didn’t have Borussia Monchengladbach as well, to see the exact same group from the last year. Now that would be something unique in UCL history.
Los Blancos have made three big additions, the most notable one signing one of the best defenders in the world, David Alaba, who came from Bayern Munich for free. The Madridians have also landed one of the biggest talents in Europe, Eduardo Camavinga, the 18-year old midfielder from Rennes, who might become the cornerstone of this team for the years to come.
Other than that, the most significant change is Carlo Ancelotti’s comeback to the place where he won the UCL in 2014, kicking off what was Real’s golden era. We are more than sure that the Italian has a plan on how to repeat such a success.
Sergio Ramos is gone, but Marcelo still plays, as well as Dani Carvajal. Casemiro is here, Luka Modric, Kroos, Isco, but many expect to see Eden Hazard finally taking over. If the plays, as usual, Real might be one of the best teams in Europe again.
Without Lukaku and Hakimi, many expected to see Nerazzurri crumbling, especially after Antonio Conte’s departure. Simone Inzaghi arrived from Lazio, made a few adjustments, and Inter looks pretty much like the same team from the previous year.
Edin Dzeko replaced Lukaku, Joaquin Correa, and Hakan Calhanogu are operating perfectly upfront, while Denzel Dumfries should be the ideal solution for fixing problems following Hakimi’s jump to PSG.
Inter should be fun to watch because Inzaghi, overall, likes to play open and efficient football, with lots of goals and chances on both sides.
An incredible own goal by one of Monaco’s defenders sent the Ukrainians to the UCL. Though we need to say that the Miners deserved to find themselves here, their football was at a high level throughout the qualifications.
Shakhtar prefers to play fast football because they have superb transition and swift counter-attacks, which is their primary weapon.
They’ve added two interesting players to the already excellent core – Pedrinho and Lassina Traore, both of them very young, completing what should be a lineup for the next few years. A vast majority of the Miners’ starters have between 20 and 25 years, suggesting that this unit is here to stay for a while.
Sheriff reached the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in its history, becoming the first team from Moldova to do so. They would go through all four qualifying rounds, eliminating Teuta, Alashkert, Red Star Belgrade, and Dinamo Zagreb, playing very good football.
They were tactically invulnerable, with incredibly strong defense in the back and a rapid and efficient attack. This is the way this unit plays its European matches. They are well aware that all the other rivals might have better individuals, which is why Sheriff’s players don’t have any ego and place themselves below the team.
Everything will be clear when we say that their most expensive player is worth $1 million. But do not be fooled by this. Sheriff is a group of foreign players, with all 11 starters coming from outside Moldova. They have dominated the domestic championship, winning almost all the titles in the last 15 years, often scoring more than 100 goals and allowing fewer than 10.
Here are the peviews for other UEFA Champions League groups:
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.