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Anticipation mounts as UEFA Champions League resumes

Man City clinched the trophy after defeating Inter-Milan in Istanbul, Türkiye, last season.

As the football world eagerly awaits the kickoff of the 2023–2024 UEFA Champions League season, fans, pundits, and players alike find themselves immersed in a whirlwind of excitement, speculation, and high expectations.

Europe’s most prestigious club competition never fails to deliver drama, dazzling performances, and unexpected twists, making it the crown jewel of football tournaments.

Man City defeated Inter Milan in the Finals in Istanbul, Türkiye, to cap a resounding season that provided them with the treble of the Champions League, EPL title, and FA Cup.

As the tournament kicks off on Tuesday (Today), what should football-loving fans expect from this season’s edition?

Rivalries rekindled and new foes are to be faced

One of the enduring legacies of the UEFA Champions League is the opportunity it provides for rivalries to be reignited on the grandest stage.

Fans should expect fierce battles between clubs with a storied history of clashes, as well as the emergence of new rivalries.

Whether it’s Real Madrid renewing their rivalry with Barcelona, or Manchester United facing off against Man City, these matches promise to be enthralling and are sure to capture the imagination of fans worldwide.

Emerging stars and established legends

Every season brings forth new talents who capture the spotlight and established legends who continue to dazzle.

The 2023/2024 season will undoubtedly be no different. Keep an eye on rising stars like Man City’s Erling Haaland, PSG’s Kylian Mbappé, Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham, Napoli’s Victor Oshimen, Lamin Yamaal of Barcelona and Bukayo Saka of Arsenal.

Fans of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will sure miss the legends of the competition as they ply their trade outside UEFA coverage.

Tactical evolution

The unpredictability of the UEFA Champions League is what keeps fans on the edge of their seats.

Football is a constantly evolving sport, and tactics play a pivotal role in shaping the outcome of matches. One should expect managers to innovate and experiment with new tactical approaches.

Fans will witness the resurgence of high-pressing systems, a return to the classic “park-the-bus” style, and perhaps the emergence of a new tactical paradigm.

Shocking outcomes and dark horses

The UEFA Champions League has a rich history of underdog teams defying the odds and making deep runs in the tournament.

Clubs from smaller leagues or those with less illustrious histories can often surprise and captivate the football world such as Ajax about three seasons ago, Sheriff defeating Real Madrid also during that period amongst many other shocking results.

The 2023/2024 edition will undoubtedly have its share of such outcomes, with the potential for a dark horse team to go on a remarkable journey that leaves fans in awe.

VAR controversies

While technology has brought greater accuracy to decision-making in football, it has also generated its fair share of controversies.

Expect VAR (Video Assistant Referee) to be a topic of discussion and debate throughout the tournament. Whether it’s a contentious offside call or a disputed penalty decision, VAR will continue to play a significant role in shaping the outcome of matches and fueling post-match conversations.

The road to the final

The journey to the UEFA Champions League final is often tedious as it is filled with dramatic twists and turns. From the group stages to the knockout rounds, the competition intensifies with each passing phase.

Clubs will battle it out over two legs in the knockout stages, with the dream and determination of reaching the final at the heart of their ambition.

The final, set to be played at an iconic Wembley stadium, will be a spectacle to behold, with millions of fans around the world tuning in.

The 2023/2024 UEFA Champions League promises to be another unforgettable chapter in the history of European club football. With rivalries, emerging talents, tactical intrigue, underdog stories, VAR controversies, and the quest for glory in the final, there is no shortage of drama and excitement on the horizon.

Let the fun begin!!!

Writing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; Editing by Muzha Kucha