Will Ronaldo come to St. Petersburg? What you need to know about Zenit’s rivals in the Champions League

Football

Will Ronaldo come to St. Petersburg? What you need to know about Zenit’s rivals in the Champions League

The long-awaited draw for the group stage of the 2021/2022 UEFA Champions League has taken place. Unfortunately, this year Russia is represented in the main European tournament by one club – Zenit. Our team got into Group H, where they will play against Chelsea, Juventus and Malmo. Here’s what you need to know about Zenit’s rivals in the Champions League.

Chelsea (England)

Best UEFA Champions League record: Winner (2012, 2021)
Cost of the squad: € 915 million
Most expensive footballer: Romelu Lukaku (€ 100 million).

Last time we played in the Champions League
The 2020/2021 season has been a landmark for Chelsea. The English club made it out of the group without any problems, having won four wins in six matches. Opponents for Chelsea were Sevilla, Krasnodar and Rennes. In the playoffs, Tuchel’s team passed Atlético, Porto, Real, and in the final they proved to be stronger than Manchester City (1: 0), having won the long-awaited cup. Chelsea have lost only one game in 2020/2021 – Porto got three points in London.

How the new season started
In the new season, Chelsea kicked off with a win – they won the UEFA Super Cup. The English club proved to be stronger than Villarreal in the penalty shootout. After that, Tuchel’s charges successfully started a new Premier League season – they beat Crystal Palace (3: 0) and Arsenal (2: 0).

Juventus (Italy)

Best UEFA Champions League record: Winner (1985, 1996)
Squad cost: € 654.6 million
Most expensive player: Matthijs de Ligt (€ 75 million).

Last time we played in the Champions League
Juventus’ path in the Champions League last season ended in the round of 16. The Italian club made it out of Group G with five wins in six matches. The rivals of Juventus were Dynamo Kiev, Barcelona and Ferencvaros. In the playoffs, Ronaldo and company were unable to make it to Porto. Having lost 1-2 in the first leg away, Juventus won 3-2 at home in extra time, but thanks to an away goal, the Portuguese side went further.

How the new season started
Juventus failed to cope with Udinese in the first round of Serie A. Massimiliano Allegri’s team scored two goals before the break, but was left without a victory. The final score is 2: 2.

Malmo (Sweden)

Best UEFA Champions League record: Finalist (1979) Squad
cost: € 25.93 million
Most expensive player: Anel Ahmedhojic (€ 4 million).

Last time they played in the Champions League
Malmö did not make it to the group stage of the Europa League last year. The Swedish club went through three rivals, but lost to Granada (1: 3). In terms of the Champions League, Malmö last participated in 2018. He beat two opponents in qualifying but lost to Fehervar by an away goal. The Swedish team has not played in the Champions League group stage since 2015. Then she lost five matches out of six, but the opponents were PSG, Shakhtar and Real. However, Malmö scored one victory, beating the Pitmen at home – 1: 0.

How the new season started
Unlike other rivals, Malmö have already played eight matches. In the Champions League qualification, the Swedish club passed Riga (1: 0, 1: 1), HIK (2: 1, 2: 2), Rangers (2: 1, 2: 1) and Ludogorets ( 2: 0, 1: 2).

 

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