Arsenal will face fast and furious Napoli while boisterous Barcelona is eyeing revenge against Scottish champions Celtic in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. One of the English giants, Arsenal, is ready to face mighty Napoli who will try to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions. Napoli tops Italian Serie A league. It will be a clash of coaches and play-makers. Napoli’s manager Raphael Benitez will try to outshine the Gunners’ Arsene Wenger off the field while Walcott, Wilshere and Ozil will clash with Napoli’s new singings on it. Former Real Madrid teammates Mesut Ozil and Gonzalo Higuian will play as rivals in this match.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told his players to watch out for Napoli’s quick-fire counter-attacks when the two high-flying sides meet at Emirates Stadium for the group F match. While Arsenal are busy scrutinizing Napoli, Spanish champions Barcelona will be looking for a chivalrous revenge against Celtic; the Scottish team gave Barcelona a hard time and they struggled a lot against them in the previous year. Last season, Celtic beat Barca 2-1 at Celtic Park in the group stage. But in this match, Barcelona will not have their superstar Lionel Messi, as he is out for three weeks due to injury. So, as Barcelona attempt to regain their glory, they will challenge without ‘the magician’. Still, ‘wonder kid’ Neymar is here. He will try to outdo the Celtic defense. Coach Gerardo Martino said “We have never depended on a single man. Barcelona is not a one man army. We have other world class players to compete.”
Arsenal will face mighty Napoli as the Spanish champs Barca eye revenge against Celtic. Arsenal has learnt a lot about the Italian side when they drew 2-2 in a preseason tournament and they are also familiar with their manager Benitez. Arsenal coach tried to lessen the pressure, saying Naopli is a champion team; in his words, “That’s what struck me as well in the Emirates Cup- when they win the ball they come out very quickly with Callejon, Hamsik, Insigne and Higuian, who come out like bombs all the time they win the ball.”
In the middle of a three week domestic ban, maverick Italian striker Mario Balotelli is available for AC Milan in Amsterdam and could be partnered up front with Stephen El Shaarawy. It will give some potency to a Milan side that has started the season poorly, with its 2-0 win over Celtic two weeks ago, only secured through goals in the final eight minutes. Mattia De Sciglio, Kaka, Pazzini are still injured.
Ajax Amsterdam has endured a tough start, losing 4-0 to Barcelona, and becomes the last of the group teams to compete for the next level. The Dutch side will also be the underdog against AC Milan.
So, the UEFA Champions League is again in full swing. Teams are busy measuring each other. Now it’s time to enjoy soccer again; and all we have to do is to enjoy responsibly. Today is a great day for many major teams. Arsenal face Napoli as Barca eyes revenge; while Milan will compete against Ajax in the Champions League group stage.
Written by: Jayeeta Shamsul