Champions League Group C Preview




To Win Group C
PSG 8/15
Benfica 9/4
Olympiacos 12/1
Anderlecht 16/1

Paris Saint-Germain: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Paris Saint-Germain have splashed the cash once again this summer, most notably on Edinson Cavani, but the main man in the French capital very much remains Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Swedish international forward enjoyed an outstanding first season in Ligue 1 in 2012-13 scoring 30 goals in 34 matches while also adding 10 assists as he led le Parisiens to a first championship since 1994.

Technically and physically outstanding, Ibrahimovic will be vital to PSG’s hopes of advancing to the later stages of the competition under Laurent Blanc, and the player’s intelligence will be needed as he looks to make his partnership with Edinson Cavani work.

A major presence, the man whose autobiography is entitled “I am Zlatan” is still without a Champions League medal; turning 32 in October, it’s quickly becoming a case of now or never.

Benfica: Lazar Markovic

Having ended as also rans on three fronts last season, Portuguese giants Benfica have brought in a number of new signings this summer, principal among them a group of talented Serbians led by the wonderful youngster Lazar Markovic.

The 19-year-old forward, adept playing both through the middle or on either flank, mixes intelligent movement, pace and an assuredness in the final third.

Already a senior Serbian international, his two debut appearances—albeit as a substitute—in Portuguese football have resulted in two goals, including the equaliser against cross-city rivals Sporting. And having arrived for €10 million from Partizan Belgrade, he’s certainly one to keep an eye on.

Olympiacos: Javier Saviola

The diminutive Argentine hitman, with 40 caps and 11 international goals to his name, has had a decent career across some of Iberia’s biggest hitters—Barcelona, Real Madrid, Benfica, Malaga—following his breakthrough as a youngster at River Plate and will this season be leading the line for Greek giants Olympiacos.

Now 31, some of the pace which made him such a threat in his younger years may have gone, but the same predatory instincts and ability to shuffle past opponents in tight areas remain.

After scoring eight league goals for Malaga last season, Saviola has already begun making his mark in the Greek capital, scoring two goals in his first three Super League matches.

Anderlecht: Massimo Bruno

Anderlecht have a rich history of producing young players, and in right-winger Massimo Bruno they potentially have another star in the making.

The 19-year-old made a first-team place his own last season, his rapid acceleration and quality delivery offering the Belgian champions a direct threat from the flank.

Additionally, Bruno has made an excellent start to the current season, scoring five goals in his opening six league games, while also weighing in with two assists.