Champions League Group D Preview






To Win Group D
Bayern Munich 4/7
Man City 15/8
CSKA Moscow 12/1
Viktoria Plzen 33/1


Bayern Munich: Franck Ribery

The outstanding French winger Franck Ribery enjoyed the finest season of his career in 2012-13 as he led Bayern Munich to an unprecedented treble.

Moreover, his performances have led to individual accolades also, with Ribery deservedly named as UEFA’s Best Player in Europe for 2012-13, while he is a leading contender for the FIFA Ballon d’Or also.

Forty-three games in all competitions saw the left winger at his cutting best, scoring 11 goals and making 23 assists, with his mesmeric dribbling, direct running and ability to go both inside and out causing even Europe’s toughest defenders a multitude of problems.

Now, under new manager Pep Guardiola, the 30-year old Ribery will look to replicate his form of last season, and he has certainly started in the right vein, having been excellent during Bayern’s UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea.

CSKA Moscow: Ahmed Musa

The lightning quick Nigerian forward Ahmed Musa is still only 20, but he joined CSKA Moscow in early 2012 from Dutch club VVV-Venlo.

2012-13 saw the precocious Musa really make his mark for the Army Men, notching 15 goals in 35 matches (all competitions), and he’s added another five in eight so far this season.

A tricky dribbler with intelligent movement, he also played a key role in Nigeria’s success at January’s African Cup of Nations, as well as impressing for the Super Eagles at this summer’s Confederations Cup.

Manchester City: Vincent Kompany

The Belgian international defender is the club captain and leader in the Manchester City dressing room and has all the attributes of one of world football’s best central defenders.

Last season may not have seen the former Anderlecht and Hamburg man at his most dominant—injuries played their part—and while City’s Champions League struggles have been well documented due to their failure to escape the group stage, in the Premier League they conceded just 34 goals in 38 matches: a league best.

Decisive, quick across the ground, aerially dominant and an intelligent reader of the game, the 27-year-old is the Premier League’s most outstanding centre-back when at his best.

However, with City having flattered to deceive on the European stage in the last two years, Kompany will have to be at the top of his game if Manuel Pellegrini’s side are to challenge at Europe’s top table this time around.

Viktoria Plzen: Pavel Horvath

Vastly experienced with a wealth of footballing knowledge, the 38-year-old midfielder Pavel Horvath continues dictating the tempo at the heart of the Czech champions midfield.

The clever schemer, blessed with a good passing range and exemplary vision has only been with Viktoria Plzen for the last five years, during which time he has led them to their first two Czech titles.

Moreover, such has been Horvath’s impact that he was voted as the club’s all-time best player at their centenary gala in 2012.