In the interim, Lionel Messi won his first World Cup title. Kylian Mbappé almost won his second, then got injured. Early-season favorites for the European title fell into slumps at home. Meanwhile, one standout team before the World Cup, Napoli, has marched on and aims for its first quarterfinal place in the competition’s 68-year history. Off the field, the Super League project that tried to effectively kill the Champions League met a serious legal setback, and English title holder Manchester City faces Premier League charges of financial wrongdoing that could one day stop the club entering future Champions Leagues.
It adds up to plenty of drama even before soccer’s most prized club competition resumes with a stellar game between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich. A rematch of the 2020 final won by Bayern pairs two powers that helped stop the Super League in 2021 by refusing to join it. What it was not expected to have at Parc des Princes were the goalscorer and goalkeeper with the best records from the group stage. Mbappé, who scored seven goals across five different Champions League games in the fall, was set to miss most of February with a thigh injury.
PSG was unbeaten entering 2023 then lost three in the league and is out of the French Cup. Bayern still leads the Bundesliga after restarting with three straight draws. TEAMS IN SLUMPSA Champions League adage is the team you draw after the group stage is not always the one you meet in February. When the last-16 draw was made on Nov. 7, Real Madrid was the unbeaten Spanish league leader paired with an already inconsistent Liverpool. Madrid has now lost three of eight and let Barcelona take a dominating lead. At least second-place Madrid is so far clear of fifth in La Liga to be almost sure of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. Not so, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool. Nor AC Milan, Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt and Club Brugge. None is currently on track to qualify for next season’s competition.
Juventus vs Nantes live stream, score and H2H - scoreaxis.com
Europa League Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Nantes