Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (L) is congratulated by team-mate Jose Maria Callejon after scoring a goal against Granada during their Spanish first division soccer match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium September 2, 2012.
(Photo : REUTERS/Paul Hanna (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
The 2012-13 Champions League Group Stage sees its first round of games take place on Tuesday. 32 club squads will compete to see which will prevail Europe's top club. Here is a look at Group D.
Jose Mourinho's squad is off to the worst start in its history and the locker room drama grows daily as people try and figure out why Cristiano Ronaldo is "sad." Throw in the fact that this is easily the hardest group in the tournament and Real Madrid, who is supposed to win the group and the tournament, could be one of the two teams that fails to make the knockout rounds. Things don't get easier as a first match against Manchester City will only increase the pressure on Madrid. If Ronaldo falters, the other set of Galacticos will be called upon to take control.
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A year ago, the champions of the Eredivisie failed to get out of a group with Real Madrid, but they will look to rectify that this year with a stronger club and weaker Madrid. This is a gifted club that could land in second place if the other squads underperform. However, they are the underdog in the group and could wind up in last place.
Last year's Bundesliga champions are currently in a deadlock for third place on the table but have looked composed and solid through the beginning of the season. Marco Reus is on the cusp of stardom and the squad has already garnered former German coach Jurgen Klinsmann's seal of approval for being a top club. They should get out of the group should the Merengues continue to struggle; they may even win the group and the entire tournament.
The English champions will look to make put themselves down as championship contenders. With David Silva inked to a new contract to supplement the likes of Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri, Joe Hart, Kolo Toure, Pablo Zabaleta, Maicon, Javi Garcia, James Milner, Sergio Aguero, and Mario Balotelli, this team is stacked. They could be the class of Group D and the eventual champions.
|TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2012|
|2:45 ET||Borussia Dortmund||v||Ajax Amsterdam||Group D||Signal-Iduna-Park|
|2:45 ET||Real Madrid||v||Manchester City||Group D||Estadio Santiago Bernabéu|
|WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012|
|2:45 ET||Ajax Amsterdam||v||Real Madrid||Group D||Amsterdam ArenA|
|2:45 ET||Manchester City||v||Borussia Dortmund||Group D||Etihad Stadium|
|WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2012|
|2:45 ET||Ajax Amsterdam||v||Manchester City||Group D||Amsterdam ArenA|
|2:45 ET||Borussia Dortmund||v||Real Madrid||Group D||Signal-Iduna-Park|
|TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2012|
|2:45 ET||Manchester City||v||Ajax Amsterdam||Group D||Etihad Stadium|
|2:45 ET||Real Madrid||v||Borussia Dortmund||Group D||Estadio Santiago Bernabéu|
|WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2012|
|2:45 ET||Ajax Amsterdam||v||Borussia Dortmund||Group D||Amsterdam ArenA|
|2:45 ET||Manchester City||v||Real Madrid||Group D||Etihad Stadium|
|TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2012|
|2:45 ET||Borussia Dortmund||v||Manchester City||Group D||Signal-Iduna-Park|
|2:45 ET||Real Madrid||v||Ajax Amsterdam||Group D||Estadio Santiago Bernabéu|
Real Madrid: 4 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw, 13 pts
Manchester City: 4 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw, 13 pts
Borussia Dortsmund: 3 wins, 1 loss, 2 draws, 11 pts
Ajax Amsterdam: 1 win, 5 losses, 3 pts
Real and Manchester pass while Borussia gets close. Ajax proves to be no chance for the other star laden squads.
Read about other groups at the Champions League.
Group A Preview: ASG, FC Porto, Dyano Kiev, Dinamo Zagreb
Group B Preview: Olympiakos, Montpelier, Schalke 04, Arsenal
Group C Preview: AC Milan, Malaga, Zenit St Petersburg, Anderlecht
Group D Preview: Real madrid, Manchester City, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund
Group E Preview: Juventus, Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Nordsjaelland
Group F Preview: Bayern Munich, Valencia, Lille, Bate Borisov
Group G Preview: Barcelona, Benfica, Spartak Moscow, Celtic
Group H Preview : Manchester United, Braga, Galatasaray, CFR Cluj-Napoca