The Champions League is one-third through the group stage. The groups are slowly shaping up, and some teams are starting to see their round of 16 dreams dwindle. 

There are teams like Real Madrid, which have looked poor, but teams like Bayern Munich having a lightning-fast start. It is the perfect time to pick teams trending up and teams trending down. 

 

Trending Up

Bayern Munich’s Attack

German juggernauts Bayern Munich have emerged as a possible favorite to lift the cup after the clinic against Tottenham. Munich won by five goals in that game. It was also the worst lose by a Premier League team in Champions League history.

Serge Gnabry was on fire in the game. He scored four goals and added an assist. The seven goals also made it 10 in two games. 

The attack is one of the most dangerous. Robert Lewandowski is up front, and they have Philippe Coutinho and Kingsley Coman behind. 

If the attack could continue the string of goals the team could go far into the competition. The defense needs to improve to become a title favorite. 

 

Ajax

This was not a one-year thing. Ajax is the real deal, and it is looking to prove that every good team does not come from a top-five league. 

In both games, they have won 3–0. Quincy Promes is leading the attack with two goals to his name. Dusan Tadic is showing he just needed to get out of England to succeed. Hakim Ziyech will be attracting big clubs next summer. 

This team is not going to leave. They are out for blood, and people are getting excited to see what will be next.

 

Erling Haland

This man has burst onto the scene. The first game against Genk, he scored four goals. 

Fun facts about his game: He was the third-youngest to score a Champions League hat-trick at 19 years and 58 days. He is the first to score more than one goal in his Champions debut since Wayne Rooney in 2004. 

He has a bright future ahead of him. Do not be shocked to see him out of Salzburg by the end of the next transfer window. 

 

Trending Down

Liverpool Defense 

Speaking of defense, what has happened to this defense? The team has not looked good in Europe. 

They get the benefit of the doubt with Napoli, but not with Salzburg. This is a team that has one of the best defenders in Virgil van Dijk. 

They need to step-up their game. The attack can score goals like no one else, but no team could score more than three goals every game. 

 

Real Madrid

This team has lost its identity. Zinedine Zidane will be sacked soon, and if he isn’t, the team is done. 

Forget about what is happening in LaLiga, since after all, this is a Champions League article. They are sitting at the bottom of the group. Let me say that again: they are the bottom of the group. 

The first game the defense was exposed against Paris Saint-Germain. They should have lost to Club Brugge on Tuesday. The team needs to find its identity, and it needs to come in its next game against Galatasaray Oct. 22.

 

United States Soccer Fans

It has been a rough couple of years for U.S. fans. The injuries are piled a story high.

Timothy Weah and Tyler Adams are still weeks away from coming back. The other players are not receiving game time. 

Ethan Horvath from Club Brugge is behind Simon Mignolet. Christian Pulisic got the boot out of the Chelsea squad after his comments over the weekend, upset about playing sparingly thus far.

The one player that is saving the U.S. is Sergino Dest of Ajax. He has started both Champions League games and has started all but two league games. 

Dest is not tied to the U.S.; he has dual citizenship with the Netherlands. Gregg Berhalter, do the right thing and get this man. The team desperately needs him for the future.      

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