On this football language podcast for learners of English we look ahead to this season’s Champions League by taking a look at some of the favourites and dark horses for the title. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2022-23 Champions League Preview
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DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to Languagecaster.com – the football-language podcast for learners of English who love the beautiful game of football. I’m Damian and I’m in a rather rainy Ireland (no surprise there) after being in Belfast for a conference along with fellow Languagecaster team member Damon. It was lovely to see him again and we enjoyed some great evenings watching football (he was extremely happy with Liverpool’s last-gasp winner against Newcastle) and of course it was great to present with him at the conference. Now, travelling to the conference explains why we are a little late with the podcast this week – so apologies for that. B ut on this week’s show we take a look at the upcoming Champions League season. We are going to take a look at some of the background to the competition, look at some of the favourites and dark horses and maybe offer a prediction or two.
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Now, the pre-qualifiers for the 2022-23 Champions League started way back in June but this week the group stages begin this week and there 32 teams from 15 different countries all battling to make the final at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul on June 10th next year. Now, this is the 31st time that the Champions League competition has taken place though it will be the 68th overall (of course the European Cup started in 1955). The 32 teams have been organised into eight groups of four and the top two in each of these groups will qualify for the last-16 knock-out stage. This year, because of the 2022 World Cup taking place in November and December, the group stage matches will take place in September and October – so the games will come thick and fast which means there will be no break at all. There will also be an innovation (that’s something new) in this year’s competition with something called, Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT) which has been tested in previous competitions (including the 2022 Women’s Euros) and will be able to give a much quicker and more accurate decision about offside to the referee and to the VAR team. As I said, let’s hope so.
OK, let’s take a look at some of the favourites for this season’s title. Of course, we cannot rule out the holders Real Madrid – they have won the title five times in the past ten years – and they should be able to get through Group F fairly easily with only RB Leipzig offering any real threat. Last year’s losing finalists Liverpool will also be in with a shout for this year’s title and although Group A is a little trickier than Real Madrid’s with in-form Napoli, Dutch champions Ajax and losing Europa League finalists Rangers, they should make it through to the knock-out stage. Two sides that would normally be among the favourites include Barcelona and Bayern Munich but they are in the same group along with Inter Milan in what is seen as this year’s group of death. So, one of the possible winners of this year’s competition will not make it through to the last 16. Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are two sides that have often been favourites to win the Champions League title over the past few years but of course neither of them have managed to do so despite dominating their domestic leagues and having some of the best players in world football. Both have relatively easy groups though it will be interesting to see how Juventus do against the French champions in Group H.
When we talk about dark horses we mean teams that maybe are not regarded as favourites but with a bit of luck and a good run might still be able to win the title. So, maybe the 2021 winners Chelsea or possibly Serie A champions AC Milan both of whom face each other in Group E. Last season’s Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt have started to play better after a poor start to the season but they face a tough time getting through Group D as they will have to play Marseille and Tottenham who have both started the new season undefeated. As a Spurs fan I am delighted that we are back in the Champions League though this group will be tricky – it also includes Sporting Lisbon.
Of course not all 32 teams have a chance of winning the competition, at least not a realistic chance of winning. Few would give the lowest-ranked side Maccabi Haifa a chance of even getting a point from their Group H matches against Benfica, PSG and Juventus. However, FC Copenhagen from Denmark might be more confident about challenging for the Europa League spot with Dortmund and Sevilla in Group G. Of course teams that finish third in the group go into the Europa League knock-out stages. Now this year there are two teams from Glasgow and both Rangers and Celtic will fancy their chances of causing an upset and possibly making it through to the last 16. Celtic take on holders Real Madrid in their first match but will hope to challenge Shakhtar Donetsk for the third-place Europa League spot, while Rangers may even be dreaming of the last-16, especially if they can replicate their European form of the past couple of seasons.
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Now, if you want to ask any football-language questions or simply say hello then you can do so by adding a comment on our site here or by using our forum. Now, we’ve recently had a few questions including the phrase ‘to sit the keeper down‘ which you can check out there. You can also send us an email at email@example.com and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was in Greek and we’d love to hear from anyone else who might like to share this message, ‘you are listening to Languagecaster.com‘ – it would be great to hear different voices. Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site. We think it’s a great resource for those learning and teaching the language.
OK, that’s it for this short football-language podcast in which we looked ahead to the 2022-23 Champions League. What do you think will happen? Let us know in the comments below. And we’ll be back soon with more football language and until then enjoy all the football. Bye bye.
- 2022 Champions League: Real Madrid vs PSG
- 2021 Champions League Final
- 2020 Champions League Review
- 2019 Champions League Final
Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.