Four Most Intriguing Matches of The Champions League

Timothy NCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2011

Four Most Intriguing Matches of The Champions League

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    With the knockout stages of the Champions League looming next month, it is time to take a look at the four most intriguing matches of the first round.

    While all the traditional powerhouses are in contention, usually they do well enough to avoid seeing other favorites until the round of eight; however, every year there are a few matches that are more scintillating than Chelsea vs. Copenhagen.

Finals Rematch

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    Last time Inter Milan and Bayern Munich met, it was a 2-0 triumph by the Italian side with the Germans losing a chance at European glory.

    Last time they were also missing a certain French winger who has the ability to change matches with his darting runs and superb dribbling.  With Arjen Robben healthy again, the Bavarians hope that they will eliminate their rivals who lack a certain special manager this time around.

Marseille vs. Manchester United

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    Last year, it was Olympique Lyon knocking out powerhouse Real Madrid in Round 1, but will Marseille make it another underdog French victory?

    They face perennial powers Manchester United, a team that routinely makes it to the semi finals or better and are looking to be reaching top form for the second half of the season.

    Still, United seem to be lacking the same finishing power as they have in past seasons and Marseille have played with a boldness that could see them send the Red Devils crashing out earlier than expected.

Old Guard vs. New

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    Tottenham Hotspur has taken a rather long and winding road to finally reach the Champions League, while AC Milan are fixtures in the competition.

    Recent years have seen Milan decline bit by bit since the days of Ancelotti coaching Pirlo and Kaka with a precision that left many a side eviscerated on the grounds of Europe.

    Tottenham on the other hand have fought tooth and nail for a chance to play in the Champions League and are definitely a team on the upswing with a certain wing-back being the target of many a club around the continent.

    Will the old masters have one more shot at glory, or will the upstarts continue their rise?

Battling On Every Level

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    Since the constant transfer rumors are not enough, Cesc must now play against the club he was raised and groomed by and by many accounts, the club he desperately wants to be at most.

    Barcelona are once again riding high and are considered the favorite to their third cup in the past decade and solidify their hegemony over the footballing world.

    While Cesc may want to be with his compatriots one day, he is still the consummate professional and will orchestrate Arsenal just as he was taught in Barcelona's famed cantina and perhaps lead an upset over the title favorites.