Champions league football starts today and even tho this competition always brings twists and turns, the group stages can be predictable at times. I did a pretty good job with 2018/2019 UCL group stage predictions
Let’s take a look at how this groups should end up.
PSG always start strong in the champions league before fading away in the knockout stages. Although Mbappe and Cavani would miss their first leg against Real Madrid, they have enough squad depth to deal with their absence.
PSG could get 4 or 5 wins.
Real Madrid are still having an hangover from three consecutive champions league victories and it is telling in their performance that their drive is lacking because the team is obviously not lacking in quality.
Zidane as been regarded by some as a Champions league maestro and it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in his favourite competition but since Zidane’s Madrid are famous for just doing enough to make it through I don’t expect any mind blowing performances.
Real Madrid will drop few unnecessary points against the weaker teams and try to get points from PSG
Club Brugge know why they are here… to sign attendance and try to go further in the Europa
Galatasaray might have had a chance if it was in some other groups but the best they can hope for is a place in Europa
Bayern Munich are not as scary as they once were and they will face tough tests against Tottenham over both legs.
How they fare will determine if they sit on top of the table.
Tottenham last season were not really expecting to go far but they fought valiantly not allowing doubt cast a shadow over their abilities.
Tottenham is highly underrated but they have such beautiful players that are highly coveted all over the world and they’ve grown accustomed to upsetting the odds especially in the champions league defeating Real Madrid, Bayern, Manchester city in recent years.
There’s no excuse not to get 10-12 points against the weaker teams
Oympiakos will fight tooth and nail to get into the Europa. That’s as realistic as it gets.
Zvezda are out of their depth here and will bear their fangs voraciously but only Olympiakos are the likely prey
Manchester City will tear these teams apart and the only team that has a chance to get a point from them is Dinamo Zagreb whom they’ll rest players against and that is a slim chance at best
Nothing less than 15 points for the Citizens in this group.
Shakhtar Donetsk have what it takes to progress from this group, they play good football but it doesn’t always come through for them
Shakhtar vs Atalanta will be an interesting one to lookout for. Winner in this match-up has the upper hand in making it to the next round
Zagreb will try hard to get points in this group.
Their task is quite straightforward… they’ll have to beat one or two of Shakhtar and Atalanta to stand a chance of making it through.
Home matches will be crucial for them.
Atalanta are not used to this environment but if last season’s performance is anything to go by… they do know how to play soccer and they play positive football and this group is perfect for honing their skills. A double test against City and crunch matches with clubs at relatively the same level.
Zagreb might be their undoing but Shaktar is the real challenge
Juventus wants this cup more than anything in the world and their pocket matches their ambition although they haven’t had to disburse much in terms of transfer fees with the club always keen on picking up financially conservative deals.
Juventus vs Atletico, the return leg will be decider on who tops the group.
Atletico Madrid in preseason showed us another side to their game and the world was thrilled. How often they can turn up like that will be the ultimate difference.
Winning the first leg against Juventus can tip the scales in their favor.
Leverkusen might have had a better chance in another group. On paper they can’t stand Juve and Atletico and even tho football isn’t played on paper… UCL group stages requires consistency through 4 months and it will really be a statement if they made it through
I see one unnecessary defeat/humiliation or both.
Lokomotiv knows they shouldn’t think about qualifying and that might work in their favour to secure 3rd place.
Everybody wants to beat them and that might be a blessing or a nightmarish curse
Liverpool is back at that point… they are arguably the most feared opponent in the Champions league.
They can score and defend and that Alisson is a beast so I know if I was a Liverpool fan I’d beat my chest that we’d top this group with ease.
One of the matches against Napoli will be boring… the other will be a lot more lively
Napoli have a point to prove… but not in Europe… it is back home in Italy that they need it so bad so they’ll just qualify. It is not even like they have the team to stand Liverpool if they want to o… but you get.
Salzburg and Genk would be conveniently vying for Europa league knockout stages while they’ll have a serious go at it against each other and will even try to drag Napoli into their sh*t.
Barcelona have been topping their champions league groups for quite a while now and it sure will continue this season… yes I’m a Barcelona fan but then we have Messi.
Barcelona will have at least 4 wins.
Dortmund are near unbeatable on their day but sometimes they remind you that they are not just there yet and this Inter team seem to have more confidence at this point.
Dortmund gets one win against Inter, gives Barcelona a hard time? And then there’s Slavia.
Inter Milan seem to be awaken and they have the image of a top team again… quite magically. Top players, top manager and it can actually work. Like one of their players said they are aiming for serie A this season.
With Juventus distracted by going all in for UCL… Inter will prioritize serie A as there’s a more realistic chance of claiming that and that could be the difference for them.
They will give every team hell… that’s for sure.
I’m sure Slavia feel proud about getting to the champions league group stages.
I wish them the best of luck
About the next two groups… truth be told I don’t know how it would pan out so I’ll just calculatively guess what positions they’ll end with