Can Barcelona top their UCL group for the 14th time in a row?
So for the 3rd year in a row I’ll attempt to predict the outcome of every Champions league group and I’m proud to say I always do a remarkable job in predicting how each team would place in their group.
I have high hopes for 100% accuracy this season and you’ll be here to see it 😏.
After the draw, every fanbase have been arguing back-and-forth about which teams would make it to the next round.
So… let’s begin:
Bayern Munich are the current champions of Europe and they are still a force to reckon with. It is hard to imagine them not topping the group as their only contender, Atletico Madrid would happily settle for second place. Matches against Atletico would provide stern tests but Bayern would be aiming for at least 14 points in this group
Atletico Madrid are that team that could drag it out with any type of opponent across Europe. When Simeone and his boys decide to shut shop, it is very difficult to win against them. However, even if they manage to get points from Bayern, there is a high chance they would drop points against the other teams.
Salzburg are a decent team and they are capable of causing upsets, Atletico especially should be wary of them. 3rd place would be the goal for them and they are better placed than Lokomotiv to get that.
Lokomotiv will look to avoid getting trashed too much and they only have a slight chance of being in 3rd place.
Real Madrid are still in transition and it is really difficult to predict how they would fare in the group stages. They will definitely qualify but whether they can pip Inter Milan to first spot is another question. They would need to pose more threat going forward to stand a chance.
Shakhtar Donetsk are becoming a regular side in the Champions league, however they’ve found it difficult to progress from the group stage for 3 seasons straight and that won’t change this year. Their realistic goal would be to finish 3rd.
Inter Milan failed to make it beyond the group stage last time out and they were excused as at that time considering they were pushing hard on Juventus in contention for the Serie A title. However they faded away later on and lost the final of the Euro Cup against Sevilla. This time around there are no excuses and the Nerazurri would be expected to put on a strong showing and possibly challenge Real Madrid for top spot
Borussia Monchengladbach are back in the champions league but not much should be expected from them. They might not roll over easy but it is hard to picture them pulling up any trees.
FC Porto should only have Man City to worry about if they perform to the best of their abilities. Home wins against Olympiakos and Marseille would be key to their qualification.
Manchester City are having a crisis right now with mixed results so far this season. The Citizens have been disappointing in previous Champions league campaigns but that’s not to say they won’t bully their way through the group.
Olympiakos would look to drag points with Marseille and Porto but in all honesty, they would be grateful to make 3rd place.
Olympique Marseille have not been in the Champions league since 13/14 and they’ve had a mixed start to the season. They won’t put up much of a surprise, 3rd place is the aim of the French club.
Liverpool have been exposed since they lost to Atletico Madrid last season and they’ve not been convincing since then but they got an easy group so they should have not much complaints. They would be wary of matches against Atalanta as the free-scoring Italian side have shown Europe what they are capable of.
Ajax have lost almost all the players they had during that dream run last 2 seasons and it would be difficult to expect them to improve on last year’s group stage exit. You should expect them in the Europa knockout stages.
Atalanta have picked up from where they left off last season as they made it to the Quarter finals in their debut season in the Champions league while outscoring every team in the Serie A. They would be looking to qualify from this group and would be assertive about it.
Midtjylland is just here for sight seeing, a 3rd place would be a miracle.
Sevilla would find it difficult to win the Europa league this season seeing as they have an easy group, so it’ll be difficult to end up 3rd. Sevilla have started this season strong and their coach, Lopetegui is out to prove a point. He’ll be expected to at least make it to the next round.
Chelsea have gotten a lot of deals over the line this summer and would obviously want to improve on last season outing. The team however needs time to gel and we might not see their full exploits till the knockout stages.
Krasnodar would be battling for 3rd and their matches against Rennes would be key to that
Stade Rennais have been impressive in their league this season and look more likely to clinch the 3rd spot.
Zenit are top of the Russian premier league at the moment and would be looking to put up a fight in this group which is virtually open. Although they would have been happy with 3rd place, but with the competition they have in this group, they can aim for 2nd place.
Borussia Dortmund appear to be the strongest team in this group, but they will need to be assertive about that as none of the teams in the group would just roll over.
Lazio have a strong chance to qualify from this group and given the alternatives they could have gotten, it would be a disappointment if they don’t.
Club Brugge can’t qualify from this group and ending up 3rd would be a miracle in itself.
Juventus have a 2-horse race with Barcelona in this group and they should get maximum points against the other 2 teams. Matches against Barcelona would be tough for them as Messi bests Ronaldo on the pitch more often than not.
Barcelona have topped their group stage table for 13 times in a row and they aim to make it 14 this season. They have Juventus standing in their way but they would bet on themselves to make it through that hurdle.
Dynamo Kyiv would only be aiming for 3rd spot an winning Ferencvaros on aggregate would be key to that.
Ferencvaros might just go home with a point from this group; a well-fought draw against Dynamo Kyiv
PSG would be looking to dominate this group and make another go towards the elusive European glory. Anything less than 4 wins won’t be met with enthusiasm from the fans.
Manchester United are having some sort of crisis right now and depending on how soon they get their businesses in line, they might find it difficult to progress from the group. Leipzig and PSG are really strong opponents and they have their work cutout for them.
Leipzig are really looking to make a statement in Germany and in Europe by extension. They have started this season well and will be looking to perform better this season than last season. A group stage exit is definitely not on the cards and they are looking forward to show the world why.
Instanbul Basaksehir are also here for sightseeing. It’ll be all ‘defend and insha Allah’ for the club from Turkey
How well did you think I did? What would you have predicted differently?