UEFA Champions League: Analysis of group stage draw
The UEFA Champions League draw was revealed last night. Defending champions City and Barcelona were placed in easy groups. Here is an analysis of the draw.
The UEFA Champions League group stage draw took place last night and Manchester City and FC Barcelona have been blessed to get into easier groups. Group F is becoming a great contender for being termed ‘Group of Death’. Here is an analysis of the group stage draw and prediction of who will qualify.
For German giants, Bayern Munich this should be a fairly easy group. With the record signing of English captain Harry Kane, the Bavarians are looking even stronger. Manchester United will be the second favourites but the competition could be fierce with Galatasaray proving to be the real deal. The Turkish club has improved their team with the signings of Wilfried Zaha, Mauro Icardi, Angeliño and Hakim Ziyech.
Bayern Munich and Manchester United to qualify.
Sevilla is the UEFA Europa League winner but won’t be direct favourites. The Spanish club has had a very poor start to their La Liga season. In three games they have failed to get a single point and are placed at the bottom of the table. Arsenal has returned to the Champions League after a gap of seven years. They were placed in Pot 2 and were lucky to avoid some of the bigger clubs. PSV Eindhoven were last season’s runner-up and even though the sale of Xavi Simmons has dampened their chances, they will still be a contender for the second spot.
Arsenal and Sevilla to qualify
|FC Union Berlin||Germany|
The ‘Kings of Europe’, Real Madrid will be the clear favourites in this group. The most successful side in the competition took a hit when Karim Benzema left the club but with the signing of Jude Bellingham, they are looking really strong. Napoli won the Serie A after a gap of 33 years and will be favourites to qualify behind Real Madrid and ahead of Braga and Union Berlin.
Real Madrid and Napoli to qualify
With the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Yann Sommer arriving at Inter Milan, they have strengthened their squad. Inter Milan would be wary of Benfica who not only finished first in their group but in order to do so, they pushed Paris Saint-Germain to second and denied Juventus a spot in the round of 16. With the arrival of Angel Di Maria, the Portuguese club will be eyeing a spot in the round of 16. Despite winning 10 consecutive Austrian Bundesliga titles, Salzburg has only made it past the Champion League group stage once. Real Sociedad finished fourth last season with the now-retired David Silva playing a huge role. They will bank on their loan arrivals Kieran Tierney and Andre Silva to challenge for the second spot.
Inter Milan and Benfica to qualify
|Atletico de Madrid||Spain|
Feyenoord won their first Eredivisie title in six years. They have retained their manager and most of their squad. Orkun Kokcu’s sale to Benfica will weaken their central mid-field department. Atletico de Madrid will be eyeing the top finish in their group and will be favourites to do so. Lazio after an impressive season in Serie A last season has had a poor start to this season and is placed 18th after two games.
Atletico Madrid and Feyenoord to qualify
The group of death in this year’s competition is Group F. PSG even though has lost Neymar and is in the middle of yet another Kylian Mbappe transfer saga will be the favourites to qualify. The competition for the second spot is where all the fun begins. Borussia Dortmund lost the Bundesliga in a dramatic manner on the last Matchday and with the sale of Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid will find it tough to make it into the round of 16. AC Milan has had a great start to their season having won their two games in Serie A. Recent arrival Christian Pulisic has scored two goals while Olivier Giroud has scored three. Newcastle United made an emotional return to the Champions League after 21 years. It will be heartbreaking for them to be placed in this group. They will need to be at their best to qualify for the next round.
PSG and AC Milan to qualify
|FK Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade)||Serbia|
Defending champions, Manchester City have been placed into a very weak group. These teams will help them rotate their players while focusing on the Premier League. They will be favourites to qualify for the round of 16. RB Leipzig should be able to qualify easily behind City and ahead of Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys.
Manchester City and RB Leipzig
Last year’s La Liga winner, FC Barcelona struggled in the Champions League and made an early exit from the Champions League to the UEFA Europa League. Signings like Ilkay Gundogan and Oriol Romeu will strengthen their midfield. FC Porto was impressive last season in the Champions League group stage but will need to be at their best to make it to the round of 16. Ukrainian Club, Shakhtar Donetsk are struggling with the impact of the war. They will be playing their home games in Hamburg and might struggle after multiple departures. Royal Antwerp’s fairytale story of winning the league title after 66 years has led them to the group stage. They will need much more than that to even challenge the other teams.
Barcelona and Porto to qualify