UEFA Champions League 2018/19 Group A to H analysis
UEFA Champions League group draws taken place today in the appearance of special guest Kaka, a Champions League winner himself with AC Milan. He did the honour to pull out the draw which shaped very well considering fans are finding it difficult to call any group “Group of Death.”
There will always be some team plotted in a tough group and some will have easy road, but draws always takes place to make sure rules of the game is followed. UEFA Champions League 2018/19 group stage draw also taken place abiding by the rules and groups formed are listed below. Lets discuss each group and try to find out who will emerge the winner of the groups.
Group A: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, AS Monaco, Club Brugge
Europa League 2017/18 winner Atletico Madrid is expected to lead this group, unless & until some very bad amen rule them out from the group stage just like last season. Last season, Atletico Madrid exited the Europe’s elite club competition by finishing third in Group C. Chelsea and AS Roma finished above them and they made their way to last 16. However, we rule out any such scenario this time. They are favourite to lead this group at the end of the match day 6.
Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco will fight for the runners-up position. Dortmund is not the same force they were two or three years ago. It goes same with the 2016/17 semifinalist AS Monaco. Both teams are trying to rebuild themselves and it’s difficult to find a winner out of them. But, Belgium side Club Brugge is surely going to be eliminated from this group.
Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan
It’s a tough group. If you want a group of death, you can call it. Barcelona, Inter Milan, Tottenham Hotspur and PSV Eindhoven will be a tough opponent for each other. Whereas Barcelona is La Liga champion, Tottenham proved their supremacy last season topping the group which included eventual champion Real Madrid. Inter Milan is back into UEFA Champions League after some gap and three time winner would love to make an impression just like good old days. PSV is Eredivisie champion (Netherlands domestic league) and to rank them lower will be a mistake.
However, we can still choose Barcelona winner out of this group. The second place will belong to Spurs and Internazionale will finish at third place. Italian club will be relegated to Europa League and they’ll fight in Europe’s second tier along with their cross-city rival AC Milan. Eindhoven is expected to be eliminated early, unless & until they pull out a surprise.
Group C: Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, Crvena Zvezda
This is really going to be a tough group as well. three top managers will collide in this group who loves to play attacking football. PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has previously worked with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. They know each other very well. On the other hand, Carlo Ancelotti has always fancied winning this trophy. He has won it with AC Milan , and Real Madrid, and will be looking forward to write history at his new club Napoli.
I truly believe that this group will really bring tactical geniuses. I couldn’t even find the winner of this group and I give PSG, Napoli, and Liverpool equal weight. PSG, Napoli, or Liverpool, any three of them can win this group.
It will be very interesting to see how this group unfolds. I clearly can’t find the winner, runners-up, and third place finisher from this group. The only surety is that Crvena Zvezda, the Serbian champion will go home early from this group.
Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow, FC Porto, Schalke, Galatsaray
This group doesn’t put much burden on any team. None of the team from this group has global fan base. To be fair, global fans of Champions League won’t be interested with what happens to this group. At a time, Porto and Schalke were real force, but in today’s world their fan base has also decreased.
We can back Schalke to win this group knowing they are German club. They belong to highest ranked association in this group. Galatsaray have abilities as well, but we’ll go with Porto to finish second in the group. Galatsaray will finish third and Russian champion Lokomotiv Moscow will go home early.
Group E: Bayern Munich, Benfica, AFC Ajax, AEK Athens
Bayern Munich is the clear winner from this group. Benfica and Ajax will battle out for the second place, whereas AEK Athens will say goodbye at the group stage. Benfica is expected to finish second, but we think Ajax is evolving again and they’ll present a challenge for Benfica.
Group F: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Olympique Lyonnais, Hoffenheim
There is going to be a tricky battle for second place, but Manchester City is inevitable winner of this group. Shakhtar, Lyon, or Hoffenheim, any of them will be the runners-up. As it was difficult to find the winner of group C, it’s difficult to find the runners-up of group F.
Group G: Real Madrid, AS Roma, CSKA Moscow, Victoria Plzen
Real Madrid is the clear winner from this group as well. AS Roma did finish semifinalist last season, but they have got no match to 13 times champion Real Madrid. Giallorossi will be happy to finish second from this group and will pray that CSKA or Plzen don’t ruin their plans. AS Roma have high expectation from themselves after finishing semifinalist last season.
CSKA Moscow is most likely to finish third from this group and relegated to Europa Lague. Plzen must be happy to make their journey that far and play against Europe’s best. They are not going to present any challenge to Real Madrid or Roma.
Group H: Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, Young Boys
This is a group in which Juventus would like to dominate. The seven consecutive time Serie A winner seriously want to win Champions League this season, and their acquisition of former Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo proves their point.
Manchester United will present a huge challenge, but they’re not in a good shape to compete in Europe. Their players are finding it difficult to cope with their current situation and I think even Valencia will outsmart them to finish runners-up from this group. Young Boys will be just happy with their experience of tp flight football. They will go home early, they’ll learn too many things on their outings this season.