UEFA Champions League group analysis at the end of match day 2
UEFA Champions League seems to be becoming more competitive this season at group stage than previous seasons. The clubs from out of Big Five leagues are bringing more competition and UEFA highest coefficient clubs are finding it difficult to get past lower coefficient clubs. Here we have a complete analysis of group A to group H.
Group A consists of Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Club Brugge, and AS Monaco. Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid are leading this group from their respective two victories against Club Brugge and AS Monaco. A disappointing performance from 2016/17 semifinalist AS Monaco who have lost their both games against Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund has pretty much decided the group.
Now, it seems the group winner will be decided in Atletico Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund fixtures. Monaco and Club Brugge will have to fight for the Europa League position finishing third in the group. Dortmund seems to be gaining their lost ground under Lucian Favre and they could really push Diego Simeone for runners-up position. However, Los Rojiblancos coach will be happy to finish even runners-up knowing they’re eliminated last season from group stage itself.
Group B consists of FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, PSV Eindhoven, and Tottenham Hotspur. Currently this group also seems to be settled for their winners and runners up position as Barcelona lead the group and Inter Milan occupy the runners-up position only on goal difference. But, this is this season’s group of death. We may see late drama in the group as Hotspur will try to bounce back in the remaining group games.
Eindhoven is sure to be eliminated as per current scenarios, while Hotspur can only challenge for Europa League position staying third in the group. But, things can be complicated if Inter Milan lose control and Hotspur finds their rhythm back. They were not poor against Barcelona last night at Wembley. It was only classic Messi’s performance took the game away from them. This group has yet to offer some surprises. It’s still not decided for us, although we can’t rule out Barcelona winning the group with maximum points.
Group C consists of Liverpool, Napoli, PSG, and Red Star Belgrade. It seems to be a complicated group. None of the clubs have shown great potential which can help them to top the group. I guess this group will be decided with minimum points. PSG lose points against Liverpool than Napoli lost points against Red Star Belgrade on matchday 1. On match day 2, PSG registered a thumping 6-1 victory over Red Star then Liverpool lost against Napoli.
The things look complicated in this group. Napoli, PSG, and Liverpool; all three will stretch themselves for their place in last 16. But from current situation, it’s difficult to predict the group. Meanwhile, Napoli leads the group with their four points, whereas PSG and Liverpool sits at second and third place respectively with three points each on goal difference.
Group D consists of FC Porto, Schalke 04, Galatasaray, and Locomotiv Moscow. This group also seems to be a competitive group which hosts no team from top 10 as per UEFA team coefficient. Porto and Schalke shares four points each, whereas Galatasaray is not far behind with their three points. The only team which can be ruled out is Lokomotiv Moscow from this group.
Schalke and Porto played 1-1 draw on opening night, then they goes on to win respectively against Lokomotiv Moscow and Galatasaray on match day 2. Galatasaray who enjoyed a good night out against Lokomotiv Moscow suffered 1-0 defeat against Porto. It seems to be a complicated group because margin of defeat remains to single goal for each winning team on match day 2. Galatasaray can also bounce back from their defeat against Porto. It’s really difficult to predict the group winner and runners-up from this group.
Group E consists of AFC Ajax, Bayern Munich, AEK Athens, and SL Benfica. They share 11 European titles among them and old guards like Ajax and Benfica are ready to give hard time to current giant Bayern Munich.
Ajax after registering a 3-0 victory over AEK Athens at home earned a great point playing away to Bayern Munich 1-1 draw. Benfica on the other hand, who lose 0-2 against Bayern Munich recovered with 2-3 victory against Athens. Things can become complicated if Ajax register a victory in return leg against Bayern Munich. But, before that Benfica will present challenge to Ajax at their home to complicate the matters more.
Bayern Munich do not seems to be winning the group for us. However, we can never underestimate them. Ajax or Benfica, anyone of them can join Bayern at last 16 stage.
Group F consists of Olympique Lyonnais, Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Hoffenheim. Manchester City was expected to lead this group but Lyon complicates the situation registering an away victory against City. Hoffenheim also present a great challenge to Pep Guardiola side before David Silva wins the game for them in dying minutes of the game.
On the other hand., Shakhtar Donetsk is making things complicated playing their both matches against Hoffenheim and Lyon 2-2 draw. Manchester City can’t be sure to pull victories playing away because they have a very bad away record and they only have six points left at home to play for. However, things have stabilized for them after registering away victory against Hoffenheim.
This group seems to be open for all four clubs. We still predict Manchester City to top the group but it’s scary.
Group G consists of AS Roma, Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow, and Victoria Plzen. No one would have predicted this group as it stands. CSKA Moscow sitting at the top of the group with four points whereas AS Roma and Real Madrid follow them with their three points.
It’s a complicated situation and after Real Madrid 1-0 loss against CSKA Moscow, we can only see Los blancos relying on their home fixtures. AS Roma seems to have improved after their 3-0 loss against Real Madrid and can cause damage to teams visiting Stadio Olimpico. CSKA seems to be winning the battle for us after plying complicated draw against Plzen in their opening fixtures.
AS Roma seems to be wining this group and CSKA Moscow may follow them. And surprisingly, we may see last three season champions eliminated at group stage this season.
Group H consists of Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, and Young Boys. No one can deny that Juventus will win this group and they are in pole position with their victory against Valencia and Young Boys. Manchester United is following them with their four points but things will be complicated for Red Devils as they face Juventus in back to back games and meanwhile Valencia can put pressure on them with their good results against Young Boys.
It doesn’t seem complicated right now, but after match day 4, it will certainly be complicated. Valencia may outsmart Manchester United for group runners-up position.