UEFA Champions League: Predicting The Group Winners – RantSports

UEFA Champions League: Predicting The Group Winners – RantSports

My piece for RantSports Predicting the Group Winners for the Champions League

UEFA Champions League: Predicting the Group Winners
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The Champions League gets started on September 16 and the group stages provide plenty of intrigue. Some groups are pretty straightforward while others, like Group D, are anyone’s guess. The usual contenders such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona are expected to win their groups while Manchester City is hoping to do so for the first time. Here’s a prediction for the Champions League group stages.

Group A: Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo FF

Real Madrid
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Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain will be vying for first place. The Spanish club should edge it with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in their side. Shakhtar Donetsk will be troublesome for the top two, though, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they pip one to second place. A third place finish is most likely. Malmo will prove a tough nut to crack but will be lucky to get a win.

Group B: Manchester United, Wolfsburg, CSKA Moscow, PSV Eindhoven

Manchester United
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Manchester United may just be returning to the Champions League but have the necessary qualities to win the group. The battle for second will be between an experienced CSKA Moscow side and a very talented Wolfsburg team. PSV were stripped of talent during the summer and will find it tough going.

Group C: Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray, Benfica, FC Astana

Club Atletico de Madrid
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Atletico Madrid are surefire favorites for first place in this group. Diego Simeone’s side has greater depth and plenty of experience. Galatasaray are well-placed for second place as Benfica won’t be as solid without manager Jorge Jesus at the helm. FC Astana will do their best to make things hard for their opponents.

Group D: Manchester City, Juventus, Sevilla, Borussia Mochengladbach

Manchester City
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This group could go any direction and it’s definitely going to be a battleground. Manchester City are the strongest side on paper and may finally have what it takes to come out group winners. Juventus will benefit from their run to the finals last season but it wouldn’t be surprising if Sevilla pips them to second. Borussia Mochengladbach is an extremely talented side but they don’t have the experience to make a big push.

Group E: Barcelona, Roma, Bayer Leverkusen, Bate Borisov

Barcelona
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Barcelona will get the defense of their title on the right track by winning the group. Roma will want to make a much better impression than they did last season, and a strengthened side will give them the edge over Leverkusen. Bate Borisov will look to follow up on last seasons performance and grab at least one win.

Group F: Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Olympiacos, Dinamo Zagreb

Bayern Munich
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Despite two well-organized opponents, Bayern Munich and Arsenal will come first and second in the group. Bayern has too much talent to not win every game and Arsenal has the experience to make it through. There will be no easy games but Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb will be fighting for a place in Europa League.

Group G: Chelsea, Porto, FC Dynamo Kyiv, Maccaba Tel-Aviv

Chelsea
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Despite some tough travels, Chelsea’s talent will see them come out as group winners. Porto are Champions League regulars as well and will benefit from Iker Casillas’ experience. Dynamo Kyiv made a strong run in the Europa League last season and will have to contend with a similar feat this season. Maccaba Tel-Aviv will find it tough going against these teams.

Group H: Zenit, Valencia, Lyon, Gent

FC Zenit St Petersburg
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This group is interesting on paper but Valencia and Zenit are favorites. Zenit has more experience and should come out winners of the group. Lyon’s poor start to the season and lack of experience will work against them and Gent will struggle to make an impact.

 

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