Champions League is back! We’re here to provide you with previews for each group in the tournament and predictions based on supercomputer analysis by Opta. Read to the end for a special bonus!
Group A: Bayern Munich, Manchester United, FC Copenhagen, Galatasaray
In this group, you’ll find a collection of high-profile matches and well-known football figures. Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane is returning to England to take on Manchester United. Keep an eye on Galatasaray, the Turkish champions, as their strong attackers, such as Mauro Icardi, Dries Mertens, and Wilfried Zaha, could make them a formidable underdog in the competition.
Bayern Munich: 92,5% chance to qualify
Manchester United: 78,8% chance to qualify
Bayern is expected to excel and possibly win all their games. The real contest will be for second place. Manchester United’s progression relies heavily on their performance in the matches in Istanbul and Copenhagen. Losing either of those games would make it difficult for them to advance.
Group B: Sevilla, Arsenal, PSV, Lens
Arsenal is back in the Champions League after six years. Mikel Arteta’s team has been fortunate in their group draw, although they will compete against formidable opponents: Sevilla, the Europa League champions, Lens, the Ligue 1 runners-up, and PSV, a team that defeated Arsenal 2-0 last October.
Arsenal: 87,2% chance to qualify
PSV: 58,7% chance to qualify
Mikel Arteta has turned Arsenal into one of the strongest teams in the Premier League, making them the top choice in the group. Sevilla may challenge them, but according to Opta, PSV, with their extensive experience in European competitions, has a better chance of advancing to the knockout rounds.
Group C: Napoli, Real Madrid, SC Braga, Union Berlin
In this group, Napoli and Real Madrid look like the powerhouses, while Braga and competition newcomers Union Berlin are the underdogs. The big question is whether Real Madrid can bounce back from last season’s disappointment against Manchester City and win the group, or if Napoli can upset their former coach, Carlo Ancelotti, and take the top spot.
Real Madrid: 79,8% chance to qualify
Napoli: 78,6% chance to qualify
Despite losing Karim Benzema and dealing with Vinícius Júnior’s injury, Real Madrid is a team that usually dominates their group. Napoli will give them a tough challenge, especially at their home stadium, Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. But, Real Madrid is experienced in handling the group stage, so they’ll likely finish at the top.
Group D: Benfica, Inter Milan, FC Salzburg, Real Sociedad
This group is competitive, and any of the four teams has a chance to come out on top and move to the round of 16. Inter, who reached last season’s final, have lost key players like goalkeeper André Onana and strikers Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku in the summer transfer window. However, so far this season, they have shown excellent performance.
Inter Milan: 76,9% chance to qualify
Benfica: 53,3% chance to qualify
Inter has been performing well in their domestic league after their close match against Man City in Istanbul just three months ago. In this group, which includes Benfica, Real Sociedad, and Salzburg, there isn’t a team that stands out as weak. However, Opta slightly favours the Portuguese champions, Benfica, over the others.
Group E: Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid, Lazio, Celtic
Atletico Madrid would be happy with the draw they got this year. Besides them, it’s a pretty open competition. Lazio hasn’t been doing well in Serie A this season and they lost their top player, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, during the summer. Feyenoord and Celtic are strong teams and can put up a good fight, which is why this group is one of the most interesting ones to watch.
Atletico Madrid: 82% chance to qualify
Lazio: 52.8% chance to qualify
Atletico should have no trouble making it to the last 16. It’s a bit tricky to predict whether Lazio or Feyenoord will join them in the knockout rounds, but Opta slightly favours Lazio. Celtic, who have won only one of their last 21 Champions League games, is expected to finish at the bottom of the group.
Group F: PSG, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Newcastle United
The dreaded group of this season’s Champions League features PSG with the amazing Kylian Mbappe (40 goals in 61 UCL matches), seven-time champions AC Milan, Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund, and Newcastle, making their Champions League comeback after 20 years. Superb draw if you are a neutral fan and a nightmare if you’re a fan of any of these four teams!
Newcastle United: 54,3% chance to qualify
PSG: 52,1% chance to qualify
This group is really tough to predict. According to Opta, Newcastle has a good chance of winning the group, which should excite their fans. The supercomputer thinks PSG will make it to the last 16, but it’s a pretty close call, with just a 52.1% chance. AC Milan (48.8%) and Dortmund (44.8%) are not far behind in their chances, so it’s going to be a tight competition.
Group G: Manchester City, RB Leipzig, Red Star Belgrade, Young Boys
Manchester City got a fantastic draw that’s almost like a dream for them. They’ll be up against RB Leipzig, a team they easily defeated last season in the last-16 match, with Erling Haaland scoring five goals. Plus, they’ll face Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys, two of the weaker teams in this draw.
Manchester City: 98,8% chance to qualify
RB Leipzig: 77% chance to qualify
City is clearly the strongest team in this group, and Leipzig is the closest competition. Both City and Leipzig should easily make it to the last 16, while Red Star and Young Boys will have to battle for a spot in the Europa League.
Group H: Barcelona, FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Royal Antwerp
Barcelona had a tough draw last season with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, but this time, they’ve got a much easier group. Porto should also be pleased because they seem stronger than Antwerp and Shakhtar. The Belgian champions must be thrilled to return to the competition after 66 years since their only appearance in it!
Barcelona: 85,8% chance to qualify
Porto: 81,6% chance to qualify
Barcelona is expected to easily come out on top in this group. Even though their away game in Porto could be a bit challenging, they should still be too strong. Porto is likely to finish second without much difficulty, and Antwerp has a good chance to finish third and qualify for the Europa League.
Time to make your perfect prediction!
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