The biggest competition in European football is returning next week and the excitement is in the air. The group stage is set and this is where the fun begins. Let’s take a look at each group and see the favorites to qualify to the next round.
Group A (PSG, Manchester City, RB Leipzig & Brugge)
PSG and Manchester City are the favorites to qualify to the next round. PSG and Man City are also major favorites to win the Champions League considering their squads. Who has the advantage? PSG has the best attacking trio (Messi-Neymar-Mbappe) in Europe and with how stacked the rest of their squad is, there’s a good chance they’ll qualify to the next round with the first position. PSG however should not underestimate the current Premier League Champions under Pep Guardiola’s coaching.
Brugge and Leipzig will battle for the remaining spot for a Europa League slot. RB Leipzig are the favorites to get that slot, but this team despite losing some key players from last season and their coach, this team should not be underestimated by Man City or PSG.
Group B (Atlético de Madrid, Liverpool, AC Milan & Porto)
Group B is considered by many as the group of death considering AC Milan, Liverpool and Atlético are in this group. One of those 3 major contenders will be out and it’ll be interesting to see how this group unfolds. Liverpool and Atlético however are the major favorites to advance to the next round. AC Milan could ruin the party of any of those two if they are not careful.
Group C (Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Sporting & Beşiktaş)
Borussia Dortmund and their promising young star Haaland are the favorites to advance to the next round in the first position. Ajax and Sporting will be battling for the second and third (Europa League spot) throughout the group stage, either team has a good chance of getting to the next round. Beşiktaş will have a hard time on this group and their chances of getting to the next round or even the Europa League spot, but you never know with this competition, some miracles have occurred before.
Group D (Real Madrid, Inter, Shaktar & Sheriff)
Real Madrid, Inter and Shaktar are seeing each other again in a rematch from last year’s group B. While Real Madrid are in the middle of a rebuild, they are also the favorites to advance to the next round. Inter last year were favorites to advance but failed miserably and ended up in the last place of the group. Shaktar are the favorites for the to get the Europa League spot of this group. Sheriff are newcomers to this competition and it’s very unlikely they’ll advance to the next round.
Group E (Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica & Dynamo Kiev)
The current Bundesliga will dominate this group and that’s not debatable. Barcelona are going through their first season without Messi and this could be Benfica’s best chance of surprising the world and getting the second place and advance to the next round. Kiev are not favorites, but this competition has had many surprised before, you never know if this group could have a major upset in it.
Group F (Manchester United, Villareal, Atalanta & Young Boys)
Manchester United and Villareal (current Europa League Champions) were the finalist of last season’s Europa League and they’ll face each other once more. Manchester United are the favorites to get the first place in this group. Villareal and Atalanta will battle for the remaining spots. Young Boys will be the underdogs of this group and not much can be said about them.
Group G (Sevilla, Lille, Wolfsburg & Red Bull)
Sevilla are the favorites to dominate this group and take the first place and advance to the next round. Lille, current Ligue 1, champions will be the other major favorites of this group and could surprise Sevilla if they are not careful. Wolfsburg are slightly favorites for the Europa League spot with Red Bull also having a good chance of getting that spot on this group.
Group H (Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit & Malmo)
Chelsea, current Champions league winners, are the favorites of this group and they had a great transfer window market and their quad is stronger than last season, so them getting the first place is the likely scenario. Juventus lost Cristiano Ronaldo this last summer and it’s a major blow for the team with aspirations of winning this competition. Zenit in the other hand, are the favorite on getting the Europa League spot and Malmo are not likely to quality at all.