Champions League MD 1 Preview

The Champions!!!

Group A

Club Brugge vs. Borussia Dortmund

Group A’s first fixture comes in Belgium as Brugge take on Dortmund. Brugge were champions in Belgium last season and sit atop the Belgium Pro League this season as well. Dortmund finished 4th in the league last season while they sit second two points behind Bayern Munich this season. On paper Dortmund should take this game although since it is an away game Brugge have a chance causing an upset at home. Brugge are the weakest side in a tough group and probably will finish fourth although they could play a major part in who qualifies. Dortmund to win but narrowly. 

AS Monaco vs. Atletico Madrid

AS Monaco finished second in Ligue 1 last season and have seen a tough start to their domestic campaign this season as they sit 15th after 5 games. Atletico finished second in La Liga last season and sit in 9th this season after four games. These teams have endured tough starts to their seasons but the Champions League provides them a chance to add a positive vibe to their campaign. This should be an interesting fixture, Monaco have lost much of their team from two seasons ago with Falcao remaining the star attraction while Atletico have bolstered their squad with major signings. Lemar, Arias, Martins, are just some of the names that Atletico have added to their ranks. A close game but Atletico should start their Champions League campaign with a win.

Group B

Barcelona vs. PSV Eindhoven

Barcelona were champions of La Liga last season and have started this season of with four wins in four as they sit top of the league. PSV were also champions of the Eredivisie last season and also sit atop the league this season after 5 games. Barcelona had a decent transfer window this summer as they added the likes of Arturo Vidal, Malcom, and Lenglet to their squad. PSV have brilliant players of their own with De Jong, and Hirving Lozano providing great attacking threat. PSV could cause Barcelona problems but at the Camp Nou and in current form their should only be one real winner and that is Barcelona.

Inter Milan vs. Tottenham

Inter are back in the Champions League after what seems a really long time after they finished 4th in Serie A last season, this season has not gotten off to the best of starts as they sit 15th after 4 games. Tottenham finished 3rd in the league last season as they provided their complimentary unrealistic title challenge, this season they sit 6th after the first 5 games. Inter added the likes of Keita Balde, and Nainggolan to their squad along with having players like Icardi, and Peresic up front. Tottenham managed to sign no one in the summer although Lucas Moura has sort of been a new signing for them season. On paper Tottenham are the best of the rest in this group after Barcelona but realistically they could be fighting for second with the two remaining sides. Inter to win but narrowly. 

Group C

Red Star Belgrade vs. Napoli

Red Star return to the Champions League this season after having won the Serbian Super Liga and having qualified through the qualifiers. Red Star have started their domestic season brilliantly as they have won 7 out of 7 to sit top of the table. Napoli were brilliant under Sarri last season and only just managed to miss out on the Serie A title as they finished second. A poor pre-season has not affected them as they sit third with 9 points after 4 games under their Champions League winning expert Ancelotti. Napoli should win this but the hostile and fiery atmosphere in Belgrade could test their nerves. This game could go either way but Napoli would be the safe bet.

Liverpool vs. Paris Saint Germain

Liverpool just about finished fourth last season and lost out in the final to Real Madrid but the main argument of their campaign was that they had an easy run. That can not be said this season with the group they find themselves in while they sit second in the Premier League with five wins out of five only behind on goal difference. PSG brough in Tuchel in the transfer window and have continued to dominate french football as usual as they attempt to seriously challenge for the Champions League this season. A brilliant game to watch as Mane, Firmino, and Salah, go up against Neymar, Cavani, and Mbappe. The best game of the match day in my opinion and one which PSG should win although it will depend on how they handle Anfield’s atmosphere.

Group D

Galatasaray vs. Lokomotiv Moscow

Galatasaray were Turkish champions last season and sit 1st in the table after five games this season as well. Lokomotiv were Russian champions least season but sit 10th in the league this season after seven games. Galatasaray and Lokomotiv have some good players on their books but Galatasaray should win this game based on the fact that they are the home team, if Lokomotiv can stay strong they could cause an upset. 

Schalke 04 vs. FC Porto

Schalke finished second in the Bundesliga last season and sit 17th in the league this season after three games. Porto were Portuguese champions last season and sit fourth after four games this season. A very close game in a very close group which is to tight to call. Porto to win due to the poor start that Schalke have had this season. 

Group E

Ajax vs. AEK Athens

Ajax finished second in the dutch league last season and sit second in the league this season as well. AEK won the greek league last season and sit second in the league this season. Ajax should have way too much for AEK to cope with and this game should be an easy win with the likes of Tadic, Huntelaar, and Ziyech leading their line. 

Benfica vs. Bayern Munich

Benfica finished second in the Portuguese league last season but they sit atop of the league this season. Bayern continue to be the only true dominating force in German football. Benfica have some brilliant players on their roster and should fight for second in this group but Bayern should have enough in their team to gain three points in Lisbon. 

Group F

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Hoffenheim 

Donetsk continue to dominate Ukranian football while Hoffenheim under Nagelsmann continued their improvement by finishing third in the Bundesliga last season. This season Hoffenheim find themselves 11th while Shakhtar lead the table in Ukraine. A tough game to call with both teams at an equal level, Shakhtar might edge this game based on the fact that they are playing at home. 

Man City vs. Olympique Lyonnais

Man City dominated English football last season as Pep tiki takaed his way to the title, this season they find themselves third in the league after five games. Lyon finished third in Ligue 1 last season but find themselves 7th in the league this season. Lyon seem to be suffering World Cup malaise at the beginning of this season with star man Fekir not firing on all cylinders after his failed move to Liverpool. City hit a small bump against Wolves in the Premier League but have looked their usual self. City should win this but anything can happen on the pitch.

Group G

Viktoria Plzen vs. CSKA Moskva

Plzen were Czech champions last season and find themselves second in the league this season. CSKA finished second in the league last season and find themselves fifth this season. A game which should see the teams cancel each other out with a result that could go either way. 

Real Madrid vs. AS Roma

Last season’s champions Madrid take on last season’s semi finalists Roma in a game which consists of the two qualifiers from the group. Real Madrid finished third in La Liga last season and sit second in La Liga this season while Roma finished third and sit 9th in the Serie A this season. An interesting game of football with two good teams, although Real Madrid should edge this tie. 

Group H

Valencia vs. Juventus

Valencia finished 5th in La Liga last season qualified thanks to Atletico winning the Europa League, this season they have started off poorly as they sit 17th in the league. Juventus dominate Italian football as usual and sit atop of the league this season as well. It is the Champions League they want to win this season and the signing of Ronaldo has geared them up for a real attempt. Juventus to win. 

Young Boys vs. Man United

Young Boys were Swiss champions last season and lead the league this season as well as they come up against second best United who are 8th this season. On paper this should be an easy win for United but Mourinho never make it easy for himself. Young Boys could cause an upset but United should win this and a loss is in their hands. 

The Champions League is back and it should be a brilliant season of European football ahead of us!

 

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