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Midweek Football Preview

The Champions!

Champions League Group Stage

Group A

Club Brugge vs. Paris Saint Germain

Club Brugge find themselves in a tough group so finishing in the top three is a tough ask. Brugge have played well against big teams in the Champions League previously so there is always room for an upset. Brugge sit top of the the Belgian League having played 7 won 4 drawn 2 and lost 1. PSG having bought Messi, Ramos, and the rest this summer have to be favourites for the Champions League this season. The question really is if not now then when? PSG have won all 5 of their league games and sit top of Ligue 1. This should be a straight forward win for the Parisiens but Brugge are capable of an upset. 

Man City vs. RB Leipzig

City begin their Champions League campaign with a visit by RB Leipzig. City and Pep reached the final last season and fell short as Chelsea beat them in Lisbon. For City the CL trophy is what has evaded them and they will want to replicate that run to the final. Grealish will start his first CL game in his career and City sit 4th in the Premier League having won 3 and lost 1. Leipzig have had a tough start to the season having won 1 and lost 3 as they sit 12th in the Bundesliga. Marsch has not hit the ground running with Nagelsmann having left to Bayern. Leipzig will find it tough to beat City at home. 

Group B

Atletico Madrid vs. FC Porto

This group is one of the tougher groups in the Champions League this season. Atletico on paper should be one of the favourites to go through though. Atletico have brought back Griezmann from Barcelona and Simeone will once again be ready to defend his way to the latter stages. Atletico sit 3rd in La Liga having won 3 and drawn 1. Porto did quite well last season reaching the quarter-finals but were knocked out by eventual winners Chelsea. Porto sit 3rd in Portugal having won 3 and drawn 2. A tough game. 

Liverpool vs. AC Milan

Liverpool begin their CL campaign at Anfield with the fans back for a historic guest. Liverpool have had a good start to the season but failed to make any signings and any injuries will cause issues with little squad depth. 3 wins and a draw to start the season for Klopp as they sit 3rd in the league. Milan are back in the Champions League after a few seasons out of it. They have been busy in the transfer market but are a good team and most importantly have Ibrahimovic back for this game. Milan sit 2nd in Serie A having won all three of their games. This is a historic fixture that decided two finals in previous years. It should be a fiery and entertaining game. 

Group C

Besiktas vs. Dortmund

An evenly matched group with four teams that all stand a good chance of going through. Besiktas have bought some good players with Batshuayi and Pjanic coming in. Besiktas sit top of the Turkish League with 3 wins and a draw. Dortmund have started the season well on paper under Marco Rose with 3 wins and a loss. Dortmund have scored 13 goals this season but they have conceded 9 goals as well. Dortmund have the better quality but Besiktas at home will be no pushovers. 

Sporting Lisbon vs. Ajax

Sporting are back in the Champions League this season but find themselves in a tough group but one which they also stand a chance of going through in. Lisbon sit 2nd in the Portuguese league having won 3 and drawn 2. Ajax sit 2nd in the Eredivisie having won 3 and drawn 1. The Dutch team do look back to their best and going through this group will require them to be at their best. 

Group D

Sheriff vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

The Moldovan team Sheriff Tiraspol are making their debut in the Champions League as they take on a CL regular in Shakhtar. Sheriff sit 4th in their league having won 4 and lost 1. Look the group Sheriff are in if they can manage a point in any of these games it would be a big moment for them. Shakhtar are probably 3rd favourites in this group as they look to upset the odds. Shakhtar have won 5 drawn 1 and lost 1 this season. Shakhtar should win this game.

Inter Milan vs. Real Madrid

Inter were champions of Serie A last season but it has been a summer of change for them. Conte and Lukaku both left the club being replaced by Inzaghi and Dzeko. Inter sit 4th in Serie A having won 2 and drawn 1. Inter should get through the group and have plenty of quality but Shakhtar will have the same mindset. Real are back playing at the Bernabeu and it’s time for them to get back on track. No big signings this summer except for Camavinga but Ancelotti is back at the helm. Real sit top of La Liga with 3 wins and a draw and as with any Ancelotti side the goals are flowing in. Real will expect to reach the latter stages this season. 

Group E

Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich

The two teams that are the favourites to go through from this group. This is also the first time these two face each other after Bayern thrashed Barcelona two seasons ago. Barcelona now are a team without Griezmann, and most importantly a team without Messi. Barcelona do have Depay who has been playing very well. Bayern are at their usual best this season and raring to go. Barcelona sit 7th in La Liga with 2 wins and a draw and a game in hand. Bayern sit 2nd in their group having won 3 and drawn 1. It should be a fun game but Bayern should beat Barcelona. 

Dynamo Kyiv vs. Benfica

Kyiv and Benfica are probably going to be fighting it out for 3rd in this group but Barcelona are not at their dominant best and they could sneak in a 2nd place finish. Kyiv sit top of the Ukrainian League having won 6 and drawn 1. Benfica have had a perfect start to their season as they sit top of their league having won all 5 games. This should be an open game. 

Group F

Young Boys vs. Man United

Young Boys have a tough start to their campaign with group favourites United visiting them. Young Boys sit 4th in the Swiss league having won 2 drawn 2 and lost 1. Man United sit top of the Premier League having won 3 and drawn 1. Let’s face it United should win this group and and every game with Ronaldo back in their team. If Young Boys can get a point or more it would be a massive upset.

Villarreal vs. Atalanta

The two teams who could challenge United for the top spot but on paper are probably fighting it out for 2nd and 3rd. Villarreal are the Europa League champions but have had a lacklustre start to their season as they sit 11th in La Liga with three draws and a game in hand. Atalanta are in a similar situation as they sit 10th in Serie A having won 1 drawn 1 and lost 1. This should be an open game. 

Group G

Sevilla vs. RB Salzburg

Group G is another tough group with evenly matched teams. Sevilla sit 6th in La Liga with 2 wins and a draw and a game in hand. Salzburg sit top of the Austrian Ligue having won all 7 of their games. On paper Sevilla are the favourites but Salzburg are in great form and should cause the La Liga side problems.

Lille vs. Wolfsburg

French champions Lille find themselves in a tough group and go into it without their manager from last season Galtier. Lille without Galtier have found life tough as they sit 12th in Ligue 1 with 1 win 2 draws and 2 losses. Wolfsburg sit top of the Bundesliga having won all 4 of their games so far. Wolfsburg are the team in better form and should cause Lille problems in this game. 

Group H

Malmo vs. Juventus

Malmo find themselves in a tough group and probably will be fighting it out with Zenit for that 3rd placed finish. Malmo sit 3rd in the Swedish league having won 10 drawn 4 and lost 4. Juventus have not started the season well under Allegri and with Ronaldo gone. They find themselves 16th in Serie A having drawn 1 and lost 2. Juventus on paper should still be too much for Malmo but Malmo are at home and are in better form. An upset could be on the cards. 

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