UEFA Champions League Draw
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UEFA Champions League 2018 Draw

This years Champions League group stage could possibly be one of the most entertaining for a long while. There is so much to talk about within these group stages and it is sure to be an unpredictable group stage. In this review we will take a look at each 32 teams in their groups and also what this means in terms of the old friends reuniting and old rivals meeting once again. So, lets take a look at the groups.

Group
A Athletico Madrid Borussia Dortmund Monaco Club Brugge
B Barcelona Tottenham PSV Inter Milan
C Paris St-Germain Napoli Liverpool Red Star Belgrade
D Lokomotiv Moscow Porto Schalke Galatasaray
E Bayern Munich Benfica Ajax AEK Athens
F Manchester City Shakhtar Donetsk Lyon Hoffenheim
G Real Madrid Roma CSKA Moscow Viktoria Plzen
H Juventus Manchester United Valencia Young Boys

It is to no surprise that the biggest headline is of course, the return to Old Trafford for one of the worlds greatest ever players, Cristiano Ronaldo. Manchester United will once again be reunited with one of their heroes. However, not in the way that most fans would’ve wanted, instead of reuniting with them and playing with them, he’ll be returning to play against them when Juventus face Manchester United. That will be the biggest fixture of that group if not one of the biggest of the whole group stages, given the fact of the return of Ronaldo and also the Return of Paul Pogba, who will be back to face his old Juventus side. The other teams to face them in that group are Valencia and Young Boys, not an easy group at all so it will be interesting to see how that group finishes come the end of the group stage.

Looking at the groups, it is difficult to decide which one is the hardest. There are some really competitive groups in there, group B and C looking the most challenging out of them all. Tottenham face a real struggle in that group, facing the big giants like Barcelona, and previous winner Inter Milan. Tottenham have failed to make a signing in this transfer window which means Pochettino will have to come up with something special in this year’s competition.

Liverpool, last year’s Champions League runners up, will have to find similar form to last years if they stand any chance of doing the same this time around and maybe even going further to win it. Red Star Belgrade may be quite straight forward for them but certainly not Napoli or PSG, they will be the real tasks.

Manchester City, the current Premier League Champions may consider themselves to have dodged a bullet in the group stages, being drawn a group that they should pass through with flying colours, possibly going unbeaten. Maybe they have the possibility of flying through the whole competition and winning the Champions League for the very first time.

Real Madrid, who have won the competition the previous 3 times with Zinedine Zidane now face a challenge this season. With Zidane leaving as manager, their new manager, Julen Lopetegui now has the job of keeping the record up and trying to win it for a 4th consecutive year.

Predictions

Group
A Athletico Madrid Borussia Dortmund Monaco Club Brugge
B Barcelona Tottenham Inter Milan PSV
C Paris St- Germain Liverpool Napoli Red Star Belgrade
D Shalke Galatasaray FC Porto Lokomotiv Moscow
E Bayern Munich Ajax Benfica AEK Athens
F Manchester City Lyon Hoffenheim Shaktar Donetsk
G Real Madrid Roma CSKA Moscow Viktoria Plzen
H Juventus Manchester United Valencia Young Boys

The table above showcases the predictions we have come up with for the end of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League 2018. For the majority of the groups, most people’s predictions will be the same and bookmakers will also predict the same. But in terms of which teams will qualify, groups like: A, B, C, E and H – seem quite difficult to predict. Lets see where odds currently stand for these groups and other Champions League specials.

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Group A

From this group, Athletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are the favourites to qualify from this group. But both teams are quite similar is quality, both are big title contenders in their leagues and it will be difficult to separate these 2 teams. Athletico are backed as favourites to win this group, Ladbrokes have labelled them at 4/7, whilst Dortmund are standing at 15/8.

Group B

In this group, it is not so much who will win the group, it is who will qualify. Barcelona are evidently favourite to win the group as they should prove to be too much for Tottenham and Inter Milan. With PSV not really being contenders to qualify, the race is between Tottenham and Inter Milan. BetVictor have preferred Tottenham over Inter, they have odds of 8/15 for Tottenham and 11/8 for Inter Milan.

Group C

This group is highly competitive. With last years runners up in Liverpool, and one of the richest clubs and most expensive line ups in PSG, it will be a great battle for 1st place in this group. PSG have just edged as favourites, BlackType have the best odds of 11/10, whilst Liverpool fall in second place in bookie predictions. Their odds to win the group stand at 11/8.

Group E

Group E is very predictable in terms of who will win the group. It is fair to say Bayern Munich shouldn’t have any trouble in this group and should fly through it. However, in terms of qualification, second place is definitely up for grabs. Benfica and Ajax are both 2 very challenging sides that will go to war with each other, and so will their fans. Betway have favourited Benfica to qualify ahead of Ajax. Benfica have odds of 10/11 and Ajax at 11/8.

Group H

This is arguably one of the more focused groups, for many reasons. Juventus and Manchester United, having won the competition before, it will be a battle of the pros. Manchester United being one of the more followed clubs in the world and also having a shaky start to the season, the pressure is on for them. The return of Ronaldo will be a huge focus. Also, not to rule out the chance of Valencia putting up a fight and maybe qualifying. Juventus are favourite to win the group.