Another season dawns on the Champions League as we prepare for the final season, where the competition’s format is like we know it. Next year, there will be some major changes introduced; we will go into detail in the future.
The Champions League draw was anticipated by all the major clubs around Europe as they learned their faith; some were elated with their group, and some were placed in very competitive groups, so let’s get right into it and understand which of the groups will produce the most excitement.
Bayern Munich – Manchester United – Galatasaray – FC Copenhagen
Two elite clubs come together after Manchester United joined back into the Champions League after competing in the Europa League last season. The Bavarian giants have reinforced their attacking force with Harry Kane in the hopes of leading his club to silverware. Completing the first group are Galatasaray, who completed a couple of big signings this summer: Mauro Icardi, Hakim Ziyech and Wilfred Zaha. The final team to take part in Group A is the Danish side, who will do great to get into third place after being handed a tough group.
The fight for the top spot is going to be interesting, Bayern Munich have an impeccable record in the group stage, winning every game for the third time, more than any other team in Europe’s most prestigious club competition. Manchester United will do well to get second place guaranteeing their place in the knockout stage, with both Galatasaray and Copenhagen knowingly are up against bigger teams and it’s near on impossible to make it to the next stage of the competition.
Sevilla – Arsenal – PSV – Lens
After a sensational turnaround from Sevilla last season, winning their record-extending seventh Europa League, they found themselves in pot 1 after repelling an early scare of relegation from La Liga. Joining back from the Premier League are Arsenal, who, on paper look the strongest team in Group B. This group looks more like a Europa League group rather than the Champions League, which offers a great chance for all four teams to perform well and have a shot at making the round of 16.
Arsenal are favourites to clinch top spot at 1.50, with Sevilla at 6.00, PSV Eindhoven just behind them at 7.00 and lastly Lens at 7.50. The home fixtures for both PSV Eindhoven and Lens will be crucial as they aim to disrupt the expected results.
Napoli – Real Madrid – Braga – Union Berlin
Winning the Serie A last season gave a huge boost to Naples as a whole, the football-mad city will be roaring their team as they embark on another promising season in the Champions League. Trips to the iconic Bernabeu is on the cards, and what more can you wish for in this iconic tournament? Real Madrid have a new wonder boy to lead them from the front as Jude Bellingham starts his Champions League conquest. The Portuguese outfit will look to cause an upset or two, despite many critics discounting their chances of claiming any points. Completing the group are Union Berlin, who enjoyed a brilliant Bundesliga season to book their place amongst Europe’s elite.
Benfica – Inter – RB Salzburg – Real Sociedad
Last year’s quarter-finalists Benfica and Inter meet up again in the Champions League, but this time in the Group Stage. Both games treated us to some great football and drama till the very end, we will surely anticipate the same in the coming games. Inter went on to reach the final of the competition and will look to continue their impressive track record in Europe by winning the group, their chances are priced at 1.90, with Benfica coming in at 3.50.
RB Salzburg and Real Sociedad are less quoted to have a shot at progressing to the next stage of the competition but will put on a great display disrupting the norm. Real Sociedad can be an awkward team to play against, with the likes of Takefusa Kubo, Arsen Zakharyan and Mikel Oyarzabal providing the goods. Lastly, RB Salzburg are currently the least favourite to make it to the next stage, priced at 8.00 to win the group.
Feyenoord – Atletico Madrid – Lazio – Celtic
Dutch champions, Feyenoord line up against the legendary Atletico Madrid, Celtic and Lazio, who are fairly inexperienced at this stage of the competition. Atletico Madrid might have a bit too much for this group, and we are pricing their chances of winning the group at 1.65. To clinch second spot, it’s really a three-way tussle between Lazio, Feyenoord and Celtic. Lazio are at 4.00, whilst Feyenoord are at 6.00 to win the group, with the least favourite being Celtic, at 12.00.
The Italian side of Lazio recruited inteligently, securing the signature of Daichi Kamada for free who was previously linked with a move to Milan. Adding to the attacking force, Taty Castellanos came from New York City, Gustav Isaksen from Midtjylland and Matteo Cancellieri from Hellas Verona. All for a total spend of €35M. Keep an eye out for them as they might surprise you in this competition.
PSG – Dortmund – Milan – Newcastle
One of the toughest and most competitive groups there is in the Champions League. Everyone is keen to see the games and how this group shapes up. Once again in the Champions League, Newcastle have their hands full as the fight it out with the big dogs. AC Milan continued their regeneration of the squad landing great deals for Christian Pulisic and Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea and Samuel Chukwueze from Villareal. This revamp was aided by selling Sandro Tonali to Newcastle, who will make his return to San Siro. We are pricing Milan to win the group at 5.00.
PSG are once again starting a new era under Luis Enrique by splashing the cash. Marquee signings such as Randal Kolo Muani for €95M and Manuel Ugarte for €60M will provide great coverage whilst also planning for the future at both ends of the pitch. The Spanish coach also, poached Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona and Lucas Hernandez from Bayern Munich. As it always is, the aim is to win the Champions League, and with Enrique in charge, they have a great chance to do so. PSG to win the group is priced at 2.15, whilst winning the competition for their first time at 17.00.
After being knocked out against Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund continue their rich history in the competition by participating in the competition’s ‘group of death’. The Signal Iduna Park will welcome the highest calibre of players from around the world, and we cannot wait to witness the great atmosphere only the Yellow Wall is capable of. We are pricing Dortmund to win the group at 7.00.
Newcastle were ahead of schedule to qualify for the Champions League but any experience gained from these fixtures will serve the team a world of good to continue flourishing on the biggest stage. We are pricing Newcastle to announce their return amongst Europe’s elite at 3.50, what a story that would be.
Man City – RB Leipzig – Crvena zvezda – Young Boys
Many are describing this group as a walk in the park for Manchester City, and judging by their performances last season, this could well be a fairly easy group for the reigning champions. Manchester City are priced at 1.10 to win the group with their chances of winning the tournament again at 3.25.
RB Leipzig witnessed the clinical touch of Erling Haaland last season as they were beaten 7-0 in the quarter-finals and will be wary of him going into their games. The Swiss outfit of Young Boys will possibly make things awkward for anyone visiting but the quality might not be there to win them enough games to be competitive, same with Red Star Belgrade.
RB Leipzig are priced at 7.50 to win the group, making them clear favourites to progress through second place.
Barcelona – Porto – Shakter Donetsk – Antwerp
Closing off the group stages are Barcelona, who roared back at Real Madrid to win La Liga last season. This time around, Barcelona find themselves in a relatively easier group. Debutants Antwerp will cherish the chance to play in the iconic Nou Camp, where many icons of the game played over the years.
FC Barcelona are clear favourites in this group at 1.40 to win the group, with FC Porto coming in at 3.50. The chances of any surprise from either Shakhtar Donetsk or Royal Antwerp are remote with the odds at 19.00 and 21.00 respectively to make it out of the group.
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing