Champions League Preview
Just two months after Bayern Munich’s victory in the Champions League final against Paris Saint-Germain, the quest for European dominance is returning. Before matches get underway, we’ll take a look at the teams making up the group stage.
Group A: Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Lokomotiv Moscow, Red Bull Salzburg
This group seems pretty cut and dry. Atletico and Bayern are both deeps squads with aspirations for deep runs in the knockout stages and will likely be the two teams that advance from the group. However, do not count out Salzburg, as it caused some trouble for top clubs in last year’s group stage.
Group B: Borussia M’Gladbach, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk
Last season, Real Madrid was eliminated in the round of 16 and Inter Milan got eliminated in a “group of death” that featured Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. Both squads will be on redemption missions and should advance over the German and Ukranian sides.
Group C: FC Porto, Manchester City, Marseille, Olympiacos
This is one of the most interesting groups, as City is the clear favorite, but the second advancing position will be highly contested. Porto is consistently a strong side, but Marseille has established itself as one of France’s top teams, and Olympiacos is the best squad in Greece.
Group D: Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland, Liverpool
This group has escalated into one of the most exciting entering this year’s competition. The matchups between Ajax and Liverpool are sure to be thrilling, and one can only dream about the amount of goals scored between the two, especially with the injuries that Liverpool has recently picked up on the back line. Look for Atalanta to try and sneak into one of the two advancing positions while Ajax and Liverpool rip each other apart.
Group E: Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes, Sevilla
With the acquisitions of Timo Verner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech among others during the transfer window, Chelsea has become one of the most exciting teams in Europe. Taking the top spot in this group would show the world that this team is a legit contender. Sevilla should take the second spot barring any upsets.
Group F: Borussia Dortmund, Club Brugge, Lazio, Zenit
This group seems to be the weakest of the eight. Dortmund is the clear favorite, though a long shot to win the league. Regardless of overall skill, this group should be one of the most exciting to watch to see if any of these squads can get hot and make an unexpected run.
Group G: Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvaros, Juventus
Messi versus Ronaldo: is there anything else to say? Both squads had different struggles in last season’s push, as Juventus was eliminated in the round of 16 and Barcelona was embarrassed by a score of 8-2 in the quarterfinals. Fans all around the world are looking forward to the amazing matchup, as two of the greatest players of all time in the twilight of their careers will play against each other for possibly the final time.
Group H: Istanbul Basaksehir, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Red Bull Leipzig
The final group is certainly this campaign’s “group of death.” Leipzig and PSG faced off in the semifinal last year with the French squad picking up a 3-0 win. Manchester United is one of the world’s top clubs and will be no pushover. It will be interesting to see which of the three will be heading home after the group stage is complete.
There is no doubt that this year’s Champions League will be one of the most exciting and interesting ever. As always, there are compelling matchups and storylines, but now with the added unpredictability of 2020, only time can tell what team will rise above the madness and become champions of Europe.
Maclain Young is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism