Champions League Group Winners
Group A winner Champions League Tips
- With the window closing and PSG’s squad strengthened since last season I make them clear favorites to win their group
- Real Madrid spent close to £300 Million this summer. However, that hasn’t been enough to shore up their defensive problems, and I see them continuing to have defensive issues this season.
- PSG have depth in numbers, especially in central midfield were the had severe problems last season. Gueye and Herrera were excellent additions while Marquinhos proved last season that he’s adept at playing in an advanced role.
- Upfront they will have Icardi, Neymar, Cavani, and Mbappe to call upon. I don’t think there’s ever been a collection of such talented strikers on one team. Also, in Thomas Tuchel, they have a coach who can tweak systems to compliment them all.
- Like I mentioned in my Champions League preview, PSG were excellent under Tuchel last season, but what people remember only is the loss to Man Utd. These games happen in football. We shouldn’t forget how good this team is, especially when at full strength.
- Fun Fact: Thomas Tuchel managed teams have averaged 2.7 goals per game in the Champions League (Dortmund and PSG)
Group B – Champions League Tips
- Bayern Munich still needs a lot of work, in my opinion. They’re currently integrating a lot of young talent and are sticking with a Manager (Niko Kovac) who I believe to be less than ideal for a club of their stature.
- Spurs are no weaker than they were last season. The additions of Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso means they have even more depth in midfield.
- Since 2017, Poch has only lost in the Champions League to Juve, Inter (unfortunate result), Barca, Man City (won on aggregate) Ajax (won on aggregate) and Liverpool.
- Don’t let Bayern’s dominance in the Bundesliga sway your opinion of them, they have struggled for a quite a while in this tournament. This is especially true when facing teams from Top 5 leagues.
- Last season Bayern faced two tough teams, Ajax and Liverpool. In all 4 matches, they struggled.
- Spurs should be favorites, I make them ~1.8/1.9 to win this group providing their key players stay healthy
Fun Fact: Over the last 5 years, Bayern has played 13 away games in the Champions League against teams from a Top 5 league. From these 13 matches, they’ve won just twice (Roma in 2014 and Sevilla in 2018)
Group H – Champions League Tips
- This group is wide open in my opinion, Chelsea have been installed as favorites but those of you that have watched them this season will realize that they’ve regressed as a team under Lampard and will need time to adjust.
- Valencia I always like in these spots, they’re great at home and have the ability to grind out results. Marcelino is also a personal favorite of mine and I have a lot of faith in his ability to win games
- As for last year’s semi-finalist (Ajax), early indications seem to show de Ligt and de Jong are going to be extremely difficult to replace.
- Lille are the other team in the group, they are a young team that’s seen a lot of squad turnover, they can compete in Ligue 1, but competing here will be a step to far I think. I expect them to finish bottom of the group
Group G – Champions League Tips
- RB Leipzig are perfect under new Head Coach Julian Nagelsmann,
Die Roten Bullen won all three of their Bundesliga games at the time of writing and have a ton of depth in all positions.
- It finally looks like they’ll be able to compete for the title in Germany while also remaining competitive in Europe. I don’t remember this side ever having such depth.
- Upfront they have two very capable attackers in Poulsen and Werner. As a back up they will have Roma’s Patrick Schick to call upon who’s just joined. Perhaps Nagelsmann’s system will suit the Czech who has obvious potential
- Benfica, Lyon, and Zenit are all worse than this current RB Leipzig side and all have worse coaches in my opinion. I have RB Leipzig around 2.25 to win the group
Group F – Champions League Tips
- Barca are worthy favorites here but I feel Inter will be ultra-competitive this season under Conte
- Barca have also looked pretty awful this season and I’m not entirely convinced it’s all down to Messi missing.
- At the back they’ve been very poor for quite a while now, In all competitions in 2019 they’ve giving up 1.24xGA (expected goals against)
- This doesn’t seem that bad but when you consider they’re only creating 1.75 xG per game we should be concerned.
- Dortmund are also in the group but I’m not expecting much from them.
- Yes, they did hand Atleti a drubbing last season but they tend to come up short in these big games so I’m expecting a 3rd place for them while Slavia will be the whipping boys.
Fun Fact: As a Manager, Antonio Conte has only ever lost one Champions League home game (Juventus v Bayern in 2013)
Group D – Champions League Tips
- Juventus will be weaker at the back with Chiellini and in my opinion, de Ligt will be a superstar at CB but I think this season he’ll need time to adapt to a new team/league.
- It’s very early to start drawing up opinions on Sarri’s Juventus but I don’t believe they will be as efficient at winning games as Allegri’s Juve.
- Although he won the Europa League last season, Sarri’s overall record in Europe against teams from Top 5 league’s is absolutely brutal.
- Simone’s record in Europe with Atleti cannot be dismissed, had it not been for one of Ronaldo’s best-ever performances last season, they would have been serious contenders to make the final again.
- I make this 50/50 between the two favorites so I’ll take the underdog at these odds
Fun Fact: Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in 93.3% of home games in the competition under Diego Simeone.
Group C – Champions League Tips
- Traveling east to Kharkiv in Ukraine is never easy, especially in the winter months. I expect Shakhtar to have a significant home advantage and push the other two in the group for 2nd place
- Their experience should also count for something too, this is Atalanta’s first time competing in the competition while Dinamo should be completely out of their depth.
- Shakhtar replaced Fonseca (Now at Roma) with another talented Portuguese coach Luís Castro
- At the time of writing, he’s been perfect in the league and his side are blowing teams away (nothing new) but doesn’t look like they’ve declined
- Atalanta have started their Serie A campaign poorly conceding 5 goals in two matches. Maintaining last seasons offensive output just isn’t sustainable in my opinion.
Fun Fact: Shakhtar have scored 2+ goals in 8 of their last 10 home games in the Champions League
- PSG to win Group A at 2.2 with Betfair/PaddyPower – 2 units
- Spurs to win Group B at 2.75 with Bet Victor – 2 units
- Atletico Madrid to win Group D at 2.75 with Bet Victor/Unibet – 2 units
Valencia to win Group H at 4.5 with Bet365/William Hill – 1 unit (No value after the sacking of Marcelinho)
- RB Leipzig to win Group G at 3.1 with Marathonbet – 1.5 units
- Inter to win Group F at 8.00 with Bet Victor/Unibet/888Sport – 1 unit
- Shakhtar to Qualify at 2.25 with BetVictor/Betway – 2 units