September 17, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports) By: Dalton Pence
UEFA Champions League Group Previews and Predictions
September 15, 2015 is a day many soccer fans have been anticipating since late May: the start of the UEFA Champions League. FC Barcelona was able to take home the trophy with a win over the Italian club of Juventus. This year’s field has made the title wide open and very interesting.
Group A: Real Madrid, Paris St-Germain, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmö
Instead of being paired with Fc Barcelona, PSG has drawn their rivals, Real Madrid in the group stages. Both clubs experienced rather disappointing exits in the champions league last season and are poised to go far again this year. Due to experience, Shakhtar Donetsk could make it interesting, but overall it shouldn’t be close.
Prediction: PSG and Real Madrid should advance rather easily.
Group B: PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, CSKA Moskva, Wolfsburg
Manchester United made big splashes in the transfer window by adding names like Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger to bolster the attack. The English club should secure the top spot with no trouble. The next spot is up for grabs: PSV lost Memphis Depay and Wolfsburg lost Kevin de Bruyne to Manchester clubs.
Prediction: Manchester United wins the group with CSKA Moskova advancing due to good teammate chemistry.
Group C: Benfica, Atlético, Galatasaray, Astana
Look for Benefica, Atlético, and Galatasaray to all compete for this group. Wesley Sneijder, the Dutch midfielder for Galatasaray, will be the most important player in this group.
Prediction: Galatasaray wins the group while Atlético is able to squeeze through due to players like Fernando Torres and Jackson Martinez.
Group D: Juventus, Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Mönchengladbach
Due to how well Man City and Juventus are playing as of late, it is tough to imagine less talented clubs such as Sevilla and Borussia Mönchengladbach being able to advance.
Prediction: Man City and Juventus battle till the death for the top spot in group D.
Group E: Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, BATE Borisov
The reigning champion Fc Barcelona drew a relatively easy group, with the most challenge coming from Roma, an Italian club. Look for Barça to breeze into the knockout stages.
Prediction: FC Barcelona and Roma advance
Group F: Bayern München, Arsenal, Olympiacos, Dinamo Zagreb
Bayern Munich exited the cup with a disappointing loss, but managed to finish in the final four. With yet another stacked roster, look for Bayern to be legitimate contenders for the title. Arsenal is poised to also advance behind play of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, and others.
Prediction: Bayern wins the group with Arsenal also going through to the knockout stages.
Group G: Chelsea, Porto, Dynamo Kyiv, Maccabi Tel-Aviv
This group is interesting because Chelsea has been in poor form and Porto gave Bayern Munich a run for their money last year. This is a very close group because Dynamo Kyiv could pose problems.
Prediction: Chelsea gets back into quality form and advance along with Porto
Group H: Zenit, Valencia, Lyon, Gent
This collection of clubs comprise the most open group in the field this year. There is no clear favorite. Axel Witsel leads a talented Zenit team, while Gent and Valencia have a lot of young talent.
Prediction: Zenit wins he group with Valencia squeaking through to the knockout round.
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