2017-18 Champions League Group Stage Predictions

Discussion in 'Champions League' started by Italy-Azzurri-Fan, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Italy-Azzurri-Fan

    Nov 15, 2014
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Hey All,
    Can you believe it? It is time for a new Champions League to begin in a few weeks. I have made my predictions based on many factors for the Group Stage so here they are. Please let me know what you think, and what your predictions are!!!

    Group A: Basel, Benfica, CSKA Moscow, and Manchester United.
    Manchester United is one of the luckiest teams on this planet to be getting easy draws like this over and over again. I mean its literally so annoying. Actually the truth is they got a similar group to this in 2011-12 and went out, but most of these teams are not the same. I first have to say that Basel has seen better days. The team has really declined over the last years, and I do not expect anything from Basel honestly other than a point here and there. Manchester United are probably the favorites to win this and with Mourinho's experience in the UCL group stage, I will tip Man Utd to win it. I don't rate Mourinho very highly but he does have good experience in easy groups like these. Benfica have lost a few players but are still not a team to be underestimated and will finish second. CSKA Moscow will go down to the Europa League, leaving Basel at rock bottom.
    1. Manchester United, 2. Benfica, 3. CSKA Moscow, 4. Basel

    Group B: Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Anderlecht, and Celtic.

    Oh My Goodness this will be such a great group to watch. PSG have made some really good signings this transfer window with Neymar and Alves coming in. Still not sure whether Mbappe will come as well or not, but they have had a great transfer window, although they did lose Matuidi. Let me tell you though I believe Bayern Munich will win this group. This is going to be extremely exciting because none of these teams are that defensive and they all like to attack which means lots of goals. I think Ancelotti's Bayern though is just too good for PSG, and are more stable despite losing Lahm and Alonso. Ancelotti will outcoach Emery throughout the group and top it. PSG will finish second. Celtic has impressed last season with two draws against Man City and a draw against Monchengladbach despite finishing last, so I expect them to surprise again and will be able to finish third and go to Europa League.
    1. Bayern Munich, 2. Paris Saint-Germain, 3. Celtic, 4. Anderlecht

    Group C: Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Qarabag, and Roma.

    This is definitely the group of death and probably one of the most exciting groups we have had in UCL history. First let me start by telling that Qarabag are just here to enjoy and really have no chances to even make Europa League, although they might pick up 1 or 2 points considering Azerbaijan might be a tough place to go for teams. Anyway I think all three of these teams have a decent chance making Round of 16. Atletico Madrid is not as good as they used to be, but is still a fairly world class team. Chelsea under Conte has been impressive, while Roma made a few changes with one of the biggest being a change in ownership and Di Francesco becoming the new coach. Back when Roma was under Garcia they used to embarrass themselves against small teams, but that has been gone since Spaletti took over. Di Francesco I rate as even an upgrade to Spaletti and he plays quite similar to Allegri. Ugh I really do not know for sure, but I'll say this. Diego Simeone's Atletico is the most experienced side and has the most unchanged team, so they will top this group. Chelsea vs Roma will be such a tough battle. Most people are predicting Chelsea to go through as second, but I am gonna take a little risk and say Roma. Conte can be an extremely stubborn manager at times, and never rests players for big games. This might cost him just like what happened to Juventus in 2013-14. I think this will be a shock and Di Francesco will just edge Conte because of flexibility, and prioritizing the UCL over anything else.
    1. Atletico Madrid, 2. Roma, 3. Chelsea, 4. Qarabag

    Group D: Sporting CP, Barcelona, Juventus, and Olympiacos.

    I think this group is pretty straight forward. Juventus vs Barcelona is gonna be an extremely interesting clash. However due to Barcelona losing Neymar, after already underperforming last season, and Iniesta starting to age and underperform, I don't think they are capable of beating Juventus for first place. Also note that Suarez is out for the first clash at Camp Nou. Dembele is a good signing but no way is he the level of Neymar or even close. Juventus have lost Bonucci and Alves as well, but luckily they have built so much depth and have Rugani, Barzagli, De Sciglio, and Lichtsteiner to fill in for them. We also cannot forget that Juve beat Barca 3-0 and tied 0-0 last season and that was when Barcelona had Neymar. Juventus will likely win the group, and Barcelona will go through as second place. Sporting will just beat Olympiacos to thrid place and go down to the Europa League.
    1. Juventus, 2. Barcelona, 3. Sporting CP, 4. Olympiacos

    Group E: Sevilla, Maribor, Spartak Moscow, and Liverpool.

    We really do not know for sure what will happen with this group. I am pretty sure that Liverpool and Sevilla will be the teams to advance however do to experience. Sevilla did beat Liverpool in the Europa League Final 2015-16, but have lost a few players and most notably both of their great managers in the past. Desptie resigning Benenga and buying Nolito, I just feel that Sevilla do not have the manager to get the best out of the team anymore and it has showed clearly in the playoff matches. Klopp's Liverpool will slightly edge this and win the group by maybe one point, and Sevilla will be right behind them. I do not know hardly anything about Spartak Moscow or Maribor, and since I don't, they probably are not good enough to challenge either Liverpool or Sevilla, however I will tip Spartak Moscow to go for Europa League as they did win the russian league.
    1. Liverpool, 2. Sevilla, 3. Spartak Moscow, 4. Maribor

    Group F: Napoli, Feyenoord, Manchester City, and Shakhtar Donersk.

    I believe we can all agree that Manchester City and Napoli will be the two teams to advance. Shakhtar Donetsk will edge Feyenoord for the Europa League. The debate is who will finish first and second between Napoli and Manchester City. Many people will likely tip Man City, but unlike many people I have not been impressed with Pep Guardiola and I honestly think he is just an average manager. Pep's away record vs decent teams is also extremely concerning especially since he is not coaching a team like Barca or Bayern like he did in the past. Sarri is a great tactician for Napoli and has done great things with the team in the past. I am actually going to tip Napoli to win the group, just because Sarri is way more reliable away from home, and will likely get the better out of Pep regarding the whole groups results.
    1. Napoli, 2. Manchester City, 3. Shakhtar Donetsk, 4. Feyenoord

    Group G: Besiktas, RB Leipzig, Monaco, and Porto.

    This is probably the most unpredictable group in UCL history, really. Monaco are probably favorites for this one even thought they lost a few key players. Monaco has the experience, Jardim has transformed the team into playing such interesting football, so I think its safe to say Monaco will probably top it. However the rest is extremely unknown. RB Leipzig has never been in Europe at least as long as since I was alive, and are newbies. Porto vs Besiktas is also very interesting as they have exchanged a number of players back and fourth at various times. I must say however that I was impressed with Leipzig last season in the Bundesliga and I think they might just have what it takes to scrape for second place. Porto will edge Besiktas for Europa League as Aboubakar is back at Porto.
    1. Monaco, 2. RB Leipzig, 3. Porto, 3. Besiktas

    Group H: Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, APOEL, and Tottenham Hotspur.

    Real Madrid was by far the best team in the world last season, and I believe it is safe to say they still are as of now, so I tip them to win the group without much trouble, although they might draw a team somewhere. Dortmund have just gotten a new manager so I don't know much about them although they really are becoming a selling club, so I don't think they have enough to compete with Real this season. Tottenham will make Europa League, with APOEL finishing fourth. I think this is a pretty straight forward group.
    1. Real Madrid, 2. Borussia Dortmund, 3. Tottenham Hotspur, 4. APOEL.

    So what are all your thoughts and predictions? Please let me know what you think. If you disagree let me know why!

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