What is going on people after what felt like the longest, most drawn out way to select groups of four we have our draw. Now some draws look a little suspect, but for the most part everything looks like it will be AMAZING. Lets get right into this.
First we have group A one that started off with me really excited and then died off a little bit. We have the defending champs Bayern Munich, what seems to be Bayern’s kryptonite in Atletico Madrid, RB Salzburg another dark horse with American super coach, and Lokomotiv Moscow who always seem to find themselves in a shit draw. Now depending how coach Marsch has his team ticking this group could end up pretty clear cut. Obviously Bayern are getting through, and with the addition of Luis Suarez to Diego Simeone’s roster they seem like the easy pick as well. I think we are going to get some great games between Atleti/Bayern, and Salzburg will give one of them a run for their money.
Next we got group B, a group close to my heart and looked like it was going to be super easy until…. Somehow in the third and fourth spots Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk were joined by Inter Milan and Monchengladbach. Now, I think Madrid should not lose a game in this group. Depending what Inter Milan we get it should be a toss up of them and Gladbach in the next spot. Unfortunately for Shakhtar they got 2 great clubs picked directly after them, and they will be sent home early. Match I am most excited for is the Bald one vs the Bald one, Inter vs Real Madrid. This game is going to be electric with the injury woes Zidane is facing he always has creative solutions.
Next is group C and I will only make 1 FFP reference and its just that the check they got must have been huge from Manchester City. From the first pot you have Portugese champs Porto, then Guardiola’s City, Olympiacos, and finally Marseille. This is by no means a bad group, but as far as what everyone else will be dealing with it is one of the softer groups. Nothing against Porto its just that out of all the Pot 1 teams they are who I would of wanted to draw. Man City in Pot 2 is definitely one to avoid, and then we will see how Marseille is surviving through the plethora of matches they will have to play. Olympiacos thanks for coming out. Man City should cruise through this group.
Group D is another favorite of mine just because they have so many teams that could surprise Liverpool. Liverpool got surprised by Salzburg last year, and I think with Ajax and Atalanta the same thing could happen. Listen Liverpool are clearly the favorite in here but, Ajax have an excellent pedigree on the European stage. As well as Atalanta having one of the most high powered offenses in Europe. The final team is Midtjylland who I will be honest I have barely ever heard of I have them going home early. This will be a battle betweem Ajax and Atalanta to see who can get the most points off Liverpool.
Group E is probably the weakest group in the draw and honestly its still not even that bad. Rennes is a french team with a ton of young talent under a manager that just makes that team tick. Sevilla is coming off a hot start of winning Europa League and then showing the world they can compete with Bayern. Chelsea just spent 250 million this summer, and Krasnodar is going to enjoy the ride. I think Chelsea and Sevilla should get through this rather easily, but Rennes will hopefully make it difficult for them.
Group F another kind of weak, but at the same time not really. We got Dortmund who I think are going to have an absolutely phenomenal year with all the young talent they have. Lazio who have Ciro Immobile the Italian scoring king, Brugge who always have some surprises, and Zenit. Zenit is coming off a league title and were the first pot team that everyone wanted because they shouldn’t even be there. Dortmund and Lazio should cruise through this group all depending if Brugge doesn’t surprise them. Brugge always has a few standout performances that you think will upset the balance in Europe, we saw it in Madrid last season. I am hoping Brugge takes Lazio’s spot so they can focus on the league and make Serie A a competition again.
Finally we have group G the market frenzy group. If you want to sit there and try and tell me that UEFA doesn’t fix sh*t and UEFA doesn’t cheat I will laugh. This is the most setup thing of all time. We are getting a Messi vs Ronaldo matchup for the first time ever in the group stages. Not only that, but the draw they gave them made it so regardless who wins that match between Juventus and Barcelona… they are both still going through. The last two teams in group G are Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencvaros. One of those teams I have never heard of, and the other I think Ronaldo/Messi have a combined like 30 goals against. This group was made for the Ronaldo vs Messi head lines and the fact that Messi is leaving Barcelona after this year. This was legit the last time they could really do this. What a setup from UEFA and I am not even mad about it. Ronaldo dominates the Champions League so why not put him up against his counter part.
Finally we have Group H, the group of death. I love picking out the group of death every year always so fun to see who gets f*cked over. Group H we got PSG, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, and Istanbul Basaksehir. Basakeshir put on a show in the Turkish league last year and for their sake I hope it carries over to the UCL. Leipzig who went all the way to the semi finals will face off against PSG again after they were sent home last season by them. Finally Manchester United, a team with a high pedigree especially in Europe. This group is going to be absolutely ELECTRIC so much to consider when looking at rosters, managers, past performances, all these teams just have so much data against eachother. I am so excited to see the outcome of this I think PSG get through easy and then its a battle for United and Leipzig. Either way I am hype and I think this will be Ole’s last year in charge of United if he does not advance. A lot on the line.
I really do feel bad about some of these teams that just have no business really being in the competition. I think they should let me remove and add some more teams like toss Spain 1-2 more spots, give England 1-2 more spots, toss Germany an Extra, sh*t even Italy can have 1. I just feel bad when you have these random clubs that won their league just to go get their dicks kicked in once they walk on the Champions League pitch. BUT HEY to each their own. October 20th can’t come fast enough.
Written by: Anthony “Young Leg” Shopa (@ayoungleg)