Sunday, September 22, 2019

Which group will be the toughest one in the 2019-20 Champions League?

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The field is set for the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League group stage. After several qualification rounds, the group stage of the competition has been decided and the best 32 teams in Europe will begin the race for the title in September.

In case you missed it, here are the groups for the 2019-20 edition of the Champions League.

Complete list of 2019-20 UEFA Champions League groups

Group A: PSG, Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray

Group B: Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Olympiacos, Red Star Belgrade

Group C: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta

Group D: Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moscow

Group E: Liverpool, Napoli, Salzburg, Genk

Group F: FC Barcelona, Dortmund, Inter Milan, Slavia Prague

Group G: Zenit, Benfica, Lyon, RB Leipzig

Group H: Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, Lille

There are several groups worth watching. In particular, Group G and Group H appear to be very balanced and without a clear favourite, excepting perhaps the presence of Chelsea in Group H. Ajax reached the semi-finals last year, Benfica and RB Leipzig are always a threat, and both Lyon and Valencia have lots of experience in this stages of the tournament.

Group D is also worth watching. Juventus and Atletico Madrid are favourites on paper, but we can’t rule out Bayer Leverkusen so quickly. The Bundesliga side ended the 2018-19 season on a strong note, and have enough quality to pose a threat against any team at any given stage of the competition. They won’t be an easy team to defeat.

However, the toughest group in the competition will undoubtedly be Group F.

The unquestionable ‘Group of Death’

FC Barcelona and Inter Milan meet for the second consecutive group stage campaign, although both will present fresh faces. Barcelona could very well feature Antoine Griezmann, Nigel de Jong and even Neymar as reinforcements, while Inter Milan look stronger thanks to the arrivals of players such as Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, as well as new manager Antonio Conte.

However, neither side can relax with the presence of Borussia Dortmund. The second-best team in the Bundesliga last season, Lucien Favre’s men could have easily won the title hadn’t it been for an epic meltdown – and Bayern’s rise – in the final two months of the season. The Germans won’t make things easy for either Barca nor Inter, and it’s not impossible to see them reaching the knockout stages. At least on paper, these three teams look good enough to make it until the quarterfinals at least.

Slavia Prague are the weaker link here, but it’s not easy to play in the Czech Republic. Just ask Viktoria Plzen last season.

There’s only one thing that is secure, though. This season’s Champions League has the potential to be an epic one based on the teams that have made it to the group stage. Now it’s time to wait until the first Matchday comes in September 17th and September 18th.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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