The Champions league group phase kick offs again!
We had the teaser already with the qualification, but we aren't yet at the main course, not even close to the desert. I do see the group stage more as the soup or something the still the hunger just for the main course. Yes there are some great games coming up and yes there are some groups where it could be close, but we have the honest that the format of the Champions League is designed in such way that the bigger clubs have more chance getting further than smaller clubs! The champions league doesn't even cover the clubs anymore. We have to remind ourselves that there are more clubs participating in the group stage who aren't crowned champion last season than the one who did!
On the other side we do have to be honest and that for instance that we do like big clubs fighting it out on the field!
Let's have a look at the 4 groups who do kick off this evening.
Strange that they don't start with group A to D, no instead group E to F do have the honor!
In this group there should be 2 clear favorites to go through to the knock-out phase of the Champions League. Milan has the best chance in my opinion. Chelsea could be hot or cold, they probably will loose some point away from home, but should gather enough points in their home game to become second in the group.
I do favor Salzburg slightly over Zagreb for the third place!
The group with the reining champion Real Madrid. Another mind fuck of the Uefa. Why not place the winner in group A? Not that it does matter, but still.
Real is the clear favorite to win the group and the other 3 teams will battle it out who will join them to the next round! Leipzig probably has the best team, while the home game will give Celtic a boost. Shahktar will something special. I also have no idea if they will be allowed to play their home games in Ukraine, which will be a disadvantage.
I will favor Leipzig for the second place and Celtic grabbing third.
On paper maybe the most interesting group for today. Copenhagen should have no chance qualifying for the next phase or even the Europa League, but they will be the tie breaker who should become second and third in this group. This is also the group, with bookmaker's favorite to lift the throphy at the end of the season, Man City. Could this finally be the season where they can lift the trophy? Did had an excellent signing with Haaland, which could become a deadly couple with DeBruyne. Something were every football lover is looking for. And to make it special Dortmund is also present in this group. Sevilla doesn't had the best start in La Liga, so I do expect them the end third in the group, while City and Dortmund will march on.
In this group another team desperately wanting to win the trophy. Against almost all odds they did some magic and did keep Mbappe on board. While the team in incredible when in possession almost even letal, they do lack some defensive discipline which probably will rule them out to reach the final.
I do expect that Juventus and Befica will battle it out for third, while Haifa will be delighted if they don't lose all 6 games!
It's still the group stage that there is no much pressure, but the news would come up if any of the small clubs beat the big clubs.
And that will happen of course. Last year Barcelona was knocked out in the group phase.
And this year probably another one of the bigger teams will be eliminated, think about Sevilla, Dortmund, Chelsea (also not playing great) or any other.
Chelsea has lost the first match now, Celtic are playing with determination now, of course Sevila would loose to Manchester City, Dortmund may prove stubborn too