The 2020/21 edition of the UEFA Champions League is about to begin. All the teams are drawn to different groups from their respective pots in which they were put. Derbies in the champions league can’t be seen in the group stages because no two teams of the same country are allowed in the same group. This edition will be one of a kind as only 30% of spectators will be allowed in the stadiums to witness their favorite teams battle it out with Europe’s best. The number of live viewers in the stadium can change from country to country.
32 teams placed in 8 different groups will look to give their all and advance to the knockout stages of the biggest club competition globally. Let us look at all of the groups and how the teams are likely to stand at the end of the group stage.
Group A: (Bayern, Atletico, Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moskva) – The first group of the draw saw previous year’s UCL winner Bayern Munich share it with last year’s Quarterfinalist Atletico Madrid, Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg and Russian club Lokomotiv Moskva. This group is a pretty straightforward one with Bayern and Atletico looking to be favorites to go through to the last 16. Salzburg and Lokomotiv will fight for the 3rd place to secure a Europa League Place. This season will see former Barcelona striker Luis Suarez in an Atletico shirt for the first time in this competition and can prove to be the catalyst in their European success this time around.
Group B: (Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter, Monchengladbach) – Group B will see the most successful team in UCL History, Real Madrid, battle it out with Ukranian side, Shakhtar, German side, Borussia Monchengladbach, and last year’s Europa League Runners up, Inter Milan. Real Madrid have qualified through the group stages in every attempt since the start of the 20th century. This group can prove to be just a little trickier as Shakhtar are known to cause some upsets in this competition and can give a tough fight to the two top teams Real Madrid and Inter Milan, who will be hoping to lift the trophy this time.
Group C: (Porto, Man City, Olympiacos, Marseille) – Pep Guardiola’s side will be fighting for their maiden UCL title again this season after their last year defeat to the French side, Lyon, in the quarter-finals. It can be said that they are faced with a not so difficult task, but with previous winners of this cup, Porto, in the group, the task can get from easy to difficult in seconds if they start to display their qualities in the game and are more than capable of causing an upset. Group C will probably see Man City and Porto go through to the next round.
Group D: (Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland) – This group can be considered the group of deaths, with three of the four clubs being considered top clubs who have proven to be lethal in the previous campaigns. Premier League Champions Liverpool will be looking to fight for the top 2 spots with Dutch giants, Ajax, and last year’s UCL quarterfinalists, Atalanta. Group D will be difficult in terms of picking up the top 2 teams, but the favorites on paper are Liverpool and Ajax for sure.
Group E (Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes) – 2020 Europa League winners Sevilla will be looking to impress in the Champions League this season after losing in a tight encounter with Bayern in the UEFA Super Cup this year. This group will also be straightforward as both Chelsea and Sevilla look too good to not qualify for the next round, with first-timers Krasnodar and Rennes being the other two clubs in the competition. This group will only be exciting to see who gets the top spot between the Spanish and English sides this year.
Group F (Zenit, Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge) – Group F will witness Russian Champions Zenit St. Petersburg compete with German and Italian clubs Dortmund and Lazio, respectively, for the two qualification spots. Lazio will again be counting on last year’s golden boot winner Ciro Immobile for the goals. Dortmund will be looking to secure Jadon Sancho for another important season as he is being targeted by Man United this summer. The most likely clubs to go through to the last 16 are Dortmund and Lazio, considering their previous performances.
Group G (Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvaros) – Group G will witness one of the most awaited encounters in World Football at the moment, which is the battle between the two GOATS of football, Ronaldo and Messi. Juventus and Barcelona will fight for the top spot in the group stages with Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencvaros already put to the side with the huge excitement of the repeat of the 2015 Final battle. No group is more apparent in terms of picking out two teams who will qualify for the latter stages of the league.
Group H: (PSG, Man United, RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir) – The group which is most suitable for the title of ‘Group of Death’ is Group H consisting of last year’s Runners Up PSG, Three-time UCL Champions Man United and last edition’s semi finalists RB Leipzig all in the same group. It is evident that Istanbul Basaksehir will end in the last spot. Picking any two clubs out of this lot is pretty difficult but considering the history of these clubs, PSG and United are the two favorites to qualify for the last 16 from Group H.