UEFA Champions League 2015/16 Group Stage draw

The draw for this season’s UEFA Champions League took place earlier and it has thrown together some great matches.

We are here with our thoughts on the draw as well as our predictions on how they will end up.

This is the first season that Pot 1 has been reserved for the Champions League holders and the champions of the top seven leagues in Europe (or top eight, if the Champions League winner is from a top seven nation, which is the case this season).

Groups A-D are as follows:

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Paris Saint-Germain

PSV

Benfica

Juventus

Real Madrid

Manchester United

Atletico Madrid

Manchester City

Shakhtar Donetsk

CSKA Moscow

Galatasaray

Sevilla

Malmo

Wolfsburg

Astana

Monchengladbach

 

Group A

Well this group looks pretty straight forward. Real Madrid will win the group, Paris Saint-Germain will finish runner-ups, with Shakhtar Donetsk coming in third and dropping into the UEFA Europa League.

The clashes between PSG and Real Madrid are the one’s we’re looking forward to most.

Group B

Well this is an interesting group. Manchester United should easily be winning this group with the players they have at their disposal, the long trip to Moscow will be the main difficulty.

PSV, CSKA Moscow, and Wolfsburg will all be looking at this thinking that they can finish runner-ups and reach the knockout stages.

With the European experience that CSKA Moscow have, plus the fact that Manchester United signed PSV’s best player, Memphis Depay, over the summer and Wolfsburg look to be losing their best player, Kevin De Bruyne, we suspect they will finish as runners up, with Wolfsburg dropping into the Europa League.

Group C

Atletico Madrid will be happy with this group and they should be easily winning it. The main battle for second place will be between Galatasaray and Benfica, but we expect Galatasaray to do so.

Group D

The Champions League runners-up Juventus and the Europa League winners Sevilla have been drawn into the same group along with Premier League runner-ups Manchester City and Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach.

This is a hard one to predict. Juventus, Sevilla and Manchester City will all believe they have a good chance to win the group.

Our prediction is that Sevilla will win the group, they have won back-to-back Europa League’s, Juventus will finish second because they have lost a few players this summer, and Manchester City will finish third because they seem to have a mental block when it comes to Europe.

Group E-F are as follows;

Group E

Group F

Group G

Group H

Barcelona

Bayern Munich

Chelsea

Zenit

Bayer Leverkusen

Arsenal

Porto

Valencia

Roma

Olympiakos

Dynamo Kyiv

Lyon

BATE

Dinamo Zagreb

M. Tel-Aviv

Gent

 

Group E

Well the holders Barcelona will win the group, that doesn’t seem in doubt, while BATE will most likely finish bottom. The fight will be between Bayer Leverkusen and Roma for second place.

Leverkusen have more experience in Europe than Roma in recent seasons but Roma have made some good signings this summer and they almost reached the knockout stages last season. We think Roma might just edge it.

Group F

This group will finish in the order it’s already in.

Bayern Munich will top the group. Arsenal will finish runner-ups after beating Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb comfortably but losing to Bayern.

It’s the same story every season for Arsenal. Although they have beaten Bayern in recent seasons during the knockout stages, however it is normally after they’ve lost the home leg and Bayern are sitting comfortably.

Group G

Another group that will finish in the order it is already in.

Jose returns to Porto, where he won this very competition. A return to Porto will also see him face to face with one of his ex players, Iker Casillas, whom he doesn’t share the best relationship with after Jose decided to bench him as he thought there was a better keeper than him.

While the group is pretty straight forward (well it should be), Chelsea will probably wish that they wouldn’t have to do so much travelling, they will clock up over 9,000 miles, while all the other English teams clock up just over or just under 5,000 miles.

Group H

We think Zenit and Valencia will make it through, with Lyon getting third. We are predicting Valencia to top the group, although it wouldn’t be surprising if Zenit did do it.

So going through it will look like this:

Winners

Runner-ups

Real Madrid

PSG

Manchester United

CSKA Moscow

Atletico Madrid

Benfica

Sevilla

Juventus

Barcelona

Roma

Bayern Munich

Arsenal

Chelsea

Porto

Valencia

Zenit

 

It would make for some interesting rounds in the first knockout round and there’s good news for Spain with all five La Liga clubs winning their groups.

 

Those are our predictions. What are yours? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter

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