Champions League 2013/14 Group Predictions
The groups draw for the European Champions League took place on August 29th. There are eight groups of four teams and they all appear to be pretty even. There are a few groups that may be a bit tougher than the rest, such as Groups B, F and H and we should see some good names over the next few months. The league gets underway on September 17 and will wrap up on May 24 in Lisbon, Portugal. Defending champions are Bayren Munich after winning the all German final (image).
Some of the big games to look forward to is Real Madrid v Juventus, Bayern Munich v Man City and Barcelona v Milan among others. We will present you some good news and predictions from us at onlinegamblingpro.com.
The 32 teams will play each other team in their group once at home and once away. When the group stage is completed the top two clubs will advance while the third-place teams will drop down to the Europa League and the cellar dwellers will pack up and go home.
Group A is made up of Manchester United (England), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), Real Sociedad (Spain), and Bayer Leverkusen (Germany).
Group B consists of Real Madrid (Spain), Juventus (Italy), Galatasaray (Turkey), and F.C. Copenhagen (Denmark).
Group C features Benfica (Portugal), Paris Saint-Germain (France), Olympiakos (Greece), and Anderlecht (Belgium).
Group D includes Bayern Munich (Germany), CSKA Moscow (Russia), Manchester City (England), and Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic).
Group E is made up of Schalke 04 (Germany), FC Basel (Switzerland), and Steaua Bucharest (Romania).
Group F consists of Napoli (Italy), Arsenal (England), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), and Marseille (France).
Group G features Porto (Portugal), Atletico Madrid (Spain), Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), and Austria Vienna (Austria).
Group H houses Barcelona (Spain), AC Milan (Italy), Ajax Amsterdam (Holland), and Celtic (Scotland).
Group A – Predicted Standings
Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, and Real Sociedad
Manchester United should top this group and the race for second place will be a good one. Shakhtar Donetsk gave Chelsea a hard time last season, but they’ve lost a couple of their best players during the summer transfer window in Fernandinho and Willian. Bayer Leverkusen could be a handful in this group. They came in third place in the German Bundesliga last season and are used to tough games while Real Sociedad will likely finish in the basement.
Group B – Predicted Standings
Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen
This is one of the tougher groups. Real Madrid has a new look about them with Carlo Ancelotti taking over the managerial reins from Jose Mourinho. They’ve picked up Isco over the summer and Welsh wizard Gareth Bale could be added soon. Their toughest competition will come from Italian champions Juventus. Galatasaray has the potential to pull off an upset or two, but things don’t look as good for Danish club F.C. Copenhagen.
Group C – Predicted Standings
Paris St Germain, Benfica, Olympiakos, Anderlecht
This should be a bit of a dogfight between Benfica and PSG for top spot. The French club has spent a couple of hundred million pounds over the past two years on players and has the likes of Uruguayan international striker Edinson Cavani and Swedish scoring machine Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the side. PSG also has a new manager in Laurent Blanc as he takes over from Carlo Ancelotti. Benfica is a strong team and underrated and should finish in the top two. This leaves Anderlecht and Olympiakos to fight it out for third place.
Group D – Predicted Standings
Bayern Munich, Manchester City, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen
Last season’s Champions League winners Bayern Munich should top this group followed by Manchester City. The English club has a lot to prove after finishing last in their group in 2012/13 without winning a game. Munich, who are now managed by Pep Guardiola and Man City, now managed by Manuel Pellegrini, have added players in the summer and this won’t help the chances of CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.
Group E – Predicted Standings
Chelsea, Schalke, Basel, Steaua Bucharest
Jose Mourinho is back in charge at Chelsea and he’s added several players in the transfer window. The team is going to be hard to beat and that should see them win this group. Schalke came in fourth in Germany last season and are a decent side and Basel gave Manchester United fits in the competition last year. The biggest battle in this group will probably be for third place and a berth in the Europa League.
Group F – Predicted Standings
Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Napoli, Marseille
This is arguably the toughest group in the tournament. Borussia Dortmund made it all the way to the final last season and should take top spot here. Arsenal and Napoli are both in tough to try to finish second. Arsenal has several injuries to contend with and manager Arsene Wenger has been quiet in the transfer window with Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini as the only newcomers so far. Napoli will give them a run for the money even though Edinson Cavani has left town. However, they picked up Gonzalo Higuain as a replacement, but Rafael Benitez is now the new manager and that could be their downfall.
Group G – Predicted Standings
Atletico Madrid, Porto, Zenit St Petersburg, Austria Vienna
Atletico Madrid has a good shot at first place here since Porto has lost a few good players over the summer. But the same could be said about Atletico since Colombian striker Ramadel Falcao took off and joined up with French side Monaco. However, they replaced him with David Villa of Barcelona, who is Spain’s all-time international leading scorer. Zenit St Petersburg is a pretty strong side, but Austria Vienna are competing in their first ever Champions League group stage.
Group H – Predicted Standings
Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax Amsterdam, Celtic
Many fans feel this is the strongest of the eight groups and they could be right. Unfortunately for Celtic they face Barcelona again, but don’t forget they beat them 2-1 last season and finished the group in second place. Barcelona has a new manager this season and Brazilian striker Neymar was signed while David Villa left. The Spanish champions and AC Milan will duke it out for first with Ajax and Celtic battling it out for a Europa League spot. Celtic could pull off another shocker though at the expense of Milan or Barcelona, but have lost a couple of good players including striker Gary Hooper.
Sportsbook William Hill currently lists Bayern Munich as the favourites to win the title at 7/2 with Barcelona at 4/1 and Real Madrid at 5/1. Chelsea is next at 10/1 with Manchester City and Manchester United at 12/1. F.C. Copenhagen and Celtic are the two longest shots at 1000/1 with Viktoria Plzen at 750/1.