clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Reaction and predictions: The UEFA Champions League group stage draw

New, comments

We give our thoughts on each group and predict who will survive to the next round.

UEFA Champions League 2020/21 Group Stage Draw Photo by Harold Cunningham - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Amid all the awards that Bayern Munich won, we had an important fixture in European football: the group stage draw for the UEFA Champions League. With the Bavarians set to defend their title, the question now is who will Bayern have to play in order to get there?

In this article, we go through each group in the competition, and make our predictions as to who will move on.


Group A

Jake Fenner

There goes my hope that this was gonna be easy for Bayern. It’s gonna be a fun group, with two teams clearly going through, but imagine if we had this group last year and had to face an angry Erling Haaland...yikes

1. Bayern Munich 2. Atletico Madrid 3. Lokomotiv Moscow 4. RB Salzburg

Josh Tobolt

I mean I think with the exception of Atletico Madrid, this one should be filled with high scoring games for Bayern. Bayern have traditionally done well vs. lower tier teams and Lokomotiv should be no different. As for RB Salzburg, well as my peer above me said, glad we’re not playing an Erling Haaland led RB Salzburg.

1. Bayern Munich 2. Atletico Madrid 3. RB Salzburg 4. Lokomotiv Moscow

Evan Vanderpool

Bayern and Atletico are the obvious top dogs and will progress. However make no mistake, it is quietly a very tough group.

1. Bayern 2. Atletico 3. Lokomotiv Moscow 4. Salzburg


Group B

Jake Fenner

This is a tough group. It’s my second choice for group of death, but my pick comes much later. I don’t expect a good result for the Germans in this group, and both Shakhtar and Inter made it to the Europa League semifinals. This is gonna be a bumpy ride to the finish.

1. Real Madrid 2. Inter Milan 3. Shakhtar Donetsk 4. Borussia Mönchengladbach

Josh Tobolt

I think this group will be full of wildcard placements. I don’t see a clear cut No. 1 team. Real Madrid is Real Madrid, but they’ve also had issues in the past with German squads not named Bayern. Inter played well but just choked in the Europa Cup finale. I see some quality matches, however.

1. Borussia Mönchengladbach 2. Real Madrid 3. Inter Milan 4. Shakhtar Dontesk

Evan Vanderpool

Another dense group, Shakhtar is no fun to play and Gladbach will be a tough out. Real Madrid and Inter Milan will advance, Inter has a tremendous squad and will be a force in the tournament.

1. Inter Milan 2. Real Madrid 3. Mönchengladbach 4. Shakhtar Donetsk


Group C

Jake Fenner

This one is tough. Not because there’s not a clear winner, but because of that second place battle. With the assumption that City is gonna win this group, I could see any of the remaining three teams making it to the next round. I imagine most people will go with Porto, but I’ll go with the team from the south of France.

1. Man City 2. Marseille 3. Porto 4. Olympiacos

Josh Tobolt

Clear cut No. 1, the rest honestly is a roll of the dice. I think Marseille is the most talented of the others, however.

1. Manchester City 2. Marseille 3. Porto 4. Olympiakos

Evan Vanderpool

This group is up for grabs. Manchester City will obviously breeze through and the second spot will be either Porto or Olympiakos.

1. Manchester City 2. Porto 3. Olympiakos 4. Marseille


Group D

Jake Fenner

Woof...this is gonna be a barnburner. If Ajax was able to hold on to all of their youth talent from a few years ago, I imagine they’d be a safe bet here. But gimme the Scousers and the Bergamasco for this one.

1. Liverpool 2. Atalanta 3. Ajax 4. Midtjylland

Josh Tobolt

Ajax got screwed in this grouping. With the exodus of all their elite young talent, this squad is nowhere near the quality of years past. Atalanta look to build on their club-record performance from last year.

1. Liverpool 2. Atalanta 3. Ajax 4. Midtjylland

Evan Vanderpool

This is a hellacious group and the worst possible draw for Ajax it will be tough to compete with Liverpool and Atalanta for the top two spots. Atalanta vs. Liverpool x2 will be must watch.

1. Liverpool 2. Atalanta 3. Ajax 4. Midtjylland


Group E

Jake Fenner

I’ll be half asleep for these. It’s such a top heavy group that I doubt Lampard or Lopetegui will field their first teams. In terms of who finishes where, gimme Sevilla at the top just for the sake of it.

1. Sevilla 2. Chelsea 3. Stade Rennes 4. Krasnodar

Josh Tobolt

This is the most clear cut group of the top two out of any of the groupings. All that is to be decided is who is No. 1 and No. 2. I take Sevilla to best Chelsea.

1. Sevilla 2. Chelsea 3. Stade Rennes 4. Krasnodar

Evan Vanderpool

Soft group for the top two squads. Sevilla and Chelsea should easily progress.

1. Sevilla 2. Chelsea 3. Krasnodar 4. Stade Rennes


Group F

Jake Fenner

Oooooooh...this should be fun. Brugge have great youth talent, Zenit are....interesting to say the least and then we have Dortmund and Lazio who both are doing well in their respective leagues. I expect a tough battle for 2nd, but I’ll just say those Lazio-Zenit games would be just two teams trying to out-Right Wing each other if there were fans in the stands.

1. Dortmund 2. Lazio 3. Zenit St. Petersburg 4. Club Brugge

Josh Tobolt

Dortmund is playing really good. Haaland is the clear cut No. 2 striker in the BL behind Lewy and Marco Reus is also healthy (again) so they’re dangerous. Lazio is full of veteran talent that if they can put it all together can make a deep run and I like Brugge to be this years dark horse to be 2018-2019’s Ajax.

1. Dortmund 2. Lazio 3. Club Brugge 4. Zenit St. Petersburg

Evan Vanderpool

This group is pretty wide open as well. Dortmund has to advance and the #2 spot is really up for grabs for the other three teams. Dortmund and Lazio go through.

1. Dortmund 2. Lazio 3. Zenit 4. Brugge


Group G

Jake Fenner

I don’t know if Leo and Cristiano have ever met in the group stages before this, but now it’s time for the two to face off for the first time since Ronaldo left Spain. The two of them are obviously gonna top the group and given Barca is in shambles, I’ll give it to Juve.

1. Juventus 2. Barcelona 3. Dynamo Kyiv 4. Ferencvaros

Josh Tobolt

LOL Messi and Ronaldo. The other two clubs stand no chance. All this will come down to is “Whose the better player?” part 956.

1. Juventus 2. Barcelona 3. Dynamo Kiev 4. Ferencvaros

Evan Vanderpool

Messi and Ronaldo in the same group, enough said. Juve and Barca are a weight class or five above the rest of the group.

1. Juventus 2. Barcelona 3. Dynamo Kyiv 4. Ferencvaros


Group H

Jake Fenner

Now this one is the perennial “Group of Death” per se. Frankly, I love it. Basaksehir, well they won’t make it. But the other three squads? Lordy, this will be fun. Will PSG cope well with their finale loss? How will Leipzig deal with the loss of Werner? Does Manchester United stop being the joke of the Premiere League? Tune in to find out.

1. Paris-Saint German 2. RB Leipzig 3. Manchester United 4. Istanbul Basaksehir

Josh Tobolt

This group looks like UEFA did a bump of coke. Obvious choice for group of death here. My heart wants to say Leipzig are gonna make it out but it’s gonna be close now that they’ve been torn apart through transfers. But then again, Manchester United has a trash backline so....

1. PSG 2. RB Leipzig 3. Manchester United 4. Istanbul Basaksehir

Evan Vanderpool

Tough pot. It should be a wide open race for the top three, I wouldn’t be surprised by anybody getting left out. It’s likely Nagelsmann’s squad and Manchester United will be foight fighting for the No.2 seed. Enjoy the Europa League again Ole! PSG and Leipzig advance.

1. PSG 2. RB Leipzig 3. Manchester United 4. Istanbul Basaksehir


It’s gonna be a fun season of Champions League football. Let us know your predictions in the comments.