Last week, the Champions League draw took place when the final teams that had made it into the Group Stages were confirmed. The 32 teams have been drawn into eight groups of four, and there are some absolutely massive games to look forward to when the Group Stage starts on September 14th and 15th.

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Let’s now take a look at the full draw for the Group Stage together with our predictions for who will make it into the Champions League knockout stage, who will drop into the, Europa League by finishing third and who will be eliminated.

Champions League Draw

The top two teams in each group qualify for the Champions League Round of 16 knockout phase, with the third placed team in each group entering the Europa League at the knockout stage.

Group A

  • Club Brugge
  • Manchester City
  • Paris St Germain
  • Red Bull Leipzig

Three teams that have contested the semifinals in the past two years have been drawn into Group A. PSG faced Red Bull Leipzig in 2019 (and won), and then lost to Manchester City in the semifinals last year.

Having snapped up Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, Gorginho Wijnaldum and Achraf Hakimi, held onto both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as well as having Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi and Marco Verratti on their books, it is easy to see why PSG are the favourites for the Champions League this year.

So too are Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola still hunting City’s first Champions League trophy after losing out in the final last year to Chelsea. With Jack Grealish now in the squad too, City will be very strong.

How Leipzig perform will be interesting after they lost a couple of key defenders last summer and I think they will likely push the top two hard, but ultimately just fall short. Club Brugge are going to find this group far too tough to handle and may well end up without a point.

Final Table Prediction

  1. Paris St Germain
  2. Manchester City
  3. Red Bull Leipzig
  4. Club Brugge

Group B

  • AC Milan
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Liverpool
  • FC Porto

This has been labelled the Group of Death, with three teams with a total of 15 Champions League victories between them, plus one team that has reached the most finals without ever winning the tournament.

Liverpool probably start the group as slight favourites but they were undone by Atletico Madrid in the knockout phase a couple of years back and then by Real Madrid last season. They won’t enjoy playing Atletico, or an AC Milan side who they beat famously in 2005, but lost to in the final a couple of years later.

FC Porto will be a tricky opponent for all three of the big teams and while AC Milan are an improving side, I think they may have to settle for a Europa League spot.

Final Table Prediction

  1. Liverpool
  2. Atletico Madrid
  3. AC Milan
  4. FC Porto

Group C

  • Ajax
  • Besiktas
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • Sporting Lisbon

Dortmund fans will be very happy with this group considering what it could have been. Ajax, Sporting Lisbon and Besiktas offer tough opposition, but there is no doubt that the German side are the class act of this quartet of teams.

It is going to be interesting to see who comes through the group out of the three other teams. All I feel look well-matched and are relatively newly put together teams and if there is going to be an upset in one of the groups in terms of qualifiers, then I feel this group may well be the one.

Ajax and Lisbon are heavily reliant on young talent which can be a positive or negative, depending on how well these players can adapt to playing in the toughest competition in Europe. How that pans out will likely decide who joins Dortmund in the knockout phase.

Final Table Prediction

  1. Borussia Dortmund
  2. Ajax Amsterdam
  3. Sporting Lisbon
  4. Besiktas

Group D

  • Inter Milan
  • Real Madrid
  • Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Sheriff

If this group looks familiar, it is probably because three of these teams were drawn in the same group last season. Inter, Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk are joined this time by the underdogs Sheriff Tiraspol from Moldova.

I think it is going to be a baptism of fire in the Group Stages for the Moldovans as I expect Inter and Real Madrid to improve on their group stage showing last year to claim the top two spots, with Shakhtar Donetsk likely to finish third in the group.

Final Table Prediction

  1. Real Madrid
  2. Inter Milan
  3. Shakhtar Donetsk
  4. Sheriff Tiraspol

Group E

  • Barcelona
  • Bayern Munich
  • Benfica
  • Dynamo Kyiv

Another group packed with Champions League winners, with 13 Champions League wins between them all. Bayern Munich will start as the group favourites, even with Barcelona in the same group as them. The Catalan giants off the field troubles have seen them forced into some tough choices this year and Bayern could benefit from that.

So could Benfica as if Barcelona slip up then the Portuguese side are most likely to be in a position to capitalise on it, however I don’t think they have quite the quality to get past the Spanish giants this time around.

I do feel they will get the better of Dynamo Kyiv though and end up in the Europa League.

Final Table Prediction

  1. Bayern Munich
  2. Barcelona
  3. Benfica
  4. Dynamo Kyiv

Group F

  • Atalanta
  • Manchester United
  • Villarreal
  • Young Boys

The two Europa League finalists from last year, winners Villarreal and runners up Manchester United join the exciting young Atalanta side as well as Switzerland’s Young Boys in what looks like an intriguing Group F.

I do feel Manchester United’s signings this summer make them the clear favourites here and I would expect them to win the group, with Atalanta and Villarreal likely to battle it out for second place in the group and I just feel the Italians may have the edge there.

Villarreal I feel will drop into the Europa League with Young Boys bringing up the rear.

Final Table Prediction

  1. Manchester United
  2. Atalanta
  3. Villarreal
  4. Young Boys

Group G

  • Lille
  • Red Bull Salzburg
  • Sevilla
  • Wolfsburg

On paper, this does look like the weakest group in the Group Stage, but it is a very well-Premier League numbersmatched one. I think Sevilla are probably the team most likely to win the group as the Spaniards have such good experience in Europe now and I feel are slightly the better team here.

However, the other positions in the group could be a real toss-up. I do worry that Red Bull Salzburg have lost too many key men to contend, while Lille have not started the season that well in France, which makes Wolfsburg a possibility for second.

Of all the group predictions, this is the one I am not overly confident in, and I think so much depends on how teams do at home that will likely decide the outcome of this tough group.

Final Table Prediction

  1. Sevilla
  2. Wolfsburg
  3. Lille
  4. Red Bull Salzburg

Group H

  • Chelsea
  • Juventus
  • Malmo
  • Zenit St Petersburg

This looks a pretty straightforward group to me as I would expect Juventus and Chelsea to be challenging for the top of the table position, with Zenit St Petersburg likely to finish third and Malmo likely a distant fourth.

It should be an intriguing battle between the current holders of the trophy Chelsea, with Italian side Juventus, especially with now in the post-Ronaldo era and back under the stewardship of Massimiliano Allegri.

It isn’t so much a case of who qualifies in this group I believe, it is just who comes top that will be the main question here.

Final Table Prediction

  1. Chelsea
  2. Juventus
  3. Zenit St Petersburg
  4. Malmo

And as for who will win the tournament outright? PSG are the 10/3 favourites with bet365 at the moment and it is hard to argue against that when you see their front line.  I do have question marks about their temperament however and as such I think Manchester United at 8/1 and Liverpool at 9/1 could be good each way bets too.

However, if I was backing to win on the nose, then PSG would be my choice.