Sep 1, 2009

UEFA Champions League group stage overview

Which teams will survive the first round of the Champions League?

The long summer of guessing and online gaming is now over, with the groups for the Champion League playoffs finally ready. Let's take a quick look at which teams will make it through to the second round, with our predictions below for the group plays.

Group A

FC Bayern München, Juventus, FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Maccabi Haifa FC

Prediction: Chances are that Bayern and Juve will qualify from this group without breaking a sweat.

Group B

Man. United FC, PFC CSKA Moskva, Beşiktaş JK, VfL Wolfsburg

Prediction: Last year’s finalist Man. U. got a tough draw, but they'll still win this group. We're also picking Wolfsburg to join Man. U in the next round

Group C

AC Milan, Real Madrid CF, Olympique de Marseille, FC Zürich

Prediction: Real has an awesome squad this year and our prediction is they'll easily win their group, followed by Milan.

Group D

Chelsea FC, FC Porto, Club Atlético de Madrid, APOEL FC

Prediction: Porto beat Atlético last year on away goals. We're betting on Porto again this year, with Chelsea to win the group.

Group E

Liverpool FC, Olympique Lyonnais, ACF Fiorentina, Debrecen VSC

Prediction: Liverpool has stunk it up so far in the Premier League and they'll need to get back in their game if they want to be considered a top team in European soccer. We're wagering they will, winning the group. followed by Fiorentina.

Group F

FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, FC Dynamo Kyiv, FC Rubin Kazan

Prediction: There are only two real teams in this group: Barca and Inter. Soccer fans will have two amazing games to look forward to, and those matches will also decide who will win the group. Our money is on Barca.

Group G

Sevilla FC, Rangers FC, VfB Stuttgart, AFC Unirea Urziceni

Prediction: Maybe one of the easiest groups this year. Sevilla will win and Stuttgart will take second place.

Group H

Arsenal FC, AZ Alkmaar, Olympiacos FC, R. Standard de Liège

Prediction: Arsenal has shown a lot of potential in early matches of the Premier League. The loss of top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor hasn't really affected the London team. If you want to bet some money on any of the top British teams to qualify from their group, the safest bet would be Arsenal. Olympiacos will end up as number two in this group