Champions League 2018/19: Group Stage Predictions | Def Pen
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Cred. Sports Illustrated

The group phase draw for the Champions League has taken place and football fans all around the world are in for a treat. Some groups have an obvious favorite. However, in others, it is nearly impossible to guess. Until the desired European football nights come, we can only speculate which teams will continue.

Group A

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Atletico Madrid/ Getty

Atletico Madrid
Borussia Dortmund
AS Monaco FC
Club Brugge

Atletico showed their class in pre-season and as well as being favorites for their Champions League group, they might also be a real threat for the La Liga trophy. With their home ground Wanda Metropolitano hosting the final of this year’s competition, this might be another reason for the Spanish side to want to go far. Monaco is expected to finish right behind the runner-up, Dortmund, with the match between the two being the potential decider.

Winner: Athletico Madrid
Runner-up: Borussia Dortmund

Group B

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Barcelona’s Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic (L) celebrates scoring his team’s fifth goal during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and SD Huesca at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 2, 2018. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)

Barcelona
Tottenham
Inter Milan
PSV Eindhoven

Group B, one of the ”groups of death”, offers us great entertainment. Barcelona will be looking to prove why they are one of the world’s best once again after an unexpected quarter-final loss against Roma. On the other hand, Tottenham showed great class last year and narrowly lost to Italy’s Juventus. After a great transfer window, Inter also has a big chance of continuing in the tournament, despite their bad start in Calcio A.

Winner: Barcelona
Runner-up: Tottenham

Group C

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Liverpool/ Getty

Liverpool
Paris Saint-Germain
Napoli
Red Star Belgrade

Paris Saint-Germain might be the first choice for many but Liverpool’s squad depth, a new goalkeeper, and experience from last year’s tournament will help them finish top of the group. PSG are determined to show their dominance on the European scene after going home early following a defeat by current champions – Real Madrid. Napoli shouldn’t be overlooked as experienced manager Carlo Ancelotti can bring the biggest surprise of the tournament this year. One thing is for certain- great games and many goals.

Winner: Liverpool
Runner-up: Paris Saint-Germain

Group D

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Schalke/ Getty

Schalke
Galatasaray
Porto
Lokomotiv Moscow

The group without a clear winner, this can be anyone’s game. Schalke, though, look the most likely to top the group after they finished the Bundesliga in second last year, ahead of Dortmund, Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig. The second place choice was quite tough, but Turkish giants Galatasaray have an edge over the Portuguese champions, Porto. Despite being in Pot 1, Lokomotiv Moskva is the biggest underdogs in the group. But can the other teams do it ‘on a cold rainy night’ in Russia?

Winner: Schalke
Runner-up: Galatasaray

Group E

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Bayern Munich/ Getty

AEK
Ajax
Bayern Munich
Benfica

Bayern is unarguably the favorite team in the group. It would not be surprising to see them finish without losing a single point, but their opponents shouldn’t be underestimated. The real fight will be for second place as Benfica and Ajax’s talented young sides will battle it out, with the Dutch team just pipping one of Portugal’s elite.

Winner: Bayern Munich
Runner-up: Ajax

Group F

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Manchester City/ Getty

Manchester City
Shakhtar Donetsk
Lyon
Hoffenheim

The record-breaking English side has big ambitions and shouldn’t have trouble finishing on top of the group, especially if they want to be considered as one of this year’s favorites for winning the tournament. On the other hand, the second place in the group will be very challenging. Ukranian title-holder Shakhtar could spring a surprise this year, though, although both Hoffenheim and Olympique Lyon seem to have improved greatly from last year.

Winner: Manchester City
Runner-up: Shakhtar Donetsk

Group G

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Real Madrid/ AP

Real Madrid
Roma
Plzen
CSKA Moscow

It is pretty obvious which two teams will continue in the international competition. The 13-time Champions League winners, Real Madrid, are main contenders for winning it once again, despite losing their all-time top scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo. The expected runner-up, Roma, also sold a key-player by the name of Alisson but that shouldn’t stop them from qualifying for the next round with ease.

Winner: Real Madrid
Runner-up: Roma

Group H

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Juventus/ Sky Sporeno

Juventus
Manchester United
Young Boys
Valencia

Juventus are in amazing form after their great transfer window and are now closer than ever to winning the Champions League. Manchester United have faced a lot of criticism after a disappointing start in the Premier League and if they don’t change something soon, keeping up in the European tournament will become a very hard task. Valencia will be looking to take advantage of this but the historical English club will still succeed.

Winner: Juventus
Runner-up: Manchester United

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