Champions League 2018/19 – Groups A-D

Group A: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Club Brugge.

 

This should be interesting with some big-name matchups, but if Atletico Madrid can find their attacking feet then they’re worthy favourites. They will need to be wary as they went out in a similar group to Chelsea and Roma last season, however, but the additions of Thomas Lemar and Rodri ought to pay off and Diego Costa’s presence too will be useful.

 

Monaco also have just one league win to their name and they’ve played five games too, perhaps feeling the effect of losing their outstanding players for two straight seasons in a row, and this does open a window for Borussia Dortmund to push through.

 

Dortmund have brought a fine new manager to the helm in Lucien Favre and are unbeaten in the Bundesliga, lying in second place behind Bayern Munich after two convincing wins at home. They still carry plenty of firepower with the likes of Marco Reus and Mario Gotze, whilst new English sensation Jadon Sancho continued his fine start to the season by playing a role in both of Borussia Dortmund’s second-half goals against Eintracht Frankfurt, and they should not fear anyone in the group if they can keep their form – unlike last season.

 

They should all prove too strong for Club Brugge, who are unbeaten in the Belgian league but who have conceded plenty of goals – they have no clean sheets in their last four but there’s no bet to be had here with Dortmund just 8/15. A double with Barcelona, however, does make more appeal.

 

Advice: 3 pts double Dortmund To Qualify & Barcelona to win Group B (1.25/1, Hills)

 

Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan.

Plenty of fun to be had with four famous names but Barcelona are traditionally the strongest and they’ve had the strongest start to the season too. Lionel Messi has already put in some mesmerising performances on their way to four wins but Ousmane Dembele also has four goals, Philippe Coutinho is finally settled, and Ter Stergen is also having an excellent start to the season.

 

Tottenham managed to beat Real Madrid to top their group last season and their quality can’t be denied but they have stood still in the transfer market whilst this looks an improved Barcelona outfit at face value and the pair tower over an Inter side that is struggling to adapt to new signings (just four points in four games so far) and a PSV side that whilst in red-hot form, is taking a huge step up in class.

 

Advice: 3 pts double Dortmund To Qualify & Barcelona to win Group B (1.25/1, Hills)

 

Group C: Paris St-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade.

 

Sit back and enjoy what promises to be a tremendous feast of football. PSG and Liverpool scored 48 group goals between them last season, and Napoli scored 77 Serie A goals and earned 91 points. PSG and Liverpool are favourites to go through, but a single slip up leaves them vulnerable. Red Star will have some fantastic trips but could have some long nights.

 

Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray.

 

One of the weakest groups and a chance for a side to earn themselves some big bucks and a tie in the last 16. Porto will fancy their chances significantly given that they face a Schalke side that hasn’t won a game this season tonight whilst Lokomotiv Moscow are tenth in the Russian Premier League.  Galatasaray are in better form, with four wins in the Turkish Super Lig.