With so little time left until the beginning, we prepared our predictions for each team in the groups A and B. Let’s dig in!
Since they bought the club, PSG’s owners have one dream – winning the Champions League. Paris will most likely become the (old) new champions of France, and the journey to that achievement won’t be very difficult. This allows them to use all of their resources to attack the Champions League title.
On paper they have an amazing squad full of world-class players, but in reality, some individuals harm the harmony within the team. With very good transfer policy this summer, they solved one of their biggest problems – squad depth. It’s no doubt they will qualify for the next round, but the clashes with Real Madrid will be the real indicator of what they are capable of.
After a season to forget, Real Madrid will try everything to get back to the winning podium. This summer they made some huge squad changes, and there is an impression that they have a better team than last season. The core of the squad stayed the same, with Ramos, Modrić and Benzema as the most important figures.
Zidane’s main task is to find the perfect formula that will allow him to conquer Europe, as he already had done three years in a row. It seems that he hasn’t found it yet, but with this squad, Galacticos are undoubtedly one of the biggest candidates for the title. Huge expectations are being placed on Eden Hazard, who has an extremely difficult task to fulfill Cristiano Ronaldo’s boots. Real will probably go through the group easily, but they will have to battle PSG for the first place.
The Turkish champions start the new Champions League season with a lot of new players. This summer they brought several very experienced, star footballers, the most notable being El Tigre – Falcao. And if they had been lucky enough to draw weaker opponents, they could have fought for passing the group. However, in this case, they will probably go for the third place and hope they can get far in the Europa League. But it’s never wise to underestimate Galatasaray, who, with the help of thousands of zealous fans, can beat just about anyone at home.
Fifteen-time Belgian champions have broken the transfer record after spending more than 29 million euros on new signings. In the group with PSG and Real Madrid they would probably be satisfied with the third place and a spot in the Europa League knockout phase. These two giants will be a treat for Brugge’s fans, but they will try to take all 6 points from Galatasaray.
With only three players older than 30, Brugge have a really young and talented squad that will do anything to take points from the big boys. One thing is sure – Club Brugge will be exciting to watch.
Last season the German giant was stopped by Liverpool in the round of 16. This season they believe they can go further, as they did in 2013/14 when they won the title. This summer they bought several top players who should improve their young and talented squad. With their front four (Coutinho, Coman, Gnabry, Lewandowski), plenty of goals and excitement are guaranteed.
Kovač’s team had a solid start of the season, and after winning the Bundesliga seven times in a row, they are again the biggest candidates to lift the trophy. Though, it feels like their Bundesliga competitors are stronger than last season, so they will have to invest more effort to win the league. This means that the depth of their squad will be crucial for the clashes on both fronts. They will probably go through the group easily. They will probably take the maximum amount of points from Olympiacos and Crvena Zvezda, but duels with Tottenham are going to decide on the first place.
Last season’s finalist didn’t have a perfect start of the Premier League league season. This summer they finally signed several players, but all three of them are injured. Spurs’ main strength is their squad chemistry, fine-tuned with a couple of seasons in a row of the complete team playing together. Last season they showed us they are capable to beat teams which are considered stronger than them. With individuals such as Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen there shouldn’t be lack of goals and creativity.
One of the biggest threats could be possible injuries of the main players, for which Spurs don’t have a backup at the bench, especially true for the full-backs. Passing the group shouldn’t be a problem for them, and in the clashes with Bayern they are not without chances. Last season very few of us believed they can go all the way to the final, so we shouldn’t underestimate them again.
The Greek vice-champions had a thrilling summer, in which they brought 13 new players, including some really well-known names, such as Valbuena, Benzia and El Arabi. In the qualifiers the crushed admirable opponents like Viktoria Plzeň, İstanbul Başakşehir and Krasnodar. Not only that, but they conceded only one goal in the six matches in the qualifiers. Olympiacos is always a ferocious opponent, especially at home where the crowd absolutely astounds the guests.
They will try their best to take some points from Spurs and Bayern, but in the matches against Crvena Zvezda, they will have a role of a favorite. It will be extremely difficult to reach the top two spots, but the third spot and a place in the Europa League knockout stage should be acceptable.
The Serbian champions are back in the Champions League for the second year in a row. Last season they managed to take a respectable 4 points in a really hard group with Liverpool, PSG and Napoli. Their biggest strength is their home ground, where even the best players get uneasy in front of the thousands of passionate fans. Their Marakana stadium is often considered as one of the most difficult pitches you can play at.
Away matches are a completely different story for Zvezda though. Last season they lost all of their away games, in which they scored only two goals and conceded thirteen. In qualifications they didn’t win an away match either, apart from the one against København, when they beat them on penalties. This season they probably can’t reach the knockout stage, but they might catch some points, especially at home.