Champions League Group Stage Predictions: Who Will Qualify?

The highly-anticipated UEFA Champions League group stages are just around the corner, scheduled to kick off on September 19th and 20th.

This season’s final will be held at the iconic Wembley Stadium, where Manchester City aims to defend their title. However, the competition promises to be fierce, with several clubs eyeing the ultimate prize.

A total of 124 matches are set to take place before the final showdown. To help you prepare for this thrilling journey, we present a comprehensive group-by-group preview as we predict the potential qualifiers from each group.

Group A: Manchester United, Bayern Munich, København, Galatasaray

Group A appears to have a clear distinction between the top and bottom two teams on paper, but football often brings surprises.

Bayern Munich stands out as the clear favorites to dominate this group, boasting an unbeaten streak of 34 group games, a record dating back to September 2017. With the addition of Harry Kane to their squad, Thomas Tuchel’s team is a formidable contender for the tournament victory and is highly likely to secure the top spot.

Manchester United, returning to the competition after a year’s absence, will likely be Bayern Munich’s primary challengers in Group A.

While the Red Devils have faced Bayern’s dominance in the past, they are determined to make a strong comeback.

Notably, this year marks the 30th anniversary of their historic encounter with Galatasaray in İstanbul, a memory they hope to rewrite.

København and Galatasaray had to navigate through three qualifying rounds to reach the group phase. However, as champions of Denmark and Turkey, respectively, they are expected to compete for the third-place spot.

Prediction:

1 – Bayern Munich

2 – Manchester United

3 – Galatasaray

4 – København

Group B: Arsenal, Sevilla, PSV Eindhoven, Lens

Arsenal returns to the Champions League for the first time since 2016, having received a favorable draw in Group B.

Mikel Arteta’s squad managed to avoid the competition’s heavyweights in the draw and are the clear favorites to top the group.

They have consistently finished in the top two of their last 17 Champions League groups since 1999, making them strong contenders to maintain that streak.

Sevilla, though the top seeds in the group, have had a shaky start to their La Liga season with three consecutive losses.

This opens up opportunities for PSV Eindhoven, who come into this campaign with confidence after impressive qualifying victories.

RC Lens returns to major UEFA competition after a 14-year hiatus, and their ability to compete at this level remains uncertain, particularly after the departure of key players.

Prediction:

1 – Arsenal

2 – PSV Eindhoven

3 – Sevilla

4 – Lens

Group C: Real Madrid, Napoli, Braga, Union Berlin

Real Madrid embarks on their quest for a 15th European title, with a remarkable history of not being eliminated before the round of 16 since 1962. Carlo Ancelotti’s team is the strong favorite to top this group.

Napoli, as the top seeds, are riding high after ending their 33-year Scudetto drought and their quarter-final appearance last year.

Union Berlin’s remarkable journey from Bundesliga newcomers to Champions League participants adds intrigue to this group, while Braga returns to the group stage after an 11-year absence.

Prediction:

1 – Real Madrid

2 – Napoli

3 – Union Berlin

4 – Braga

Group D: Real Sociedad, Benfica, Internazionale, RB Salzburg

Group D features last season’s runner-up, Internazionale Milano, and promises to be an intriguing battle.

Internazionale is favored to top the group, although Benfica, who led their group last season, will be eager to challenge them.

Real Sociedad aims to end their decade-long Champions League hiatus, while RB Salzburg seeks to regain their previous form after key departures.

Prediction:

1 – Internazionale

2 – Benfica

3 – Real Sociedad

4 – RB Salzburg

Group E: Atlético Madrid, Feyenoord, Lazio, Celtic

Group E presents an intriguing mix of clubs, each believing they have a shot at success.

Atlético Madrid, after finishing at the bottom of their group last season, aims for redemption and is favored to progress.

Feyenoord, as top seeds, seek to capitalize on their Eredivisie triumph, while Lazio and Celtic hope to seize opportunities and surprise their opponents.

Prediction:

1 – Atlético Madrid

2 – Feyenoord

3 – Lazio

4 – Celtic

Group F: Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, Newcastle

Group F is a formidable “group of death,” featuring the return of Newcastle United after two decades.

Paris Saint-Germain, perennial contenders, face a new challenge after losing key players. AC Milan, bolstered by their transfer activity, aims to continue their resurgence.

Borussia Dortmund seeks to improve their campaign, and Newcastle has a tough reintroduction to the competition.

Prediction:

1 – AC Milan

2 – Paris Saint-Germain

3 – Newcastle United

4 – Borussia Dortmund

Group G: Manchester City, RB Leipzig, BSC Young Boys, Crvena zvezda

Defending champions Manchester City look to secure their spot at the top in Group G. RB Leipzig, despite significant departures, is expected to progress. Crvena zvezda, back after a long absence, aims to make an impact, while BSC Young Boys, though underdogs, may cause surprises.

Prediction:

1 – Manchester City

2 – RB Leipzig

3 – Crvena zvezda

4 – BSC Young Boys

Group H: Barcelona, Porto, Royal Antwerp, Shakhtar Donetsk

Barcelona, after two consecutive group stage exits, aims for a better outcome. FC Porto eyes another round of 16 appearance, while Shakhtar Donetsk represents Ukraine with pride. Debutants Royal Antwerp face a challenging introduction to the competition.

Prediction:

1 – Barcelona

2 – Porto

3 – Shakhtar Donetsk

4 – Royal Antwerp

As the UEFA Champions League group stage unfolds, these predictions will provide a glimpse into the potential qualifiers. Be prepared for captivating matches and unexpected twists on the road to Wembley.

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