The Champions League groups have been drawn and we take a look at what we have to look forward to in this year’s competition.
The Big Sides
Last year’s champions Barcelona (2/1) have been drawn in Group E with Roma (100/1), Leverkusen (150/1) & BATE (2000/1) and are a very very short 1/25 on to qualify from their group.
Runners-up Juventus (27/1) have been drawn in what could be this years “Group of Death” with Man City (12/1), Europa League champions Sevilla (66/1) & Monchengladbach (250/1). Juve are in fact 2nd-favourite, behind City, to progress from the group at 4/7.
Group A looks to contain some tasty fixtures as Real Madrid (5/1) & PSG (16/1) have been drawn alongside one another with Shakhtar Donetsk (100/1) & Malmo (1500/1) which certainly won’t be easy sides to face especially on their own grounds. The 2013-14 European champions are 1/20 favourites to qualify from their group with PSG 1/7 on to progress. Fancy a shock? You can get Shakhtar at 10/3 & Malmo at 14/1 to make it out of this interesting group.
Bayern Munich (4/1) have been drawn in Group F and are a extremely short 1/50 on to qualify from their group which also contains Arsenal (20/1), Olympiacos (400/1) & Dinamo Zagreb (2000/1).
Another interesting group is Group C which contains some big teams such as Atletico Madrid (20/1), Benfica (100/1), Galatasaray (200/1) as well as the new boys Astana (2500/1). Atletico are of course favourites to progress from Group C at 1/9 with Benfica 2nd-favourites to make it through at 8/15. You can back the Turks at evens to qualify or if you fancy a bit of a fairytale story for Astana, you can get them at 14/1 to make it through to the knockout stages.
The English Sides
The 4 English sides were each drawn in different groups (as per the rules of the draw) and it is Chelsea (10/1) who look to have been given the kindest draw of the English sides as they will face Dynamo Kyiv, Maccabi Tel Aviv & Jose Mourinho’s former side Porto in Group G of the competition. Their fixtures will by no means be easy but they will be expected to make it through to the next round and are 1/25 to do so.
European strugglers, Man City (12/1) look to have been drawn in the most difficult group of the Premier League sides. Pellegrini’s team who have failed to make it past the round of 16 in 4 consecutive attempts, were drawn in Group D with Juventus, Sevilla & Monchengladbach. Man City are in fact favourites ahead of Juventus at 2/7 to qualify from their group.
Louis Van Gaal’s Man United (16/1) have been handed a fair draw facing Wolfsburg (80/1), CSKA (150/1) & PSV (400/1) in the group stages and the Reds are 2/7 favourites to make it through.
Arsenal (20/1) are drawn against German giants Bayern Munich, Olympiacos & Dinamo Zagreb and are obvious 2nd-favourites to progress from their group at 1/6.
The “Group of Death”
As usual the Champions League is a competition featuring the best of the best but Group D is appropriately being touted as this season’s “Group of Death”. With European giants Juventus & big-money spending Man City involved with Europa League winners Sevilla & German side Monchengladbach who finished 3rd in the Bundesliga last season, this group will feature some mouthwatering ties. City are favourites to win the group at evens with Juventus behind them at 15/8. You can get Sevilla at 5/1 & Monchengladbach at 12/1 if you fancy them to take control of what could be the group to watch.