UEFA Champions League 2015/2016
Featuring Paris Saint-German, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmo, everybody might have guessed who’s going to be in the two first places. Real Madrid and PSG will go head to head to grab that first place from each other, but I think that, like last year, PSG will have a bad luck against a Spanish team and will be positioned 2nd. They may do well in their home, maybe winning with a low advantage (1 goal), but in Madrid there won’t be any surprises. As for the third place, Shakhtar Donetsk has just a little bit of advantage against Malmo. You can also see from the qualification rounds that Malmo did just a little better, by scoring 5 goals (2 home, 3 away), but against a weaker team such as Celtic. Shakhtar just scored 2 goals, but he grabbed 4 points from his opponent. I am sure that Shakhtar Donetsk will face a really good team and will have problems in Sweden. Stats have shown that most of the times Malmo can keep a clean sheet at home.
In this group, Manchester United is thought to be positioned first, but it’s not going to be an easy trip. Wolfsburg has shown great potential last year, by defeating Bayern Monaco at home 4-0 and also by finishing 2nd in the league and winning “Die Pokal”. PSV has great young talents. One of them was also Memphis Depay, who is now part of United and a very important player of it. PSV will try their best to finish 2nd, but they will go only to the 3rd place. Maybe miracle will happen for PSV, but it’s very hard. Wolfsburg will be there at any step Manchester United will do and be ready to take the lead at any time. As for CSKA Moscow, they could have had a better luck. It’s going to be a great opportunity for them to play against these big clubs and maybe learn something from them. All they need to do is to show their biggest potential in the field and maybe grab some points.
One very easy group for Athletico Madrid. They will face no problems in ranking first. Even though they have sold some of their important players, Atl. Madrid ranks in the top 3 places for money spent this summer for marketing, so we will see a great team in the field. Benfica and Galatasaray will battle against each other for the second place. As for Astana … just thank you for participating. They bet APOEL in the final rounds, but they aren’t such a great team either. Galatasaray and Benfica are two teams in the same level. It’s going to be two great even matches. As for what I think, Galatasaray will finish 2nd and Benfica 3rd, even though Benfica had a better start in the league than Galatasaray (4* to 1*).
THE GROUP OF DEATH!!! The best group there is and the most unpredictable one. Featuring the Old Lady (Juventus), Manchester City, Sevilla and Bayern Moenchengladbach, I guess that all the football fans are happy from this draw. Now let’s analyze every team here:
Juventus was the runner-up in the last UCL final against Barcelona. They did well there, but they could have given even more. This year they don’t have three of their key players from last year: Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal. They have done some good transfers this summer, by bringing in Turin Mario Mandzukic, Sami Khedira, Alex Sandro, Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado. But if you see their first match in the league, they weren’t in their highest form (lost against Udinese 0-1). This weekend they have a great match against Roma, which will determine their ranking in the league. For the first match they may be excused, because they didn’t have some of their key players, like Alvaro Morata and Sami Khedira.
The Citizens had a great start in the league, by grabbing the 9 first points and scoring 8 goals. They had a great test in the 2nd against Chelsea, which they won 3-0, showing great team collaboration. Their biggest signing is Raheem Sterling, which cost them £49 million. He has shown great potential in the first games, leaving no doubts to Manchester City’s supervisors about buying him from Liverpool. They may also buy Kevin De Bruyne in these last days from Wolfsburg.
Not a good start for Sevilla, drawing in the first game against Malaga and in the Spanish Supercup against Barcelona (then they were defeated in EX). Sevilla comes as UEFA Europa League winners, in a final against Dnipro, with a lot of emotions and feelings. Dnipro did all they could and achieved to draw in the first half of the game, but they couldn’t hold Sevilla any more, when in the 73’ Bacca scored for Sevilla. Sevilla did also good in the semi-finals where they dominated Fiorentina. They haven’t done good transfers by selling really good players (key players like Bacca) and bringing new ones, but they still are a team to be beaten.
Bayern Moenchengladbach is the last in the league table by being defeated from both Borussia Dortmund (0-4) and Mainz (1-2). So, this group is not going to be easy for them. Last season they finished 3rd, pretty close to the 2nd place, but, as it looks like, they aren’t the same team from the last season. There is something that they are missing in the team. Hopefully they find it soon... pretty soon.
As for my opinion for the rankings, Juventus and Manchester City will share with each other the two first places and Sevilla will be ranked 3rd. I want you to remember that these are MY predictions. If you have any predictions of your own you can live them on the comment sections. Later I will publish the analysis for the remaining groups. Thank you very much.