What to expect in this year’s Champions League!

Sep 13, 2011 by     6 Comments    Posted under: Sports Buzz

Draws for Champions League (2011-2012) have been made and all the thirty-two teams have been divided into eight groups, each consisting of four teams. Two teams from each group will progress through to the knock-out stage. Although, the knock-out stage is very far, in this article, we analyze all the eight groups and tell you what to expect and which teams are likely to progress.

Group A

  • Bayern Munich
  • Villarreal
  • Manchester City
  • Napoli

This group can be called the “Group of Death”. Personally, I fancy Bayern Munich and Villarreal to go through, leaving Man City in Europa League. Villarreal is a very tough unit to beat in their home and have a lethal striking combination. Bayern Munich has added new strength to the squad and has years of European experience to navigate through. Also, it has the ability to beat teams away when it matters (like Juventus a few years ago). Napoli is a great team too and might fancy its chance, but lack of quality might bring its downfall. Over all, matches between Bayern and Man City and Man City vs. Villarreal will be the highlight of the first round. However, Bayern might feel unlucky as they always land themselves in the Group of Death.

Group B

  • Inter Milan
  • CSKA Moscow
  • Lille
  • Trabzonspor

Inter Milan would generally be expected to top the group but the departure of Eto and the change of coaching staff are some problems which may hinder their progress. CSKA Moscow will be very tough to beat at their home considering the freezy temperatures and the artificial pitch. Lille might cause problems as French teams are usually stubborn and do well in Champions League. Lille and Villarreal were in the same group as Manchester United in 2005 and Manchester United finished last in that group. Trobzonspor is likely to finish last and have zero points.

Group C

  • Manchester United
  • Benfica
  • Basle
  • Otelul Galati

Manchester United will have an easy time in Group C. There is only one tough trip to Benfica for them in this group. This is very worrying for their Premier League rivals as Sir Alex Ferguson has nothing to worry about in the Champions League stages. I expect them to maintain 100 % record and concede the least goals just like the last season. Benfica will also be happy as both Basle and Otelul Galati have never passed the group stage and also because they are not regulars. Otelul Galati will cherish the experience of playing with teams like Manchester United and Benfica.

Group D

  • Real Madrid
  • Lyon
  • Ajax
  • Dinamo Zagreb

Lyon will be extremely happy with this group because they are not as strong as they used to be, but they will still expect to progress through easily. Ajax may be Dutch Champions but they have defensive fragilities and might get thrashed by both Real Madrid and Lyon. Let us see who finishes third in this group as Dinamo Zagreb will fancy beating Ajax in their home and Ajax will also be hoping to get some points from them. Lyon and Madrid are facing each other in Champions League for the 4th straight season in group or knock-out stages.

Group E

  • Chelsea
  • Bayer Leverkusen
  • Valencia
  • Genk

Chelsea were tipped as favorites to win the last season and this is the trophy their Russian owner desperately wants. But I don’t think they are getting it for another year. Valencia have beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge not long ago and they might do it again this season. Bayer Leverkusen are no fun either, a very good squad capable of causing problems to anyone on any given day. I think, Chelsea will top the group but it can so easily go another way too. Hence, a treat for neutral fans.

Group F

  • Arsenal
  • Marseille
  • Olympiakos
  • Borrusia Dortmund

German champions Borrusia Dortmund might get going tough for them as Marseille and Arsenal are seasoned Champion’s League teams and they will fancy their chances. Olympiakos is a good team and will give a tough fight too. The two matches between Marseille and Borrusia will decide the fate of the group. Arsenal, with all their problems, are expected to top the group.

Group G

  • Porto
  • Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Zenit St Peterburg
  • APOEL

Shakhtar Donetsk finally have the chance to progress through after missing out agonizingly close in last two seasons against teams like Inter Milan and Barcelona. I tip them to be on top after six matches with Porto as runner up. Zenit have to fancy their chances as Porto does not have a prolific striker and coach. APOEL are the new comers and will be lucky to get a point.

Group H

  • Barcelona
  • AC Milan
  • Bate
  • Viktoria Plzen

The two matches between AC Milan and Barcelona will decide the group winners. I think, both matches will be draws and Barcelona might top the group on goal difference. Italian champions have a very strong squad and they are generally good in Europe.

Action Begins this September.

The Author

Fahaad Humayun is a football fanatic. He loves writing, playing football and following each and every sport. A die hard Man Utd fan, his aim is to bury Man City in world's finest riches of Poopy where they belong. Enjoy reading :p You can follow him on twitter @ fahaadhumayun

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6 Comments + Add Comment

  • Interesting piece. I fancy City to go through along with Bayern Munich in Group A. Also, I think Arsenal have to play out of their skins if they are to qualify to the next round. This year’s Champions League is going to be fantastic.

  • nyce article
    but i really fancy manchester city be doing through top of the group given their explosive start of the season and the quality of squad they apart from that the financial situation the spanish clubs are in the squad of villareal is just not good enough to compete

  • Man city will destroy villareal

  • Very well structured and informative. I personally hope barca win :p

  • guys If you saw Man city vs Napoli you would have understood my concern. they drew at home to an Italian team which doesn’t have much experience of CL. so I still expect Man city to stutter through campaign

  • Man city are practically out of Champions League guys. Just as I predicted ^_^

Keep the discussions clean and productive.

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