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Champions League Set to Heat Up

Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, AC Milan in Group of Death

There’s no doubt that the UEFA Champions League is the best soccer club competition in the world. That’s why we already are hyped about some of the matchups that the Group Stage will be offering. Hey, it’s never too early to start planning your soccer betting strategy regarding the UCL.

Starting on Sept. 14, you’ll be able to enjoy Manchester City vs PSG, Barcelona vs Bayern Munich, Inter Milan vs Real Madrid and more. Also, three previous UCL winners and the La Liga reigning champions will collide in the Group of Death.

Olivier Giroud and teammates celebrate at the end of the Italian Serie A football match between AC Milan and Cagliari
MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

Let’s check and analyze the Group Stage draw while making some predictions!

Champions League Group Stage Draw

Group A

Manchester City signed Jack Grealish thinking about winning the UEFA Champions League. PSG signed Lionel Messi thinking the same thing. Now, they’ll collide twice in what could be a preview of the Grand Finale.

Last season, City lost the title match to Chelsea, while PSG did the same two years ago to Bayern Munich. Thanks to offering a +325 (PSG) and +350 (City) price, they’re among the top soccer picks to win the title.

Neither should have too much trouble advancing to the next round. Group A also includes Leipzig and Club Brugge.

Group B

Winning the UCL isn’t easy. Just ask Atletico Madrid, who lost the title game in 2013-14 and 2015-16. Diego Simeone’s team is ready for another run, but first they have to survive in the Group of Death.

Atletico will be facing three previous UCL winners in Liverpool, Porto and AC Milan. Liverpool won the title in the 2018-19 season. Porto has advanced to the Round of 16 in four of their last five appearances. The Italian side will play the continental tournament for the first time in the last eight years. They’ll do whatever it takes to move forward.

Liverpool is offering a +900 price to win the title while Atletico is +2500, AC Milan +8000, and Porto +15000. I like Liverpool to finish at the top, but second place could go to anyone.

Group C

Unlike the previous two groups, we do have a clear favorite to win Group C. Borussia Dortmund with Erling Haaland leading the way shouldn’t have too much trouble beating Sporting CP, Ajax and Besiktas.

Last season, Dortmund advanced all the way into the quarterfinals, where they lost to Manchester City. Haaland finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 10 goals, two more than Kylian Mbappe.

The German side is offering a +3500 price to win the title. I like Sporting CP to finish second.

Group D

When betting online, momentum is more important than history. Keep that in mind when Inter Milan faces Real Madrid in Group D. The reigning Italian Serie A champions are playing great. Madrid is having some trouble re-adapting to Carlo Ancelotti’s system.

Last season, Inter Milan finished last in Group B, but that allowed them to focus on winning domestically. Now, they’re eager to prove they belong with the European elite. Inter is offering a +6500 price to win the title while Madrid is +1400.

They’ll also face Shakhtar Donetsk and Sheriff Tiraspol. Sheriff Tiraspol will be the first team from Moldova to play in the UCL Group Stage.

Group E

Barcelona lost Lionel Messi, but they remain a very competitive side. They’ll have a great opportunity to prove it when facing Bayern Munich, Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv in Group E. Bayern comes in as the favorite, but I do believe Memphis Depay can lead Barca to an upset.

The German side won the title two seasons ago and now is offering a +700 price to dethrone Chelsea. Barcelona is offering +2000. Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv will have to settle with fighting for third place.

Group F

Group F will offer us a rematch of last season’s UEFA Europa League Final. That’s right, Villarreal will collide with Manchester United. The Yellow Submarine defeated the Red Devils a couple months ago to win the continental title.

However, United invested a lot so that doesn’t happen again. Now they have Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo. They’re offering an +800 price in the odds to win the title.

“Hopefully Cristiano can bring something special as well to make the team even better,” said goalkeeper David de Gea to the press.

Group F also includes Atalanta and Young Boys. Atalanta has finished third in the Serie A the last three seasons. I like them to finish second, while Villarreal will have to settle with playing in the Europa League.

Group G

There’s always a group in which any team can finish first and this is it. Lille, Sevilla, Salzburg and Wolfsburg have pretty much the same chances to advance. Sevilla has more experience, but they’re more used to playing in the Europa League.

Only Salzburg is the favorite to win their domestic title, which means the other three could focus on doing well in the continental tournament.

Group H

Chelsea will begin its title defense facing Juventus, Zenit and Malmo. They’re the clear favorites to win this group, even more so after Ronaldo’s move to Manchester. The Blues’ reinforcements include Romelu Lukaku, who last season scored 24 goals in the Serie A.

Zenit and Malmo chances are not good. Even without Ronaldo, Juventus remains a very competitive side, maybe even better. Chelsea is offering a +800 price in the online sports betting odds to win the title while Juventus is +2600.

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