August 30th marked the draw for the Champions League and there are some interesting groups.

Group A

Atletico Madrid
Borussia Dortmund
Club Brugge

A tough group Atletico Madrid looking to be the favourites by a small margin. With manager Diego Simeone leading the charge they will have a good game plan to top the group. Striker Diego Costa will be a threat for them going forward.

Borussia Dortmund will look to compete with Atletico Madrid and Monaco for the top spot. Marco Reus and Shinji Kagawa will lead the charge for Dortmund.

Monaco, as stated above, will be the third real challenger for the top spot in the group. Falcao will be a huge factor in if Monaco will make it through.

Club Brugge out of the Belgium league will have a tough time with this draw. A strong game plan will do good to pick up points and put pressure on to qualify.

Group B

Tottenham Hotspur
Inter Milan

A group featuring Barcelona is gonna be a difficult one for the other teams in it. A team with Messi is always going to be favourites.

Tottenham is a well-balanced team with little weaknesses. Featuring World Cup golden boot winner and a fantastic playmaker of Eriksen.

PSV will have a lot to do in this group to make it even to the Europa League. If there is a team that hater the draw it’s them.

Inter Milan will be another team in the group eyeing up qualification for the knockout round. Through Icardi as their main man up front, they will have all the chance.

Group C

Paris Saint-Germain
Crvena Zvezda

PSG are the French champions and will look to bring the domestic success to Europe. Neymar and Mbappe will be dangerous for the French side. With a new look in goal with Buffon.

Napoli with manager Carlo Ancelotti will look to put a strong effort in the group. They had a fantastic season finishing just a few points behind Juventus. After a disappointing appearance last year they will push for a qualification.

Liverpool is a favourite in this tournament after their finals apparently last year. A tough draw with the French champions will put them to the test. Salah will need to repeat last season for a chance.

Crvrna Zvezda has it all to do now. They have been drawn into an incredibly difficult group and will need to work hard as the underdogs to find a berth into the knockout stage.

Group D

Lokomotiv Moscow
Schalke 04

What can be seen as the group where every team would be pleased with the drawing group D still presents a tough group. Lokomotiv Moscow will prove as the tough ground to play at in the fall/winter months for teams.

Porto would be a team that would be seen as a favourite to advance into the knockout stage. With goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Hector Herrara, the squad will compete against the teams in the group.

Schalke 04 has been given a boost in the signing of the German international Sebastian Rudy to add into their midfield. Last Bundesliga had the German team finishing second in the table with 8 point gap on the team trailing them. They will be in the mix for the knockout stage.

The Turkish team Galatasaray will be like the Russian team in which when they are home it will be a difficult match. With rumours of the team agree with English player Gary Cahill they look to solidify the squad and look to make it to the knockout phase.

Group E

Bayern München
AEK Athens

The German champion’s campaign looks like one of the easier routes for the big clubs. Though Benfica could cause some troubles if any. The power of the squad and how fantastic Robert Lewandowski has been should be quite enough to take them to the next stage.

The Portuguese runner-ups should be quite happy with this group. They have a tough match in Bayern Munchen but have every chance with the other two group mates.

Like their group mate from Portugal, the Dutch team also placed second in their domestic league last season. They have a group of promising young players ready to shine. An addition of Daley Blind might help push the young kids with a veteran presence on the field and bring in leadership.

The Greek team AEK Athens had two interesting qualifying games to make it into the Champions League pot but they were able to make it through. In a group where there might not be a solidified favourite in the second qualifying spot, they will have to get points they can at home and try and take some away.

Group F

Manchester City
Shakhtar Donetsk
Olympique Lyonnais
1899 Hoffenheim

Manchester City was super impressive last year with record-breaking year winning the Premier League. With all the records the one black spot will be their Champions League campaign which saw them lose to Liverpool. They should have an easy team qualifying.

The Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk took the top spot in their domestic league last season. Their home field should prove to be a difficult place to play with the fans and the odd pyrotechnics. Away matches are where it will be decided for them if they make it to the next stage.

Finishing third in the French league where PSG was able to run away with the title is still an accomplishment. They have a strong attack in Memphis Depay and Nabil Fekir which will push teams in the group to be aware defensively. Might have the edge over the other two teams in the group for the second qualifying spot.

Taking the third spot last year in the Bundesliga in a three-way tie 1899 Hoffenheim will look to take to European football. They will be pretty happy with this group as well as the second spot behind Manchester City is a three-way battle too.

Group G

Real Madrid
CSKA Moscow
Viktoria Plzen

Real Madrid looks to add to their three Champions League trophies in a row and have an interesting group. This year is life without Cristiano Ronaldo who was pivotal to Real Madrid. They should have a relatively easy time qualifying but Roma is a tough club as well as CSKA Moscow away.

Roma placed third in their domestic league last year and will be a tough match for any team in the group. They have a strong striker in Dzeko and a fantastic midfielder in Pastore who will make it tough on opposing teams.

CSKA Moscow will be a tough away match for any team visiting. The fall and winter months will make for cold gruelling matches on top of the far travel teams have to get there. Home will be where they will look to pick up points in an attempt to qualify for the next stage.

Fans hearts must have both dropped and been super excited for the chance to host Real Madrid. The Czech team is facing an uphill battle that would be similar to climbing Everest. They will have to take the underdog story and run with it. A strong team display and tactics are crucial for them to try and qualify.

Group H

Manchester United
BSC Young Boys

Juventus and their new superstar Cristiano Ronaldo may not be a fan of this draw. While there is sentimental value in Ronaldo returning back to Old Trafford it will also present a difficult opponent.

Manchester United face a difficult group. With the reunion of Ronaldo back at Old Trafford and Paul Pogba heading back to Turin there presents storylines of the fixtures. Going to Spain has been a difficult task of late for the Red Devils and Young Boys are a bit of a question mark it sets it up for a tough group.

Valencia has gotten a tough draw in this. Both Juventus and Manchester United will be big tests for them. Though playing in Spain will give them help as it is not an easy stadium to play in. The addition of Gonçalo Guedes will help them on the pitch in the competition. Add into having Michy Batshuayi on loan from Chelsea to help with some offence

The Swiss club BSC Young Boys will find the draw less than ideal. The three teams in the pool will be incredibly difficult to beat.

My Take

Groups A, B, C,  D, and F will be tough groups for the teams involved. Group D will prove the hardest to try and guess which clubs end up where and qualify. Group C with PSG, Napoli, and Liverpool is the group I think will be the most exciting. PSG and Liverpool have exceptional offensive power and Napoli came second in the Italian league just a few points behind the champions.

Group F is another group that will be hard with Juventus and Manchester United but you can not discredit Valencia who will make it difficult on all teams.

All making for a great group stage!

Thoughts on UEFA Champions League Draw Day
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