The UEFA Champions League Group Stage Will Be Lit

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The 2015-2016 season is finally here, and we are very excited. Although only three months have passed since Barcelona defeated Juventus in the May final, we can’t wait to see more Champions League games because, well, why not. They are simply great games, and we like great games.

The UEFA Champions League drawing ceremony just took place, and there are definitely some interesting groups, which means there will be some epic games.

UEFA made the effort to make the whole ceremony glamorous and interesting, but the simple fact is that draws are not exciting, so despite the fact that they invited famous players and had the host try to be funny, the whole thing was somewhat awkward. But who cares – the real excitement will begin on September 15, when the first group matches are scheduled to start.

Group A

  • Real Madrid (SPA)
  • PSG (FRA)
  • Shaktar Donestk (UKR)
  • Malmo FF (SWE)

This is a very tough group, but Real Madrid and PSG should come out triumphant, although Shaktar always plays well in the European tournament and Malmo already surprised Celtic in the elimination round.

Group B

  • PSV (NED)
  • Manchester United (ENG)
  • CSKA Moskva (RUS)
  • Wolfsburg (GER)

This is probably the most evenly matched group of the tournament. All the teams have good chances of advancing, which makes things very interesting. United is undoubtedly the most successful team, but they haven’t been playing that well in the last few years, so advancing to the next round will definitely be a challenge.

Group C

  • Benfica (POR)
  • Atlético (SPA)
  • Galatasaray (TUR)
  • FC Astana (KAZ)

Another evenly matched group. Atlético is the favorite, while Benfica and Galatasaray will be fighting for the second spot. FC Astana, a Kazak team that has surprised many by making it to the final round, will be looking to keep on raising eyebrows.

Group D

  • Juventus (ITA)
  • Manchester City (ENG)
  • Sevilla (SPA)
  • Mönchengladbach (GER)

This is definitely the group of death. With a historic five Spanish teams participating, it would have been hard for one not to land in a difficult group. Manchester City and Juventus are sort of favorites, while Mönchengladbach are the underdogs, but they are Germans, and Germans always win.

Group E

  • Barcelona (SPA)
  • Leverkeusen (GER)
  • Roma (ITA)
  • FC Bate Borisov (BLR)

Barcelona is obviously the favorite. Roma and Leverkeusen will be fighting for the second spot in the next round, while FC Bate will look to surprise and not end up in the bottom of the group, like they did last year.

Group F

  • Bayern Munich (GER)
  • Arsenal (ENG)
  • Olympiacos (GRE)
  • Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

This group has two obvious favorites, but Olympiacos could always surprise us – they’ve done it before. Dinamo Zagreb is not a piece of cake either.

Group G

  • Chelsea (ENG)
  • Porto (POR)
  • Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)
  • Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR)

Mourinho will be managing Chelsea against the other group favorite Porto, the team that he led to a surprising Champions League championship in 2004. Maccabi is the first Israeli team to play the last stage of the Champions in many years, so they will try not to disappoint, while Dynamo Kyiv will try to make their fans happy and help them forget (at least for a little bit) the terrible political situation they are currently living through.

Group H

  • Zenit (RUS)
  • Valencia (SPA)
  • Lyon (FRA)
  • KAA Gent (BEL)

Interesting group, as it is very evenly matched. It’s hard to pick a favorite between Zenit, Valencia, and Lyon, although the Spanish team could be ahead by just a little. KAA Gent will have to prove they are there for more than the experience and a little tourism.