The 2019 UEFA Champions League Draw was made in Monaco last Thursday. Liverpool will look to repeat as champions. However, 31 other teams will be looking to reign as the new champs this season. Here are the teams that will be in the eight groups. Each team will play the opposing teams in their group twice (one home match, one away match). The top two teams in each group will advance to the Champions League Round of 16. The third place team in each group will advance to the UEFA Europa League Round of 32.
The teams in Group A are Paris-Saint Germain (PSG), Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray. At the time of the draw, it appeared that PSG and Real Madrid would coast into the knockout round of 16, but Galatasaray just obtained striker Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco. This acquisition now makes this group a three team race to the top.
The teams in Group B are Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiacos, Crvena Zvezda. Bayern and Tottenham will duke it out for the top spot. Road trips to Olympiacos and Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) will be difficult.
The teams in Group C are Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, and Atalanta. Manchester City has the easiest group out of all of the favorites. Nevertheless, the three-way fight for second place in Group C will be fun.
The teams in Group D are Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, and Lokomotiv Moscow. This group is very intriguing because Atletico Madrid knocked Juventus out of the Champions League last season. Plus, both of these teams went all out with summer signings in an attempt to win it all this season. Also, Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow are strong enough to pull off an upset or two during Group Stage play.
The teams in Group E are Liverpool, Napoli, Red Bull Salzburg, and Genk. In respect to style of play, this group will be the most exciting because all four teams love to attack.
The teams in Group F are Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, and Slavia Prague. I feel sorry for Slavia Prague because they are stuck in the “Group of Death” with three powerhouses and with only two spots to advance. This group is definitely the most front-loaded group.
The teams in Group G are Zenit, Benfica, Lyon, and Red Bull Leipzig. This group is the only group in which all four teams have an actual chance of winning this group.
The teams in Group H are Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, and LOSC Lille. This group will be unpredictable because Chelsea, Ajax, and LOSC Lille each lost their best player during the offseason. Valencia pretty much stayed pat with their club.
Group Stage play will begin on September 17th and 18th. Enjoy the games.