The Champions League is finally back, and all football fans can rejoice! We’re less than two weeks away from the return of the most prestigious football club competition in the world, and once again, the recent draw has left us with some very interesting groups. So, let’s check out some odds and predict the outcome of each group, one by one. 

Group A: Bayern Munich (GER), Manchester United (ENG), Copenhagen (DEN), Galatasaray (TUR) 

The German champions are obvious favorites in Group A, especially after they addressed their offensive issues from last season by signing Harry Kane. Fun fact: the Bavarians’ last loss in the CL group stage came in September 2017 against PSG. Manchester United will feel relatively comfortable in this group, but will likely not challenge Bayern for top spot, considering their form to start the season, which has seen them lose two and win two, as well as concede 7 goals in the process. Galatasaray could pose a threat to United, especially when playing at home in the fiery RAMS Park. The Turkish side have also added experienced Premier League players to their roster in Zaha and Ziyech this summer, so don’t count them out. Finally, Copenhagen will likely only fight for the Europa League spot in this tough group. 

Group A Winner: Bayern Munich – 1.52; Manchester United – 2.90; Galatasaray – 12.00 

Group A Top Two: Bayern Munich – 1.14; Manchester United – 1.16; Galatasaray – 3.50; Copenhagen – 6.40 

Group B: Sevilla (SPA), Arsenal (ENG), PSV Eindhoven (NED), RSC Lens (FRA) 

Group B sees Arsenal as favorites, especially after the Gunners splurged major cash on transfers this summer, signing the likes of Havertz and Rice among others. The Gunners are back in the Champions League after a six-year absence and will look to impress. Their opponents will not likely challenge them for the top sport, but the rest will all compete for second place. Sevilla have started the season woefully, losing their first three Liga matches, but did win the Europa league last season; Lens have let go of two of their best-performing players from last season’s amazing run in Ligue 1 – Loic Openda and Seko Fofana. PSV on the other hand were very good in the Eredivisie last year, and added Hirving Lozano, Noa Lang and Sergino Dest to their squad: they could very well be the surprise package in this group and are our pick to make the top 2. 

Group B Winner: Arsenal – 1.49; Sevilla – 5.20; PSV Eindhoven – 7.40; RSC Lens – 8.00 

Group B Top Two: Arsenal – 1.16; Sevilla – 1.90; PSV Eindhoven – 2.75; RSC Lens – 2.75 

Group C: Napoli (ITA), Real Madrid (SPA), Braga (POR), Union Berlin (GER) 

Group C is among the most interesting ones this year, because while Napoli and Madrid will most likely fight for the top two spots, the other two teams are underdogs that can pull off an upset or two. Braga finished only 9 points behind winners Benfica in last year’s league campaign, while Union made the Champions League for the first time ever after a splendid Bundesliga campaign that saw them finish 4th, ahead of the likes of Bayer Leverkusen. Every match in Group C hold a potential upset, but ultimately the champions of Italy and the 14-time champions of Europe should make it out simply due to their superior experience in this competition. Make sure to watch out for Braga or Union when they finish in the Europa League: either could be a real nuisance in that competition going forward. 

Group C Winner: Real Madrid – 1.54; Napoli – 3.10; Union Berlin – 13.00; Braga – 14.00 

Group C Top Two: Real Madrid – 1.12; Napoli – 1.28; Union Berlin – 4.30; Braga – 4.30 

Group D: Benfica (POR), Inter Milan (ITA), Red Bull Salzburg (AUT), Real Sociedad (SPA) 

This is underrated group: you have one of the best teams from last season’s campaign (Benfica), last year’s finalists (Inter), an always-exciting young team (Salzburg) and the 4th-placed Spanish team from 2023 (Sociedad). Inter certainly have wat it takes to top the group, starting the season in a perfect manner and conceding 0 goals. They also outscored Benfica 5-3 over two legs in last year’s quarterfinals and considering the Portuguese side have slightly weakened this summer, letting their star man Goncalo Ramos go, Inter are favored to win the group. Salzburg are an exciting young team to watch, but they have overhauled their attack by selling Okafor and Sesko to Milan and Leipzig: they’ll play well but likely finish bottom. Sociedad is the big mystery package: they have only been to the group stage once in the past two decades, but have some decidedly top-class players, like Oyarzabal, that proved their worth in past seasons. It is a difficult one to call between them and Benfica for second place, but we’ll give the Portuguese side the slight edge as of today. 

Group D Winner: Inter – 1.85; Benfica – 3.40; Real Sociedad – 6.00; RB Salzburg – 9.20 

Group D Top Two: Inter – 1.30; Benfica – 1.61; Real Sociedad – 2.37; RB Salzburg – 3.60 

Group E: Feyenoord (NED), Atletico Madrid (SPA), SS Lazio (ITA), Celtic Glasgow (SCO) 

If Atletico continue on their early season form, they should have no issues topping this group. However, a similar case could have been made last season when they crashed out in a group consisting of Porto, Leverkusen and Brugge. Feyenoord are the reigning Dutch champions but have lost one of their leaders, Kokcu, to Benfica in the summer. Lazio had a fantastic Serie A campaign in 2022/23, but failed miserably in Europe, crashing out in the EL groups and then to AZ Alkmaar in the Conference League. In addition, they also lost their best player, Milinkovic Savic. They have also been indecipherable in the league, losing their first two matches but overcoming reigning champions Napoli away last weekend. A topsy turvy Lazio will probably fight it out with Feyenoord for 2nd spot this time around, but never rule out an underwhelming group stage campaign by Atletico, who, on paper, should top the group relatively easily. We predict a surprise upset with Feyenoord finishing second. Meanwhile, Celtic would be pulling off an upset if they made third place. 

Group E Winner – Atletico – 1.63; Lazio – 3.90; Feyenoord – 6.60; Celtic – 11.00 

Group E Top Two: Atletico – 1.20; Lazio – 1.72; Feyenoord – 2.65; Celtic – 3.60 

Group F: PSG (FRA), Borussia Dortmund (GER), AC Milan (ITA), Newcastle United (ENG) 

Where do we even start? This is possibly the most competitive and well-balanced Champions League group of the last decade. You could potentially make a case for any of these teams to finish first or last. PSG have undergone a complete overhaul this summer, letting go of Messi, Neymar and S. Ramos and placing the likes of Verratti out of the squad, and signed Asensio, Dembele, G. Ramos and Kolo Muani among others, all while the Mbappe saga was still ongoing. Oh, and they hired a new manager in Luis Enrique with plenty of international experience. Dortmund, after last year’s heartbreaking end to the Bundesliga, let Bellingham go to Real Madrid, therefore losing their best player. AC Milan let Tonali go for a massive fee this summer and strengthened their team substantially, based on their perfect start this season in Serie A. And Newcastle is a bit of a question mark in Europe, as they haven’t played in any international competitions for roughly 20 years. They had an amazing season last time around, but they have already lost 3 games so far this year, perhaps showing that their new midfield is yet to fully gel. Realistically, every team has a chance to progress from this group, but judging by last year’s Champions League runs and their current form, we want to give PSG and AC Milan the benefit of the doubt, but don’t be surprised in Newcastle and Dortmund end up in the top 2 spots either. There is one thing we have no doubt about: this group will be fun. 

Group F Winner: PSG – 2.16; Newcastle – 3.35; AC Milan – 5.60; Dortmund – 6.20 

Group F Top Two: PSG – 1.36; Newcastle – 1.80; AC Milan – 2.19; Dortmund – 2.49 

Group G: Manchester City (ENG), RB Leipzig (GER), Crvena Zvezda (SRB), Young Boys (SUI) 

Group E is perhaps one of the weaker ones in this season’s competition. Reigning winners Man City will undoubtedly finish top, especially after demolishing Leipzig 8-1 over two legs in 2023’s Round of 16. In addition, Leipzig recently lost their top defender, Josko Gvardiol, to City in the summer, and also let perhaps their best player, Nkunku, go to Chelsea. Leipzig did have an interesting transfer window, however, as they rejuvenated their squad with the additions of Simons and Sesko, and they’ve been relatively impressive in Germany so far. The German side will likely finish right behind City in the standings, as both Red Star and Young Boys don’t seem equipped to challenge either team for the first two spots. Perhaps the most exciting part of this group will be the fight between those two teams for the coveted Europa League spot. 

Group G Winner: Manchester City – 1.11; RB Leipzig – 7.20; Crvena Zvezda – 50.00; Young Boys – 50.00 

Group G Top Two: Manchester City – /; RB Leipzig – 1.16; Crvena Zvezda – 8.00; Young Boys – 8.00 

Group H: Barcelona (SPA), Porto (POR), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Royal Antwerp (BEL) 

This is another group where the standings should be relatively easy to predict. Barcelona, after disappointing European campaigns in the last two seasons, should have no problems getting out of this group, and it would surprise me if they didn’t top it, considering their form so far this season. The Blaugrana were ever so solid defensively last year in the Liga – which they handily won – and if that solidity continues, they could easily go far in this competition. Porto are always a tough team to face, especially away, but they’ve lost their star midfielder Otavio to the allure of Saudi Arabia this summer. They still look more comfortable in this competition than Shakhtar and Antwerp though and will look to finish right behind Barca with no major hiccups. The one team that could potentially cause an upset is Shakhtar, who will play their Champions league fixtures in Hamburg, very far away from their home ground in Eastern Ukraine, due to the ongoing war. I wouldn’t consider this a concrete possibility, however, as Porto have made at least the Round of 16 in five of the last seven editions. Antwerp will be playing in the Champions League for the first time in their history and will look to try to challenge for the Europa League place. 

Group H Winners: Barcelona – 1.36; Porto – 3.65; Shakhtar Donetsk – 20.00; Royal Antwerp – 24.00 

Group H Top Two: Barcelona – 1.06; Porto – 1.33; Shakhtar Donetsk – 4.33; Royal Antwerp – 5.00 

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