It must have been about 10 days ago that the Champions League finished, with some team beating some other team. But I think I speak for everyone when I say that all this nonsense just goes on a bit, doesn’t it? I tuned out from about the Round of 16, when the excitement starts to dry out. No one cares about the last games. They’re glorified friendlies to be honest.
Anyway, whatever happened in those last few Champions League rounds, we’re back here again, doing this nonsense.
The Champions League draw is obviously rigged, but since we’re going to pretend that this wasn’t a predetermined outcome, here’s the very exciting group stages!
Group A: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, “FC” Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moskva
Group B: Real Madrid, Shaktar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Monchengladbach
Group C: Porto, Man City, Olympiacos, Marseille
Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland
Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes
Group F: Zenit, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge
Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvaros
Group H: PSG, Man Utd, “RB Leipzig”, Basaksehir
Dortmund Getting Lucky
BVB did pretty well in the draw, facing Zenit, Lazio, and Club Brugge. They face the easiest team from pot 1, and avoided any land mines in pot 2 and 3. Dortmund should absolutely be the favorite to progress from this group in 1st place, which inevitably means they will finish 2nd, scraping through by the skin of their teeth.
Dortmund have some history against Brugge and Zenit, having faced Brugge in the 2018 group stages, and Zenit in the Round of 16 in 2014, beating them 5-4 on aggregate. Dortmund are going on a tour of Racist Europe, with a nice little palette cleanser in Belgium!
Pretending That I Care About Ronaldo Vs Messi
There’s a few stories that come out of the draw, and some exciting games for everyone to look forward to, but the one everyone will be talking about is probably Juventus vs Barcelona. It pits Ronaldo against Messi for the first time in a couple years, and isn’t that all very thrilling?
In reality, I don’t think Juventus vs Barcelona looks like a particularly exciting game at the moment. They’re both solid teams, but neither are what they were a few years ago (unless Pirlo turns out to be a magician). It’ll be a decent spectacle though, and isn’t that what we really care about?
Group(s) of Death
There’s always one or two groups that pit three or four top teams against each other, promising to knock one of the big teams out of the tournament.
This year there are a couple tough groups, but the toughest seems to be Group H. Basaksehir might not be up to much, but PSG, Man Utd, and Leipzig is going to be a brawl. Group D is also pretty tough, with Liverpool, Ajax, and Atalanta all having made deep runs in the tournament in recent years, and Midtjylland looking to math their opponents to hell.
Finally, Group E looks like the kind of group that might cause some upsets. It’s not the typical “Group of Death” in that it lacks multiple heavyweights, but Sevilla, Chelsea, and Rennes are all solid teams that could easily cause each other trouble. I wouldn’t be shocked if either Sevilla or Chelsea manage to slip up and miss out on the knockout stages.
Football is a thing that we keep pretending matters and this group stage draw has occurred and here we are doing this all over again. Some people are happy, some people are sad, some people are angry, and all of the emotions are entirely justifiable because this is very, very important. Teams will play each other, some of them will do a great big football, and at the end of it all someone evil will lift a trophy. What magnificent theater.
How do you feel about our group? Which team are you most excited to face? Which group do you think will provide the biggest upset?