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SBD Global/August 31, 2012/International Football

Analysis, Predictions Of The UEFA Champions League Draw

Football's most-prestigious club competition, the UEFA Champions League, has divided the 32 participating teams into eight groups. SBD Global Staff Writers Nicolas Journel and HJ Mai looked at Groups A through H and analyzed which teams have the best chances of advancing to the knockout stage.

Group A:

Paris St. Germain started the night in pot three and could have ended up in a group with the likes of Real Madrid and Man City, but fortune was on their side. They now look prime to go through the group stage together with Portuguese league champions FC Porto. The group as we see it:

Group A
1. Paris St. Germain
2. FC Porto
3. FC Dynamo Kyiv
4. Dinamo Zagreb

Group B:
Arsenal will be happy with its group, as the stiffest competition looks to come from Bundesliga side Schalke 04. As fate would have it, Ligue 1 defending champions Montpellier will have to play against its best player from last season, which it sold to the Gunners in the offseason. The group as we see it:

Group B
1. Arsenal FC
2. Schalke 04
3. Montpellier HSC
4. Olympiacos FC

Group C:

The quality of Group C resembles more a Europa League group than a Champions League group. AC Milan sold most of its best players in the summer transfer window but will still be the favorite to come out on top of the group. The other three teams all have a realistic shot at the knockout phase. The group as we see it:

Group C
1. AC Milan
2. Zenit St. Petersburg
3. Malaga FC
4. RSC Anderlecht

Group D:

The so-called 'Group of Death' has the champions from Europe's three top leagues paired together. Borussia Dortmund will kick itself for its unlucky draw. On paper, Dortmund looks like a squad bound for the knockout stage. Unfortunately for them, Real Madrid and Man City look to have the advantage and will most likely make it through. Ajax fans will be wondering what they have done to draw Real Madrid for the third consecutive year. The group as we see it:

Group D
1. Real Madrid
2. Manchester City
3. Borussia Dortmund
4. Ajax Amsterdam

Group E:

Defending CL champion Chelsea will be satisfied with this draw, as the only challenge looks to be Serie A champion Juventus. The Italians make their return to Europe's top club competition for the first time since the '09-10 season. The group as we see it:

Group E
1. Chelsea FC
2. Juventus FC
3. FC Shakhtar Donetsk
4. FC Nordsjaellands

Group F:

Bayern Munich will have the difficult task of repeating last year's runner-up campaign, but the Bundesliga side is the heavy favorite in the group. Valencia and Lille will both try to spoil the party for the four-time Champions League winner. The group as we see it:

Group F
1. Bayern Munich
2. Valencia FC
3. Lille OSC
4. FC BATE Borisov

Group G:

Barcelona should be able to build confidence from this fairly easy draw. The Catalans look to repeat their '92 victory when Coach Johan Cruyff and his Barca team hoisted the trophy at Wembley Stadium, site of this year's final. The rest of the group is a toss-up, with all three clubs having a chance to make it through. The group as we see it:

Group G
1. FC Barcelona
2. SL Benfica
3. Celtic FC
4. FC Spartak Moscow

Group H:

After last season's surprisingly early exit, the Red Devils look ready to bounce back as they appear to be significantly better than their three opponents in Group H. Portuguese club SC Braga and Turkish champion Galatasaray AS will fight for second place and a chance to advance to the knockout phase. The group as we see it:

Group H
1. Manchester United
2. Galatasaray AS
3. SC Braga
4. CFR 1907 Cluj
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Related Topics:

International Football, Europe

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