Bayern Munich and Barcelona stand as the two favorites from progressing to the UEFA Champions League knockout stage from Group E, while Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv should fight for third place and the Europa League. Though, after the latest development at Camp Nou and all the turbulences that struck Blaugrana, it wouldn’t be too odd to see the five-time European champions delivering some negative surprise.
The Bavarians brought some fresh blood from the biggest rival, RB Leipzig, landing center-back Upamecano, midfielder Sabitzer, and the head coach Julian Nagelsmann. Other than that, this team is more or less the same compared to the previous season, and its ambitions are the same, meaning to win the UCL title.
We won’t go into details too much, but Bayern’s style of play has been constant for more than a decade. Constant attack, ruthless humiliation of the opponents, and plenty of goals are basically what they want from each contest.
Blaugrana is in a nightmare. Not only that Barca lost Messi, but their financial resources are pretty limited, with the team’s debt going above $1.5 billion. The atmosphere in the locker room is solid for now, but it will be interesting to see whether players can stay immune to all the negative tendencies coming from outside.
Coutinho and Depay are the new leaders, and it seems that Barca won’t change its style of play with them controlling the pitch. We should see a lot of goals in Barcelona’s games, a lot more behind Ter Stegen’s back than before.
The Portuguese champions have an interesting team, with superb offensive potential. Darwin Nunez, Haris Seferovic, the Ukrainian striker, Roman Yaremchuk who came from Gent, all promise many goals. Plus, the experienced defense, composed fro veterans who played at a high level throughout their entire careers, makes Benfica extremely competitive, especially at home.
The Eagles have gone through hell against PSV in the playoffs, keeping a one-goal advantage from the first leg and surviving to reach the groups. After passing that test, we are more than sure that Jorge Jesus’ side can potentially cause complications for Bayern, and even more for Barca.
The Ukrainian champs have several incredible youngsters who are in the notebooks of many big teams. Ukraine as a nation is producing talented players more than ever, and some of the above-mentioned have been a part of the U20 team that won the World Cup two years ago. Mykolenko, Tsygankov, Shaparenko all have a chance to show their potential and make some big transfer that would benefit themselves and the club.
Dynamo plays fast football, with many goals, especially once they appear at home, and they don’t respect any rival in such a situation. Even though their lineup is generally younger than the average one in the competition, all the players have substantial experience playing on the international stage because Dynamo is a regular participant in the Champions League.
Here are the peviews for other UEFA Champions League groups:
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.