2017-18 UEFA Champions League group stage verdict

The UEFA Champions League group stage has been sorted with eight groups fully decided.

Here at Sport Grill, I have analysed each fixture and rated each group out of five alongside with an opinionated verdict.

Which clubs will be happy with their group and who will need last minute buys to help strengthen their chances of progression?


Group A:

  • Benfica
  • Manchester United
  • Basel
  • CSKA Moscow

This group will delight Jose Mourinho, who can probably target 12 points from the Basel and CSKA Moscow games.

The clashes with Benfica will be interesting but I expect the Red Devils to stroll through no matter what.

Overall, this is the perfect group for United’s return to Champions’ League football.

Group rating: 5/5


Group B:

  • Bayern Munich
  • PSG
  • Anderlecht
  • Celtic

Celtic boss, Brendan Rodgers will be worried about their chances of progressing but Bayern Munich hasn’t done much this summer. Could their lack of business help Celtic mount a surprise challenge for progression into the last 16?

PSG definitely will relish this group after signing Neymar over the summer and expect to top this group.

Realistically, I can see Bayern, Anderlecht and Celtic possibly all fighting for the last qualification spot right down to the final game.

Group rating: 4/5


Group C:

  • Chelsea
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Roma
  • Qarabag


Chelsea need to be on top form here if are going to progress because Atletico and Roma are real threats.

Qarabag are from Azerbaijan which makes their home matches quite interesting, due to the travel involved for the Western Europe clubs.

Should jet lag catch up with them during the match, Qarabag will fancy their chances and that might make the group that extra competitive.

All in all, this group looks exciting and wide open so expect this group to be one to watch.

Group rating: 4/5


Group D:

  • Juventus
  • Barcelona
  • Olympiakos
  • Sporting Lisbon

Juventus and Barcelona should get out of this group but the Catalonian side have lost Neymar and Luis Suarez will miss some matches. They need Lionel Messi to be firing on all cylinders or Sporting Lisbon could mount a surprise challenge for a place in the last 16.

Olympiakos are probably battling for third place and Europa League football at best.

Group rating: 3/5


Group E:

  • Spartak Moscow
  • Sevilla
  • Liverpool
  • Maribor

Liverpool will surely fancy their chances of progressing here.

Spartak Moscow and Maribor are probably going to be fighting for third place and Europa League football so expect the Reds to cruise through alongside Sevilla.

Group rating: 3/5


Group F:

  • Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Manchester City
  • Napoli
  • Feyenoord

Pep Guardiola will be delighted with this group and expect his Manchester City side to progress through without needing a final group match fight.

Napoli should also ease through but Feyenoord will be their main threats.

All in all, a dull but easy group for the Citizens.

Group rating: 3/5


Group G:

  • Monaco
  • Porto
  • Besiktas
  • RB Leipzig

This group looks wide open as any of these clubs can progress.

Monaco and Porto both reached the knockout stage last season but Besiktas can’t be ruled out with Jermain Lens amongst their ranks.

RB Leipzig are competing in Europe for the first time ever but can take heart from what Leicester achieved last season in reaching the last eight. If they can repeat that feat, this group could get interesting.

Group rating: 5/5


Group H:

  • Real Madrid
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • Tottenham Hotspur
  • Apoel

Tottenham fans have every right to be worried with this fixture list and their terrible Wembley record.

Their best chances of progressing will mean beating Apoel in both fixtures and getting at least one win and a draw against either Borussia Dortmund or Real Madrid.

Failure to do so and they can prepare for another trip to the Europa League knockout stage.

Apoel themselves are probably going to be lucky to even get a draw here.

All in all, this is a fun group to watch out for with three teams capable of progressing. The fact that their clashes with APOEL will be a total walkover kind of takes some unpredictability away.

Group rating: 4/5

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