UEFA Champions League 2017-18

I thought I'd create a new UCL thread to keep it separate from the EPL thread as they'd both get huge in short order. Here are the groups, feel free to discuss:

Group A: Benfica, Manchester United, FC Basel, CSKA Moscow.
Group B: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Anderlecht, Celtic.
Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, FK Qarabag.
Group D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiakos, Sporting CP.
Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, NK Maribor.
Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, Napoli, Feyenoord.
Group G: Monaco, FC Porto, Besiktas, RB Leipzig.
Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, APOEL Nicosia

Have to say I'm chuffed at Liverpool's group. If we can't get out of that one we don't deserve to be there. I expect Spurs to be saying hello to the Europa League knockout stage by early December.

Looks like the other English teams got fairly easy draws, too...no real groups of death, but Group G might be the most balanced.

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Comments

I hate to say it but yeah we're going to drop too the Europa

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

A few thoughts I have:
1) Man U and Liverpool both got great draws
2) No way Tottenham makes it through Group H
3) Hot Take, but I think Barcelona could really struggle in their group, but will probably make it through

Looks like Liverpool got the easiest group based on UEFA coefficients

538 has them at a 79% chance to get out of their group (Sevilla at 80% and Moscow at 38%)

Group D is group of Death

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Group D is where the line of disappointment is between Europa League/not. Group H the line of disappointment is between UCL knockouts/Europa League. Yes Olympiakos and Sporting are tough away matches. No, neither of them is as good a squad as BVB/Tottenham

Chem PhD '16

Copying these from the other thread:

  • Group A: Benfica, Manchester United, FC Basel, CSKA Moscow.
  • Group B: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Anderlecht, Celtic.
  • Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, FK Qarabag.
  • Group D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiakos, Sporting CP.
  • Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, NK Maribor.
  • Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City,Napoli, Feyenoord.
  • Group G: Monaco, FC Porto, Besiktas, RB Leipzig.
  • Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, APOEL Nicosia

Chem PhD '16

Tottenham is gonna move on

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

Liverpool not so much

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

How about now?

I think VT's soccer team could put up a better fight.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Y'alls group is the easiest out of all of them and y'all only got 5 points I'm not impressed

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

John Stones gonna lead the CL in scoring, mark it down!

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Another day another 3 points for the spurs

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

So Tottenham is well on their way to advancing to the round of 16

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

Tottenham Hotspur 7
Real Madrid 7
Borussia Dortmund 1
APOEL 1

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

ESPN SPI and FiveThirtyEight gives dortmund the highest chance to win the Europa league right now.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Spurs were lucky to draw yesterday, Real Madrid put so many shots on goal and a few just wide of the post. Spurs had some shots too that were narrowly saved by Navas, but RM controlled the tempo of the game completely and had what seemed like constant threatening build ups. That said, Spurs look way more poised in Europe this year, and I think that they will continue to improve.

Hugo is one of the best goalies in the world so I'm not surprised

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

Yes he is very impressive and made brilliant saves, though I certainly believe he got a little lucky when he dove the wrong way on Benz' header and kicked the ball away from about a yard outside the goal.

Ericksen played a terrible game and Spurs did it without Dele, Dembele, and Davies.

Would be excited for the home match in two weeks if it wasn't at Wembley.

Don't believe in the Wembley curse

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

I don't believe in the Wembley curse, but I do believe Real Madrid are still the best team in Europe, and I don't think their finishing luck will be so bad again.

Isee a Tottenham win actually

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

Hopefully Liverpool are back on track now. Should win the group, but still not super confident with Karius right now. I'd rather see Ward get a shot back there, but looks like he is the domestic cup keeper this year.
Group G is crazy right now. Don't think many people saw Besiktas at the top of the group with 3 wins.

I like fivethirtyeight and they have some cool Champions League Predictions posted here.

Like I mentioned earlier, Dortmund is actually the favorite to win Europa League. Barcelona is the favorite with a 20% chance to win the final followed by Real Madrid with a 15% chance then Bayern and PSG with 14% and 13% each. Ateli are teetering dangerously close to missing the group stage.

United has picked up a couple away wins against some tricky opposition. Never fun going to Russia. Would've like to seen a bigger win yesterday against Benfica but it got the job done and those pesky international breaks seem to take all our form.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Tottenham is gonna win group H. COYFuckingS!!!!

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

One more day of group stage matches, qualified teams so far:

Manchester United
Basel
Roma
Paris Saint-Germain
Bayern Munich
Chelsea
Barcelona
Manchester City
Beşiktaş
Tottenham Hotspur
Real Madrid

I think that's all confirmed so far. Some other teams can get in tomorrow obviously. Liverpool need a draw and cannot lose. England should see five sides in the knockout round for the first time ever.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

England has certainly made an impressive bounce-back in Europe from the last few years.

i want to see 1 of them at least make the semis

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Yeah making the knockout rounds has never really been an issue (Arsenal always seems to find a way to sneak into the last 16). It's getting past the first round. City have the best shot. Chelsea have a very good chance of facing PSG. United could draw Real Madrid, Bayern, or Juve. Tottenham should get a good draw.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Yah..arse always seemed to get barca...or any English team drew barca in the round of 16. Monday will be interesting...if we get Real the aggregate might the highest since the early days of the competition

Chelsea drew Barcelona and PSG got Real Madrid. That will be fun to watch.

Correy

Well that was unequivocal...first time a team has recorded two 7-0's in the group stage. Magic! We'll probably get Real as our prize

Tons of goals today, even with some teams are playing their backups.

VB born, class of '14, Semper Paratus

I really feel for Napoli today. City started 2 17 year olds on defense and yaya as well as the decidedly average mangala. The team looks totally lackadaisical and Napoli dont have a prayer

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

City and Spurs both playing some youth with their groups clinched. Liverpool killing Spartak but an interesting game going on in Madrid.

VB born, class of '14, Semper Paratus

Citeh have the derby on sunday...theyd have played their kids regardless

Round of 16 Draw is complete!

Juventus v. Tottenham Hotspur: 13 February & 7 March
Basel v. Manchester City: 13 February & 7 March
Porto v. Liverpool: 14 February & 6 March
Real Madrid v. Paris: 14 February & 6 March
Chelsea v. Barcelona: 20 February & 14 March
Bayern München v Beşiktaş: 20 February & 14 March
Sevilla v. Manchester United: 21 February & 13 March
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Roma: 21 February & 13 March

Tottenham were impressive in the group stage. I can see them getting beating Juve. City, Liverpool, Bayern, United, and Roma should see it through. I wore about United though considering we have Chelsea, Palace, and Liverpool all around those two UCL fixtures. Real vs. Paris will be fun. Poor Chelsea.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Looking forward to this as it's Liverpool's first Ro16 since 2008/2009.

Right now I have predicted (and rated in order most likely to advance):

1. Bayern Munich
2. Man CIty
3. Liverpool
4. PSG
5. Barcelona
6. Man United
7. Roma
8. Tottenham

I think City and Bayern are all but guaranteed advance. Liverpool are looking too good in the CL to not advance against Porto (not to disrespect them, I just think first knock out in almost 10 years-- fans will be up for that return to home leg).

PSG looks great while RM finished second in a group with Tottenham so I think they get taken down. Chelsea is starting to look fragile and so I think Barca will take advantage of that. May be closer but that is why they are 5 on my scale of certainty.

Man United has looked average as of late but more importantly Sevilla is a proper thorn. Twice Liverpool were in winning positions and twice Sevilla tied the game. Exceedingly frustrating team to play and their coaching and tactics seem to be rather intelligent. (Even though Moreno has played well, they persisted attacking down our left flank knowing that he would crack and when he did the flood gates would open).

Roma and Shakhtar--I just don't know enough about both teams to make a judgement but it seems an even match so my certainty here is low.

Last is Tottenham. They played fantastic in their group but this is yet another European giant. Can they pull it off again? I hope so and have them picked but they are the least certain in my mind.

United look average when Pogba is out. I can't believe we only lost by a goal yesterday without him. He's the magical piece. Sevilla have a new manager though. Not sure if you're referring to him or their previous manager.

FiveThirtyEight gives United a 65% chance to progress and Liverpool a 58% chance. Seems low for Liverpool but I guess their defense is always a concern.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

If we play our Fab Four (Couts, Mane, Salah, Firmino) together from the off the Porto tie might well be over in the first leg

Sevilla are undefeated at home for over a year last time I checked the stats (I only know because liverpool failed spectacularly to break that record after being up 3-0 away). They are a chippy team and I don't think Man U has the grit to beat the likes of them, away.

I ranked this match lower on my confidence scale only because I really think Man U has better talent on paper but Sevilla knows how to step up for European games.

Defense has been a concern for Liverpool but ever since the 4-1 loss to Tottenham they have really tightened up and even played some strange formations and got pretty good results.

I dont think mourinho is going to play all out open attack we all know hes gonna play it with the bus out in the away leg then hope pogba and co can get it done at home im not overly worried about sevilla in two legs as long as pogba is fit.

Also on Klopp after this weekend I dont think Klopp will be making that mistake of not picking his Fab 4 again for a big game.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

My picks are as follows (didn't consult league or cup fixtures that may be around the UCL fixtures)

Juventus v. Tottenham Hotspur
Basel v. Manchester City
Porto v. Liverpool
Real Madrid v. Paris Saint-Germain
Chelsea v. Barcelona
Bayern München v Beşiktaş
Sevilla v. Manchester United
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Roma

Some comments: I have no faith in the Liverpool defense, I think Porto steals a crucial away goal. (Or maybe three, who knows?) Shakhtar vs Roma is gonna be a great tie. Madrid vs PSG is gonna be a great tie, either team could advance and it will probably some down to which squad is healthier. I can't in good conscience pick Spuds to win anything (north london is red coyg coyg). City are gonna run roughshod over Basel at home.

Chem PhD '16

Spurs already beat juventus this year so I got COYS!!!

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

Even the Cleveland Browns went 4-0 in their preseason

Chem PhD '16

Tottenham is going to win a trophy this year either this one or the FA cup

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

Definitely FA cup then ^_^

I am genuinely excited for Tottenham. I like seeing a manager with a reasonable budget beat down on teams spending excessive amounts of money. But I don't see any english team other than Man City being able to challenge for the UCL. But predictions mean nothing and that is why they play the game. I am hoping at least 3 english teams advance to the quarters.

I just want trophies man the Astros got one now I need Tech and Spurs to get one

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

Chelsea fan here. I'm actually fairly happy with the Barcelona draw. Team is quite average when compared to the typical Barca sides. If you look at their XI right now the only one who worries me is of course Messi. Suarez has been average, Iniesta is old. Dembele will be back which is a worry cause I think that he's just as good as Mbappe when healthy but I think it'll be a great draw especially if Chelsea strengthen in Jan. Good luck to everybody's sides with their fixtures!

I was wondering how Chelsea fan's felt about this, I am sure it is mixed. I would like to see as many English teams advancing as possible (save for ManU, they can get eliminated and I won't feel bad at all). I will say to not hold your breath on Jan transfers. With the first matches coming only a couple of weeks or less after the window closes I highly doubt any player will truly be integrated enough to make a difference in UCL games, especially against the likes of Barca. I would imagine players picked up in jan. can be used to aid depth so the starting 11 can be available but that is about it.

Even if liverpool were able to sign, say, VVD...I seriously doubt he would start against Porto unless Klopp truly felt he was ready to integrate him in such a crucial game.

In addition to these points, a club can only change their 25-man UCL roster (which had to be submitted before the beginning of group stage play) by up to 3 players by Feb 1

We have to see what Arsenal decides to do with Ozil and Sanchez. Sanchez could be a difference maker for several of these teams. Not sure if Arsenal will sell him, but I can't see them letting him go for free this summer (unless they think they can make a run for the top 4 in the EPL or do what Moreno did last year and concentrate on trying to make the Champions league through winning the Europa).

Correy

Moreno

Mourinho FTFY

It's a huge risk going all out for Europa. Liverpool tried that in 15/16 and lost 3-1 in the final and finished 8th in the EPL because they invested so heavily in europa and went deep in both domestic cups with a limited depth squad.

We were dominating the game until Moreno happened....

It depends on the competition. For you guys it was far riskier because Europa League was so strong that year. United's draw was much more favorable all the way to the end. The semifinals were United, Celta Vigo, Lyon, and Ajax. A far cry from Shakthar, Villareal, Sevilla, and Liverpool and you guys had Dortmund in the quarters. It's a calculated risk.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

The draws are always so ridiculous. Man City gets Basel and Liverpool gets Porto. Meanwhile Real Madrid and PSG draw each other, Chelsea gets Barcelona, and Tottenham gets Juventus. It always happens like that haha.

I mean.....

Liverpool in 15/16 Europa had to get past Augsburg, Man United, BvB, Villareal, then Sevilla.

The next year Man U had FC Rostov, Anderlect, Celta Vigo, Ajax.

It's just the way it goes--it isn't like Liverpool and Man City always get the easy draws.

I was saying the draws in general are always ridiculous, not specific to teams. Though Real Madrid is on a streak of only elite team draws since the QF of last season: Bayern, Atletico, Juventus (not a draw), PSG, are there last 4 opponents in knockout rounds.

I mean the year madrid won la decima they didnt beat anyone of note while atletico won against 4 straight league champions to get to rhe finals. and if youre saying city always get easy draws guess again, there was a streak where we drew barca or bayern every year in tbe knockouts for like 5 years running

then in our groups every year prior to the last 2 weve drawn bayern barca or real.

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Uhh what? La decima we beat Schalke, Dortmund, Bayern, then Atletico in championship.

The easiest path we had was probably la undecima where we got Roma, Wolfsburg, Man City, then Atletico in final.

sorry got my years flipped, yeah that year atletico knocked out the dutch champions (psv), the spanish champions (barca), and finally the german champions (bayern)

madrid on the other hand had a pretty mediocore roma team, floundering wolfsburg, and finally a really bad city team (being a fan starting fernando at cm and toure at the #10 was an awful strategy, coupled with iheanacho starting one of the games and the aging zaba and kolorov at fullback...joe hart kept us in that matchup and down 1 goal we didnt even go for the win)

undecima was an awful champions league year imo, lots of defense no eye catching teams

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I misunderstood, it sounded like you were a bit salty that Liverpool and City got relatively easy draws.

That being said, it's just probability at this point so there isn't much ridiculous about it unless they are influencing the probability.

Factor 1: Can't play a team from your own country in round of 16
Factor 2: Always paired with a team from the opposite pot

For the four english group winners these were the possible draws:

Man City: Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Porto, Real Madrid
Man U: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto, Real Madrid
Tottenham: Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto
Liverpool: Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto, Real Madrid

Odds are that at least two will have difficult opponents and that held true for Tottenham getting Juventus, Liverpool getting Porto, and Man U getting Sevilla. Porto and Sevilla are not in the same league is Juventus but they are not slouches by any means.

Now what really sucks is Chelsea. Because they are unseeded and 4 english teams are seeded, and Roma was in their group, their options were: PSG, Barca, Besiktas. All three of those teams are in good form but obviously one would prefer Besiktas to PSG or Barca. Count Chelski lucky they got Barca instead of PSG.

edited to fix my mistake because VT_Warthog is a boss.

Chelsea couldn't get Roma since they were in their group.

Bottom line is things just unfolded in a way that gave us a good shot at a ridiculously entertaining, albeit tough, Round of 16.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

for reference look at PSG's draws the last 4 years, Barca last year, Chelsea then City in 15-16, the Chelsea and Barca in 14-15.

Im no PSG fan at all but theyve got Arsenalesque luck when it comes to getting tough draws in the knockout stages.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Tottenham again with their backs against the wall. Who thought they would come out of their group on top only now they have to face my favorite Italian squad.

True back when the group draw was done nobody thought tottenham had a chance but then they play the games and we realize RM werent quite what everyone thought they were and we all know the dumpster fire Dortmund have been this year hell they make tennessee look like a shining beacon of hope

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

RM issues have mostly been injury related, and some effort issues too, though nobody will admit that. That said, RM didn't have an impressive group stage last year so it's hard to gauge off of that too much. This is where it really starts to matter.