OT: UEFA Champions League 2019-20 Discussion Thread

The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League groups have been set:

Group A
---------------
PSG (8)
Real Madrid (1)
Club Brugge (37)
Galatasaray (68)

Group B
---------------
Bayern Munich (3)
Tottenham Hotspur (17)
Olympiakos (35)
Red Star Belgrade (88)

Group C
---------------
Manchester City (6)
Shakhtar Donetsk (16)
Dinamo Zagreb (51)
Atalanta (92)

Group D
---------------
Juventus (5)
Atletico Madrid (4)
Bayer Leverkusen (28)
Lokomotiv Moscow (54)

Group E
---------------
Liverpool (11)
Napoli (15)
FC Salzburg (29)
RC Genk (60)

Group F
--------------
Barcelona (2)
Borussia Dortmund (13)
Internazionale Milan (46)
Slavia Prague (73)

Group G
---------------
Zenit St Petersburg (19)
Benfica (21)
Lyon (27)
Leipzig (69)

Group H
----------------
Chelsea (12)
Ajax (20)
Valencia (39)
Lille (114)

Discuss

NOTE: I'll create a separate UEFA Europa League thread so as to keep this one focused on the UCL

EDIT: Updated to include UEFA club coefficient ranking

Forums: 
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

Thanks for making this thread. Can't say there's one obvious group of death this year, unless you think Inter is much better than I do and would argue Group F. Groups D, G, and H should be pretty fun with at least 3 teams having a shot at qualifying

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

In general, Inter's squad doesn't match up, but don't underestimate Antonio Conte. Will absolutely get the best out of every single one of those players.

But overall, I'm excited for this UCL. Pretty exciting groups for the most part.

Conte has changed the Inter squad quite substantially. It is at least going to be an intriguing group.

Conte has changed the Inter squad quite substantially

this is part of why i'm so dubious about them - new manager, overhauled squad probably means taking a little time to bed in

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Great draw, hate playing Napoli again, but I think we can navigate a top two finish in that group. Hoping we put a good effort forth defending our cup.

Side note: Thanks Kop for creating this, it's only right the Unbearables crest stays near this thread all season.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

#Unbearables4Life

Salzburg v Leipzig in the R16 would be a Red Bull tussle for the ages

he beat me by about a minute, i refreshed in another tab to make sure someone else hadn't made it yet before i posted, and there it was :C

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I beat you by a few seconds? Hardly makes up for the pain of 1989, but I guess it'll have to do

That Man City group is.... not so daunting.

Yeah it is, I hate the long travel though. that can do a number on your league performance. Plus frankly I relish the chances against good sides to see how were playing at that point

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 it's mostly disappointing for the fans. European football should be a great experience for the fans in the group stage. However, some of those smaller clubs have some pretty exciting (sometimes scary) environments.

i think shaktar and atalanta can actually give city some trouble given the potential defensive issues

Let the defense begin!

Tough matchup against Napoli, but on we fight to protect our European reign! #Unbearables

Looking forward to another year of CL play for not just my Reds, but for every team in the competition.

Edit: This didn't age well either LOL; Soft penalty, and a terrible error by #4. Onto Chelsea we go...

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Slavia Praha a few minutes away from stunning Inter, AT Inter...

Edit: well this didn't age well...

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

This thread is awfully quiet this evening.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

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

yeah because man u play thursdays now...ayooooo

Haha fair enough. I just have to take advantage of these threads suddenly becoming very quiet when the Liverpool circle jerk stops.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

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

LOL, I was waiting for LokiHokie (sorry Lowkey, in my head your avatar is an O&M Loki) to casually drop a *cough cough* in here somewhere.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

"Liverpool circle jerk" nice LOL, you get a leg sir, I support the squad regardless! Win, lose, or draw! Actually edited one of my posts shortly after the final whistle.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

This one's for you, buddy

Shame it's not a prem trophy!

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

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

Yet again, I thought I'd take the high road, Mancs, I tell ya....LOL

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

They're gonna need to take the high road to Astana tomorrow...Kazakhstan is far, far away

Shots fired:

via GIPHY

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Haha it's so easy to get you guys worked up. Bless your hearts.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

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

It's all love VTW, we all Hokies here, I hate your taste in soccer clubs, but the Hokie love helps. LOL

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

All good! Just friendly banter.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

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

I thought I'd take the high road circle buddy LMAO

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I am full of hatred for Frank Lampard at the current moment. Wish we were playing in the dome, I'd break his leg.

Although since I haven't played in decades, I may just stand around winded hands on knees.

Today was a forward step as this moron figures out his 3-4-3 isn't competitive in champions league. Unless you're ok with competing with Valencia (clearly a European league team).

I hate being an American because we can't have nice things.

Please Christian, develop middle of the field skills ... it is your world class strength, but it won't be if you don't develop them. Its ok to not be world class on the wing. If you refuse to give up on the wing, please lift for strength gains while you ride the pine on FL's bench. Only shot you have at getting that speed up a notch.

If ma boy don't play gainst the liverputians, I'm taking my cause back to the old country. Not because I want to effect a swift resolution to Brexit, not because my hair is a cross between Boris and Donald's, not because I want to crush Frank on a training field, but because just my presence in country might make the dumbest coach in premier league a little more intelligent.

I didnt catch the game was it that bad I saw the penalty miss but that shit happens and valencia arent an awful side. Franks got lot of issues at the moment but atleast his team are showing some form of understanding to how he wants to play.

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

the penalty miss was extra funny bc Barkley had to convince Jorginho to let him take it.

Former gunner coquelin getting away with a nasty challenge on Mount, should've been red and Mount will probably be out through the next international break

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Sorry i was just venting after some vino trying to spark some discussion by being a mad clown. I'm not so much a Chelsea fan as a merican cheering for Pulisic. Nothing else matters 4 me.

Mount and Pulisic are similar players IMHO and Frank seems to prefer Mount's stones. I don't think either guy survives long term against the best competition down the wing. I think Pulisic has more touch and vision in the middle, but Mount is getting the minutes recently at least.

Off ball motion, defense, anticipating the movement, and executing the pass. Pulisic gotta work on the defense and working on syncing up with his mates. Definitely Chelsea's motion is getting better recently.

Grindstone baby. Outwork 'em you'll get your shot, somewhere.

Issue for CP is that frank didnt sign him and Mount was working with frank all last season at derby so you cant blame him for prefering a player he knows much better.

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

Robertson can't make contact like that inside the box, period! There is clear contact on the play, but MAN is VAR a waste of time thus far in the CL. How you don't overturn that dive, is beyond me.

Nevertheless Van Dijk/Robertson screwed up towards the end, and VAR couldn't help at all with that rare blunder.

I am sick of playing Napoli (CL/preseasons), but man I respect them and all that Ancelotti does on the pitch.

Move on to the next one, and hope we can finish the group stage strong.

Like Ancelotti said, last time we lost to Napoli away, we won the CL, here's hoping for the same result, especially with the final being in Istanbul. Long way to go till then though. In my CJF voice "we gotta go 1-0" next time out.

Up the Reds!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Salzburg beat Genk 6-2 in the other game in the group...if we can't get out of that group with 20 goals scored, then...well, I won't know what to think. But I do know we're still officially the Champions of Europe.

That we are KH, and we have all the way till next Spring/Summer to tout that reality LOL

Salzburg looked good though, I think if we can get one game from Salzburg/Genk, and win all of our games at Anfield, we should easily get through.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I'm a VAR supporter but I really don't understand why they continue to get so many things wrong, when they have every opportunity to get it right. Are there some kinda unwritten rules going on, like in baseball, that contributes? Genuine question. I didn't grow up watching and don't know all the nuances.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

It has to be a clear error in judgement by the referee. I think once Andy makes contact with his knee, it made the penalty unclear, even though the attacker was already falling forward. I think VAR is more of a pandering to the fans, rather than an opportunity to get the call right. Soccer values the accuracy of it's officials, and I think early in VAR stages, it's obvious that's the case.

It would be hard to believe that the refs didn't have the slow mo that's seen in the tweet above.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Ah, I see - it makes sense in that light though somewhat counterproductive. Thanks for the reply.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Hokies: I'm going to disappoint you.
Spurs: Hold my beer.

creditable draw...not a terrible result. Plus, finalists last year and top 4. I'd say Spurs fans should be elated by what's going on right now. They're the best team in London, something they haven't been for a long, long time.

Question is being the best team in london really setting the bar that high with how bad arsenal have been and with chelsea off a bit shouldnt spurs try to push further? Just food for thought

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

From having lived in London for five years in the early 80s...yes, it absolutely is important to be the best team in London. The Spurs fans I went to school with always had an inferiority complex towards Arsenal (for good reason as Arsenal are the most successful team from London by a country mile) and I'm guessing they're lording it over Arsenal fans currently. Chelsea were a non-factor at the time they were in the second division...QPR was a far more successful club back then...hell, so was Watford if you can believe that.

best team in london couldn't score on newcastle at home

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Steve Bruce is a tactical genius is why

if he was a tactical genius he'd be plying his trade at Cagliari or Sassuolo, evidently.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

sadly, english park-the-bus tactics don't travel well to the continent since they drive on the wrong side

Dont make me do it gobble gobble

Throw that Bob Marley wannabe motherfucker outta here. Maynard James Keenan. 1991

do it you wont

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Agreed KH; Joe I'd rather have a draw, than a 2-0 loss on our record thus far. Best team in London by miles in my opinion, and that's a testament to the team mentality you guys employ.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

english teams havent done well at olimpiakos in recent history; not a terrible start

di Maria masterclass currently in Paris...but Bale says hold on a bit.

PSG 2-0 Real Madrid

what a game!

EDIT: Bale goal disallowed for handball

Two goals disallowed... wasn't our night.

Real Madrid 0-2 Club Brugge at the half

What is going on at Madrid?

They pulled it out, but they certainly aren't looking like the RM I'm used to seeing...

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Tottenham Hotspurs 2-7 Bayern Munich

First time in their history Spurs have allowed 7 goals at home....YIKES!

Didn't know Gnarby started out with the Goons, what a game by that kid, yeesh!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

just another example in a long line of wonky evaluations and contract mismanagement by Gazidis

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Happens to every club GGC, you guys aren't alone, nature of the game, one man's trash...

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I believe he left to pursue playing time-Wenger wanted to extend his contract. At least that's what my brother told me at the time. I remember him as a dynamic player before he had a serious knee injury. Amazing comeback.

it's my understanding there was a Bundesliga loan in the cards when he came back from the knee but Gazidis wanted him to stay in England and loaned him to West Brom where Tony Pulis hardly ever put him in the matchday squad. He only made one appearance and so then was recalled in January because of it, and then he elected not to extend his contract with Arsenal who pretty much had to sell because he had a year left on his deal -- and didn't put in a buyback or a sell-on clause in the deal, so after a year at Werder Bremen, Bayern got him for 8m euros.

Also look at Donyell Malen - sold for 645k by Gazidis and now lighting it up for PSV

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Ok...good info. Don't bash Wenger too much, he made killing on many players in the 90s like Henry, Anelka, Vieira and Ljundberg (amongst many)...so much so that his shrewd transfer dealings helped Arsenal fund their new stadium. A far cry from the way Hicks and Gillette nearly ran LFC into administration.

it seemed pretty clear to me that towards the tail end of the Wenger era it was Gazidis was handling the transfer/contract dealings rather than Wenger. Felt like his hands in particular were tied more often than not from say 2013-on as we saw the club hesitant to aggressively tie down players to progressive deals

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

OT: Tifo football is doing a 3 part series on La Masia, and how it's gone downhill over the last few years:

I'm really interested in learning more about this academy process, and seeing the statistics behind hit or misses. Gnarby leaves me wondering how common is it for prospects to produce at other clubs.

Losing Bobby Duncan has really opened my eyes. Interested to find more information on how well LFC is doing with young talent. By the looks of it, Man City is beefing up the academy under Pep.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

An easy example is Pogba as well it happens sometimes not always because they talent isn't recognized sometimes agents play a role as well so many factors in youth academies

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

I think you also have to give some credit to Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim for some of his development. He was always a positive player as a youngster at Arsenal, but he made huge leaps in Germany before hitting the pitch for Bayern.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

yes, that's true. just makes me even more sad that we couldn't have loaned him to Werder Bremen ourselves instead of to freaking WBA

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Yeah I'm definitely in agreement about Gazidis's role in the later years. Gnabry is actually pretty low on my list of complaints, but he's on there. The WBA move made no sense.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Spurs need to fire Cornelsen.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Up 3-0 3-1 3-2 (that didn't age well LOL) early, great start! Now it's getting nervy, smh... WHAT THE HELL!!!

"We are the champions, Champions of Europe" ringing throughout Anfield, loving it! (Cocky bastard move)

Edit: Loved seeing Robertson get an early goal, I was looking at Man City yesterday and said to myself if our FB's could start scoring it would open things up so much for us.

Edit: Needed to get serious about this, I hate it still, because I really wanted to sub some people out, smh...

Edit: Thank you Mo Salah

Life of a Liverpool fan, they gotta make everything hard, smh, love this team, but man they take years off my life!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

This is like we played under BRodgers...and guess who we play next

That's why I wanted to rest our starters after getting up 3-0, thank God we didn't put a B team out there, this could've been ugly!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Whew! Hell of a match by Red Bull Salzburg, I tip my cap to them, will be a tough away match for certain!

Group E is going to be a tough group after all...

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Kind of Off-Topic, within an Off-Topic thread, but, I love Jurgie for reasons such as this:

Couldn't help but laugh uncontrollably at work...

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Whew, that match took at least 15 minutes off my life... #RoadBackToIstanbul

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Tremendous match. Salzburg are GOOD, they can win the Europa League. DC United alum Jesse Marsch and his team did themselves proud today (and all through the group stage). One for the future.

They are amazing! Their pace is lightening quick. Those first 5 minutes had my heart racing. Mentality Giants we are though. Jesse Marsch is very talented, look forward to seeing where his career takes him. So, SO thankful that Naby is finally resembling the midfielder we thought we were getting in the beginning. Salah's finish was sublime; however, we should've won 5-0 with all the chances he missed...smh. I'm just happy to be through, now we can focus on the league for a little bit at least until February. So thankful we avoided the travel associated with the Europa League.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Tough draw for the boys, was hoping to get Lyon. But we are the champions, and we shouldn't fear anyone. On to the Quarters. #YNWA

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I am here for a repeat of the 2012 Champions League final!

Waking up to Man City in the Ro16 was a pretty fitting start to a Monday where I already hadn't gotten enough sleep.

I realize they haven't had the best run of form and lots of injuries this Fall, but it's silly to project that (relative) poor run of form/injuries all the way out to when we will actually play.

Remember when PSG drew Man u last year and we all laughed and laughed even us Man u fans were laughing at the forseeable destruction joses bunch were gonna take then Ole came out of nowhere for the KO? A lot can change from the day of the draw to the games being played

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

Itll be an interesting tie fasho. I'm really hoping foden continues to get chances we look like a different squad with him out there

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

Why hasn't Foden gotten more game action? Pep talks about him like he's the next big thing, yet he's rarely on the pitch.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Hes actually appeared fairly often. I think peps trying to protect him from the english media, and is employing a similar strategy that he did with xavi. His minutes are actually significantly higher than Xavis at a similar age. That and I think were trying to convince gundogan to stay (which I'd much rather have foden out there) and have a good sendoff for anaconda silva

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

Round of 16 draw in full:

Borussia Dortmund vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Real Madrid vs. Manchester City
Atalanta vs. Valencia
Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool
Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich
Lyon vs. Juventus
Tottenham vs. RB Leipzig
Napoli vs. Barcelona

Thoughts on Atletico Kop? I don't fear their attack, I do fear them parking the bus. I think what I fear even more though is their tendency for dirty play. Hoping we can get through them injury free, so it won't derail our EPL campaign thus far.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I think the team that manages an away goal will win the tie. simeone is a masterful defensive mind, they will be tough. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if it goes to penalties after extra time with two 0-0 draws haha

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I haven't seen them play this season but they have plenty of young talent, though I think they've lost a bit up front with Griezmann's departure and Lemar ('memba him?) reverting to the mean. They will definitely park the bus and hope to hit us on the counter. We could be looking at 180 minutes of frustration and requiring penalties to advance. If we can nick a goal in the away leg, I think we should be able to advance. Quite intrigued by this matchup, actually-I'm a bit amazed we haven't played them in a while since we've both gone deep in the tournament recently.

Yeah that's where I'm at, I'm hopeful that we can get an away goal, and confident our backline can stop their forward line. Avoid injuries, and advance, that's all that matters to me.

The cynic in me says, going out of the CL, and focusing on the league, isn't the worst thing that can happen, especially if MC, lose to RM. If it were anywhere but Istanbul for the final, I would be perfectly fine if things played out this way. Not that I want to lose, but winning the league is far more important to me after a 30 year wait.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

My predictions:
Borussia Dortmund vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Real Madrid vs. Manchester City
Atalanta vs. Valencia
Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool
Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich
Lyon vs. Juventus
Tottenham vs. RB Leipzig
Napoli vs. Barcelona

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Unsubscribe haha there are some juicy ties though dont sleep on napoli vs Barca either

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

If Napoli weren't in a weird managerial situation, i'd agree with them as a sleeper pick -- but Gattuso just doesn't have the UCL track record of Ancelotti and who knows how the squad will play. This far out, barca's gotta be the pick there.

Rough draw for Manchester City for sure -- they can definitely do it, but City haven't really been solid at the back with Laporte being out and i don't think he'll be back in time to make a difference in the Ro16 tie.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

oh absolutely I can completely understand why madrid are the favorite unless we get some reinforcements at CB this winter (wouldn't be shocked)

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

GO SPUDS GO!

Throw that Bob Marley wannabe motherfucker outta here. Maynard James Keenan. 1991