Champions League Group B Preview

Group B seems to be one of the most evenly matched groups heading into this year’s Champions League competition. With four teams from four leagues, there’s no telling how these teams will stack up against each other on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid had a relatively underwhelming campaign in last season’s Champions League. They were able to scrape their way into the knockout stages, but only grabbed seven points in their six games. However, this was mostly due to the dominance of Liverpool and the difficulty of their group.

Atletico are looking to be the dominant force in Group B this season. Look out for Frenchman Antoine Griezman and Joao Felix to pose threat in the attacking third. Manager Diego Simeone has always had a unique style of play, but has often gotten a lot of backlash for his defensive tactics.

Atletico have an incredible amount of depth, which is key for maintaining team fitness when playing multiple matches a week. Atletico should easily come out of this group.

Group Prediction: First

 

Porto

Porto haven’t quite been able to replicate the European success they had in the early 2000s under Jose Mourinho. They also have lost a heap of talent to many of Europe’s bigger clubs. However, Porto will remain a top team in Portugal which will see them continually participate in the Champions league.

Last season saw them finish third while in a difficult group with Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. With an easier group B this season, Porto hope they can make it to the knockout stages.

Former Real Madrid center back Pepe still captains the side and is often regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation. Look for Porto to remain defensively strong and hit teams on the counter attack. Often aware they lack the talent to compete with most teams, Porto are still able to put on a show.

 

Group Prediction: Third 

Bayern Leverkusen

Often a Europa League participant, Leverkusen were able to snatch third place in the Bundesliga which saw them qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2019.

Bayern Leverkusen have a unique assortment of players including some that were brought in during the latest transfer window. Callum Hudson-Odoi is perhaps the most exciting of them all. The English born winger has chosen to represent Ghana at the upcoming world cup. After struggling for game time at Chelsea, he hopes to make his breakthrough in European football.

Patrick Schick had an outstanding Euros for Czech Republic and leads the frontline for Leverkusen.

Bayern Leverkusen are often an afterthought when talking about the best teams in Germany, however a progression to the knockout stages would definitely be an accomplishment for Gerardo Seoane’s side

Group Prediction: Second

Club Brugge

When most people think of the Champions League, Club Brugge rarely comes to mind. Nevertheless, the Belgian side has qualified for the group stage in each of the past five seasons. Similar to Porto, Brugge will most likely always be the team that comes out of Belgium for European competition.

Despite this record of success in terms of qualification, Brugge haven’t made it into the knockout stages. Most fans will remember former Orlando City striker Cyle Larin and former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Most experts believe Brugge truly lacks the firepower to compete in the Champions League

Expectations for Club Brugge are relatively low heading into this season, but don’t be surprised if they make a push for second in this group.

Group Prediction: Fourth

About Jake Bower

Sophomore journalism major at the University of Florida.

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