How Long Does The Average College Football Game Last UEFA Champions League Group Stage

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UEFA Champions League Group Stage

Summer is over. This means only one thing: the Champions League is back. This year’s joint favourites, Barcelona and Chelsea have quickly become fierce rivals in this competition. This rivalry is sure to intensify as they have been drawn into the same group at this early stage of the competition. The format is as follows: 32 teams are divided into eight groups of four in the group stage. The group winners and runners-up advance to the play-offs, the eight third-placed teams advance to the third round of the UEFA Cup, and the eight fourth-placed teams. Here is an overview of all the groups with predictions on who we expect to win each group.

Group A: Barcelona (-118), Chelsea (+125), Werder Bremen (15/1), Levski Sofia (250/1)

Maybe the competition between Chelsea and Barcelona is not so intense at this early stage. Both teams will advance from this group and there is a good chance that they will meet again in the later stages of this tournament. Chelsea look noticeably shakier this year. Their previously impregnable defense seems a little weaker. That would be bad for the Blues. But unlike in the past few years, with two titles this season, Jose Mourinho’s clear aim is to win the Champions League. However, we should be here with Barcelona. They are scoring machines and should destroy Bremen and Levski and they are more than capable of scoring against Chelsea. Close to the bridge, they need help to win this group.

Group B: Bayern Munich (+125), Inter Milan (+163), Sporting Lisbon (6/1), Spartak Moscow (40/1)

Inter are a big price here and worth supporting. They have added strength, quality and depth to their squad, and after Calciopoli’s scandal delayed last year’s Scudetto in Serie A. Sporting Lisbon are no slouch, but Inter can and should get past them. However, there is a slight concern. “Bayern” is the type of team that can keep up with weak opponents like “Spartak” Moscow. If Bayern and Inter have equal points, Bayern can win this group on goal difference.

Group C: Liverpool (-161), PSV Eindhoven (+450), Bordeaux (5/1), Galatasaray (10/1)

Despite their differences, it’s hard to see past Liverpool in this group. They are a well organized side and they lifted the CL trophy two years ago. Coach Rafa Benitez has experience in European competitions and should see his team navigate this group with ease. PSV is a shadow of the team they were last season. There’s a good chance they won’t finish in the Dutch top two, let alone repeat the average Champions League form of recent years. “Bordeaux” and “Galatasaray” are second-tier clubs in this competition.

Group D: Valencia (-125), Roma (+150), Shakhtar Donetsk (20/1), Olympiakos (29/1)

It is difficult to understand why “Roma” is neutral in this group. They are looking to win the sluggish Italian league this year. Their squad has been very strong so far this season, both on paper and in terms of Serie A results. But the Romans face stiff competition from the Spaniards in this group. Valencia has a disciplined and experienced Champions League team. They are deadly on the counter attack and stifle their opponents’ attacks. It looks like a coin toss between Roma and Valencia, so we’ll take the Italians as the odds. Keep Olympiakos. They won’t win this group, but like many Greek teams, they can be dangerous in their home games.

Group E: Lyon (-125), Real Madrid (+163), Steaua Bucharest (10/1), Dynamo Kyiv (50/1)

The collapse of Juventus benefited no team more than Real Madrid. The Spanish giants have acquired several other Galacticos and one of the best managers in the world, Fabio Capello. They are serious contenders for both the La Liga and Champions League titles this year. But they have to overcome their enemy in this competition: Lyon. The French side, despite their dominance in European competition, are consistently overlooked by bookies. We will happily back them again to win this group and possibly everything.

Group F: Manchester United (-275), Benfica (+650), Celtic (13/1), FC Copenhagen (50/1)

Manchester United could not have asked for a more favorable draw. But luck is what they need to get beyond this stage. At this short price, it’s not worth betting on the Red Devils to win the group. “Copenhagen” is a dangerous team that eliminated “Ajax” from this competition. They have great value to win the group and are worth quite a bit of money. Benfica are as solid as ever in Portugal and have experience in the Champions League. They should claim second place.

Group G: Arsenal (-161), Hamburg (9/1), Porto (9/1), CSKA Moscow (10/1)

Arsenal were the surprise team of the Champions League last year, reaching the final and defying expectations with every game. This year seems too much for them. “The Gunners” are not yet settled in their new stadium. The team looks noticeably uncomfortable and needs more time to gel. Considering the above, it is worth looking at others. CSKA are hot at 10/1 and the 2005 UEFA Cup champions should be backed to win this group. Russia is an intimidating place for visiting teams and the Muscovites are capable of getting results from their travels.

Group H: Milan (-333), Lille (6/1), AEK Athens (25/1), Anderlecht (33/1)

Milan should cruise through this group with ease. They are capable of knocking out virtually any team in the world and the likes of Lille, AEK and Anderlecht are not dangerous opponents. “Lille” is solid in France and may draw “Milan” in their game. As usual, Greek side AEK will be tough at home, but they are desperate on the road. “Anderlecht” does not deserve to be in this competition. Even at this short price, get Milan.

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