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UEFA Champions League: Groups A & B Club Survey

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Know your UCL teams, last season performance, key transfers and recent form

Dider Drogba - UEFA Champions League 2020-21 Group Stage Draw
Real Madrid draw from pot one to lead group B
Photo by Harold Cunningham - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

A warm welcome back to UCL and fantasy fans, here is a link to the current season UCL introduction by Never Manage Alone. Today is the start of all participating teams survey kicking it off with Groups A and B.

GROUP A

Bayern München (Germany)

The UCL 2019-20 season winner and German giant managed to win all five trophies in the 2019-20 season, including the UEFA and domestic league super cups. The Bavarians will be the team to beat after an outstanding season. Hans-Deiter Flick was promoted from assistant manager in November 2019 to take over. Unless an unlikely surprise transfer takes place in the last two days of the window, it seems that Flick and the club’s directors are looking to apply the same strategy: If your players are doing well, then keep the changes to a minimum.

Key Summer Transfers: Leroy Sane was brought in as the only major transfer among other free transfers for youngsters. On the other hand, Ivan Perisic and Coutinho returned to their respective clubs and Thiago transferred permanently to English title holder Liverpool. Just two days ahead of the deadline, Bayern agreed terms with Espanyol to bring in Roca to strengthen the midfield depth.

Recent Form: (WWLW) The loss was heavy and majorly due to rotation reasons against Hoffenheim in the second week of Bundesliga. However, two of those recorded wins were against Sevilla and Dortmund for the UEFA and Domestic super cup trophies.

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Atletico Madrid (Spain)

It has been obvious in the recent past that any injury in the forward line of El Atleti causes major scoring problems. It was certainly an objective this summer to rectify that issue while keeping the midfield and defence intact. The reds and whites had a fairly regular season highlighted by knocking out the UCL 2018-19 title holders Liverpool and ending the season in a comfortable fourth position. It should be a fairly easy qualification to the round of 16 this season. Chances of winning the group are very slim, but Diego Simeone has already made many predictors and critics bite their tongues and think twice.

Key Summer Transfers: Barcelona outcast Luis Suarez joined on a free transfer while winger Carrasco and goalkeeper Grbic came in as part of transfer deals. Left back Caio Henrique joined Monaco, right back Arias is loaned to Leverkuzen, and Alvaro Morata is loaned to Juventus.

Recent Form: (WD) Their first match was postponed in week one of La Liga along with many other matches; Luis Suarez is off the mark scoring two goals.

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Red Bull Salzburg (Austria)

It was only 7 years ago that Salzburg had a domestic league competitor in Rapid Vienna. Since then it has been easy cruising to winning the Austrian Bundesliga for US Manager Jesse Marsch and the club’s talent. Last season, they faced Liverpool and Napoli; those ties were spectacular for the UCL fans, but Salzburg finished third to qualify only for the Europa League round of 32. They instantly bowed out, losing to Eintracht Frankfurt. High performers Haland and Minamino were instantly poached in the winter transfer market by Dortmund and Liverpool respectively. To be placed in a group with Bayern and Atletico Madrid is going to be even more difficult considering their defensive prowess compared to last year competition.

Key Transfers: The club as usual invested in a few young names; we are yet to witness who will shine among them. The highlight departure this summer must be Hee-chan Hweng who completed the trio with Haland and Minamino.

Recent Form: (WWWWW) A streak of victories, three in the domestic league and two in the UCL qualifiers to reach the group stage.

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Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia)

After winning the Russian Premier Liga in 2017-18, Lokomotiv Moscow managed to 2nd two years in a row with tight competition against FC Krasnodar (first time UCL participant this season). The capital club is drawn once again in the same group as Atletico Madrid. They placed last in 2019-20 season group, losing five out of six. Lead by newly-appointed Russian tactician Igor Cherevchenko, the target this season must be Europa League round of 32 qualification.

Key Transfers: Following Aleksey Miranchuk’s departure to Italian surprise package Atalanta, the Russians brought in Guinea’s Francois Kamano from Bordeaux. Russian International forward Fedor Smolov returns from his loan spell at Celta Vigo.

Recent Form: (LDDWW) Nine matches into the Russian Premier Liga, Lokomotiv Moscow are currently fourth, having scoring difficulties. They have only two goals in the last four ties but make up for it in playing 360 minutes (four matches) without conceding a single goal.

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Group A Matchday-1 fixtures (21-October-2020)

  • Bayern Munchen vs Atletico Madrid
  • Red Bull Salzburg vs Lokomotiv Moscow

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Group B

Real Madrid (Spain)

Team cohesion and Benzema’s renewed brand on the field gave Real Madrid fans hope that the team was moving ahead in the right direction early last season. No one can take away the La Liga triumph by the end of the season, but Barcelona imploding was one of the main reasons for Zidane’s success domestically. Even in the UEFA Champions League, while the round of 16 tie between Real Madrid and Manchester City looked like an episode from the TV show ‘Lost’; no one can tell if Real Madrid is as healthy as they seem to be. The management apparently is not of the same opinion, letting go of Achraf Hakimi who had made a strong impact on loan at Dortmund.

Key Transfers: Fourteen players returned to the Spanish club this summer. Most of them were re-loaned, and many others were offloaded to other teams: Reguilion joined Spurs, Rodriguez joined Sevilla, James Rodriguez joined Everton, and Gareth Bale was loaned to Spurs. Rumor is that a last minute deal to bring in either Spurs Deli Alli or Lyon’s Houssem Aouar will go through.

Recent Form: (DWW) Started La Liga with a draw followed by only getting the job done twice. It is too early to tell if this team is going to be on par with rejuvenated Barcelona in La Liga, but it does not look like there will be any trouble winning Group B and qualifying to the Round of 16 in the Champions League.

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Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)

Lead by Portuguese tactician Luis Castro, Shakhtar Donetsk finished last season’s group stage in third place thanks to the Atalanta storm. The Ukrainians picked out Benfica, Wolfsburg, and Basel before getting hit again with a five-goal blitz from Inter Milan in the Semi-finals. The club won the Ukrainian Premier Liga last season with a fourteen point gap.

Key Transfers: It was a very shy market thus far involving returns of loaned players and loaning more players for the current season.

Recent Form: (WLDDW) The loss came in the domestic super cup against Dynamo Kyiv. The domestic league record is still loss-free, and the Ukrainians currently stand in third.

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Inter Milan (Italy)

The Nerazzurri lived in chaos after the famous treble in 2010. The ownership exchanged hands, loads of money injected in the transfer market, and Lionel Messi was rumoured to be in talks almost every transfer window in the past three years. It seemed that Inter hit the right formula bringing in certain players such as Lukaku and Martinez along with Antonio Conte to run the show. Pessimists may feel the project is a failure, but finishing as runner-up in Serie A only one point behind Juventus while losing the Europa League Final to the competition veterans Sevilla is coming just short to say the least. If Inter Milan will have a say domestically or in Europe then it will be this season.

Key Transfers: Once again, the Italians spared no expense buying out Barella and Sensi after completing their loan spells at the club. Also brought in Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid, Kolarov from Roma, and Artur Vidal on a free transfer from Barcelona. The only highlight in departures was Mauro Icardi completing his move to PSG after last season’s loan spell.

Recent Form: (WW) Scoring nine goals and conceding five, Inter Milan under Conte is definitely promising to entertain.

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Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)

The German club sought the services of German 44 years young coach Marco Rose in the summer of 2019. The tactician’s first spell at first team football was at Salzburg in 2017, winning two Austrian seasons in succession. Monchengladbach spent seven weeks atop the German Bundesliga table during the first half of the season but finished fourth for many natural reasons such as the young age of the group, lack of league winning squad depth and a few injuries. On a continental level, they fell one point short from qualification to the round of 32 in the Europa League.

Key Transfers: The club brought in Hannes Wolf from Leipzig and Lazaro from Inter on loans. There are no noticeable departures. Failing to qualify for last year’s Europa League group stage, it certainly looks like the club is just happy to participate.

Recent Form: (WLDW) Currently standing in 10th place in the Bundesliga, conceding goals in every match.

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Group B Matchday-1 fixtures (21-October-2020)

  • Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Internazionale vs Mönchengladbach

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Readers Predictions

Join us in voicing your opinion in this thread’s poll.

Poll

Which of the following clubs is most likely to surprise their opposition and qualify to the Round of 16 from Groups A and B

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Red Bull Salzburg
    (2 votes)
  • 50%
    Shakhtar Donetsk
    (4 votes)
  • 25%
    Borussia Monchengladbach
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Lokomotiv Moscow
    (0 votes)
8 votes total Vote Now

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