The group standings have begun to take shape after MD-1, and it is crucial for fantasy managers to keep up with the recent form of all teams on the domestic front to be able to make the best decisions when it comes to UCL. MD-1 was only a couple of weeks ago, so most clubs have played three domestic league and cup matches since.
The group of death entertainment is increasingly exciting in MD-2 and will continue to elevate further in the match days to come. PSG is the only club with three points after defeating Dortmund 2-0 in MD-1. Paris will now travel to St. James’ Park where Newcastle will be looking to avoid defeat at all costs. In the other match, Dortmund will host 1-pointer AC Milan, so it could be an early almost goodbye for one of those clubs — and only difficult matches await.
Bayern (3 points) - Copenhagen (1 point) - Galatasaray (1 point) - Man United (0 points)
Ahead of hosting Danish champion Copenhagen, Bayern scored 13 goals in three matches as they defeated Bochum 7-0, tied with RB Leipzig last night 2-2 in Bundesliga, and in between progressed in the domestic cup by defeating PreuBen Munster 4-0. Copenhagen on the other hand scored 12 goals in 2 matches, defeating Brondby 3-2 in the league and Lyseng 9-0 in the cup. On Friday they lost 0-2 to rival Midtjylland.
Man United continues to deliver inconsistent results due to a combination of reasons. After the thrilling 3-4 defeat to Bayern Munich in MD-1, United defeated Burnley 1-0 in EPL and Crystal Palace 3-0 in EFL Cup, but then went on to lose 0-1 to the same Palace in the league just a few days later. Now in MD-2, the Red Devils host Turkish champion Galatasaray who recorded three important domestic wins: 2-1 over Istanbul Basaksehir, 1-0 against Istanbulspor and 2-1 over Ankaragucu.
Arsenal (3 points) - Lens (1 point) - Sevilla (1 point) - PSV (0 points)
After the 4-0 thrashing of PSV in MD-1, Arsenal was held by Tottenham to a 2-2 draw in the North London Derby. The Gunners went on to advance in the EFL Cup by defeating Brentford 1-0, and then they put four past Bournemouth in preparation for travel to face Lens in France. The French outfit won an important point in MD-1 by drawing with Sevilla 1-1 and went on to record two important victories in Ligue 1 against Toulouse (2-1) and Strasbourg (1-0).
Wounded PSV Eindhoven will be looking to recover from the 4-0 loss to Arsenal by hosting Sevilla in MD-2. PSV won all three intervening domestic matches to top the Eredivise table with seven matches played and won so far. The recent victims to PSV’s winning streak were Almere City (4-0), Go Ahead Eagles (3-0) and Volendam (3-1). Opponent Sevilla tasted all types of results since the draw against Lens in MD-1. First the Spanish drew 0-0 at Osasuna, then they defeated Almeria at home 5-1, and they ended with the bitter loss 1-0 against Barcelona in which Sergio Ramos scored an own goal.
Napoli (3 points) - Real Madrid (3 points) - Braga (0 points) - Union Berlin (0 points)
Despite minor internal disputes among the club and lead forward Victor Osimhen, Napoli is favored to qualify from this group alongside MD-2 opponent Real Madrid. The Serie-A title holders rested key players after their MD-1 2-1 victory over Braga to draw at Bologna, but they returned strong to win 4-1 against Udinese and 4-0 against Lecce as they lay in wait for history’s most successful UCL club Real Madrid.
The royal club suffered an unexpected 1-3 early-goals defeat to city rival Atletico after putting an end to Union Berlin bravery in MD-1, defeating them 1-0. Real Madrid followed the Atletico loss with two straight victories, 2-0 against Las Palmas and 3-0 against Girona to retain the table top position above rival Barcelona.
As of today, Union Berlin is on a five-match losing streak in all competitions, having lost to Hoffenheim 0-2 and Heidenheim 0-1 since MD-1. The Germans have scored only one goal in their last five matches. Portuguese opponent Braga has fared much better since a 2-1 loss to Napoli in MD-1, defeating Boavista 4-1 and Estrela da Amadora 4-2 to stay in the running in the Primeira Liga.
Salzburg (3 points) - Inter (1 point) - Real Sociedad (1 point) - Benfica (0 points)
Benfica fell victim to yet another young Salzburg MD-1 performance, losing 2-0. The Portuguese champions had a memorable UCL run last season, but they’ll need to impress all over again when they visit Inter. Benfica is on course to recovery, defeating Portimonense 3-1 and rival Porto 1-0 to take second in the table behind Sporting CP.
Inter was not satisfied with MD-1’s one goal draw with Real Sociedad. The Italians went on to defeat Empoli 1-0 then fell victim to giant-hunter Sassuolo 1-2 before another 4-0 recovery victory against Salernitana on Saturday.
Group leading Salzburg lost to Blau-WeiB Linz in the Austrian Bundesliga after recording the only surprise of MD-1. The Austrian champions won both matches afterwards by the same 4-0 scoreline over Austria Salzburg and Austria Lustenau. One of the teams that I personally expect to become the dark horse of this season’s UCL, Real Sociedad, is unstopabble domestically, defeating Getafe 4-3, Valencia 1-0, and Atletico Bilbao 3-0 since the MD-1 draw with Inter Milan.
Feyenoord (3 points) - Atletico (1 point) - Lazio (1 point) - Celtic (0 points)
Feyenoord finds itself at the top of Group E after defeating Celtic 2-0 in MD-1, but the club will have to go through both Lazio and Atletico Madrid to advance this season. Before the test in Madrid against Atletico, Feyenoord defeated Ajax 4-0 and Go Ahead Eagles 3-1.
Atletico seems to be much better organized and attack-minded than usual this season. After MD-1 draw against Lazio, the early two goals against Real Madrid in the derby speak volumes. Atletico also defeated Osasuna 2-0.
Lazio is the Man United of the Serie-A, leaking goals and points at every occasion. After the last minute heroics in MD-1 to hold Atletico Madrid to a draw, Lazio also tied 1-1 against Monza, defeated Torino 2-0, and lastly lost 2-0 to AC Milan.
Opponent Celtic won both matches after the defeat to Feyenoord in MD-1. Both were played away from home: defeating Livingston 3-0 and Motherwell 2-1 in the Scottish Premiership.
PSG (3 points) - AC Milan (1 point) - Newcastle (1 point) - Dortmund (0 points)
PSG is struggling domestically with two draws and a loss in seven played. Despite the 2-0 victory over Dortmund in MD-1, playing away at Newcastle may not have the same results. Domestically, PSG won 4-0 over Marseille and was held to a draw by Clermont.
Host Newcastle is in a good form after the difficult start of the season. Since MD-1’s goalless draw against AC Milan, the Magpies defeated Sheffield United 8-0, Man City 1-0 (EFL Cup) and Burnley 2-0. They have kept clean sheets in their last five matches in all competitions.
The other clash in this group of death is between Dortmund and AC Milan. The Italians visit Germany after winning three in a row. They defeated Hellas Verona 1-0, Cagliari 3-1 and Lazio 2-0 to join Inter Milan at the top of the Serie-A table. Dortmund replied to the loss in MD-1 with two victories, defeating Wolfsburg 1-0 and Hoffenheim 3-1 to prepare for AC Milan’s visit in MD-2.
Man City (3 points) - RB Leipzig (3 point) - Crvena zvezda (0 points) - Young Boys (0 points)
Moving on to the most straight forward group in UCL this season, MD-2 and MD-5 will be the most exciting as Man City plays against RB Leipzig for the group winner decider. The Germans navigated successfully through a difficult set of domestic matches, defeating Monchengladbach 1-0 and Wiesbaden 3-2 before holding Bayern Munich to a 2-2 draw. The Germans may be too tired to take on Man City in UCL.
The 2022-23 treble winners continued winning ways after MD-1 to defeat Nottingham Forest 2-0, but then they lost to Newcastle 0-1 in EFL Cup and were upset by Wolves in EPL 2-1. Rodri’s domestic suspension may have contributed, but that won’t apply to UCL where the key midfielder should be both well rested and itching to redeem himself.
Contenders for the Europa League spot at the end of the group stage, Young Boys and Crvena Zvezda (aka Redstar Belgrade), play each other in MD-2. The Swiss outfit defeated Lugano 4-1, lost to Gallen 1-2 and won again 1-0 over Grasshopper to retain the league’s top spot.
Belgrade has played only one match since the 3-1 MD-1 defeat to Man City, defeating Radnicki in the Super Liga to stay in the top-3 of the Serbia league table.
Barcelona (3 points) - Porto (3 points) - Shakhtar Donetsk (0 points) - Antwerp (0 points)
Group H plays out the same way as Group G with little competition from Shakhtar Donetsk. The repeated appearance of the Ukrainian outfit makes them a potential threat for an upset on any given match-day, newcomer Antwerp up next in MD-2. Since the 1-3 defeat to Porto, Shakhtar drew 1-1 with Rukh Lviv, defeated Veres Rivne 3-0 and lost 1-2 to Vorskla Poltava.
The Belgians will celebrate their first ever UCL match on home turf. Since the expected 5-0 defeat to Barcelona in MD-1, they’ve kept three clean sheets but also failed to score, thus producing three 0-0 results in a row.
The other match will be played at Porto. The most heated topic though might be Barcelona being accused of match fixing. Barcelona defeated Celta Vigo 3-2, tied with Mallorca 2-2 and defeated Sevilla 1-0 since MD-1.
The Portuguese club defeated Vicente 2-1 and lost the important top of table tie against Benfica 0-1 ahead of hosting the Spanish champions.
The following difficulty tables are subjective and do not rely on specific criteria, but we hope they’ll serve as a simple guide to help readers navigate the group stages and plan for chips.
Good luck to you this season; we’ll be with you all the way!
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