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Champions League Fantasy Preview: UCL Group-A

We run the rule over Bayern, Man United, Copenhagen & Galatasaray

BundesligaBorussia Mönchengladbach v FC Bayern Munchen
Will former Spur Harry Kane finally achieve Champions League glory in a Bayern shirt?
Photo by ANP via Getty Images

The UEFA Champions League draw took place on Thursday, 31 August, signaling the imminent start of the world’s most prestigious club competition. Following the international break, Europe’s top teams will enter group-stage play to vie for this season’s ultimate honor.

Let’s open NMA’s series of overviews with a deep dive into Group A.

Bayern Munich

BundesligaBorussia Mönchengladbach v FC Bayern Munchen Photo by ANP via Getty Images

UEFA Ranking: 2nd

Manager: Thomas Tuchel

Qualified Via: Winning Bundesliga Title

2023 UCL finish: Quarterfinal exit


After a somewhat disappointing UCL campaign last season, Bayern is eager to bounce back this year. The Germans have been drawn into a group alongside Man United, Galatasaray, and FC København. With the recent acquisitions of Kim Min Jae and England’s star forward Harry Kane, many expect Bayern to finish in the top spot in this group.

There’s plenty for Bayern fans to be thrilled about this UCL season. The Germans have kicked off the domestic campaign on a strong note, winning all their games in the Bundesliga so far. They have a seasoned, UCL-winning manager in Thomas Tuchel, and they’ve filled the void left by Lewandowski by recruiting the prolific Harry Kane. Both Kane and Bayern fans are hopeful that they can bring the UCL trophy back to Germany.


Predicted Starting 11:


Goalkeeper: Ulreich

Defenders: Davies, Kim Min Jae, Upamecano, Mazraoui

Midfielders: Kimmich, Goretzka, Coman, Sané, Gnabry

Forward: Kane

Penalty takers - Harry Kane, Joshua Kimmich

Free kicks - Leroy Sané, Raphael Guerreiro, Joshua Kimmich

Corners - Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sané, Raphael Guerreiro

Fantasy Picks: Harry Kane, Davies, Mazraoui, Sane, Coman, Gnabry

Manchester United

Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

UEFA Ranking: 7th

Manager: Erik Ten Hag

Qualified via: Finished 3rd in the Premier League

2023 UCL finish: N/A (Quarterfinals exit from Europa League)


Man United returns to the UCL after a notable absence. Last season United participated in a European tournament, but it was the Europa League rather than the Champions League. Even in Europa League, the Red Devils’ performance was less than stellar, and they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

This season United finds itself in Group A alongside formidable opponents Bayern, Galatasaray, and FC København, and United is currently grappling with a significant injury crisis within its squad. Consequently, surviving the group stage will present a challenge.

Nonetheless, if a substantial number of injured players recover during the international break, then United could hope to see its way through to the knockouts.


Predicted Starting 11:


Goalkeeper: Andre Onana

Defenders: Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw

Midfielders: Casemiro, Mount, Bruno Fernandes,

Forward: Antony, Hojlund, Rashford

It’s difficult to predict Man United’s lineup given their injury situation. Ten Hag’s press conference after the international break is one to keep an eye on.

Penalty takers- Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford

Free kicks- Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford

Corners- Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes

Fantasy Picks: Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Hojlund, Andre Onana

FC København

FC Copenhagen vs Viborg FF - Danish 3F Superliga Photo by Anders Kjaerbye / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images

UEFA Ranking: 41st

Manager: Jacob Neestrup

Qualified via: Qualification finals

2023 UCL finish: Group stage exit


Many may anticipate them to finish at the bottom, but there’s still much to watch out for from Kobenhavn. They’ve had a strong start in the Danish league this season, securing six wins in their first seven games and netting an impressive sixteen goals in the process. They’ve also displayed their scoring prowess by tallying a total of 13 goals in their UCL qualification matches.

But whether they can replicate this success against Europe’s top teams remains to be seen. Ronny Bardghi and Diogo Goncalves, both with four goals, lead the charge as FC Copenhagen’s top scorers and will hold the key to the club’s success in the UCL.


Predicted Starting 11:


Goalkeeper: Grabara

Defenders: Meling, Diks, Vavro, Jelert

Midfielders: Falk, Lerager, Goncalves

Forward: Achouri, Oskarsson, Bardghji

Penalty taker- Bardghji

Fantasy Picks: Ronny Bardghi, Diogo Goncalves,


Gaziantep FK v Galatasaray - Turkish Super Lig Photo by Adsiz Gunebakan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

UEFA Ranking: 59th

Manager: Okan Buruk

Qualified via: Qualification finals

2023 UCL finish: N/A, no European tournament participation


Galatasaray endured a challenging 2021-22 season, finishing 13th in the Super Lig and failing to qualify for any European competitions. However, the Turks made an impressive comeback last season by clinching their domestic league title and securing Champions League qualification through the UCL playoffs.

Their return to the UCL might not have played out exactly as they hoped, as they find themselves drawn into Group A — an exceptionally tough group led by title-contender Bayern. Nevertheless, Galatasaray should not be underestimated, as they possess a squad with ample UCL experience. Key players like F. Muslera, Angeliño, L. Torreira, D. Mertens, and M. Icardi are expected to play pivotal roles in Galatasaray’s UCL tilt this season.

It’s entirely possible that this young, energetic Galatasaray squad could spring a surprise, so their journey is one to watch closely.


Predicted Starting 11:


Goalkeeper: F. Muslera

Defenders: S. Boey, V. Nelsson, A. Bardakci, Angeliño

Midfielders: L. Torreira, K. Demirbay, Tetê, K. Aktürkoglu, D. Mertens

Forward: M.Icardi

Penalty takers- M. Icardi,

Free kicks- Kerem Aktürkoğlu, Dries Mertens

Corners- Kerem Aktürkoğlu, Dreis Mertens

Fantasy Picks: M. Icardi, D. Mertens, Demirbay, Aktürkoglu

Which stars from Group A do you think will shine brightest? Which clubs do you think will go through? Please take our poll and share your thoughts in the Comments!



Which club will win Group A?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    (69 votes)
  • 3%
    Manchester United
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 17%
    (15 votes)
87 votes total Vote Now