Every day, we at 32 Flags will preview each group in the UEFA Champions League as we build up to the first group stage games of the competition. Today, we are previewing Group B.
Group B is as straight forward as Group A. Maybe on paper, the UEFA Coefficient’s show something else, but in reality, Real Madrid and Liverpool will both run away in the group stage. Basel should comfortably go to Europa and the cinderella story will end for Ludogorets as they finish 4th and will be lucky to score any points.
Group B Teams and Country (Position in UEFA Coefficient/Position in UEFA Coefficient Compared to Just Last Season):
Real Madrid/Spain (No. 1/No. 1)
Basel/Switzerland (No. 18/No. 15)
Liverpool/England (No. 45/No. 86)
Ludogorets/Bulgaria (No. 75/No. 30)
Player to Watch in Group B: Cristiano Ronaldo/Real Madrid
The man is the best player out of the group so he’s definitely one to watch. There shouldn’t be any problems for Real Madrid to get through to the knockout stage (or even win the group), but it wouldn’t hurt for Ronaldo to have some great games.
X-Factor in Group B: Mario Balotelli/Liverpool
Yes, the Mario Balotelli. Balotelli has only played one game for Liverpool but he had a great game. We have all read enough about how Liverpool took a gamble to get Balotelli over the past couple weeks so I promise I won’t repeat it here but any time he is on the field, no doubt things will be entertaining.
Percentage of Advancing out of Group Stage (According to ESPN’s SPI Index)
Real Madrid: 98.8%
Most Important Game: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid, Matchday 3, October 22
European nights are back at Anfield. Yes they play their first game at home against Ludogorets but the real treat will be when they host Real Madrid.
Teams to Move On: Real Madrid and Liverpool
Team to Move On To Europa League: Basel