Sunday, November 29, 2015

UEFA Champions League draw: Group B analysis


In what was looking like a potential group of death, this is essentially a group with three teams. Real Madrid and Juventus will be favourites to go through, but there's an extreme wildcard in third spot with Galatasaray providing an extremely daunting away trip. The Turks had a good run in the Champions League last year, coming close to putting Real Madrid out, and shouldn't be underestimated.

Favourites: Real Madrid

Juventus are probably approaching the level that Real Madrid are playing at now, but with Carlo Ancelotti's experience at the helm of a great Madrid side, they'll still be strong favourites to progress. José Mourinho appeared to get rid of the team's former weakness in the Champions League, and this will be a tough test to show that old complacency is gone.

Going through: Juventus

Juventus are a remarkably solid outfit and are not the sort of team to suffer shock defeats. That will need to stand them in good stead when they face Galatasaray, and although the competition will be fierce, the pressure will still be on them to qualify.

Europa League bound: Galatasaray

More coverage
  • UEFA Champions League draw: Group A analysis
  • UEFA Champions League draw: Group B analysis
  • UEFA Champions League draw: Group C analysis
  • UEFA Champions League draw: Group D analysis
  • UEFA Champions League draw: Group E analysis
  • UEFA Champions League draw: Group F analysis
  • UEFA Champions League Draw: Group G Analysis
  • UEFA Champions League Draw: Group H Analysis
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  • Something of a wildcard, but providing a dangerous hurdle for the two more illustrious teams in the group. Galatasaray are a great team on their day, and there is no reason why they cannot usurp Real Madrid or Juventus for a qualifying spot.

    Dead last: FC Copenhagen

    Hard luck to the Danes, who will do well to get a point out of their six games in the group. There were some difficult teams in Pot Four that had the potential to make this a real group of death, but this is very much a three-horse race.

    Best player: Cristiano Ronaldo

    Well, obviously. Real Madrid could sign Gareth Bale, but he'll still be playing second fiddle to Cristiano, as Real's premier match-winner looks to drag them through any potentially difficult situations. He'll get a fine opportunity to showcase his ability to be the talisman for his team early on in a difficult group for the Spaniards.

    Emerging star: Alvaro Morata

    If Real Madrid don't get another striker, then Alvaro Morata will be very much in their plans for the first-team. Karim Benzema was recently reportedly mentioned as "not a striker who can win you the Champions League." Could Morata offer a better option than him in big, tight games? We'll soon find out.

    Must-watch game: Galatasaray vs. Real Madrid

    Galatasaray and Real Madrid played out a hugely entertaining tie in the knockout stages of the Champions League last year, as the Turks were close to completing an incredible comeback. They'll be looking forward to welcoming Real back to Istanbul in what will be a key game for Real and Juventus to negotiate if they hope to finish top of the group. If Galatasaray can replicate some of their performances from last year then the group could be left open.

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    UEFA Champions League draw: Group B analysis

    This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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