Champions League 2016/17 group stage factfile
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | August 26, 2016
Now the draw is known, Coral football experts provide punters with a Champions League 2016/17 group stage factfile, and there’s some interesting games featuring Premier League teams and Scottish Premiership heavyweights Celtic.
Man City meet Barca again, battle Bhoys
Pep Guardiola faces a reunion with former club Barcelona as Manchester City will play the Catalan giants in the Champions League for the third time in four seasons. It has previously been in the knockout phase, however.
Having lost all four previous games with Barca, the Etihad outfit have it all to do to prevent them from taking top spot in the pool. Neither side’s outright odds have changed following the draw, with Barcelona the 3/1 favourites to lift the European Cup.
Man City, meanwhile, are 12/1 chances to go all the way under Guardiola. Group C also contains Celtic, who have never played the Citizens before yet they’ve got a victory over Barca from the 2012/13 campaign.
The Bhoys are big Champions League outsiders, though, at 500/1, and as long as 8/1 to qualify from the pool for the knockout phase, with Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach completing the group having lost both of their games with City last season.
Gunners preparing to play PSG
Arsenal, trimmed into 25/1 from 33/1 for Champions League glory, will play PSG having never lost a European game to the French champions. Group A also contains some new opponents for the Gunners.
Swiss Super League side Basel, who have proved problematic for Chelsea and Tottenham in Europe in recent years, and Bulgarian boys Ludogorets Razgrad – a team that once held Liverpool to a draw – are also in this pool.
If you fancy Arsene Wenger to get the better of PSG (under new management with Unai Emery installed in the Parc des Princes hotseat) and finish top of the group, a terrific 13/8 price is available on Arsenal performing best in their pool.
Foxes face Porto
The Champions League draw has been kind to surprise Premier League champions Leicester City, and the bookies aren’t prepared to take a chance on them again, slashing outright odds to 40/1 (from 100/1).
Claudio Ranieri must prepare the Foxes to play Porto (cut in similar fashion), who form the stiffest competition on paper, and relative European minnows Club Brugge of Belgium and Danish capital club FC Copenhagen.
Leicester are 11/8 to win Group G and, if building on their incredible season last term in this maiden Champions League campaign, they could well deny the Dragons top spot.
Spurs meet Monaco again
Tottenham, now 33/1 outright from 50/1, return to the Champions League and will face one of their Europa League group stage opponents from last season, Monaco, in the elite European club competition.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men took four points off the Principality outfit last term, with Erik Lamela scoring all four goals including a hat-trick across the two meetings.
With Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow completing Group E, Spurs are set as 6/4 favourites to top the pool. Coral’s Champions League 2016/17 group stage factfile isn’t wholly concerned with British teams, though…
Real ready for Dortmund, Bayern encounter Atleti
Champions League outright second-favourites Bayern Munich (4/1) are in the same group as 2014 and 2016 runners-up Atletico Madrid (cut to 12/1 from 14/1), having met in last season’s semi-finals.
Atleti edged that on away goals. Group D also contains Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven and new boys FC Rostov of Russia.
European Cup holders Real Madrid (11/2 to retain the trophy) once again battle Borussia Dortmund (16/1 shots), having met in the Champions League knockout phase twice in recent season. Group F also contains Sporting Lisbon and Legia Warsaw.
Group B looks wide open with Portuguese champions Benfica (11/4 to win the pool), Serie A side Napoli (evens to come top), Ukrainian outfit Dynamo Kiev and Turkish giants Besiktas battling it out.
And finally, the Champions League 2015/16 group stage factfile finishes with Group H.
This pits dominant Italian team Juventus (12/1 for the Champions League outright) and Sevilla (11/4 to win this pool) against one another for the second successive season, with Ligue 1 outfit Lyon (4/1 group chances) and Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb.
Champions League 2016/17 group stage draw in full
All group games to be played on the following six sets of matchdays:
September 13th and 14th
September 27th and 28th
October 18th and 19th
November 1st and 2nd
November 22nd and 23rd
December 6th and 7th
Champions League content can be found throughout the European club season on Coral’s dedicated page.