UEFA Champions League 2017/18: Five possible shocks from the group stages
Upsets and shocks are always around the corner in the UEFA Champions League. When the eight groups for the new season were drawn on Thursday evening, football fans were forced into leaping into happiness. Not just because the greatest competition in continental football was back, but because of the arrangement of the teams in there.
The duo of Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain were pitted in the same group, much like Barcelona and Juventus. And despite the presence of two top teams in two different groups, one can’t really dub either one of them to be a ‘Group of Death’.
Group G consists of sides like RB Leipzig, Monaco, Besiktas and Porto in what promises to be a rather intriguing group. But what comes closest to being called the ‘Group of Death’ is Group H, which sees Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur come together in the same group with minnows APOEL.
And since football is not played on paper, it’s time we look at possible shocks from the group stages of the competition.
#5 Chelsea to drop out?
The group that Antonio Conte’s men have been handed looks stiffer than either of Manchester United's or Liverpool's. And if they don’t play at their best, they can well fall out of the top two.
Atletico Madrid and Roma are in Chelsea’s group along with Qarabag. Atleti’s performances in the Champions League have been so consistent over the past two seasons that they can well be deemed to be the most consistent side of late.
Los Rojiblancos reached the semi-finals of the competition last season and will look to replicate the feat again. Roma though, were one of Serie A’s highest scoring sides last season and outscored eventual Scudetto champions Juventus. Unlike AC Milan, the exceptional bit of business that they have done hasn’t been showered with spotlight, but deserves recognition.
And Chelsea will have to be at their toes to go through, especially with their team-depth low.