UEFA Champions League 2019-20: Group B preview and predictions
Last season's Champions League contained plenty of unforgettable drama. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to send Juventus past Atletico Madrid, a young Ajax squad took out Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid, Liverpool scored four goals against Barcelona in an amazing comeback, and Manchester United scripted a glorious comeback against Paris Saint-Germain.
At the end of it all, Tottenham Hotspur were held down by Liverpool in the finals, and the Reds picked up the elite trophy which had eluded them in 2018.
This year's Champions League will be filled with just as much drama, if not more, and the world can't wait to crown the next champion of Europe. Football giants across Europe are set to clash, not just in the group stages, but in the knockouts as well.
Teams seeded into Group B include German heavyweights Bayern Munich, last year's runners-up Tottenham Hotspur, Greek giants Olympiacos and Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade. Below is a list of dates and times for Group B games which will begin on 18 September and end on 11 December 2019.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Olympiacos vs Tottenham Hotspur: 10:25pm IST, 12:55pm ET, 5:55pm WAT
Bayern Munich vs Red Star Belgrade: 12:30am IST, 3:00pm ET, 8:00pm WAT
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Red Star Belgrade vs Olympiacos: 12:30pm IST, 3:00pm ET, 8:00pm WAT
Tottenham Hotspur vs Bayern Munich: 12:30pm IST, 3:00pm ET, 8:00pm WAT
Tuesday, 22nd October, 2019
Olympiacos vs Bayern Munich: 12:30pm IST, 3:00pm ET, 8:00pm WAT
Tottenham Hotspur vs Red Star Belgrade:12:30pm IST, 3:00pm ET, 8:00pm WAT
Wednesday, 6th November, 2019
Bayern Munich vs Olympiacos: 11:25pm IST, 1:55pm ET, 6:55pm WAT
Red Star Belgrade vs Tottenham Hotspur: 1:30pm IST, 4:00pm ET, 9:00pm WAT
Thursday, 26th November, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur vs Olympiacos: 1:30pm IST, 4:00pm ET, 9:00pm WAT
Red Star Belgrade vs Bayern Munich: 1:30pm IST, 4:00pm ET, 9:00pm WAT
Wednesday, 11th December, 2019
Olympiacos vs Red Star Belgrade: 1:30pm IST, 4:00pm ET, 9:00pm WAT
Bayern Munich vs Tottenham Hotspur: 1:30pm IST, 4:00pm ET, 9:00pm WAT
Here is a look at how each of the teams in Group B are likely to perform:
#4 Red Star Belgrade
The champions of the Serbian top tier would certainly exceed expectations if they manage to win more than two games in the group stages. While they fought hard to qualify for the Champions League, they're not expected to proceed from this stage.
Just like last year, Red Star Belgrade will likely be knocked out by December. Due to the quality in Group B, they have a good chance of finishing in last place.
However, the club will enjoy the revenue and profits that will come from playing top teams like Tottenham and Bayern.
Much like Red Star Belgrade, there isn't much of a chance for the Greek giants to enter the final stages of the competition. They would certainly fight for third place, and would hope to not finish last in the group. Red Star won't give them an easy time though.
Olympiacos will invite all teams to Greece in the coming months, in the hope that they can sneak enough points from those home games.
#2 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich were not at their best last year, exiting the competition in the round of 16 at the hands of eventual winners Liverpool. They will aim to do better this year, and it will certainly be a major shock if the German heavyweights are unable to pass the group stage.
Going into the knockout stages with great form and lots of confidence will be important. Bayern will need to win as many games as possible, and work hard to see off Tottenham's threat. However, they may not have the capacity to push Tottenham out of pole position.
#1 Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham took out Ajax and Manchester City on their road to the finals last year. They may have lost to Liverpool, ending as runners-up, but they have an opportunity to get to the finals again this year.
Their fans will be quite expectant that they reach the final once more, and finishing at the top of their group is likely the only acceptable result by December. Not qualifying is almost impossible, especially against a group with only one formidable opponent.