Every 2020/21 Champions League Group – Ranked by Difficulty

Every 2020/21 Champions League Group - Ranked by Difficulty

It’s been just 39 days since Bayern Munich notched their sixth European crown and we’re ready to go again. The groups and have been drawn and on 20 October the 2020/21 Champions League campaign kicks off.

The draw was preceded by the usual odd mix of awkward interviews and random performances, including a Latvian canine dance troop and an interview with Didier Drogba focusing solely on his favourite sci-fi films of the 90s. Well, maybe that didn’t happen, but in truth it may as well have because nobody starts watching until they begin the draw.

This year’s edition of the Champions League promises to be an absolute belter with a whole host of teams confident they can be the ones to lift old big ears in Istanbul on 21 May 2021.

Of course the group stage draw has been kinder to some than it has others, so let’s take a look at which teams have been set the toughest task if they’re to advance to the knockout rounds.

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard will be pleased with the draw 

Frank Lampard will be wearing a smile as wide as the River Thames having watched the draw. He’ll be confident of emerging from Group E, even if to top the table they’ll have to overcome last year’s Europa League winners Sevilla.

Lampard will be keen to finish top to try and avoid a repeat of last season’s round of 16 tie with German behemoths Bayern Munich, but qualification is the main objective and Russian side Krasnodar and Lique 1 side Rennes shouldn’t pose too many issues.

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Lucien Favre
Lucien Favre’s side will be looking to top Group F 

Tough group to call this one, with no superstars but equally four sides who can all hold their own.

Borussia Dortmund will fancy their chances having emerged from a tough group that included Inter and Barcelona last year, while Serie A side Lazio should be able to overcome a Zenit Saint Petersburg side who finished rock bottom of their group last season.

Club Brugge will be looking to avoid a repeat of last season, where they failed to pick up a single win from their six group games.

Ronald Koeman will have to overcome Juventus if his side is to top the grou[
Ronald Koeman will have to overcome Juventus if his side is to top the group

On paper this one jumps off the page. Barcelona AND Juventus. But let’s be honest, while the battle for top spot may be ferocious, qualification from the group doesn’t look a particularly daunting task.

Both Juve and Barça should emerge from Group G with no problems, but finishing top will prove a struggle with two giants of European football going head to head.

Dynamo Kyiv and Hungarian side Ferencvaros already look to be battling it out for a spot in the Europa League.

Oh, and it’s Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo. That’s always cool, right?

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola will expect his side to emerge as group winners 

Had this draw been made last season Manchester City would have been worried with an intimidating trip to Olympiacos as well as an away game at Marseille on top of clashes with Porto.

However, with no crowds in the stadiums you feel the two ‘lesser sides’ in Group C may have lost a huge edge.

Pep Guardiola’s side will fancy their chances of topping the group, although none of their opponents will be pushovers.

Zinedine Zidane
Zidane’s side will be favourites in Group B 

Naturally the mighty Real Madrid instantly look favourites, but this one could be a tricky group to navigate.

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Shakhtar Donetsk proved in last season’s Europa League they’ve got the firepower to cause anyone problems, while Inter finished just a point behind Juventus in Serie A and have made some shrewd moves in this summer’s transfer window.

Borussia Monchengladbach will be intent on not just making up the numbers and Real could have a fight on their hands if they’re to top Group B.

Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski and his teammates will need to be on top form to progress 

Last season’s champions haven’t been handed an easy draw, with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid capable of beating anyone on their day and RB Salzburg proving at Anfield last season that they’re not to be taken lightly.

Lokomotiv Moscow will be cursing their luck having been drawn against Atletico for the second season running, only this time they’ve got Bayern to contend with instead of Juventus, Yippee.

It’s a close group in which you’d fancy all four sides to pick up wins, but Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid should have enough to progress.

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp’s side haven’t been handed a favourable draw 

If Jürgen Klopp was still smiling when Ajax and Atalanta were read out as Liverpool’s opponents in Group D then he needs to start playing poker.

Danish side Midtjylland shouldn’t cause the 2019 champions too much trouble (although Manchester United probably thought likewise prior to being beaten by them 2-1 in 2016) though Ajax and Atalanta are very tough opposition.

The Eredivisie champions and the free-scoring Italian side could make for an entertaining Group D and Liverpool will be delighted if they can finish top.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn't have asked for a tougher group
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn’t have asked for a tougher group 

Wowzers.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer just can’t catch a break, can he?

As a pot two team United were always going to be pitted against one of Europe’s big boys, but to find themselves in with RB Leipzig as well as Paris Saint-Germain is unfortunate to say the least.

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Istanbul Basaksehir are no mugs having finished top of the Turkish Süper Lig last season, while they also finished top of a Europa League group containing Roma and Borussia Monchengladbach.

If you were to offer Solskjaer second place in Group H right now he’d accept it in a heartbeat (he won’t admit it though).

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