Wednesday, September 09, 2015

2015-16 Season Predictions

UEFA CL 2015 Predictions
As football fans we are really exited about new UEFA Champions League 2015-16 season. There is couple of very interesting and exiting questions, and as football predictions team we will try to answer them. Will Barcelona be the first team in 24 years to defend CL title? Will this be the year when Manchester City will finally fulfill its enormous potential and make a serious challenge to CL title? Which teams can be dark horses this time? So, lets start with our CL predictions and try to answer this questions. As for Barcelona, neither team manage to defend their title in present CL format, so we just have to respect 24 years long tradition and say no, Barcelona will not defend title. Yes, we are aware that this is totally opposite of what the bookies are predicting. Our top favorites for new title are Real Madrid, Bayern and Manchester City. Triple bet that can bring in some money. Real Madrid, winner from two years ago and the most successful club in the competition's history is always one of the favorites for title. Bayern, winner from three years ago is also one of the most successful clubs in CL history, and we do see Guardiola squad as serious title challengers. And yes, we do believe that this can be the year when Man City fans will sing Blue Moon at the San Siro stadium in Milan. As for dark horses, we'll go with the same clubs as in last year prediction, PSG and Atletico Madrid. Now, lets take a look at all CL groups and make some predictions about possible outcome. 

Group A predictions - Real Madrid and PSG are the clear favorites to advance from group A, while Shakhtar and Malmo have a small chances of reaching next round. Real will have a tough competition for winning this group, games against PSG will probably decide group winner. Ibro is coming back to Malmo, his boyhood club where he might get the bigger support than the local club. Shakhtar has made a habit of reaching the knockout rounds, but this time they will have to settle with Europa League spot. 

Group B predictions - Manchester United, CSKA and Wolfsburg were all in the same group in 2009/10. Then, United and CSKA advance to knockout rounds. Manchester is favorite to win group, and we expect a tough fight for second place. Wolfsburg selling de Bruyne and Perisic weakened them, while CSKA is regular CL participant and have very good team. Currently, PSV do not look strong even in domestic Eredivisie, but it would be wrong to write totally them off. This is a very balance draw, but we expect to see Manchester and Wolfsburg in knockout round, and CSKA in Europa League. 

Group C predictions - A good draw for Atletico Madrid who have a quality and experience to go far once more. Our dark horse team is stronger than last year. Couple of standard players have left the club, but Atletico will be even stronger because new players like Carrasco, Vietto, Savić and Miranda fit in Simeone's vision perfectly. Benfica and Galatasary will battle for second place, and it is difficult to choose between Portuguese and Turkish champions. Astana is the first ever team from Kazakhstan to reach the group stage and their Champions League adventure will probably end here. 

Group D predictions - Man City is one of our favorites for CL title, so is for winning this very tough group. Last year’s finalists, Juventus, does not look so impressive this year and their early exit could be the biggest surprise of group stage. Loosing three key players left huge mark and while we do expect Juve to be better and better in time, they could have problems at this early stages. Europa League winners in the past two years, Sevilla, is our favorite for second spot. Extra good club for this kind of tournaments, in our opinion underrated by bookmakers. Monchengladbach are probably the outsiders, but they can make something happen in this group especially if Juve slip. 

Group E predictions - This group is a decent test for the champions but Barcelona simply has too much quality and will arguably win the first place. Group is wide open behind Barcelona, Roma and Leverkusen have about equal chances to advance to next round. Leverkusen have already knock out Lazio, one of the best in Italy, in play-offs stage and we predict they will do it again in group stage. Roma will have to settle with Europa League. BATE conceded a record 24 goals in the 2014/15 group stage, scoring only two. They are simply not on the level with other teams in group and building on last years five defeats will be a huge success. 

Group F predictions - This does not look like very interesting group, Bayern should dominate just ahead of Arsenal, and Olympiakos is too strong for Dinamo Zagreb. Anything else would be a surprise. Olympiakos is strong at home, they have beaten Arsenal before and that is why they can dream of snatching second place but third place is a reality. If Dinamo can build on one draw, five defeats, and only one scored goal from 2012/13 season, it will be a success. 

Group G predictions - Chelsea should have no trouble winning this group, as other teams aren’t strong enough. Group highlight is probably a reunion with Porto for Chelsea manager. Mourinho won the first of his two UEFA CL titles with Porto in 2003/04. Porto has a good chance of returning to the knockout phase, but we expect Dynamo Kiev to push them all the way. You just have to respect two qualifying rounds and play-offs that Maccabi Tel Aviv successfully manage, but this is just second time in their’s history to compete at CL group level. Compared to other teams, inexperience put them as group’s outsiders. 

Group H predictions - Of all the groups, this one is hardest to predict because there are no clear favorites. Bookmakers rate Valencia and Zenit as favorites to finish in the top spots, but Lyon has enough to rival the others. In our opinion any of the three can finish first, second or third. Here we expect a lot of surprise results and the best advice is to be very carful with betting. Just for the sake of it we will predict Valencia and Lyon in next round, and Zenit in Europa League. This is first CL group stage in Gent’s history, but it will probably end here.

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