The 2018-19 UEFA Champions League Group stage is soon upon us and the eight groups have been set.
Group A: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Club Brugge
Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan
Group C: PSG, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade
Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray
Group E: Bayern Munich, Benfica, Ajax, AEK Athens
Group F: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim
Group G: Real Madrid, Roma, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen
Group H: Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, BSC Young Boys
Group A would seem an Atletico and Dortmund affair with Monaco the spoiler.
Group B sets up with Barcelona and Tottenham as leaders and Inter as spoilers
Group C has PSG and Liverpool as strong favorites with Napoli as would be contender.
Group D is wide open and Schalke and Porto might fancy their chances while Gala and Lokomotiv are not out of contention.
Group E looks like a Bayern cake walk but with a Benfica or Ajax frosting.
Group F comes across as a City and then perhaps Lyon deal, but frankly no clear second.
Group G has Real Madrid and Roma as clear favorites with the other two hard put to keep up.
Group H seems the strongest with Juventus as top favorite but Man U and Valencia having chances to advance too.
The schedule of play is set as follows as per the UEFA website:
18/19 September: Group stage, matchday one
2/3 October: Group stage, matchday two
23/24 October: Group stage, matchday three
6/7 November: Group stage, matchday four
27/28 November: Group stage, matchday five
11/12 December: Group stage, matchday six
17 December: Round of 16 draw
12/13/19/20 February: Round of 16, first leg
5/6/12/13 March: Round of 16, second leg
15 March: Quarter-final & semi-final draw
9/10 April: Quarter-finals, first leg
16/17 April: Quarter-finals, second leg
30 April/1 May: Semi-finals, first leg
7/8 May: Semi-finals, second leg
Saturday 1 June: Final– Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, in Madrid, Spain.