If not for Group H, this could have been considered the group of death. Featuring Chelsea, Athletico Madrid, AS Roma and Qarabag FK. Qarabag are new to the Champions League and will be shown what level Champions League clubs play at after being drawn to such a group. They were founded in 1950 and currently sit 2nd in the Premyer Liqa (Azerbaijan’s top league) table. One may not be familiar with how good they are but this is the stage for them to showcase their capabilities. The other teams won’t know what to expect from them.
Athletico Madrid probably just about edge Chelsea as favorites in this group considering their balance in the squad. Their transfer ban may be a blessing in disguise as this helped them keep hold of prized asset Antoine Griezmann. Add players like Oblak, Godin, Carrasco, Koke and a manager like Diego Simeone, and you have a really solid team which will be tough to beat.
Chelsea are finding their feet again though, after that 3-2 home defeat on opening day at home to Burnley, they have won the other 2 matches. Their win vs Tottenham would be the biggest morale boost of all considering the manner of their defeat to Burnley. Not just that, their signings seem to be working well with Morata scoring and Bakayoko and Rudiger still settling properly. They bought on deadline day too, adding numbers to what was considered an underweight squad on numbers. This will certainly reduce the strain on a number of players and give them more options in the CL.
Roma have lost 3 key members of their squad this season. Totti, Rudiger and Salah were all important members of Roma’s squad. Totti may not have had as much of an effect on the pitch, but his contribution off the field cannot be negated. They still have players like El Shaarawy, Strootman, De Rossi, Nainggolan and Manolas who cannot be underestimated.
Featured image via Facebook
Qarabag image via Itsmytravel
Griezmann Image via TheSun
Chelsea Image via PremierLeague
Totti image via thefield