UEFA Champions League and Europa League – early front-runners – Round 01 & 02

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After playing the first two rounds of the European top club football competitions, there are already early winners and losers. Last 3 season’s winners Real Madrid are finding it tough without Cristiano Ronaldo, debutants Hoffenheim and Crvena Zvezda Belgrade are having a difficult time at the beginning and many more exciting topics. Arsenal, Chelsea and AC Milan started perfectly in the Europa League and will be hoping to continue their impressive form and to carry on until the late stages of the competition. WhaleBets will review all of the actions from the groups, and you will have a full recap.

If you want to get familiar with the two major European cup competitions – you can check the infographics our team made or read the preview of the 2018/2019 season.

UEFA Champions League

Group A

TeamPPts
Borussia DortmundBorussia Dortmund26
Real MadridClub Atlético de Madrid26
MonacoAS Monaco FC20
Club Brugge+Club Brugge20

Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid started with two wins from their opening matches leaving both Club Brugge and Monaco on the brink of elimination. The Belgian champion hardly proved a match for Atletico and had no luck in their opener against Dortmund. Cristian Pulisic late strike proved vital for the Germans. Atletico won away at Monaco and overturned an early lead to win with Diego Costa and Jimenez getting on the score sheet on the process. Next fixtures are offering Atletico v Borussia Dortmund clashes and Brugge v Monaco, so many answers on which teams will finish top and bottom could be given.

 

 

Group B

TeamPPts
BarcelonaFC Barcelona26
InterFC Milano26
Jong PSVPSV Eindhoven20
TottenhamTottenham Hotspur FC20

In this group, the biggest highlight was the Tottenham – Barcelona game at Wembley which finished 2-4 and was decided by Leo Messi’s brilliance. The talismanic Argentine forward scored twice in a thrilling win which left Spurs with two defeats. Mauricio Pochetinno’s side lost the first match late on against Inter, so they will be looking to get two wins against PSV and to hope for the better performance against both Barcelona and Internazionale in the reverse fixtures.

 

 

Group C

TeamPPts
NapoliSSC Napoli24
LiverpoolLiverpool FC23
Paris Saint-GermainParis Saint-Germain23
FK Crvena zvezdaFK Crvena zvezda21

In what appeared to be one of the most exciting groups, Napoli, PSG and Liverpool are in a real battle for only two places. Liverpool impressed and won against PSG at the start of the campaign, with Napoli drawing against Crvena Zvezda. Then PSG thrashed the Serbians in Paris thanks to Neymar’s excellent performance. Napoli won at the end against Liverpool to make sure that the three teams have all to play for till the final game of this group.

 

 

Group D

TeamPPts
FC PortoFC Porto24
SchalkeFC Schalke 0424
GalatasarayGalatasaray AŞ23
Lokomotiv MoscowFC Lokomotiv Moskva20

Porto, Schalke 04 and Galatasaray are locked in a battle to progress from this group, and after two losses Lokomotiv Moscow are a long way off. Porto and Schalke played a draw and are with 4 points and after Galatasaray thrashing 3-0 Lokomotiv Moscow, Turkey’s representative is having their chances in progressing with next game against Schalke 04 which are hardly impressive in the Bundesliga.

 

 

Group E

TeamPPts
AjaxAFC Ajax24
Bayern MunichFC Bayern München24
BenficaSL Benfica23
AEK Athens FCAEK Athens FC20

Ajax surprises everyone this campaign by topping the group after the win against AEK and drawing away at Bayern. Benfica lost at home to the German team then won against AEK Athens. Ajax clashes with Benfica will determine who will join Bayern in the next round that anything apart from 2 wins out of their matches against AEK Athens would be considered a huge shock.

 

 

Group F

TeamPPts
Olympique LyonnaisOlympique Lyonnais24
Manchester CityManchester City FC23
Shakhtar DonetskFC Shakhtar Donetsk22
HoffenheimTSG 1899 Hoffenheim21

Considerable favourites in this group Manchester City lost their opener against Lyon and were on the brink against Hoffenheim either, but managed to get a much-needed win via David Silva winning goal in Germany. Shakhtar was left with only 2 points after drawing both their games against Hoffenheim and Lyon. German debutants now will face the French side twice, and this could turn out to be hard to predict group.

 

 

Group G

TeamPPts
CSKA MoscowPFC CSKA Moskva24
AS RomaAS Roma23
Real MadridReal Madrid CF23
Viktoria PlzenFC Viktoria Plzen21

Real Madrid began life after Zidane and Ronaldo with a sound win against Roma but then failed miserably in Moscow by losing 0-1 to CSKA. Loppetegui will be having hard times if his side fails to qualify from what looks like an easy group – well at least on paper. Roma is slowly finding their form again and now must focus on their two decisive games against CSKA Moscow.

 

 

Group H

TeamPPts
JuventusJuventus26
Manchester UnitedManchester United FC24
ValenciaValencia CF21
Young BoysBSC Young Boys20

Cristiano’s return to Man United was the highlight of the draw, and it appeared that this could not happen. The Portuguese superstar was sent off during Juventus’ win away in Valencia, and his ban only meant that he could not feature against Young Boys. Later UEFA decided not to increase the ban and Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford. Valencia will be hoping to get two wins against outsiders from Switzerland and then to pray for the best against United at home and away at Juve.

 

 

UEFA Europa League

Group A

TeamPPts
BayernBayer 04 Leverkusen26
ZurichFC Zurich26
AEK LarnacaAEK Larnaca FC20
Ludogorec RazgradPFC Ludogorets 194520

Zurich and Bayer Leverkusen are on hot track in progressing from their group after dealing with Bulgarian side Ludugorets and Cyprus’ Larnaca. Leverkusen showed great composure and scored the total of 7 goals in their two games. Zurich, on the other hand, was pragmatic and won twice by a single goal margin – both wins coming in the closing stages of their matches. If someone from Larnaca and Ludogorets would like to progress, they will have to get at least one win from their clash and then to hope for better performances.

 

 

Group B

TeamPPts
FC SalzburgFC Salzburg26
CelticCeltic FC23
RB LeipzigRB Leipzig23
RosenborgRosenborg BK20

In the battle of the Red Bull teams, Salzburg won against Leipzig and defeated Celtic as well. The Austrian side is having vast experience in the tournament and sits on leading position to qualify from this group. Celtic are gearing for final fixtures against the leaders after having mixed results in their two games – winning at home against Rosenborg and losing against Leipzig away. Rosenborg will need to improve after losing both their fixtures.

 

 

Group C

TeamPPts
KobenhavnFC Kobenhavn24
Zenit Petersburg 2FC Zenit24
Slavia PragueSK Slavia Praha23
BordeauxFC Girondins de Bordeaux20

French side Bordeaux is with 0 points after their two opening fixtures and must drastically improve over the next few matches if they want to progress from this group. Zenit is leading along with FC Copenhagen after both teams drawing in the first round. Slavia Prague is in an excellent position to qualify after having 3 points from their opening fixtures.

 

 

Group D

TeamPPts
D. ZagrebGNK Dinamo Zagreb26
Spartak_TrnavaFC Spartak Trnava23
FenerbahceFenerbahce SK23
Anderlecht RSC Anderlecht20

Anderlecht fears the worst after losing both opening games and failing to score a single goal – losing both matches against Spartak Trnava and Dinamo Zagreb. Turkish giants Fenerbahce lost heavily in the opening fixture in Zagreb but managed to get a win against Spartak Trnava in the second one. Anderlecht now is facing Fenerbahce, and many answers could be given in the doubleheader between the Belgians and the Turkish club.

 

 

Group E

TeamPPts
ArsenalArsenal FC26
Sporting_Clube_de_PortugalSporting Clube de Portugal26
FC_Vorskla_PoltavaFC Vorskla Poltava20
QarabagFK Qarabag20

In this group favourites are marching to qualification easily by winning both their games and now the tie between Arsenal and Sporting CP will decide who will potentially go out as winners and who will be as runner-up. Arsenal began their life under new manager Unai Emery brightly, and despite fielding under-strength teams, they won comfortably 4-2 and 3-0. Sporting CP also had no trouble against the likes of Vorskla and Qarabag FK, and despite a turbulent summer, they will have no problems progressing from their group.

 

 

Group F

TeamPPts
AC MilanAC Milan26
BetisReal Betis Balompié24
Olympiakos NicosiaOlympiacos FC21
F91 DudelangeF91 Dudelange20

Biggest shock contestant Dudelange could not live up the expectations and failed to register a single point from their two opening fixtures. They lost narrowly from Milan and Real Betis and are yet to play a double-tie with Greek giants Olympiakos. Milan overturned a deficit from the Greeks and won 3-1 at the San Siro. Betis and Olympiacos are going to be battling it out for the second spot, knowing that most probably AC Milan will occupy the top place at the end of the group campaign.

 

 

Group G

TeamPPts
Rangers FC24
Rapid_WienSK Rapid Vienna23
Villarreal CFVillarreal CF22
Spartak_MoscowFC Spartak Moskva21

In an evenly matched group without real favourite for the top spot – this group appears to be unpredictable. Steven Gerrard is in his debut season and Rangers returned to Europe after a few year’s exiles, but this didn’t stop them to be on a top place – 4 points – draw against Villareal and a home win against Rapid Wien. Spartak Moscow is bottom, but they have experienced squad on disposal, so surely the fight will go down the wire in this group.

 

 

Group H

TeamPPts
Eintracht FrankfurtEintracht Frankfurt26
LazioSS Lazio23
ApollonApollon Limassol FC21
MarseilleOlympique de Marseille21

Eintracht Frankfurt won the German Cup, lost their manager to Bayern, and now are living the dream in Europe – beating Marseille away and Lazio convincingly at home. Marseille will be hoping for improvement knowing that they managed to reach the final on last year’s edition of the tournament. Eintracht is possibly qualified, but the encounter between Lazio and OM appears to be mouthwatering.

 

 

Group I

TeamPPts
BesiktasBesiktas JK23
GenkKRC Genk23
MalmoMalmo FF23
Sarpsborg 08Sarpsborg 08 FF23

If there is a real thrilling group in the tournament – it has to be this one. Four teams, all with 3 points and all to play for in the next four rounds. Surprising or not, Sarpsborg is leading the way on goal difference with the biggest shock coming from Besiktas who are finding it tight from the beginning of the year.

 

 

Group J

TeamPPts
FC_KrasnodarFC Krasnodar26
Royal_Standard_de_LiegeR. Standard de Liege23
SevillaSevilla FC23
Akhisar_BelediyeAkhisar Belediyespor20

Record breakers Sevilla won the tournament five times and certainly will be hoping to reach the later stages of the competition. The Spanish side was stunned in their away fixture in Russia by FC Krasnodar. Standard Liege are also a team to look after, but the outsiders Akhisar are unlikely to cause significant problems to anyone, and they are in trouble in the Turkish Super League too.

 

 

Group K

TeamPPts
FC AstanaFC Astana24
Stade RennaisFC Rennes23
Dynamo KievFC Dynamo Kyiv22
JablonecFK Jablonec21

In this group, Dynamo Kiyv started slowly with two draws and certainly will be hoping to gain points in their next matches. Their both games ended 2-2, so certainly both teams to score is a good option in their games. Astana won at home against Rennes and now will be hoping against the bottom of the table team Jablonec to get the valuable points which will see them trough. On the other hand, the Czech team made a comeback against Kiyv so that the momentum will be there too.

 

 

Group L

TeamPPts
ChelseaFC Chelsea26
PaokPAOK FC23
BateFC BATE Borisov23
MOL Vidi FCVidi FC20

In the final group, the other English representative Chelsea started with 100% record. The Blues from London are respecting the tournament, and Sarri fielded strong selection in both wins against PAOK and MOL Vidi. BATE Borisov is the other team in the group, and they will undoubtedly be relishing the challenge in facing one of the favourites in the tournament Chelsea in their next two games.

 

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