2020-21 Champions League Group Stage Preview, Part 2
There is a lot of variance in the second set of Champions League groups to preview. Group F is objectively the Group of Life. Borussia Dortmund are the favorites to make it out of that group per the soccer futures odds, but they are not an overpowering opponent. Meanwhile, Group H is widely seen as the Group of Death. Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, and Red Bull Leipzig are fighting for just two spots, so at least one of those clubs will be awfully disappointed.
2020-21 Champions League Group Stage Betting Odds
Odds to Win Group E
This is a great draw for Chelsea. The Blues shouldn’t have much trouble getting to the knockout rounds, and they are the best value on the board at +130 to win this group. They are much more dangerous than they were last season with the addition of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, and Christian Pulisic has been cleared to return too. Kepa’s issues in net have been concerning, and that led to the Blues signing Rennes’ goalkeeper Edouard Mendy at the end of September, depriving a rival of one of their best players.
Rennes are currently at the top of the Ligue 1 standings, so they are receiving more love than they normally would be in another situation. However, we saw they still have a way to go in a 2-0 loss to Benfica in a friendly last month. Sevilla continue to dominate the Europa League, but their record in the Champions League is not nearly as pristine, so they may end up losing out on the second spot to Rennes.
Odds to Win Group F
Borussia Dortmund -120
Zenit St. Petersburg +450
Club Brugge +1600
The perennial second-best team in Germany can’t ever seem to get past Bayern Munich, but they have a very favorable group in this year’s Champions League. Borussia came close to knocking off eventual runner-up PSG in the knockout rounds of this competition last season, and they stand to receive a more favorable draw with a first-place finish.
Belgium’s Brugge is unlikely to make much noise after failing to win a game in the Champions League last year, leaving Lazio and Zenit to duke it out for the second spot in the Round of 16. Ciro Immobile had a breakout year for the Italian club last season, leading Serie A with 36 goals, and that’s likely enough to give them the edge.
Odds to Win Group G
Dynamo Kiev +1200
Anything other than the two juggernauts getting out of this group would be the story of the Group Stage. Barcelona and Juventus are levels ahead of the other two teams in Group G. While each club was disappointing last year, and the Blaugrana are dealing with a lot of internal turmoil, there is no area where any of the bottom two teams has an edge over Barca or Juve.
Odds to Win Group H
Paris Saint-Germain -150
Manchester United +220
Red Bull Leipzig +550
Istanbul Basaksehir +2000
This is going to be the most difficult group to navigate, so a moment of silence for debutantes Istanbul Basaksehir. They are newcomers to this competition after winning the Turkish Super Lig for the first time last season, but they will be fortunate to get a singly victory.
PSG still have two of the best players in the world in Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, making them the odds-on favorites. Red Bull Leipzig have shown an innate ability to develop talent, so last year’s Champions League semifinalists should be live even though they lost Timo Werner. Manchester United stand to be better too, as Marcus Rashford continues to come into his own.