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5 SURPRISE GROUP STAGE EXITS

With the intense competition in the Champions League, you never know which team might topple their dominance. Spanish clubs used to rule the competition over the last decade or so but since 2019, both Real Madrid and Barcelona haven’t reached the top 4 in the tournament. 

Last season a team like Manchester United couldn’t even make it past the group stages which makes the Champions League so unpredictable. Here are 5 teams from this year’s Champions League that might surprise everyone with an early group stage exit from the competition.

1) BARCELONA

It is visible that Barcelona are struggling without Lionel Messi leading them upfront and the 3-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in their opening fixture makes us wonder about their chances of making it past the group stages this time around.

The club has a lot of issues to be dealt with off the pitch which also has an impact on the camp’s morale and their display on the field. Barcelona have an easy group to deal with, but you never know since lady luck hasn’t been kind to them in the past few months.

2) MANCHESTER CITY

Although Manchester City are a strong side, the group they have been seeded in makes the group stages a lot tougher than usual. With PSG and RB Leipzig competing against them, they will have to be consistent and strong all-around which could be challenging for Guardiola and co especially after their poor performance in the summer transfer window.

City need a prolific striker upfront but they have failed to get one and it is greatly impacting the team’s performance over the last few weeks. In their last game against Leicester City, despite making a myriad of chances, they were only able to score a single goal which is a grave matter to ponder upon and helps us recalculate their chances of making it out to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

3) SEVILLA

Seville have only won 2 out of the 3 games they have played so far since they only managed to get a draw against Elche. They also only got 1 point out of their opening Champions League fixture against RB Salzburg.

If a club of their might draws a game against Salzburg, their fans should be worried about the coming weeks in Europe. Lille and Wolfsburg have recently become prominent names in Europe and Sevilla might not be able to handle them. The Spanish giants need to get their act together before they bottle a place in the Round of 16 of the Champions League.

4) MANCHESTER UNITED

Although Manchester United have been really strong in the Premier League so far, they haven’t yet faced strong opponents yet which makes it hard to judge the kind of form they are in. In their first game of the Champions League this year, they lost 2-1 against Young Boys, who are surely weaker than the pedigree of Manchester United.

Although they have signed Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, the player and the club play a different style of football. Where Ronaldo should be made to fit into Ole Gunnar Sklosjaer’s system, things are happening the other way around for the club which is never a good sign for a football club.

5) ATLETICO MADRID

Atletico Madrid are surely an extremely strong team who deserve to qualify for the Champions League, but looking at the group they have been seeded in, their supporters won’t be fancying their chances this season.

With Liverpool and AC Milan looking stronger every week, Atletico will have to keep up with them for the next few weeks. Atletico Madrid recently drew a game against Villarreal who themselves are struggling to find form. Atletico Madrid needs to be unstoppable and top of their game if they want to qualify for the Champions League.

With an ageing squad at hand, it seems unlikely that Diego Simeone’s men would come on top of their group and they would have to give a shot at the Europa League title this season.

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