Champions League Preview & Picks | Group F, Featuring PSG & Newcastle
Marco Canoniero/Getty. Pictured: Davide Calabria.
The group of death this season in the Champions League is without a doubt Group F. PSG, Newcastle, AC Milan and Dortmund are all vying for two spots in the round of 16.
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PSG are your odds-on favorite to win the group and in my opinion they are appropriately priced in the +110 range.
The value comes down the board a little bit with AC Milan at +500. Last season they went all the way to the semifinals, and I don't think that was a fluke.
Stephan Pioli can blend a couple of different tactics that can really work well in this group. If you look at AC Milan’s numbers from Serie A last year you will see that they held 55.6% possession, but in the Champions League they became a low block transitional team, which really worked in getting by both Tottenham and Napoli.
They did lose Sandro Tonali and Brahim Diaz this summer, but I really like the moves they made adding Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Samuel Chukwueze, Yunus Musah and Noah Okafor. Not to mention they also have one of the best wingers in the world in Rafael Leao.
Dortmund are going to take a step back losing Jude Bellingham. They know don’t have an elite ball stopper in the middle of the pitch that can also get forward in attack to give them solid goal production. That puts more pressure on the strikers to make up for that type of production.
Newcastle are an interesting team and one I actually do like in this group, but their price sitting around +230 is way too short.
We’ve seen them early on in the Premier League struggle against good competition, losing pretty convincingly to Manchester City and Brighton.
Their high press transitional based system has worked against average to below average build up teams, but against teams in this group they may find it more difficult to force those high turnovers they are known for.
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I projected the expected points for this group as follows:
-AC Milan 8.1
Based on that, the value is there on AC Milan at +500 to win this group.