Real Madrid can consider themselves very lucky with the Champions League draw for the group stage. Los Blancos will be the team to beat after winning the last three trophies in a row and they will start defending their crown against Roma, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen in Group G. Lopetegui’s men will make their debut on the 19th of September against Roma at Santiago Bernabéu’s stadium.
There is a lot of expectation to see if Los Blancos can keep their great level in the best competition after Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure. Obviously, they will be great favourites, but there are a bunch of teams with options to beat Los Blancos like Juventus, PSG or Manchester City. At least, Los Blancos should get to the knock-out stage without any problem and topping their group, something they couldn’t achieve in the last two years.
Their first rival in this stage will be Roma. Real Madrid supporters will give a great welcome to the Italian team after beating FC Barcelona (3-0) in the last Champions League in an amazing comeback at Olimpico stadium thanks to a header of Manolas. This season, Di Francesco has lost important players like Radja Nainggolan or Alisson Becker, but they also have acquired Pastore or Kluivert so it will be a tough team to beat. They haven’t started very well the Serie A though, so there will be doubts around the giallorossi.
Lopetegui’s squad will have to travel to Moscow to face CSKA. The Russian team is also struggling in this start of the season with only 9 points in the first 6 games in their local competition. Last season they were able to finish second in the Russian Premier League after Lokomotiv Moscow, earning their spot in the Champions League. The Russian playmaker Dzagoev is their most dangerous player.
Finally, the easiest team in the group should be the Czech champions Viktoria Plzen. They earned their place to the group stage directly, without any preview game, but they will have little chances to go through with these good teams as rivals.