I would dare to argue it might be better to finish second in the Champions League group stage.
Champions league group stage is over after tonights matches, and as always 2 best teams from each group advances to the knockout stages. Until now there has been a significant advantage in winning the group, and being teamed up against a runner up team in the knockout stages of the Champions League. But this time around theres hardly, if any difference. It might even actually be easier to finish second. Here’s why:
- Group winners and runners up so far:
- Group Winners: Arsenal(a), Napoli(b), Barcelona(c), Atletico Madrid(d), Monaco(e), Leicester City(g)
- Runners up so far: PSG(a), Benfica(b), Manchester City(c), Bayern Munchen(d), Leverkusen(e)
See what i mean? If i had to choose, i would almost try my luck with the Champions League group stage winners basket instead of the runners up. And it could get even more tricky for the group winners, if Real Madrid doesnt win vs Borussia Dortmund tonight. That would mean Real Madrid joining PSG, Manchester City, Bayern Munchen and ALMOST certainly Sevilla in the runners up pot.
As a runner up you have the chance to be drawn against Napoli, Monaco, Leicester City. Even Arsenal seems easier than most of the 2nd place finishers. Those teams sound like a semi-tough draw, if you were the group winner being drawn against runner up team. Bet when you are the runner up team being drawn against lets say Monaco, Napoli or Leicester City, you feel lucky. And this is not to berate those said teams, its just that there are tougher teams in the second basket.
The Champions League group stage standings might have been a bitter sweet feeling for one team in particular: Arsenal. So many times they have scraped by finishing second, and usually have got a tough draw in the last 16, Barcelona and Bayern Munchen on multiple occasions. This time around they won their group, even if it was mainly done by PSG failing to perform in their last match. Arsenal won the group, but the odds are they get either Bayern Munchen or whoever finishes second in group F, Real Madrid or Borussia Dortmund.
Last time there was a poll on whos going to win the whole tournament, today though, its all about one match. Regardless if it would be better to finish first or second in the Champions League group stage. Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund will battle it out today just for the sake of prestige. Even if it means getting possibly a tougher draw as the group winners. Who do YOU think will win the biggest match of the round and therefore could end up facing a tougher draw few days from now?