The European season is already about a month old and while things are rolling in every countries league, the European season doesn’t really get going until the Champions League group stage starts. The 32 best club teams in Europe are set to begin their journey for European greatness Tuesday and Wednesday.

When teams discovered their group stage fates a few weeks ago, many seemed to have the mindset that they were either in a tough group or an easy group and didn’t seem like there was anything in between. Despite this, there seems to be a lack of excitement in terms of wondering who is going to advance. In the majority of groups, there seems to be two teams who are far and away better and on paper, should easily advance. That doesn’t happen all the time so the group stage is still worth watching but despite some great matchups, the group stage is largely going to be rather anti-climatic.

Either way, the writers at The Comeback looked at each group and gave our picks as to who finishes where in each group. There are some differences of opinion but the six of us unanimously chose 13 teams to finish somewhere in the top two of their respective groups. But where will they finish?

Group A

Phillip Bupp – 1st Manchester United, 2nd Benfica, 3rd CSKA Moscow, 4th Basel
Pauly Kwestel – 1st Manchester United, 2nd Benfica, 3rd Basel, 4th CSKA Moscow
Harrison Prolic – 1st Manchester United, 2nd Benfica, 3rd CSKA Moscow, 4th Basel
Randy Capps – 1st Manchester United, 2nd Benfica, 3rd Basel, 4th CSKA Moscow
Jeff Snyder – 1st Manchester United, 2nd Benfica, 3rd Basel, 4th CSKA Moscow
Matt Lichtenstadter – 1st Manchester United, 2nd Benfica, 3rd Basel, 4th CSKA Moscow

It seems clear that Manchester United and Benfica are going to be 1-2 respectively. Apart from a 2-2 draw at Stoke, Manchester United is hitting on all cylinders and at the top of the Premier League table while Benfica sits 3rd in Portugal but are unbeaten in their first five matches. The main drama will be about who grabs that Europa League knockout stage spot. Basel has the experience to get some tough results in the tournament but CSKA Moscow, like any Russian team, will be tough to beat in Russia.

Group B

Phillip – 1st PSG, 2nd Bayern Munich, 3rd Celtic, 4th Anderlecht
Pauly – 1st Bayern Munich, 2nd PSG, 3rd Anderlecht, 4th Celtic
Harrison P – 1st PSG, 2nd Bayern Munich, 3rd Celtic, 4th Anderlecht
Randy – 1st PSG, 2nd Bayern Munich, 3rd Anderlecht, 4th Celtic
Jeff – 1st PSG, 2nd Bayern Munich, 3rd Celtic, 4th Anderlecht
Matt L – 1st PSG, 2nd Bayern Munich, 3rd Anderlecht, 4th Celtic

Another group that seems to split the top two and the bottom two. While most of us have PSG and their latest signings Neymar and Kylian Mbappe topping the group, Bayern Munich is one of the best teams in the world and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they beat out PSG. Bayern/PSG and their matches on September 27 and December 5 will provide a potential Final possibility. Celtic and Anderlecht will compete for the Europa League spot.

Group C

Phillip – 1st Atletico Madrid, 2nd Chelsea, 3rd Roma, 4th Qarabag
Pauly – 1st Atletico Madrid, 2nd Chelsea, 3rd Roma, 4th Qarabag
Harrison P – 1st Atletico Madrid, 2nd Chelsea, 3rd Roma, 4th Qarabag
Randy – 1st Chelsea, 2nd Atletico Madrid, 3rd Roma, 4th Qarabag
Jeff – 1st Atletico Madrid, 2nd Chelsea, 3rd Roma, 4th Qarabag
Matt L – 1st Chelsea, 2nd Atletico Madrid, 3rd Roma, 4th Qarabag

The majority of us have Atletico Madrid winning Group C with Chelsea in 2nd but Chelsea could very well best them. Their matches will certainly create some narratives considering Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been wanting a move to Atletico Madrid. Roma got stuck in a difficult group so they won’t make the Champions League knockout stage but will get in Europa League. Qarabag, the team from Azerbaijan who is making their first appearance in the group stage, will receive some nice parting gifts and will hope to get a result at some point.

Group D

Phillip – 1st Juventus, 2nd Barcelona, 3rd Olympiacos, 4th Sporting Lisbon
Pauly – 1st Juventus, 2nd Barcelona, 3rd Sporting Lisbon, 4th Olympiacos
Harrison P – 1st Juventus, 2nd Barcelona, 3rd Sporting Lisbon, 4th Olympiacos
Randy – 1st Barcelona, 2nd Juventus, 3rd Sporting Lisbon, 4th Olympiacos
Jeff – 1st Juventus, 2nd Barcelona, 3rd Sporting Lisbon, 4th Olympiacos
Matt L – 1st Juventus, 2nd Barcelona, 3rd Sporting Lisbon, 4th Olympiacos

After Barcelona publicly sold Neymar to PSG and publicly were unable to get Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, nobody really knows how Barcelona will fare in Champions League play. Granted, they have three wins in three matches in La Liga with a 9-0 goal record, but we don’t really have a sense until they play a top team. Despite that, Barca and Juventus should have no trouble getting to the round of 16.

Group E

Phillip – 1st Sevilla, 2nd Liverpool, 3rd Spartak Moscow, 4th Maribor
Pauly – 1st Sevilla, 2nd Liverpool, 3rd Spartak Moscow, 4th Maribor
Harrison P – 1st Sevilla, 2nd Liverpool, 3rd Spartak Moscow, 4th Maribor
Randy – 1st Liverpool, 2nd Sevilla, 3rd Spartak Moscow, 4th Maribor
Jeff – 1st Liverpool, 2nd Sevilla, 3rd Spartak Moscow, 4th Maribor
Matt L – 1st Liverpool, 2nd Sevilla, 3rd Spartak Moscow, 4th Maribor

Spartak Moscow and Maribor havee 3rd and 4th sewn up but the battle will be among Sevilla and Liverpool for the top spot. With Coutinho coming back to Liverpool and possibly making his season debut against Sevilla Wednesday, we’ll have an early sense of who is topping this group.

Group F

Phillip – 1st Manchester City, 2nd Napoli, 3rd Shakhtar Donetsk, 4th Feyenoord
Pauly – 1st Manchester City, 2nd Shakhtar Donetsk, 3rd Napoli, 4th Feyenoord
Harrison P – 1st Manchester City, 2nd Napoli, 3rd Shakhtar Donetsk, 4th Feyenoord
Randy – 1st Manchester City, 2nd Napoli, 3rd Shakhtar Donetsk, 4th Feyenoord
Jeff – 1st Manchester City, 2nd Napoli, 3rd Feyenoord, 4th Shakhtar Donetsk
Matt L – 1st Manchester City, 2nd Napoli, 3rd Shakhtar Donetsk, 4th Feyenoord

We unanimously have Manchester City in the top spot of Group F. After that, it gets a bit more complicated. Group F is one of two groups where the soccer writers on The Comeback do not have the same two teams in the top two. Feyenoord is in the last two but Napoli and Shakhtar Donetsk is going to be a juicy matchup to see who can get that 2nd place finish and go to the knockout stage.

Group G

Phillip – 1st RB Leipzig, 2nd Monaco, 3rd Porto, 4th Besiktas
Pauly – 1st Porto, 2nd RB Leipzig, 3rd Monaco, 4th Besiktas
Harrison P – 1st Porto, 2nd RB Leipzig, 3rd Monaco, 4th Besiktas
Randy – 1st Porto, 2nd Monaco, 3rd RB Leipzig, 4th Besiktas
Jeff – 1st Monaco, 2nd RB Leipzig, 3rd Besiktas, 4th Porto
Matt L – 1st Monaco, 2nd RB Leipzig, 3rd Porto, 4th Besiktas

Group G is the second of two groups where the six of us differ in our two top teams. Except for Besiktas, at least one of us has some combination of RB Leipzig, Monaco and/or Porto within the top two. What is arguably the easiest group as well as the least star-studded, it will provide the most intrigue as to who actually advances to the knockout stage.

Group H

Phillip – 1st Real Madrid, 2nd Borussia Dortmund, 3rd Tottenham, 4th APOEL
Pauly – 1st Real Madrid, 2nd Borussia Dortmund, 3rd Tottenham, 4th APOEL
Harrison P – 1st Real Madrid, 2nd Borussia Dortmund, 3rd Tottenham, 4th APOEL
Randy – 1st Real Madrid, 2nd Borussia Dortmund, 3rd Tottenham, 4th APOEL
Jeff – 1st Real Madrid, 2nd Borussia Dortmund, 3rd Tottenham, 4th APOEL
Matt L – 1st Real Madrid, 2nd Borussia Dortmund, 3rd Tottenham, 4th APOEL

Easily the most predictable group of the tournament, all six of us chose the exact same order and for good reason. Real Madrid is one of the most dominant teams in the world and has been in the knockout stage every year for the past 20 years. Borussia Dortmund is a great team but is a step below Real. Tottenham is a step below Dortmund and their Wembley woes are worth a scare. And APOEL will get to enjoy playing in three phenomenal world class stadiums but that’ll be able it.

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and I occasionally write for Awful Announcing and Freezing Cold Takes. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook @phillipbupp