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 By Nick Miller

Real Madrid, Dortmund, Spurs, APOEL in Champions League Group H

The ESPN FC crew discuss the Champions League draw.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the Champions League draw.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the Champions League draw.

Now that the Champions League draw has been completed, here's a preview for Group H. Who do you think will go through?

Predicted finish

1. Real Madrid
2. Borussia Dortmund
3. Tottenham
4. APOEL

Real Madrid

The champions are back and suitably buoyant after their Spanish Super Cup mauling of a troubled Barcelona. That came on the back of a UEFA Super Cup win over Manchester United and while high-profile arrivals have been thin on the ground so far this summer, they will start as favourites to win this competition for the 13th time. 

Borussia Dortmund  

Last season Dortmund were, along with Monaco, cast as Europe's bright young lights. They lost to the French side in the quarterfinals and there has been a degree of instability since, with manager Thomas Tuchel departing and the brilliant Ousmane Dembele still suspended amid interest from Barcelona. That move appears likely to go through soon. In Peter Bosz they have a new coach who impressed at Ajax, though, and if there are no further departures then the majority of a hugely exciting squad will have stayed together for this year.   

Christian Pulisic in action for Borussia Dortmund against AC Milan in the International Champions Cup in July 2017.
With Ousmane Dembele out the door, youngsters like Christian Pulisic will have to take a step up for Dortmund to advance.

Tottenham  

Tottenham's 2016-17 Champions League campaign ended in group stage failure but they will hope Wembley, where they must also play domestic home games this term, feels more familiar now. Whether Mauricio Pochettino's side are any stronger this time out is moot, although centre-back Davinson Sanchez looks a good purchase from Ajax and Serge Aurier may arrive to replace the departed Kyle Walker. A couple of further signings before the end of the transfer window could provide the necessary depth for Europe.   

APOEL  

Surprise quarterfinalists in 2011-12, the Cypriot champions return to the group stage after a four-year absence. Their performances in the qualifying rounds were patchy and they were close to being eliminated by Viitorul Constanta of Romania, but they were impressive in shutting out Slavia Prague during the playoffs and the veteran ex-Belgium striker Igor de Camargo poses a persistent threat.

Game of the group

Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund -- If we assume that Real Madrid are favourites to have this group all wrapped up, attention then turns to who will qualify with them. And since there can only be one, it might all come down to who prevails between the two. Plus, with two such rapid, young teams, it should be a cracking encounter even shorn of context.

X factor

Peter Bosz -- You wonder what Frank de Boer makes of Peter Bosz's rise. De Boer won four league titles with Ajax and finds himself at Crystal Palace, while Bosz won nothing and is now managing one of the best young sides in Europe. Dortmund's success might depend on how Bosz, who has no Champions League experience, adapts to the competition.

Nick Miller is a writer for ESPN FC, covering Premier League and European football. Follow him on Twitter @NickMiller79.

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