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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

UEFA Champions League: Group by group predictions

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes go group-by-group to break down the 2015 UEFA Champions League draw.

The 2015-16 UEFA Champions League group stage is set.

With SPI favourites Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea leading the charge, ESPN FC's Miguel Delaney and John Brewin breakdown each of the eight groups.

Real Madrid and PSG should cruise through to the round of 16, writes John Brewin.
Group A: Real Madrid, PSG, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo.

In their Champions League return, Manchester United were dealt a forgiving group and should take top spot without trouble, writes Miguel Delaney....

Champions League draw: Man City and Barcelona face toughest groups

The FC crew react to Manchester City's Group D matchups and wonder if Juventus will be able to escape the group with Sevilla in such good form.

MONACO -- UEFA's new seeding rules began to have an effect at Thursday's Champions League draw. Guaranteeing the champions of the top seven associations (Spain, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France and Russia), plus the reigning winner of the competition a place in Pot 1 -- rather than awarding the top seeds to the top eight qualified teams according to UEFA rankings -- didn't amount to the seismic shift it might have been.

Still, it benefited the likes of PSV Eindhoven and Zenit. At the...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Barcelona add 6 from Barca B to Champions League squad

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe explains Barcelona's transfer ban and their lack of depth because of that.
Although the La Liga's top scorers from last season didn't manage to find the net in their respective first two league games, ESPN FC's Paul Mariner says that it's just a matter of time before Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are threats once more.
Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique only had good things to say about Thomas Vermaelen after his winner gave his side victory over Malaga.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has included midfielders Gerard Gumbau and Juan Camara from Barca's reserve team in his 24-man squad for the Champions League.

Both players take up the spots of summer signings Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan, who cannot feature for the European champions until January when Barca's...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Valencia exclude Zakaria Bakkali from Champions league squad

Valencia head coach Nuno Espirito Santo expressed his relief after the La Liga side scraped into the UEFA Champions League group stage with a 4-3 aggregate win against Monaco.
After drawing Valencia, Zenit St. Petersburg and Gent in the Champions League, Lyon manager Hubert Fournier is undaunted by the strength of Lyon's opponents.
AS Monaco's 2-1 win over Valencia in the second leg of their Champions League playoff would not be enough to see passage into the group stage as Valencia advance 4-3 on aggregate.

Valencia have named their Champions League squad with the surprise exclusion of summer signing Zakaria Bakkali.

The 19-year-old winger joined Valencia in July on a five-year contract as a free agent after his contract with PSV Eindhoven had expired.

The Belgium international made his La Liga debut as a substitute in Valencia's 0-0 result at Rayo Vallecano in their league opener on Aug. 22.

Bakkali did not feature in Los Che's 1-1 draw against Deportivo La Coruna last weekend.

As expected, injured...

Angel Di Maria can help PSG in Champions League - Real's Varane

While Gabriele Marcotti wants to discuss PSG's financial fair play in signing Angel di Maria, ESPN FC's Craig Burley is focused on the Argentine's inability to play for a team that isn't dominating their league.

Raphael Varane has backed his former Real Madrid teammate Angel Di Maria to improve Paris Saint-Germain's chances of winning the Champions League.

France defender Varane, 22, won the competition at Real along with Di Maria in 2014, after which the Argentine left for Manchester United.

Following a disappointing season in England, Di Maria, 27, made a €63 million move to PSG and starred on his debut in their 3-0 win at Monaco on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of France's game in Portugal on Friday, Varane...