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RB Leipzig, Benfica & Lyon All Co-Favorites to Win Champions League Group G

Gary Gowers

by Gary Gowers in Soccer News

Updated Jan 4, 2023 · 6:20 AM PST

Red Bull Arena
The Red Bull Arena may yet see a Bundesliga title after RB's fine start to the season. Photo by Markus Unger (Wiki Commons)
  • Champions League Group G the tightest of the lot
  • Three teams neck and neck in betting
  • Zenit worthy outsiders

The draw for the group stages of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League was completed yesterday and so books have released odds for the winners of each of the eight groups.

RB Leipzig are technically the favorite for Group G but Benfica and Lyon are each right behind them, in what promises to be one of the tightest groups of the lot. We’ll have a close look to see who we think will win it.

UEFA Champions League 2019/20 – Group G Odds

Team Odds
RB Leipzig +200
Benfica +225
Lyon +225
Zenit St. Petersberg +500

*Odds taken on 08/29/19

Group G, on paper at least looks the toughest to call and there’s an argument to be made for any one of the four topping the group. From +200 for RBL to just +500 for Zenit, that pretty much tells the story.

Also, the overall average outright Champions League odds have remained similar for all four teams from earlier this month on August 1, compared to after yesterday’s draw. The line moves included:

RB Leipzig: +9000 to +8000
Benfica: +9000 to +10000
Lyon: +8000 to unchanged
Zenit St. Petersberg: +15000 to +17500

So, whichever way you look at it, this group is just wide-open.

Zenit Home Form Key

As far as the bookies are concerned, Russian side Zenit St. Petersberg begin as outsiders but not by much, and it will be a confident Zenit team that competes in Group G.

As ever with Russian teams, it will be their away form that will determine whether or not they are able to progress to the knockout stages, but this is a team that contains a lot of oversees talent and who may this season be able to make the step up.

RB Challenging the Big Boys

RB Leipzig , who came third in last season’s Bundesliga and who are widely expected to challenge again this season, have been installed as favorites for Group G and with good reason.

As well as having a squad that has been expensively assembled and as is now recognized as genuine challengers to Bayern and Dortmund, they have in Timo Werner one of Europe’s top marksman. If he can translate his Bundesliga form to the Champions League they could become a real threat to the established teams.

Doing It For Portugal

Benfica are the only Portuguese representatives in this season’s Champions League after Porto missed out in the pre-qualifying competition, so there is considerable pressure on the 37-time Primeira Liga champions. But it’s pressure they’re capable of handling, even after selling teenage superstar Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid.

Some modest summer spending has seen them bring in Raul de Tomas from Real Madrid and Carlos Vinicius from Napoli, but it’s a squad full of technical players well suited to Champions League football.

Lyon Class

To complete the group we have Lyon – another team jam-packed with skilled, technical players who fit the UEFA Champions League template perfectly. Let’s also not forget this was the team that shocked Manchester City last season before being knocked out of the tournament by the mighty Barcelona in the round of 16.

For the French team, their ability or otherwise to progress may boil down to whether new signing Thiago Mendes can fill the void left by the departures of Nabil Fekir, Ferland Mendy and Tanguy Ndombele who departed over the summer. If he can, and we think he is good enough, then Lyon have a great chance of winning the group.

My pick: Lyon to win the group (+225)

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