The UEFA Champions League is one of the most watched soccer tournaments across Europe as we see the top teams from each league compete to become the ultimate squad. Taking place during the summer of 2019 we saw the qualifying rounds of the 2019/20 season begin and after a short break the competition commenced with the group stages starting on the 17th September and due to end in December ready for the knockout phases to start in early 2020. As the group stages are well underway, we thought we would take a brief look at match day and the qualifiers of this season’s Champions League tournament. So, if you are interested in finding out more about the fixtures then keep on reading.

Champions League Qualifiers

The Champions League Qualifiers for 2019/20 started on the 25th June and ended on the 28th August 2019. Within these stages of the football tournament the final qualifying teams were determined for the competition.

In the first Preliminary round, the champions of the Gibraltar, Andorra, San Marino and Kosovo associations played against one another and the winner was Feronikeli from Kosovo who beat the Lincoln Red Imps 1-0 in the first round and FC Santa Coloma 2-1 in the final.

After the first few matches of the preliminary round, we saw Feronikeli take on 31 champions from a wide range of associations. Unfortunately, Feronikeli lost out to The New Saints who also joined Nomme Kaljum, Red Star Belgrade, AIK, CFR Cluj, Ferencvaros, Qarabag, Sutjeska Niksic, Celtic, Saburtalo Tbilisi, Valletta, Rosenborg, Maribor, Dundalk, HJK and BATE Borisov with the advancement to the second round.

The second qualifying round is split into two with two paths available for the Champions League and the Europa League. Via the Champions League path, we saw the 16 winners from the first qualifying round face the 4 champions from Croatia, Denmark, Israel and Cyprus. But for the Europa League path we saw the 4 runners up from Switzerland Czech Republic, Netherlands and Greece associations enter the competition.

Moving onto the third round the 10 winners from the Champions League path advanced to face the 2 Champions from Netherlands and Greece. And for the League path the two winners from the second played against the 5 runners up from Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium, Turkey and Austria as well as the third placed team from the Russian association.

At the end of the third qualifying round it was determined that Ajax and PAOK were advancing via the Champions path. Along with this the League path teams entered the play offs for the Europa league eligibility.

When it came to the teams which were moving onto the Group Stages, the 4 winners from the champions play-off round and the 2 winners of the league play-offs jointly went against 11 champions from associations 1-11, 6 runners up from associations 1-6, 5 third placed teams from associations 1-5 and 4 fourth placed teams from associations 1-4. After these matches took place it was determined that these were the final teams which were progressing into the Group Stages of the Champions League:

  • English Premier League – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur
  • Spanish La Liga – Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Valencia
  • Italian Serie A – Juventus, Napoli, Atalanta and Inter Milan
  • German Bundesliga – Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayern Leverkusen
  • French Ligue 1 – Paris Saint Germain, Lille and Lyon
  • Russian Premier League – Zenit Saint Petersburg and Lokomotiv Moscow
  • Portuguese Primeria Liga – Benfica
  • Ukrainian Premier League – Shakhtar Dontesk
  • Belgian First Division A – Genk, Club Brugge
  • Turkish Super Lig – Galatasaray
  • Austrian Bundesliga – Red Bull Salzburg
  • Serbian Super Liga – Red Star Belgrade
  • Super League Greece – Olympiacos
  • Croatian First Football League – Dinamo Zagreb
  • Czech First League – Slavia Prague
  • Dutch Eredivisie - Ajax

Matchday 1 – Group Stages

The Group Stages for the Champions League 2019/20 have only just begun with only one full match day occurring. However, through these handful of fixtures we already have a solid view on how the rest of the games could play out. Here are the results from the end of matchday 1:

  • Inter Milan 1-1 Slavia Praha
  • Lyon 1-1 Zenit
  • Chelsea 0-1 Valencia
  • Red Bull Salzburg 6-2 Genk
  • Napoli 2-0 Liverpool
  • Ajax 3-0 Lille
  • Benfica 1-2 RB Leipzig
  • Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Barcelona
  • Club Brugge 0-0 Galatasaray
  • Olympiakos 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
  • Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Lokomotiv Moscow
  • Paris Saint Germain 3-0 Real Madrid
  • Bayern Munich 3-0 Red Star Belgrade
  • Atletico Madrid 2-2 Juventus
  • Shakhtar Dontesk 0-3 Manchester City
  • Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 Atalanta

Looking at the results we are most surprised by Liverpool’s loss to Napoli as they were the previous winners of the Champions League so expected them to be on top form. It also interesting to see that Real Madrid lost on their first match with Paris Saint Germain, as they are consecutive seasoned winners in the Champions League.

With these results in mind here are the proposed fixtures for the upcoming match day 2 fixtures:

  • Atalanta V Shakhtar Dontesk
  • Real Madrid V Club Brugge
  • Manchester City V Dinamo Zagreb
  • Red Star Belgrade V Olympiakos
  • Lokomotiv Moscow V Atletico Madrid
  • Tottenham Hotspur V Bayern Munich
  • Juventus V Bayer Leverkusen
  • Galatasaray V Paris Saint Germain
  • Slavia Praha V Borussia Dortmund
  • Genk V Napoli
  • Liverpool V Red Bull Salzburg
  • Lille V Chelsea
  • Zenit V Benfica
  • Valencia V Ajax
  • Barcelona V Inter Milan
  • RB Leipzig V Lyon

Expected Forecast Based on Current Performance

Here is a concise list of all the previous winners of the Champions League:

  • Real Madrid – 13 wins
  • Milan – 7 wins
  • Liverpool – 6 wins
  • Bayern Munich – 5 wins
  • Barcelona – 5 wins
  • Ajax – 4 wins
  • Internazionale – 3 wins
  • Manchester United – 3 wins
  • Juventus – 2 wins
  • Benfica – 2 wins
  • Nottingham Forest – 2 wins
  • Porto – 2 wins
  • Celtic – 1 win
  • Hamburger SV – 1 win
  • Steaua Bucuresti – 1 win
  • Marseille – 1 win
  • Borussia Dortmund – 1 win
  • Chelsea – 1 win
  • Feyenoord – 1 win
  • Aston Villa – 1 win
  • PSV Eindhoven – 1 win
  • Red Star Belgrade – 1 win

Judging by these historic results we could expect that Real Madrid could be out to acquire their 14th Champions League trophy, however they have started the group stages on a low with a loss. Could we expect a team who has never won the Champions League before, take the trophy?

Your Thoughts on the Champions League 2019/20

Within this article we have had a look into how the teams were determined for the group stages qualification and how they are performing so far. Let us know your thoughts, feelings and predictions for this season’s tournament over on our social media pages now! Don’t forget that you can also kit yourself out in your favourite team’s Champions League kit over on our website Soccer Box where we only stock official sportswear which has been sourced direct from the manufacturer for satisfaction guaranteed.

This article was written exclusively for Soccer Box by Loren Astbury