Opinion: Tottenham’s Champions League group: Where will they finish?

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Champions League
(FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Taking part in Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since 2020, how will Tottenham perform in the group stage?

With the Champions League campaign set to kick off, here is a rundown of Spurs’ group stage opponents, who to watch, and results predictions for the six matches.

Marseille 

Spurs kick off the European campaign by facing last season’s Ligue 1 runners-up, Olympique de Marseille. Early in the campaign, they are currently in second position once again, behind PSG only on goal difference.

Marseille in the UCL

Marseille is making its 16th appearance in the Champions League, having won the title during the 1992-93 campaign. They also reached the final in the 1990-91 edition of the tournament (UEFA).

Matches

7 September 2022 – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

1 November 2022 – Stade Vélodrome (Marseille)

Top player to watch

New signing and former Arsenal and Manchester United player Alexis Sanchez has performed well early in the season. Thus far through five matches, Sanchez has scored three goals (FBRef). Spurs will need to keep Chile’s all-time leading goalscorer in check if they are to get positive results against Marseille.

Prediction

It doesn’t get much more difficult for Spurs than to open against Marseille, likely its top competition for finishing atop the group. Though it is early in the campaign, both teams are in a good run of form at the moment and are meeting when both squads have yet to have injury issues.

Spurs should pick up three points at home and they will split the points in the match in France, picking up four of a possible six points against OM.

Sporting CP

Tottenham will face Sporting CP of the Portuguese League in its second match of the group stage. Sporting finished as runners-up last season but is currently in just eighth position through five matches this campaign.

Sporting in the UCL

Sporting is appearing in the Champions League for the 23rd time, while their furthest advancement in the competition was the quarterfinal stage in 1982-83 (UEFA).

Matches

13 September 2022 – Estádio José Alvalade (Lisbon)

26 October 22 – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Top player to watch

Despite early season struggles, Sporting has a soild pair of attacking options that could cause problems for Spurs’ back line.

Pedro Gonçalves has tallied three goals and a pair of assists thus far, while former Spurs’ youth player Marcus Edwards has added two goals and two assists (FBRef).

Prediction

If Sporting continues to struggle as they have early in the season, this will be Spurs’ best chance to pick up all six points.

I expect them to do just that, winning in both Lisbon and the return leg at home to complete the group stage sweep.

Eintracht Frankfurt

Frankfurt finished 11th place in last season’s Bundesliga table. However, they were able to go all the way in the Europa League, claiming the title after defeating the likes of Barcelona, West Ham, and Rangers. This season, Frankfurt is in 10th place through five matches.

Frankfurt in the UCL

Frankfurt is making just its second-ever appearance in the Champions League, having last qualified in 1959-60 (UEFA). In its lone appearance in the competition, Frankfurt reached the final before falling to Real Madrid.

Matches

4 October 2022 – Deutsche Bank Park (Frankfurt)

12 October 2022 – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Top player to watch

Daichi Kamada is the player to watch for Frankfurt against Spurs. Tallying just four goals last season, Kamada has already registered three goals and an assist in four matches this season (FBRef).

Prediction

The third team Spurs will face in the group stage, Frankfurt poses a difficult challenge. Having won last season’s Europa League, they are more than capable of winning important matches, even when they aren’t the favourite.

I expect Spurs to lose in Germany, but pick up three points in the return leg in London, taking three of six points against Frankfurt.

Final analysis

Overall, I expect Spurs to complete the group stage round with 13 points, winning four matches while losing once and drawing the other.

They have a challenging group, but Tottenham should be either the favourite or second favourite to advance to the next stage of the Champions League. With 13 points, they would likely top the group and move on to the next round of the competition.

How far will Spurs go in this season’s Champions League?

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