The group stages of the 2019/20 edition of the Champions League are upon us. In our Group G preview, The Coaches’ Voice experts have analysed the hopes of Benfica, Lyon, RB Leipzig and Zenit St Petersburg – and predicted who will finish where.
1st: RB Leipzig
RB Leipzig prepare for only their second taste of the Champions League group stages after finishing third in the 2018/19 Bundesliga. Two years ago, they finished third behind Besiktas and Porto in a tightly contested group before falling to Marseille in the Europa League quarter finals. French and Portuguese opposition await once more, but this season they look better equipped to progress.
As new head coach Julian Nagelsmann adapts and changes the structure of his sides almost on a weekly basis, central forwards Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen are key to Leipzig’s success. The duo scored 39 goals between them in all competitions last season – Werner got 20 to Poulsen’s 19 – and have continued their combined form into the new season.
Werner is the more versatile of the pair; he can lead the line on his own, combine in a front two, or play as a deeper inside forward operating from the left inside channel. Poulsen is more suited to the front line, rather than a deeper supporting role – but he is still quick enough to offer in behind. Both are superb finishers able to convert a variety of chances and calm in one-on-one situations.