Champions League: Real Madrid learn who they will face in Group B

Real Madrid’s 2020/2021 Champions League campaign gets underway in just over two weeks and the team learned who it will face in the group stage today.

The road to number 15 begins today.

The Champions League draw in Geneva, Switzerland has concluded and Real Madrid, as the Champions of Spain, were the first team to be placed in Group B.

The Kings of Europe will be joined by some rather stiff competition. From Italy, Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan. It will be interesting to see former Real Madrid fullback Achraf Hakimi go up against his old team just months after being sold.

From Ukraine, Shakhtar Donetsk who made it to the Europa League semifinals last year where they lost 5-0 to Inter.

From Germany, five-time Bundesliga winners Borussia Mönchengladbach who snuck into the final qualifying spot for the Champions League this season.

How should we Madridistas feel about this group?

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This is a very different year for Real Madrid in the group stage. Last year, it was always going to be Los Blancos and Paris Saint-Germain who advanced through to the knockout stage. It was only a matter of who would be first and who would be second.

This year could be much more of a toss-up.

It is common knowledge that Inter is a good squad with plenty of talent in its ranks, but Conte’s side lost to Sevilla in the Europa League final. Real Madrid has beaten Sevilla in the last three meetings by a combined score of 5-1.

The first thing I thought of when the draw was announced was the amount of travel the team will have to do to play the three away matches over the course of the next few months.

  • A flight from Madrid to Donetsk takes nearly five hours and is 2,099 miles one-way.
  • A flight from Madrid to Mönchengladbach takes two hours and 15 minutes and is just over 800 miles.

Factor in those weekend matches and travel around Spain and Zinedine Zidane is going to need each and everyone of his first-team players to be ready to play at any given moment.

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I think Real Madrid will advance through the group stage with little issue, but it will not be as easy as last season (and it wasn’t all that easy last season). Anything can happen when playing in Ukraine against a scrappy team like Shakhtar, and Mönchengladbach have a stout defense with Yann Sommer in goal, Matthias Ginter on defense, and talented youngster Denis Zakaria in the midfield.

The first match of the Champions League group stage will take place on October 20 or 21!

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