GROUP E: Epic Fail, Frazek, King Eric, Zep
The runaway winner in the first season of the EPL, Epic Fail is the clear favourite in this Group. In 62nd place overall, it’s hard to see either of his three competitors knocking him out of the Champions League. Frazek was pipped to the crown of Serie A by Forca, on GD alone, despite an average rank he obviously has the nous for H2H’s and will nonetheless be a tricky opponent. King Eric enters the competition in fine form, having strung together 6 consecutive green arrows and is comfortable the second highest ranked manager in this Group. A dark horse in this Group is undoubtedly Zep. A disappointing first season in the Bundesliga saw the German giants languish in 15th position and only make it into the CL via a wildcard entry. Somewhat ironically, his counterpart Pep, has been announced as the manager of the real Bayern, and his team seems to have taken inspiration from this charging up the rankings in recent weeks.
Predicted Qualifiers: Epic Fail, King Eric
GROUP F: Valar Morghulis, 1966 – Eric was born, Kaz, Empirikal
Comfortably dispatching of his rivals, Valar Morghulis was triumphant in Bundesliga season 1, and along with 1966, who finished 2nd in EPL only behind the rampant Epic Fail, are both ranked within the top 2.5k. These two are the clear favourites in the Group. Contributor Kaz will need to utilise the home advantage if he’s to progress to the knockout stages. Empirikal also looks a bit out of depth with the two heavy hitters in this Group. With current rankings of 1300, 2400, 56k and 16k this Group looks like a two horse race.
Predicted Qualifiers: Valar Morghulis, 1966 – Eric was born
GROUP G: ENR, Le Gooner, Eoin, Udit
Last year’s winner El Nino Rules hasn’t had the greatest season so far, but due to his triumph last season is granted automatic qualification. Despite amassing a mere 991 points in season 1, ENR still managed to finish a respectable 6th place in the EPL. I suspect he was guilty of using sidekick Salma Hayek to seduce his opponents. Le Gooner finished 2nd in the first season of the Rest of Europe league and ranked at 7k, is one of the favourites to progress in the CL. Eoin had an impressive first season in the Bundesliga finishing 3rd, but will be considered an outsider in this Group with an overall ranking of 21k. Udit is another favourite to progress from Group G. As one of three managers in Serie A, who finished on 33 points, he just clung onto 4th spot to secure a spot in the CL. Currently ranked at 4k he is the favourite from this Group. It looks like Udit and Le Gooner will progress from this Group but will ENR turn to the services of Salma and her witchcraft to secure an unlikely spot in the knockout stages?
Predicted Qualifiers: Le Gooner, Udit
GROUP H: Forca Inter, Berbilly Gilmore, Ginkapo, Aatish
What have I got myself into? Forca stormed to the top of the Serie A table right at the end of the first season to be crowned the champions of Italy. He’s continued his strong form and is now into the top 150 in the world. Aatish finished the first season 4th in the Rest of Europe league, but has since pushed on into the top 1k. This coupled with his hugely impressive debut season where he finished 30th overall, puts him alongside Forca as the favourites from this Group. Despite finishing a respectable 2nd in La Liga, and being currently ranked inside the top 3k, I am a definite outsider in Group H. I’ll have to make my home ground a fortress to stand any chance of getting out of this Group. Ginkapo has apparently gone bananas and is doing the unthinkable, ditching Robin van Persie. A lacklustre season so far has lead to him taking the plunge in an attempt to resurrect his season. This decision, if it comes to fruition, will surely throw a spanner in the works of this Group, providing vast differentials from the other members of the Group. This eventuality will surely lead to a very exciting six weeks throughout the group stages.