Welcome to the “Most Enviable to Play In, Least Enviable to Watch Group.” In this group you’ll find your typical minnow (Austria Wienn), a team trying to rebound from the loss of their best player (Atletico), a team trying to prove that oodles of money spent in the snowy, Russian north will win you something in Europe (Zenit). And finally, possibly the biggest, most successful feeder club in the word (Porto).
Look, Champions League football is Champions League football, but would you rather watch Zenit vs Austria Wien or Juventus vs Real Madrid? Or even Chelsea vs Schalke? The group’s TV ratings might be poor, but the teams in it are certainly not complaining. Arsenal would probably let Mikel Arteta play for Spurs to be re-placed in this group. Now, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but Arsenal, or for that matter any team in a tough group, wants to be in this group.
All in all, this group isn’t so bad. The Hulk/Porto reunion will be interesting, but outside of that it’s hard to find any notable sticking points in terms of staying in front of a TV to watch the games.
Prediction- Atletico, Porto, Zenit, Wien.