By: Daniel Echoda
The “group of death” describes a group that features a mix of teams in a Champions League or Europa League group stage draw from different countries, with some historical rivalries or recent success adding to the drama.
Often, in the excitement and anticipation of the match, fans and lovers of the sport tend to exaggerate it, most times ignoring facts — like they are now doing with Group E of the UEFA Champions League- specifically, those who are of the view that Newcastle United are unfortunate being in the same group with Paris Saint Germain, the current holders of the Ligue 1, AC Milan who have won the Italian Serie A six times in a row, and Borussia Dortmund, the team who almost beat Bayern Munich to the German Bundesliga title last season.
In comparison to the rest of the groups, this will be a very dramatic group. Fans and pundits tend to ignore or overlook facts about the teams, and others tend to blow it out of proportion.
The group is indeed the group of death, but Newcastle United are not the weakest team. Newcastle finished third in arguably the strongest league in the world.
Also, a critical look at the other teams in Group E gives Newcastle a sense of hope. PSG have flattered to deceive in the Ligue 1, struggling to score in all three of their games. Dortmund have also been on the edge this season. In fact, they seem way weaker than they were last season.
Even the AC Milan side that seems unplayable, winning all their Serie A games, have shown that they can bleed as they have conceded in two of their three opening games of the campaign.
If Newcastle United are at the top of their game, they could pose a big problem for the other teams in Group E.