Champions League Weekly - Group Stage Preview Feb. 28, 2010 Last week featured a mad dash to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League and was one that did not disappoint. It did leave four of the most storied clubs in European football on the outside of the top 16 (AC Milan, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, and Liverpool), as well as solid clubs in their own right (Hamburger SV and Bordeaux). There turned out to only be one swap of the teams in the top 16 duing a week that looked more promising. Both teams, Arsenal and Villarreal, were tied entering the third week of TFL play, but thanks to a nice week Villarreal was able to play their way in. There was much jockeying for seeding though. These races resulted in the group formations below: What would Champions League Weekly be without predictions? As such, we have six expert panelists to give their predictions. The panelists are: Basis4aDay56 (Bayern Munich), @Pagamer07 (Arsenal), @elprez98 (Hamburger), @Randiesel75 (Liverpool), @Bryan Colmenares (Bordeaux), and predictions and insight from @RynoAid (AC Milan). Why are we experts? Well, quite frankly, everyone that made the Champions League group stage did so at the expense of the six of us, so that qualifies us to put down our thoughts as to which two teams will emerge from each group: Basis4aDay56's Picks Group A Everton Tottenham Group B Juventus Aston Villa Group C Lyon Wolfsburg Group D Galatasaray Atletico elprez98's Picks Group A Everton FC Zenit Group B Juventus Aston Villa Group C Olympique FC Porto Group D Galatasaray SK A. Madrid Pagamer07's Picks Group A Everton Roma Group B Juventus Fulham Group C Porto OL Group D Galatessary Madrid Randiesel75's Picks Group A Everton AS Roma Group B Juventus Aston Villa Group C Olympique FC Porto Group D A. Madrid Borussia Dortmund Bryan Colmenares' Picks Group A Everton FC Zenit Group B Juventus Aston Villa Group C Olympique FC Porto Group D Galatasaray SK A. Madrid And here are Ryno's picks and expert insight: Group A Everton - Darlon is as patient as he is good. He will control possession too and punishes with set pieces. Look for him to go unscathed through group A as the #1 here. AS Roma - The rest of group A is going to be a straight up dogfight.. and i always take the dog with biggest balls in that scenario.. give me Cole. Group B Juventus - Cake walk here, no one is this group is gonna really challenge Juve. The team that can draw AJ will have a distinct advantage for the 2nd spot though. Bayer 04 - I'll take Leverkusen here, KillerNuts isn't exactly "killin" it in League 1 (3-2 +/- 2) but i don't see Aston Villa putting it together and WE ALL know Fulham is gonna crumble under the pressure. Group C Olympique - Blaza will get through, but it won't be a cakewalk. His defense is suspect... (yea i f****** said it) but he is dynamic with the futbol at his feet and usually capitalizes at just the right time. FC Porto - Again, another very patient yet lethal player. Similar to Everton in many ways, he will control possession and will pick his opportunity to bury your dreams. Group D Galatasaray SK - Their flare with the futbol could be unmatched (Juventus aside) and i expect them to get through. Their size presents an issue too, they have a big dude on that team. A. Madrid - Despite the undisciplined nature of their play, they can counter with the best of them. You will have to be on your toes when you play NiuHuskie, literally if you value your ankles. So, there you have it folks.The group stage is officially underway and has produced some fantastic matches so far. Next week's update will recap the week 1 results and preview what is to come in week 2!