UEFA Champions League Draw, Group H Analysis: FC Barcelona, AC Milan Heavy Favorites

After the first two pots were figured out in the UEFA Champions League group stage draw, it looked like a group of death was forming in Group H. Almost certainly the strongest two teams in Pot 1 and Pot 2, FC Barcelona and AC Milan, were drawn together. 

Unfortunately for neutrals who don't necessarily care whether the two win or lose and just want to see good football, things did not pan out after that. Arguably the weakest team in Pot 3, BATE Borisov, and an average Pot 4 team, Viktoria Plzen, ended up getting drawn into the group. What looked like it was shaping up to be a group of death is now the most uneven and predictable group in the entire competition by quite some distance.

All of the other groups who are on the same matchday schedule as Milan and Barcelona are immensely more interesting from top to bottom, so unless you're a super robot who has time to watch every group stage match in its entirety, it's probably safe to ignore this group unless Milan and Barca are playing each other. No disrespect intended to Plzen and BATE, who are watchable teams. The other groups are just too good. 

Out before it starts

BATE Borisov are veterans of this competition, unlike Viktoria Plzen, but Plzen's romp over FC Copenhagen proves their quality. BATE struggled immensely to advance over an SK Sturm Graz team that doesn't have nearly the quality of Copenhagen, so the edge goes to Plzen.

Sorry, Europa League for you

Oh, poor Plzen. In some groups, they might have a chance.

Advancing to the Knockout Stage are...

FC Barcelona and AC Milan, but you knew that. Far and away the two best teams in the group, both should advance with minimal difficulty.

Player to watch

Alexandre Pato - Come on, I'm not picking a Barca player. We already know that Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi are the two best players in the world. One of the reasons Milan will have a chance to pull an upset is the undeniable quality of Pato. He's very skilled, extremely fast, and a clinical finisher. Let's just hope the young man can stay healthy. By the way: He's only 21. How is this possible?!?

Must-watch fixture

AC Milan vs. FC Barcelona at the San Siro - I don't really have to explain this, do I? Of course it's the must-watch fixture of the group.

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