The outcome of Group E seems obvious, with Dutch champions Feyenoord and Atletico Madrid both looking much stronger than the rest of the group. Lazio could potentially challenge for a place in the knockout stage, should they play like they did in the Serie A last season, but their struggles so far this season make it seem unlikely.
Feyenoord and Lazio will be meeting again after facing each other in last year’s Europa League group stage, and Lazio will certainly be hoping to improve on last season’s performances.
Celtic don’t look capable of competing much in this group at all, with by far the weakest squad on paper. They didn’t have much success in this competition last season, only getting two points in the group stage of the competition. It’s unlikely that they’ll improve on that much this time around, but they’ll definitely be hoping to cause an upset or two.
Feyenoord enter this competition as Dutch champions, a feat which secured their place in Pot One. Resultantly, they have a great chance of advancing to the knockouts. Atletico Madrid are the only side in the group capable of threatening their chances of winning the group, but Feyenoord will certainly believe that they can better Atletico in this stage of the competition.
Former youth teamer Orkun Kökçü has left the side for a club-record transfer fee, but he doesn’t seem to be too sorely missed. Feyenoord are unbeaten across the first five games of the season, and they will be hoping to carry this form into the Champions League.
A round of sixteen appearance for Feyenoord definitely seems probable, their high-pressing attacking style of play will be difficult for any team to deal with, and their young squad is only improving.
Atletico Madrid’s last Champions League campaign was disappointing, as they unexpectedly finished bottom of their group behind Porto, Brugge, and Leverkusen. Since then, however, they have certainly improved. They had the most points in La Liga during the second half of the season, with Antoine Griezmann playing a key role. Griezmann finished the campaign with 15 goals and 16 assists and Atletico will be happy that his transfer back to the club from Barcelona has finally happened.
Atletico’s summer window was unexciting but important, as they made efforts to improve their defensive depth. Azpilicueta and Soyuncu were brought in for free, and Javi Galan joined for five million euros. Atletico have the strongest squad in the group on paper, and their attack is particularly strong, with Griezmann, Morata and Depay featuring for them. Their Champions League experience will certainly help them in this campaign. Feyenoord are the only side with any real chance of beating them, but that will certainly be a tough ask for the Dutch side. Atletico will hope to finish top of the group and probably will, but don’t be surprised if Feyenoord keep it close.
Lazio haven’t played Champions League football since the 2020-2021 season, but return to the competition after finishing second in Serie A. This marked their highest league finish since 2000 but was a stark contrast to their European campaign. They didn’t advance out of their Europa League group (which Feyenoord finished top of) and then only went on to get knocked out in the Conference League’s round of sixteen. They’ll be hoping to improve on last season’s European troubles, and it will be interesting to see how they do this time around, especially when they have to face Feyenoord again.
After years of rumours, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has finally left the club as he joins Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia and club legend Radu retired. The main additions this summer were a number of attackers to provide backup to the aging Ciro Immobile, but this hasn’t proved fruitful just yet, as Lazio have lost three of their first four league games.
It will be interesting to see how Lazio fare in Europe this season, but it looks like it will be a struggle for them to make it out of the group based on their current form. It’s most likely that they’ll finish third and drop down to the Europa League, as Feyenoord and Atletico Madrid are both much stronger teams.
Scottish champions Celtic struggled a lot in their previous Champions League campaign, and they’ll definitely be looking to improve this season. However, they will definitely have their work cut out for them as they face a deceivingly tough group. It’s hard to imagine Celtic finishing anywhere other than rock bottom, especially given the departure of Jota to Saudi Arabia, who had 11 goals and 11 assists in the league last season.
Celtic currently sit at the top of the Scottish Premiership, unbeaten after five games, but it will certainly be a struggle for them to continue this form into Europe.