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Sporting can be closest to top two

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There is no betting on the exact group order but if there was this looks the easiest to predict with Real Madrid fancied for the summit, Borussia Dortmund to follow them into the knockout stages and Sporting to take third with Legia Warsaw claiming the wooden spoon.

Of the available markets the one which stands out is Sporting for third place.

Real Madrid should justify favouritism with the minimum of fuss with the holders almost unstoppable at their Bernabeu fortress in the Champions League.

Zinedine Zidane’s outfit won all six home matches in last season’s competition by an aggregate score of 19-0, while their only defeat in the last 30 European night at the Bernabeu was a near-on dead rubber against Schalke.

Dortmund have changed their squad around and it could take time for them to get to their best, particularly after bringing in a number of exciting young players to replace important team members Ilkay Gundogan, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mats Hummels.

Legia, Poland’s first representative at this level for 20 years, will presumably be targeting third position but they are by some distance the worst side in the group. Sporting have also seen some of their more influential players depart but they have started the new campaign in Portugal with a 100 per cent record and that includes a decent 2-1 success against Porto. 

Recommendation
Sporting to finish third
1pt Evens Sky Bet 

Real Madrid should justify favouritism with the minimum of fuss with the holders almost unstoppable at their Bernabeu fortress