Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August 26th, 2010

*que epic champions league theme song*

It’s finally back. We are only weeks away from the first Champions League match of the year, let’s take a look at the group stages.

Group A

Inter Milan

Werder Bremen

Tottenham

FC Twente

This is by far the “group of death”. Tough draw for newcomers to the Champions League, Tottenham, drawn into a group with treble winners Inter Milan, Dutch champions FC Twente, and the Ozil-less but still hard-to-beat Werder Bremen. Despite this challenge I think Tottenham are strong enough to finish second behind Inter Milan and see themselves into the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in club history.

Group B

Lyon

Benfica

Schalke

Hapoel Tel Aviv

It seems like everyone and their mother raided Benfica this transfer window so I’m not sure who they have left to take the field anymore. They have lost their first two games of the Portuguese Liga so far and if that is any indication of how the season is going to unfold for them then you can lock in Schalke to finish ahead of them for the second spot behind Lyon.

Group C

Manchester United

Valencia

Rangers

Bursaspor

Clearly United will finish atop this group, and Valencia will more than likely surpass Rangers for second place. Or will they? They just lost their two best players in David Silva and David Villa; looking at their roster nothing really stands out to me, outside of Juan Mata, it’s a pretty bland list of players. That’s not to say that Rangers have an attractive roster, however, it may not be as easy for Valencia to qualify as some may think.

Group D

Barcelona

Panathinaikos

Copenhagen

Rubin Kazan

Cake walk for Barca. They get a chance to avenge their home loss to Rubin Kazan in the group stages last year and should breeze into the knock-out stages. As for second place, I think Panathinaikos should have no trouble securing that position.

Group E

Bayern Munich

Roma

Basel

CFR Cluj

Sometimes not a lot needs to be said. Bayern Munich and Roma.

Group F

Chelsea

Marseille

Spartak Moscow

MSK Zilina

There is an interesting story line here as Didier Drogba will encounter Marseille, the club he used to play for and one which he still loves dearly. It should be an emotional return to Marseille for Drogba, one where we should expect him to shine. Both Chelsea and Marseille should see themselves through to the next round.

Group G

AC Milan

Real Madrid

Ajax

Auxerre

Some people are calling this group the “group of death”, while a case can be made for that , I disagree. I don’t see Auxerre challenging any of the other teams in their group, and the clear cut favorites are obviously Real Madrid and AC Milan. Ajax have a shot and they are a good team but it will take an impeccable performance by them coupled by a major slip-up by either AC Milan or Real Madrid for them to advance. Needless to say, I don’t see that happening, and I expect Real Madrid and AC Milan to get out of this group.

Group H

Arsenal

Shakhtar Donetsk

Braga

Partizan

Fresh off shocking the world by defeating Sevilla in the play-off, Braga find themselves in a rather attractive situation with their first ever appearance in the Champions League. Arsenal should finish first in the group but the second spot is up for grabs and I believe it will come down to Shakhtar Donetsk and Braga. Shakhtar recently acquired Eduardo from Arsenal, so that match up should be of some intrigue; but if Braga can carry the momentum from their victorious efforts against Sevilla, they could very well see themselves into the knock-out stages for the first time in club history.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »