Critics Corner.

Opinions. And LOTS of them.

Champions League Draw!

Posted by Sports Snob on August 24, 2006

barsachelsea.png

Group A: Barcelona, Chelsea, Werder Bremen, Levski Sofia
Group B: Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Sporting Lisbon, Spartak Moscow

Group C: Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, Bordeaux, Galatasaray
Group D: Valencia, Roma, Olympiakos, Shakhtar Donetsk

Group E: Real Madrid, Lyon, Steaua Bucharest, Dynamo Kiev
Group F: Manchester United, Celtic, Benfica, FC Copenhagen

Group G: Arsenal, FC Porto, CSKA Moscow, Hamburg
Group H: AC Milan, Lille,AEK Athens, Anderlecht

Barcelona V Chelsea

This is bloody sexy! Unlike Chelsea v Liverpool (which are usually snooze fests) you just cannot get enough of Chelsea vs Barcelona. Two great teams, two brilliant coaches and most importantly so many mouth watering match ups all over the pitch. Plus, with Shevchenko and Ballack in the Chelsea starting line up, things will get even better. Barca have significantly strengthened their defence through Zambrotta and Thurram. The only problem is probably the long over-drawn build up to the games.
Rijkaard V Mourinho

Rijkaard probably got the most important footballing lesson in his life when Chelsea scored those 3 quick goals against Barcelona in the at Stamford Bridge two years back. Rijkaard came back stronger and was a lot more pragmatic in his approach. Mixing defensive midfielders with flair players such as Messi and Ronaldinho. He came back last year to trump Mourinho and Barcelona were way better than Chelsea last year in every part of the field.

Arsenal might find it tough (just might!, before all you Arsneal fans get on my back) against Porto, Hamburg and Moscow. Hamburg finished third in the Bundesliga last year and Moscow were UEFA cup champions two years back ( plus, they are bankrolled by Roman Abrahamovich‘s  Abramovich’s company)

Manchester United should go through with ease, but the Battle of Britain (Fergie V Strachan) will be fun. Benfica have lost their coach (Koeman) to PSV. But then Man Utd were expected to sail through their group last year as well. Copenhagen should be easy to beat but then they are the reason that Ajax aren’t here!

Verdict: Group stages are usually just a task to be done away with before the real show. Expect all the usual suspects to be around come the knock out stage.
Group to Watch: Group A. Werder Bremen are no push overs. Expect them to give both Barca and Chelsea a real fight. Levski Sofia will have two great match days! When the the Barca and Chelsea teams come into town.

Z

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11 Responses to “Champions League Draw!”

  1. Ravi said

    err its abramovich not abrahamovich, unless it was intentional

  2. oops! DEFINITELY not intentional 🙂

  3. DS said

    This is indeed spectacular, isnt it?!! When Chelsea and Barca were drawn to play each other last time around, it brought forth a sense of excitement and irony. Now, three years in a row!!! Outrageously brilliant…what more can one ask for.

  4. Ravi said

    i bet its been rigged!! :p

  5. Barc(k)ing dogs Chesea bite 🙂

    I love it in here…

  6. Kesavan said

    The last two years, Chelsea and Barca had met in the knockout rounds, this time its in the league, so it might not end up being as explosive as the last two years. Unless one of them loses or draws their first two matches. Should surely be interesting.

  7. @ DS and Kesavan:

    I understand what you mean but then this is Barcelona and Chelsea, the quality of football on display is bound to be interesting. (unlike Chelsea v Liverpool) and that is something that excites me.

    @HOH- thanks!

  8. Mihir said

    Arsenal to struggle ?? hahahaha … u r one of those typical ManU fans then i belive. Porto had a couple of good seasons, CSKA is crap. And Hamburg only just squeezed through their qualification match. I expect Arsenal to top their grop easily unbeaten, and Hamburg to finish second.

  9. Z said

    @ Mihir: There is a lot of difference between “MIGHT find it tough” and STRUGGLE. And I havent mentioned anything about them going out. In fact they will definitely go through but will find it tougher than United (who have a much easier group). CSKA were UEFA cup champions 2 years back and a trip to Moscow is never easy. Hamburg ran Munich and Bremen close all the way before they faded out and finished 3rd. And Porto won the domestic cup double last year. And don’t get me started on typical Arsenal fans.

  10. @ Z,

    Hardly the surprise of the year,

    http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/foxsports/rss/soccer/~3/16564323/5907614

    V

  11. This is a very interesting post, thank you for sharing! You will find many blogs on this topic but this 1 states exactly what I believe also.

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