Champions League Draw!
Posted by Sports Snob on August 24, 2006
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.