27 August 2009

Champions League Group Stage Draw

Debrenci VSC

Group E awaits. Not the easiest group (Groups G or H), but it’s not Groups A, C, or F either. Neither Lyon nor Fiorentina will be easy matches, but they’ll be interesting pairings against prestigious teams, while Debrecen’s a completely unknown quantity. But days out in Lyon, Florence, and Budapest (I'm pretty sure that's where Debrecen's CL games will be played) are mouthwatering; I’m incredibly jealous of the traveling Kop this year.

I saw both of Fiorentina’s qualifying games, and they were honestly lucky to go through against Sporting. Mutu and Gilardino are excellent strikers, but they’re definitely beatable. Lyon hammered Anderlecht in the last round, but have lost Benzema and were knocked off the top of Ligue 1 for the first time in a dog’s age last season. However, Lisandro Lopez, Bastos, and Gomis are all dangerous players; Lyon are definitely one of the stronger teams out of Pot 2. Debrecen are Hungarian champions, but this is the first time the Hungarian champions have made the group stage in 14 years.

Barca v Inter is the tastiest tie on paper, while Group A is probably the toughest top to bottom. Also, I’d like to delight in Manchester’s trips to Moscow and Istanbul; hopefully one of them will come right before the 10/25 match at Anfield. Plus, the reigning German champions as the fourth seed. The Mancs look likely to win all their home matches, but won’t have one easy away game. Arsenal should walk their group though, while Rangers will never have a better chance to make it to the knockout rounds.

The first group stage game will be September 15 or 16.

Draw in full:
Group A:
Bayern Munich
Maccabi Haifa

Group B:
Manchester Utd
CSKA Moscow

Group C:
AC Milan
Real Madrid
FC Zurich

Group D:
Atletico Madrid

Group E:
Debreceni VSC

Group F:
Inter Milan
Dynamo Kiev
Rubin Kazan

Group G:
Unirea Urziceni

Group H:
AZ Alkmaar
Standard Liege


Mike Georger said...

Arsenal got off disgustingly easy.

I watched the Fiorentina game yesterday as well. Neither team seemed able to defend at all or clog the midfield. Jovetic impressed the hell out of me though, no wonder I paid so much for him in Football Manager. They scare me more than Lyon at the moment though.

Should be a fun group, at least we aren't playing Marseilles again!

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else feel like the request for a standing ovation for Maldini, while deserved, was about as awkward as it gets? Decent draw for the 'Pool, looking forward to the end of days prophecies if they draw away to Debreceni.

nate said...

Haha! United has to travel to Moscow on the Wednesday before the match at Anfield. Meanwhile, Liverpool hosts Lyon the day before.