UEFA Champions League Draw is Set

Championsleaguelogo

The UEFA Champions League Draw has been completed and, as expected, there are plenty of juicy match-ups. Here are the groups:

  • Group A: Chelsea, Roma, Bordeaux, CFR 1907 Cluj
  • Group B: Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Panathanaikos, Anorthosis Famagusta
  • Group C: FC Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon, FC Basel, Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Group D: Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, Marseille, Atletico Madrid
  • Group E: Manchester United, Villarreal, Celtic, Alborg BK
  • Group F: Lyon, Bayern Munich, Steaua Bucharest, Fiorentina
  • Group G: Arsenal, Porto, Fenerbahce, Dynamo Kiev
  • Group H: Real Madrid, Juventus, Zenit St. Petersburg, BATE Borisov

Toughest group is pretty clearly Group D, with Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Marseille and PSV Eindhoven. The subplot of Fernando Torres returning to face Atletico Madrid is going be great drama.

Here are some other interesting notes about the groups:

There are no truly easy groups, but if there’s a candidate for easiest group, that nod goes to Group B, with Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Panathanaikos and Anorthosis Famagusta. Jose Mourinho should see his boys in blue and black cruise to the next round.

Manchester United faces off against Villarreal in a game with its own subplot. You have Giuseppe Rossi facing his old club. Man U also gets to see Celtic again in what seems like an annual Champions League clash. Now, if Jozy Altidore stays with Villarreal then this match-up gets even juicier for American fans, but with rumors swirling about an impending loan deal, we might need to hold off expectations about Altidore’s Champions League debut.

Looking for some MLS alumni? Try recently sold former FC Dallas midfielder Juan Toja, who will join Steaua Bucharest in facing Lyon, Bayern Munich and Fiorentina in arguably the second toughest group after Group D.

The Real Madrid-Juventus match-up in Group H is pretty mouth-watering as well. With Andrei Arshavin’s future still unclear, it remains to be seen how much of a threat Zenit St. Petersburg will be able to pose to Real and Juve in that group.

FC Barcelona has to be liking its draw, with Sporting Lisbon and Shaktar Donetsk not exactly pushovers, but not exactly Juventus either.

It’s poll time. Here are some things to consider:

And:

More info to come. For now, Share your thoughts on the groups below.

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51 Responses to UEFA Champions League Draw is Set

  1. EDB says:

    wow group e is stacked.. looks like Roma should be second in thier group.

  2. Ed says:

    Toja’s team has a legit chance of going through.

  3. Steven says:

    Group of Death = F.

    G & H look difficult as well though.

  4. tedhill says:

    As a Chelsea fan, I can’t complain about the draw. Roma and Bordeaux are good sides, but neither of them are the best in their home country. They both can get one result against the Blues but I’d be surprised if Chelsea did not finish in first place. I think Roma will just edge out Bordeaux for second place

    As for my other team, Juventus, that will be mighty tough. Obviously Real Madrid is a quality side and tough to beat, but add in Zenit and it makes it very tricky. That should be some battle.

    I also fancy Group D. Liverpool better stop fooling around and play to their ability or they will not progress. All the teams in that group are capable of making it, in my opinion.

    I’d also watch out for FC Basel. They could sneak into the knockout stages if they get results against Sporting.

  5. kevin says:

    Damn if only Danny Califf had stayed with Aalborg, he’d be playing Champions League ball now. But still a great player with FC Midjytland.

  6. kevin says:

    Jozy will have his hands full when they head off against Celtic and no joke against Man U. At least he will get his shot at playing against the best.

  7. Rob Usry says:

    When can Chelsea ever complain about the draw? They’ve had cake walks to the semis the last 2 years.

  8. DAVE says:

    Arsenal’s draw is not that great. A trip to Turkey & the Ukraine. Two tough aways games that my decide the group. Let’s see how the “Kids” do.

  9. Mig says:

    Interesting that Group H would be the true killer group but since it appears…kind of…that Zenit is selling one or both of it’s best palyers, the group fades a bit.

    Group F is a really deep group without having any powerhouse. Any two of those teams could advance. Bucharest just finished an awesome qualifier tie and I believe they did not sell anybody critical in the window this year. Fiorentina is a great offensive side. Bayern is Bayern…biggest fish in a shrinking pond but still loaded…and Lyon just can’t stop winning titles in an underrated league.

    None of the teams in Group F will likely be in the semis but it will be group to watch for entertainment.

    Regards,

  10. kco says:

    FC BAYERN! Time for our glorious return to Champions League! Just need to make it out of a very tough group F. Fiorentina is underrated in my mind.

    Group E looks very interesting as well. Man United v Celtic should be interesting for those that think Celtic and Rangers belong in the Prem.

  11. Ed Ho says:

    I actually think Group D is the toughest. With Marsaille possibly being the “weakest” team

  12. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    Not as bad as last year for die Grun und Weisse but still dont know if we are capable of making it out of the group stages, especially with two ties in the last two games. Spose itll be a bit before Pizzaro finds his form and gels with the team. Obviously Pana cannot be underestimated but i do look forward to games against Anorthosis Famagusta. Where the hell are they from?!?!?!

  13. EssEff says:

    Group D looks the toughest to me. Like someone said before, the hardest group would likely be the one to which Atletico Madrid was drawn.

    Let’s hope Jozy is healthy, gets some time, and makes the most of it.

  14. kevin says:

    Early predictions from me

    Group A: Chelsea(though id hope they lose all) Roma,

    Group B: Inter Milan (surely Jose can lead them to the semi-finals) Werder Bremen,

    Group C: FC Barcelona (easy group for them, if they play good football they will advance) Sporting Lisbon,

    Group D: Liverpool (nice decent competition but we will come out on top) Marseille/Atletico Madrid

    Group E: Manchester United, Celtic

    Group F: Lyon, Bayern Munich,

    Group G: Arsenal, Dynamo Kiev

    Group H: Real Madrid, Juventus,

  15. LJ says:

    CFR 1907 Cluj is that a car model?

  16. mikeK says:

    Jozy scores in Old Trafford.

    You heard it here first.

  17. Ryan says:

    With the recent injury to Giuseppe Rossi, it’s hard to see Pellegrini wanting to loan out Jozy. In fact, there have been a few small notions that he might even get a start for Villareal in their opener this weekend.

  18. metrostar 4 life says:

    group D will be a good fight. group B is a joke in my mind

  19. anon_e_moose says:

    “I’d also watch out for FC Basel. They could sneak into the knockout stages if they get results against Sporting.”

    First, Basel doesnt deserve to be in the CL. A horrible offside call got them in. Second, Sporting beat Basel 5-0 on aggregate last year in the UC. That Sporting was weaker and inexperienced compared to this years team.

    D,F,G are the most interesting groups.

  20. anon_e_moose says:

    See for yourself. Basel-Vitoria. 4th video.

    link to tvgolo.com

  21. Brant says:

    So who’s the “little” guy most likely to make it thru?

  22. Mig says:

    I’d say Fenerbahce, Brant. I don’t know if the former counts as a little guy since they got thru the group stage and gave Chelsea all they wanted in the knockout rounds. But they have Porto and Kiev and neither are frightening.

    Also a weak group is C (don’t know what shape Barca will be in this year and Lisbon and a Swiss team aren’t exactly frightening) and Shakhtar could get out of that one and not be a surprise.

  23. Tom in GA says:

    D is probably the most balanced which should make for compelling theatre. Liverpool is probably the “weakest” of the top seeds and Atletico Madrid is probably the “strongest” of the bottom seeds. I think it’s realistic that any pair of teams could come from D.

    Whether D is a group of death is another thing. When I think of a group of death, I’m thinking of a group where a plausible contender for the title may get left out because of the strength of the group. I don’t think anybody in D fits that bill. Either E or F is closer to that distinction with three strong teams in each group.

  24. Rich K says:

    WTF! Celtic draws the Champions League Champion for the second year in a row. It’ll also mean that the group will play its last round a week early.

    MON THE HOOPS!!!!

  25. anotherbodymurdered says:

    “BATE Borisov”

    anyone else think of Idiocracy when they saw this?

  26. tmc says:

    Everyone on here is so EPL-centric that you are forgetting a great matchup. Luca Toni returning to Firenze will be at least as interesting as El Nino heading back to Madrid with Liverpool.

    The Fiorentina President came out the other day and said that he has a verbal agreement with Toni for him to come back to Fiorentina when his fat contract with Bayern runs out. I’d imagine that he will get a warm reception from the fans as they are really greatful for the contribution he made to getting the team back to prominence in Italy.

  27. Cyrus says:

    I’m looking forward to the Panathanaikos vs Anorthosis Famagusta match-up

  28. Gilly73 says:

    LOVE IT – some tasty matchups, better save some vacation days for this year’s CL.

    Here’s my favorite’s -

    Chelsea v Roma (battle of the 2nd best’s)

    Liverpool v Atletico Madrid (Torres homecoming)

    Bayern Munich v Fiorentina (Toni return)

    Real Madrid v Juventus (missed each other in the Emirates Cup but not here)

  29. Wes says:

    Good point tmc.

    I think Bucharest will be the “small team” to advance.

  30. NONAME says:

    FC Midjytland. – is this actually pronounced MidgetLand? I am just asking….

  31. anon_e_moose says:

    “Shakhtar could get out of that one and not be a surprise.”

    Metalurh Donetsk wouldnt be a surprise, but if the team 12 pts behind them made it past the group stage id be surprised.

    I cant believe people are actually overrating the Ukrainian teams. Both Shaktar and Kyiv(0 pts, 19 goals against) finished 4th(behind Benfica and Sporting) in their CL groups. Sure they are better but not that much better.

  32. Gilly73 says:

    IVES – do you know when they will announce the group schedule/matchups?

  33. anon_e_moose says:

    To clarify they are better than what they were last year. But they didnt go from being Dinamo and Spartak Moscow to a Celtic and Fenerbahce.

  34. doug says:

    My boys Liverpool need to get it together quickly. Liverpool were horrible yesterday while Atletico were devastating against Schalke.

    Also another subplot, Toni returns against the Viola

  35. Kevin says:

    What is with the Liverpool hate? The team hasnt’t looked good I understand that but its been 3 games (2 PL, 1 CL Qualifier). THREE. And for Tom to call them the “weakest” top seed. Really? Have you watched any CL games the past few years. Clearly Lyon is “weaker” and Real, Barca, and Inter struggle year after year in the Champions League. Listen, everyone falls in love with the non-epl teams and I understand that some of them are great to watch but the EPL teams always seem to be there at the end.

    As for the toughest group I think D is difficult because of the depth, and Atletico is a tough draw, but I think H is the most difficult with G and F along with D being potentially slippery.

  36. KingSnake says:

    Half those teams will spend more on one player’s salary in one week than MLS let Red Bull spend buying that kid from Atlanta …

  37. Jamie Z. says:

    FC Midjytland. – is this actually pronounced MidgetLand? I am just asking….

    Posted by: NONAME | August 28, 2008 at 02:29 PM

    No, it’s not. It’s also easier to pronounce when it’s spelled right. Sound it out. FC Midtjylland. F…C…Midt…jyl…land. Just remember not to say your J’s and you’ll be alright.

  38. Don Garber says:

    For what it is worth, my name is pronounced “cheap ****”. Remember to replace the asterisks with the cussword of your choice, and you will be alright.

  39. nelson says:

    lol Danny Califf cost his team a chance to upset Man City by scoring an own goal in the 90′th minute to force the game into extended time and penalties.

    what a noob.

  40. Tom in GA says:

    Kevin, are you really gonna go there? Just because Rafa and the boys have played well in cup games in the past doesn’t mean they will do well in the group stage. This is a Liverpool team that was never in the EPL hunt last year and has yet to impress this year. Maybe it’s unfair to say that Lyon is a better team than Liverpool but at least they won something last year.

  41. KingSnake says:

    Juan Toja has to be loving (post-MLS) life …

  42. Reid says:

    i’m sticking with midgetland

  43. Bye Bye Berba says:

    I’m picking Shakhtar as the little guy that advances with Marcelo Moreno.

    Definitely excited for Real v Juve, Bayern v Lyon, and (hopefully) Man U v Jozy. And where is the Porto love?! Group G is tough and Arsenal could be sent home early.

  44. rambo says:

    Looks like sir Alex is moving to NYC

    link to curbed.com

  45. anon_e_moose says:

    “And where is the Porto love?!”

    No Quaresma, thats why. He’s being treated like the guy u r saying bye bye to.

    also, lol @ shaktar goin thru the group stage. One win against Celtic and people think theyre the next Fenerbahce. lol. Aalborg and Steau for the win.

  46. Kevin says:

    Tom, if you a midget…but a tall one, are you still a midget?

    More seriously go where? Liverpool are a good cup team…some teams play well in cups others don’t. Liverpool has not been involved in the EPL title race for several years yet managed to make the semifinal last year, the final the year before that won it in 2005 a year they didnt challenge for an EPL title.

    And I hate when people make the argument that “atleast they won something” Well please tell me what exactly Barca, Chelsea, and Arsenal won last year. Does that mean that AaB who “won something” is a better team. Of course it doesnt. That is such a silly argument.

  47. NONAME says:

    Thanks for both responses. Maybe they should change the spelling so that it would be MidgetLand. that name would kick @$$!

  48. Henrik says:

    Sucks for Califf for scoring the own-goal that gave City a lifeline with penalties. Similar to Risse’s own goal back in April. Hope he can redeem himself in the Danish League.

    Why did he leave Aalborg? Didn’t he realize they were going to the Champion’s League?

  49. Skinn says:

    Quite frankly, I don’t find any compelling soccer in this draw. Closest thing would be Celtic-ManU.

  50. sg says:

    predictions

    chelsea-roma

    inter-werder

    barca-sporting

    liverpool-atletico

    man utd-villa

    bayern-fiorentina

    real-juve

  51. Lisbon says:

    Juve get out! Cheaters don’t belong in the “Champions League”