Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Champions League is here! Best XI and weekend wrap up

First off -- a breakdown of Saturday and Sunday's premier league action -- and shame on the Toons for losing to cellar-dwellar's Derby - Michael Owen might have injured himself in the embarrassing result.

Here's the Best XI:
GK: Pepe Reina (Liverpool)

LCB:
Stephen Kelly (Birmingham)
CB:
Kolo Toure (Arsenal)
RCB:
Nemanja Vidic (Man United)

LM:
Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham)
CM:
Michael Johnson (Man City)
CM:
Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
RM:
Lee Bowyer (West Ham)

ST:
Dean Ashton (West Ham)
ST:
Kenwyne Jones (Sunderland)
ST:
Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal)

Manager: Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)

My star of the weekend was Cesc Fabregas, who was absolutley brilliant and is quickly making people forget about Thierry Henry. Here's what the Best XI article has to say about Cesc Fabregas:
Cesc Fabregas has struck an early claim for Player of the Year with his consistently superb performances for Arsenal this season. Five goals in eight games so far from midfield answers those doubts about his scoring abilities, and his thirty-yard screamer in the north London derby was as good as any of those. He also set up two for Adebayor and strolled away with another MOTM award.
Chelski is a broken egg says Jose.

A breakdown of today's beginning stage of the Champion's league:

The UEFA Champions League roars into action on Tuesday as the highly anticipated group stages begin.

Six of Tuesday's games are live on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports Xtra, whilst you can also now catch the action live on skysports.com on your PC with our brilliant broadband service.

Liverpool, Chelsea and Celtic all get their Champions League campaigns underway on Tuesday with the three sides all dreaming of reaching this season's final in Moscow.

Holders Milan also begin the defence of their trophy with a home clash against Benfica.

Group A is Liverpool's domain and last season's finalists kick-off their assault on a sixth European crown with a tricky trip to Porto.

In the other game in the group under-performing Marseille play host to Besiktas at Stade Velodrome.

Group B sees Chelsea entertain Rosenborg at Stamford Bridge looking to finally go further than the semi-finals.

In the other game in the group Valencia travel to Germany to take on Schalke.

Nine-times winners Real Madrid go in search of a record tenth success in Group C and they get underway with a home clash with Werder Bremen, live on Sky Sports Xtra, while Olympiakos play host to Lazio in the game.

Group D sees champions Milan looking to become the first team to retain the Champions League in its current format and they get the defence of their trophy underway against Benfica.

In the other group game Celtic face a daunting trip to Ukraine to take on Shakhatr Donetsk, live on Sky Sports 2Click below for detailed previews on each game.

Group A:

Marseille v Besiktas: Marseille have never faced a Turkish team in the CL before.

Porto v Liverpool : Porto have never lost a CL home game against English sides.

Group B:

Chelsea v Rosenborg: Chelsea have kept eight clean sheets in the last 11 home CL matches.

Schalke v Valencia: Valencia have lost only once in the last seven CL away games.

Group C:

Real Madrid v Werder Bremen: Real have lost just one match at the Bernabeu in the last 21 in the competition (v Arsenal), drawing four and winning 16.

Olympiakos v Lazio: The Greek team have won just once in the last 13 CL games, against Real Madrid.

Group D:

Milan v Benfica: In the last 20 CL home games at the San Siro, Milan have won 16, drawn two and lost two.

Shakhtar v Celtic: In 13 CL away games, Celtic have lost 12 and shared the points once, against Barcelona.

I got my eyes on the Porto v. Liverpool match-up -- should be a tough challenge for Rafa's boys, while tomorrow features the intriguing match-up of Arsenal v. Sevilla.

Here are some Champions league predictions.

2 comments:

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