The Champions League Preview
Dinamo Zagreb vs. Dynamo Kyiv
Both teams have alternative ways of spelling Dynamite, and they’re both wrong. It’s indicative of why the teams can’t qualify. However, if Zagreb win they’ll finish 4th, an unprecedented achievement as just a few months ago after Game Week 2 they were bottom of Group A sitting in 4th place. Can they do it? Well, there is a 100% chance that they will and a 0% chance that they won’t. It’s your call folks, one thing is for certain though and that’s Zagreb finishing in 4th.
PSG vs. FC Porto
The two surprise packages of Group A, few would have seen these two battling it out for top spot. Well, that’s football for you I suppose. Unpredictable, nothing is settled until that man in the middle blows his whistle and the 90 minutes are up. A group full of surprises, PSG will win with Porto in second, Kyiv in the Europa League and Zagreb out.
Montpellier vs. Schalke 04
Montpellier were the surprise winners of the Ligue 1 title last season and they have certainly made the most of their first and last appearance in the Champions League. Prior to the competition Montpellier wanted to prove that their Ligue 1 title was no fluke. Well they’ve done that with aplomb, they’re unlikely to add to their 1 point in 5 games against Schalke and they have no chance of qualifying to the next stage or even the Europa League. Mission Accomplished.
Olympiacos vs. Arsenal
It’s no secret that the Greek economy has been struggling of late, so what better way to relieve some of that stress with Greek’s most supported club securing qualification to the next stage of the Champions League with a win over Arsenal. Olympiacos need to avoid a win, a draw and a defeat if they manage that then they’ll finish 3rd.
Malaga vs. Anderlecht
The media have coined this game as ‘Manderlecht’ and you can see why. This is what the group stage is all about; two teams with nothing to play for, no historical rivalry, no star players, and if we’re lucky, no goals. The ‘Manderlecht’ in Malaga has all the makings of a tie that nobody cares about and you can be sure that it will deliver. Demichelis is banned, but luckily he’ll be back for the important second round where Malaga will get knocked out on an away own goal courtesy of Demichelis.
AC Milan vs. Zenit St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg was named after Peter the Great and he is quoted to have said: “I have conquered an empire but I have not been able to conquer myself.” The same applies for neither of these teams as Milan look to use their home advantage. Veni Vidi Vici.
Borussia Dortmund vs. Manchester City
The last time these two met, Joe Hart cemented his position as the most overrated keeper in the world. Without that performance Man City might be looking at potential elimination from the group but instead they’re already eliminated. Kiki Musampa is dropped and Roland Bianchi is in, as Mancini tries to salvage the glory days.
Real Madrid vs. Ajax
Ajax will be looking to avoid victory and hope Man City can get a result in Dortmund otherwise they’re destined for the Europa League. On the plus side, if they win they’ll guarantee the final Europa League spot. It won’t be a Frank de Boering game but it’ll probably be a Ronald de Boering one.
Chelsea vs. Norway
It’s no coincidence that after finally having a settled side, run by a popular manager, Chelsea have turned their season around. Christmas came early for Abramovich as he found success and style all rolled into one with Rafa Benitez. However, Norway will give their utmost to deny Benitez a remarkable 4th win in 4 games. With the tightest defence in the competition, -13 Goal Difference, it’s hard to see how Chelsea will break the Nords down, even a rejuvenated Torres might struggle against that back line.
Shakhtar vs. Juventus
The battle for second place. With Norway having all but secured top spot, both teams will be desperate to preserve their long standing unbeaten runs. Juventus are match fixers and Shakhtar cheat, so expect a draw as both teams will go through and everyone can be happy.
Celtic vs. Spartak Moscow
These two teams are to Group G what Steve Kean was to Blackburn. The main event. The battle of possession will take place in Celtic Park at 7.45pm on the 5th of December 2012. If you have plans, do not cancel them.
Barcelona vs. Benfica
The dark horses of Group G fight it out in the battle of ‘Saviola’. A Benfica win will see Celtic out. Fingers crossed.
Lille vs. Valencia
Lille have no doubt been the surprise package of the Champions League this season. The difference between Lille this year and Lille last year is clearly Joe Cole. Joe Cole, a man who would get by with a Lille help from his friends. It’s a shame he has none.
Bayern vs. BATE Borisov
If this game is half as interesting as Franck Ribery’s face then we are in for a treat. BATE striker is in the form if his life with a certain amount of goals in some games. Must watch. Ribery was branded a ‘cunt’ prior to the game by everybody, mainly because of his face, which is harsh, because he also sleeps with underage prostitutes and has an ugly face.
Manchester United vs. Cluj
Cluj would have thought this would be a Champions League game a Cluj years ago. Cluj cares, it is now. Neither team are prone to conceding, so expect a Clujy affair. If I could Cluj one team to come out on top, I’d Cluj Cluj. United win.
Braga vs. Galatasaray
This great rivalry has conjured up a number of unforgettable matches in the past. None worth recapping. Braga and Galatasaray were the only two teams last game week, where all their players where home grown, a refreshing stat in this current economic climate. A home win will cement Braga’s place in 4th.
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