Oh, happy days...
It's finally upon us. Catch the excitement! CL Matchday 1. Oh, sweet lord, I never thought we'd get here, and to think we almost didn't if it weren't for the hilarious profligacy of Standard Liege in front of goal.
Moving on, here's the slate for today/tonight:
Spartak London v. Bordeaux
Roma v. CFR Cluj-Napoca
Panathanaikos v. Inter Milan
Werder Bremen v. Anorthosis Famagusta
Barcelona v. Sporting
FC Basel v. Shakhtar Donetsk
Marseille v. Liverpool
PSV v. Atletico Madrid
Any score predictions? Anything to note about the games? Drop it after the mark and let's celebrate the return of Big Cup.
Marseille v. Liverpool:
Marseille: Mandanda, Bonnart, Zubar, Hilton, Taiwo, Cana, Cheyrou, Kone, M'Bami, Ben Arfa, Niang.
Subs: Riou, Ziani, Zenden, Kabore, Samassa, Erbate, Valbuena.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Dossena, Gerrard, Mascherano, Leiva Lucas, Kuyt, Torres, Babel.
Subs: Cavalieri, Agger, Keane, Riera, Alonso, Benayoun, Degen.
Referee: Konrad Plautz (Austria). He was the baldie who presided over the Spartak London-Liverpool 1-1 semi-final 1st leg last season, and the disastrous Portugal-Switzerland game in Euro '08 in which he incorrectly disallowed a goal and also failed to give an obvious penalty. Can't wait for this one.
Meanwhile, across the Channel... Spartak London v. Bordeaux
Spartak London: Cech, Bosingwa, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Obi, Joe Cole, Deco, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka.
Subs: Hilario, Di Santo, Ballack, Ferreira, Kalou, Alex, Belletti.
Bordeaux: Rame, Jurietti, Diawara, Planus, Placente, Diarra, Menegazzo, Gouffran, Gourcuff, Wendell, Chamakh.
Subs: Valverde, Henrique, Cavenaghi, Bellion, Ducasse, Traore, Obertan.
Referee: Pieter Vink (Holland). This is the guy who reffed the Arsenal-Liverpool quarter-final 1st leg that same year, the one in which Hleb thought he had a penalty when he actually didn't. This bodes well for all teams involved.