Friday, December 19, 2008

So, some draw happened this morning

Well folks, the results are in.

I can't wait to see how wrong everyone was once we've finished counting.

In the meantime, I bring you the full CL draw, the UEFA Cup draw (like anyone not named The Likely Lad or Keith gives a toss), and some half-assed predictions.

Whether you won our competition or not, you can't say that the draw gave us many lame fixtures.

Without further ado, who got gifted and who got screwed? These are the games to have pundits salivating in their armchairs until February.

Champions League draw, Round of 16
Spartak London vs. Juventus
Villarreal vs. Panathinaikos
Sporting Lisbon vs. Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid vs. FC Porto
Lyon vs. Barcelona
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
Arsenal vs. Roma
Inter Milan vs. Manchester United

First up, the red-faced Scot draws his nemesis in Jose Mourinho. Easily the pick of the round, although I still reckon the Mancs will sneak on. Either way, the trash-talk will be sublime. Spartak get their former manager Claudio Ranieri in his new Turin digs and should advance, and Arsenal get the gift of AS Roma, perhaps the 2nd best draw they could have hoped for overall.

The last remaining French team is guaranteed to exit in this round thanks to pulling out Barca, which makes you wonder if they're kicking themselves at rolling over to Bayern in the meaningless final group game. Bayern trounced them, and their reward? Some Portuguese patsies.

Rafa gets two Ramos, a Raul and a tw*t in Ramon Calderon. I expect a 1-0 aggregate win for my lads, as is our custom in this competition.

Elsewhere, I see Villareal, Atletico and Bayern advancing, hopefully joining all 4 English clubs (barring some epic failures; Serie A and EPL normally ends up in favour of the English*, although Juve has the best chance of advancing, I reckon) and Barcelona in the quarter-finals.

I suppose I should mention the UEFA Cup too:

UEFA Cup, Last 32:
Paris Saint-Germain v Wolfsburg
NEC Nijmegen v Hamburg
Sampdoria v Metalist Kharkiv
Braga v Standard Liege
Lech Poznan v Udinese
Olympiakos v Saint-Etienne
Fiorentina v Ajax
Aalborg v Deportivo La Coruna
Werder Bremen v AC Milan
Bordeaux v Galatasaray
Dynamo Kiev v Valencia
Zenit St. Petersburg v Stuttgart
Marseille v FC Twente
Shakhtar Donetsk v TOTTENHAM

UEFA Cup, Last 16:
Werder Bremen or AC Milan v Olympiakos or Saint-Etienne
ASTON VILLA or CSKA Moscow v Shakhtar Donetsk or TOTTENHAM
Lech Poznan or Udinese v Zenit St Petersburg or Stuttgart
Paris Saint-Germain or Wolfsburg v Braga or Standard Liege
Dynamo Kiev or Valencia v Sampdoria or Metalist Kharkiv
Copenhagen or MANCHESTER CITY v Aalborg or Deportivo
Marseille or FC Twente v Fiorentina or Ajax
NEC Nijmegen or Hamburg v Bordeaux or Galatasaray

They do two draws at once, compounding their lameness, and the draw is kind for Mark Hughes. That said, they are good at losing when you expect them not to. The big story is that Villa and Spurs could meet in the next round should they both advance past tricky opposition. I couldn't care less. Best of luck to all involved. My money's on Valencia to win it all.

So, thoughts? Predictions? We'll have a competition winner later today.

*In recent years, the Serie A hasn't done too well against the EPL. Remember 2005, Meeelan? Seriously though, side thought: how about a pre-season tournament kinda like the College Basketball Big 10/ACC Challenge, only for Serie A and EPL to duke it out. I'd watch that from beginning to end. Or a "La Liga/EPL Challenge." Would be sweet, right?


Mike Georger said...

Inter take the tie.

Precious Roy said...

We've counted. And we were all pretty wrong. Post will go up later today.

Kopper said...

Valencia? After the English sides, I'm pulling for Deportivo and Ajax.

Eladio said...

I like CSKA Moscow. Their official team band is The Specials, right?

Precious Roy said...

Also, no f*cking way all four of the English clubs make the next round. At least one of them is going down. And I wouldn't be surprised if none of them made it through.

Eladio said...

I agree with Roy...and I think this is Plantini's revenge when 3 of the 4 semifinalists last year were all English clubs. Random Draw my ass.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Roy, Eladio: normally, I'd agree with you, but the EPL is 24-11-11 against Serie A in the Champions League since 2000. Ergo, I have to think that trend's continuing