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The W - Sports that aren't Baseball, Football, Basketball, or Hockey - 2012-13 UEFA Champions League group draws
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TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 73 days
Last activity: 73 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
    Originally posted by ESPN
    GROUP A
    FC Porto
    Dynamo Kiev
    Paris Saint Germain
    Dinamo Zagreb

    GROUP B
    Arsenal
    Schalke
    Olympiakos
    Montpellier

    GROUP C
    AC Milan
    Zenit
    Anderlecht
    Malaga

    GROUP D
    Real Madrid
    Manchester City
    Ajax
    Borussia Dortmund

    GROUP E
    Chelsea
    Shakhtar Donetsk
    Juventus
    FC Nordsjaelland

    GROUP F
    Bayern Munich
    Valencia
    Lille
    BATE Borisov

    GROUP G
    Barcelona
    Benfica
    Spartak Moscow
    Celtic

    GROUP H
    Manchester United
    Braga
    Galatasaray
    CFR Cluj


Tough draw for Man City, obviously. I don't like them to make it out of the group - I don't know if it will be Ajax or Dortmund joining Real Madrid in the knockout stages, but City haven't convinced me that they can handle having their eyes on both domestic prizes and European glory. I say they don't win on the road and lose to Madrid and drop points to one of the other two at home.

I'm not going to bother predicting, as I know basically nothing about more than half of the teams in the competition. But the race that has me most interested outside of Group D is the contest for the second spot out of Group G. With Celtic probably already champions presumptive in Scotland, they should be able to pour all their resources into this competition. We'll see.
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dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 45 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.66
It's nice to see they avoided any chance of Man U getting knocked out at the group stage again by letting them hand pick their group this year (kidding!).

    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    With Celtic probably already champions presumptive in Scotland, they should be able to pour all their resources into this competition.


This would be like Andorra being able to focus all their military might on a fight with America. It won't help. Seriously, it's impossible to overestimate just how awful Scottish football is or how far the SPL has fallen in the last 5-10 years.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
But is it totally out of the question that they could beat out Benfica and Spartak Moscow for a spot in the last 16? If you say so, I'll believe you, but it doesn't seem totally out of the question to me. Some quick Googling suggests Celtic spends more on player salaries than either of those teams (one source showing such: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6354899). I know that's not everything, but it at least suggests there has to be enough talent to compete for second in the group. To me, anyway.
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 129 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.08
    Originally posted by dMr
    It's nice to see they avoided any chance of Man U getting knocked out at the group stage again by letting them hand pick their group this year (kidding!).



don't look past the vampires from cluj.



Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine presents



RUSSIAN FLAG BURIAL - an examination of 1984 mid-south



dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 45 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.66
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    But is it totally out of the question that they could beat out Benfica and Spartak Moscow for a spot in the last 16? If you say so, I'll believe you, but it doesn't seem totally out of the question to me. Some quick Googling suggests Celtic spends more on player salaries than either of those teams (one source showing such: http://sports.espn.go.com/​espn/​news/​story?​id=6354899). I know that's not everything, but it at least suggests there has to be enough talent to compete for second in the group. To me, anyway.


TBH I'm shocked Celtic's wage bill's higher than Spartak's but it's worth noting the Old Firm often have to overpay players by quite a bit to convince them to ply their trade in the SPL. I wouldn't say they've got absolutely zero chance of getting out the group because they've got a big home crowd, it's only six games and Russian teams generally don't travel well but I'd feel very confident betting against them. And even if they get through the group they aren't going any further.

Full disclosure - I'm a Rangers fan => bitter about all things football right now.
Captain Ferret
Chipolata








Since: 14.9.02
From: Manchester

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.47
Assuming nobody gets anything from Barcelona (though whoever gets them last could be facing their reserves), Celtic would have to beat Benfica (who are good) and Spartak (who could be anything from good to awful) at home, then sneak at least one draw from the away games to stand a chance. Basically, Celtic are pretty much totally reliant on their home form, which is what got them through the group stage the only two times they've reached the knockout stages of the champions league.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
Tough not to feel bad for Manchester City after that loss, but I also can't say Real Madrid didn't deserve the victory. The intensity and level of play in this game felt a lot more like a semifinal than an opening round of group play. It will be interesting to see how City responds to this defeat in what seemed like it might be a famous victory.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.55
Heartbreaking loss for Celtic today. At second in the group halfway through and getting third-place Spartak at home, they are in decent enough shape. A point today would have been pretty great for them though.

Hernandez played great today for United in their comeback. He had two goals, but his most impressive play was a slick dispossessing in a tight area around the touchline near midfield about midway through the second half, running past a couple of defenders and then delivering a nice outside-of-the-boot pass to I believe Nani running free into the area, but Nani couldn't put the subsequent shot on target so it didn't result in a goal. Nice comeback for them, a loss here would have raised some questions.

TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
And with a famous victory over Barcelona today, Celtic are in the drivers seat for the second spot in group G. Still a bit of work to do for them, but a draw away to Benfica in their next game would leave them in great shape.

If Celtic could have just held on for a draw at the Nou Camp, they would be top if the group with two rounds of games left to play. If I heard the announcer correctly, today was Barca's first defeat in the group stage of this competition in more than three years.

In other news, while Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United are all in positions to advance at the moment, none of the English clubs have looked particularly inspired thus far in the competition. If Arsenal were relegated to the Europa League, would that put Wenger's job in jeopardy at all? I like Wenger and don't want that to be the case, but it seems from afar like there are some vocal Arsenal fans ready for a change after years without a trophy to speak of.

(edited by TheBucsFan on 7.11.12 1716)
JayJayDean
Scrapple








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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.12
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    If I heard the announcer correctly, today was Barca's first defeat in the group stage of this competition in more than three years.


True. Since losing 2-1 to then-Russian champs Rubin Kazan at the Nou Camp (!) on 20 Oct 09, Barça was 14-0-4 in group stage Champions League matches until today.

Man City's flameout has been surprisingly enjoyable, mostly due to the commentators during their two Ajax matches.



Holy fuck shit motherfucker shit. Read comics. Fuck shit shit fuck shit I sold out when I did my job. Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck. Sorry had to do it....

*snip*

Revenge of the Sith = one thumb up from me. Fuck shit. I want to tittie fuck your ass.
-- The Guinness. to Cerebus
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
It's also the first time Barcelona has lost a Champions League game in which Messi has scored a goal.
Canard
Cotechino








Since: 25.7.05
From: England

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    In other news, while Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United are all in positions to advance at the moment, none of the English clubs have looked particularly inspired thus far in the competition. If Arsenal were relegated to the Europa League, would that put Wenger's job in jeopardy at all? I like Wenger and don't want that to be the case, but it seems from afar like there are some vocal Arsenal fans ready for a change after years without a trophy to speak of.


I don't think Wenger will be sacked unless he fails to qualify for next year's Champions League. It's kind of sad that finishing fourth in the league is considered better than actually winning a trophy, but that CL place is what keeps the money coming in and keeps him in a job.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
Well, Celtic made it through. It took their first-ever road win in Champions League play, a famous win over Barcelona (and a heartbreaking loss to the very same), and a late penalty today, but I love Neil Lennon's enthusiasm and emotional displays, and this was fun to see.

The final 16 are:

Group winners: PSG, Schalke 04, Malaga, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Man United

Runners up: Porto, Arsenal, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia, Celtic, Galatasaray

So three German teams win their groups, all four Spanish teams went through to the knockout stages (three winning their groups), and England has just two teams in the knockout phase for the second consecutive year after having three or four teams in the round of 16 every year since the round was introduced in the 2003-04 edition of the competition.
texasranger9
Goetta








Since: 9.1.11

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.25
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    Well, Celtic made it through. It took their first-ever road win in Champions League play, a famous win over Barcelona (and a heartbreaking loss to the very same), and a late penalty today, but I love Neil Lennon's enthusiasm and emotional displays, and this was fun to see.

    The final 16 are:

    Group winners: PSG, Schalke 04, Malaga, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Man United

    Runners up: Porto, Arsenal, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia, Celtic, Galatasaray

    So three German teams win their groups, all four Spanish teams went through to the knockout stages (three winning their groups), and England has just two teams in the knockout phase for the second consecutive year after having three or four teams in the round of 16 every year since the round was introduced in the 2003-04 edition of the competition.


2 of the 4 Liga BBVA won their groups. I'm still pulling for FC Bayern. But with Celtic going through, they are my underdog favorites. I know they are a Scottish powerhouse, but this day and age, they seem to be an underdog in this. My other two smaller clubs favorites didn't make it(Benfica and Ajax.)

TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 73 days
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
I would have loved to have seen Ajax go through, especially at the expense of Real, but of course that was never likely to happen. I certainly feel like Manchester City was the worst team in that group. A tale of two extremes for English football: Last year, a team that only finished sixth in the Premier League was good enough to win the Champions League; this year, the reigning English champions went out in the group stage for the second consecutive year, and this time didn't even nab a Europa League spot. Tough draw and all, I know, I don't think either occurrence makes the statement about English football that it seems to, just a funny coincidence.
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 129 days
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.79

you just know arsenal is getting Barca again.



Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine presents



RUSSIAN FLAG BURIAL - an examination of 1984 mid-south



TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 73 days
Last activity: 73 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.36
And here is the round of 16 draw, with some exciting matchups. First legs (hosted by the first team listed) are to be played Feb. 12-13 and Feb. 19-20, with the return legs to be played March 5-6 and March 12-13:

Galatasaray (Turkey) vs. Schalke 04 (Germany)
Celtic (Scotland) vs. Juventus (Italy)
Arsenal (England) vs. Bayern Munich (Germany)
Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) vs. Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
AC Milan (Italy) vs. Barcelona (Spain)
Real Madrid (Spain) vs. Manchester United (England)
Valencia (Spain) vs. Paris Saint-Germain (France)
FC Porto (Portugal) vs. Málaga (Spain)

United against Real is the obvious headliner - lots of subplots in that one, the two biggest being Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford and Jose Mourinho potentially fighting for his job given his squad's embarrassing performance in La Liga thus far.

Between Milan and Barca unfortunately, the most important storyline may be off the pitch, with Tito Vilanova's ongoing chemotherapy following this week's announcement of a cancer relapse putting his presence in the technical area in jeopardy (Barca says they expect him to be there, though). With Milan floundering near the middle of the table in Serie A, they too, like Real, are playing to salvage something from what has so far been a disappointing season.

Arsenal didn't draw Barcelona, but they can't exactly take in a sigh of relief about it as Bayern have looked like world beaters this year after last season's Champions League heartbreak. And Celtic certainly have their work cut out for them if they are going to keep their fairytale alive as they go home-and-away with reigning Italian champions and current Serie A leaders Juventus; but if Celtic can top Barca at home and come within moments of drawing them away, they can maybe pull off the miracle here ... though it is very unlikely.

Lots to look forward to in the next round though!
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.38
Oh man, Celtic draw a beatable opponent. This is going to be interesting.

My calls:

Galatasaray (Shalke is in horrid form this year)
Celtic (why not)
Arsenal (this is not an intuitive call, but somehow I see it)
Shakhtar (Dortmund is off the pace)
Barca (duh)
Real (thinking as it's the only thing left to play for, they'll bring it- their Defense can handle RVP and Rooney if motivated)
PSG (Valencia's discrepancy between CL form and Domestic form finally catches up to them)
Malaga (Doing surprisingly well despite dialing down their squad).

I'm calling a Real-Barca final right now.



www.allcitynewyork.com
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 73 days
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.36
The problem with trying to call a final matchup at this juncture is that you have no idea how the draws will go. The best you can guarantee really is that Barcelona and Madrid will face off, and the winner will win the competition. But I don't think Real will get by United.

And Arsenal ... it's certainly possible, if you saw their game against Reading on Monday night they were fluid, passed the ball really well, created lots of chances, and could have easily won like 8-0 or 9-0 if not for some missed chances and a 10-minute period in the second half where they went to sleep in the back line. So Arsenal could win, but Bayern are by far the more consistent side. A win would sure take a bit of pressure off Arsen Wenger, that's for sure. But I don't see it.

I'll go:

United
Bayern
Galatasaray
Juventus (I'd love for Celtic to stay alive, but can't see it)
Borussia Dortmund
Barcelona
PSG
Malaga
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 73 days
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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.51
Pretty eventful round of first legs. Bayern Munich gaining command of the tie with Arsenal was impressive but not unexpected. Milan's 2-0 win today over Barca was a big shock, but with the second leg at the Nou Camp I still think Barcelona are the favorites to reach the quarterfinals. American midfielder Jermaine Jones scored a late first-half equalizer to give Schalke an away-goal advantage heading home for the second leg against Galatasaray, while Celtic's run seems certain to end, needing to go to Turin and beat Juventus by at least three goals.

I still like all my picks from my previous post except for Galatasaray - after watching that match, I am unimpressed with them and like Schalke to advance.
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