Thoughts And Predictions For The Champions League Draw

Before I proceed I want to mention that this article is mostly speculation about the Champions League draw and the teams in it. There won’t be much about Arsenal.

Ok with that out of the way I thought I’ll jot down some thoughts I had about the Champions League quarter-final draw. While the draw is held live and involves some big names associated with the game, I often get the feeling that it is, at least partially, rigged. Do you get the same feeling?

The way some teams keep bumping into each other (Arsenal – Barca, Real – Lyon, etc), the way it throws up some exciting rematches like the repeat of last season’s final in this season’s second round, and the way some of the relatively smaller teams always play each other so that one of them can get through to the latter stages makes me wonder if it’s all a matter of luck.

Of course, one argument is that there are so many permutations that some patterns will always emerge no matter what the outcome. It really could be that simple. On the other hand the reasons behind fixing the draw could be twofold; firstly, it would allow some of the smaller teams a chance to go one step forward and break the hegemony of the big sides while earning some fame and highly useful cash; and secondly, rematches and the likes add more glamour and increase the chatter around the games.

So going by my theory I’d expect two out of Spuds, Schalke, and Shakhtar to meet in the quarter-finals. That way one of the lesser fancied teams is sure to advance to the semi-finals.

Similarly, there is a chance that Real get paired with Inter. This could lead to a great deal of media coverage about Mourinho’s return to the San Siro, how everyone feels about it, and stuff like that. Essentially, it keeps the Champions League in the limelight for a longer period, for free.

Personally speaking, I’d love to see Real meet United. The battle between two highly intelligent managers who both rely heavily on tactics will be fun to watch at a tactical level even if the football isn’t inspiring. It will also put extra pressure on United in their mid-week fixtures. And of course what could be better than having Barcelona meeting them in the semi-final after disposing off the Spuds in the quarters.

Seriously though, Barcelona-Spuds can be an immensely entertaining fixture with a lot of goals, mostly at one end but one or two at the other as well. I’m really hoping for this tie in the draw even if everything else I’m saying falls flat. ‘Arry’s comments, before and after the games, alone will be worth their weight, or should I say font size, in gold.

On the other side Chelsea could then have a rematch with Inter, a tie they lost in the second round last Year. This will nicely set up the small team fixture between Schalke and Shakhtar.

Well those are just some thoughts I had about the draw and a bit of light-hearted speculation. Even without Arsenal I’m going to watch most of these games as these days I’m trying to control the emotions a bit more and focussing on the tactics and other details.

By the way did anyone catch the Europa League games today? Man City really know how to cure a Gooner’s disappointment. I’d say Liverpool too did their bit by huffing and puffing to a goalless home draw with Braga, a team that did well against us in the Champions League. Interestingly, both these ‘giants’ lost to a couple of teams that have dropped down from the CL to the EL. Does that mean neither of them are really ready for the Champions League? And if so, how far behind Arsenal are these teams? I’ll leave you to ponder on that.


18 Responses to Thoughts And Predictions For The Champions League Draw

  1. Boop says:

    I think Citeh and Pool would do ok in the group stages, but this two legged tie lark in March? English teams don’t get xmas off, and it’s always easy to run up against a good squad even in the Europa League that has hit a run of form. Plus, citeh got over confident as the favourite, which they wouldn’t do in the Champion’s League knock out stages. That said, from the perspective of bragging rights and those clubs’ sense of themselves in the pecking order I am glad they went out.

    We need United to go as far as they can. I could even countenance them winning it all if it meant us getting our hands on the league and keeping Cesc. Better they get spanked by Barca in the Final, in London.

  2. gunnerberry says:

    chelsea vs real madrid
    spurs vs barca
    man vs inter
    schalke vs shakthar

  3. garing.com says:

    i hope the best team at this momment will reach the final and i think barca vs real…
    with barca will win this year… and arsenal next..
    i hope..

  4. Woshy says:

    My prediction Barca vs.shakthar
    Man u vs. Chelsea
    Hotspurs vs.Real
    Inter vs. Schalke

  5. Indian Gunner says:

    I want man united to face barca and get ripped apart by the catalans….Their squad is very average and they dont deserve to go too far in the competition…5-0 to barca over two legs….FYI most of my colleagues are Man united fans and this is the best way for me to take revenge over them….

  6. deejaybee says:

    I think
    Spurs v Inter
    Chelsea v Shaktar or Schalke (Chelsea always lucky)
    Manu v R madrid
    Shaktar or Schalke v Barcelona

  7. Phv says:

    Desi, I have the same feeling that the draw has been fixed for quite a while.I simply do not know how they do it but come on it is just so obvious. Barca vs Inter in the group stage right after Etoo/Ibra last year… Bayern vs Inter, Arsenal vs Barca , Chelsea vs Barca…. Real vs Lyon and we can go on.
    I would also love to see Spurs vs Barcelona.OMG that would make me so so happy.I have been thinking about it for a few days.Please if there is God.
    ” ‘Arry’s comments, before and after the games, alone will be worth their weight, or should I say font size, in gold.” I can see it already in my head.
    I would like to say that I would really really love to see Real vs Barca in the final and not before. They are the two best teams by a mile. Also an easier draw for Man Utd in the quarters to let’s say donetsk would be good for Arsenal. The more games (and the further away from home)they play the better. Mourinho vs Sir Alex is a match that MUST happen hopefully in a semi final. Inter and Chelsea are just so rubbish at the moment that they are not worth commenting.

    My hope is the semis will be Real Madrid vs Man Utd and Inter/Chelsea vs Barcelona. That would be good for the neutrals.

  8. luca says:

    i think today’s quarter final & semi final draw will be

    Man United vs Inter Milan

    Chelsea vs Barcelona

    Tottenham vs Real Madrid

    Schalke vs Shaktner Donesk

    Semi final Draw

    Man United vs Tottenham or Real Madrid
    Shaktner Donesk vs Chelsea or Barcelona

  9. Demisachew S. says:

    I hope the draw may be
    Barca VS Man.united
    Chelsea VS Shalka 04
    Real madrid VS Inter Milan
    Spurs VS Shakatar

    At final stage we will see Spurs vs Chelsea at wimbilay

  10. fei t zaway says:

    i wish the draw will go like this:
    barca vs shatar donest
    madrid vs man united
    chelsea vs intermilan
    spurs vs stuggart

  11. ak47 says:

    i hope its……

    manure-real mad
    barcaloanus-shaktar
    chelski-tiny tots
    inter-schalke

    then….

    real mad-inter
    barcaloanus-chelski

    final…

    barcaloanus-real mad.

    im sure the media coverage will be maximised then.

    as for the draw. they could all be in on it, magnets or textured balls?
    ive defo had the same feeling. not jus for the cl.

  12. ak47 says:

    let me explain….

    ronny back at the old ref trap whipping in a free kick from the half way line.(media game)
    i reckon they will give barca a easy game bfore the semis.
    too many eng teams so tots-chelski.
    inter will have a better chance at welcoming the narcissist back with schalke.

    semis-(media games) history etc…

    final-(media game) real mad pay back for the 5nil? has any manager ever won it back to back, will mour-media coverage please-inho get one over on pep again etc…

  13. babawarun yinka says:

    man vs madrid
    chelsea vs shalke
    shakta vs barca
    inter vs spuds

  14. ak47 says:

    Real Madrid v Tottenham
    Chelsea v Manchester United
    Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk
    Inter Milan v Schalke

    oh wel i was nearly right. stil think my line up was better.
    barca- shak, inter-schalke… thats a surprise! not!

  15. JJ Pittman says:

    Yeah, that was light-hearted! Now, should w root against ManUre or Chelski? Shouldn’t matter, because we have to the job ourselves! That said, I hate the pile of S more than any team in sports, so c’mon blues. Second most hated is Real Magreed, even before the special one and the Portuguese diver, however, have heard enough from Crouch and other tater tots, so have to go with Real.
    Lots of Schadefreude in Europa, too, with other Brit teams out. Have to go with “little Arsenal”(Braga). Note that 4 of remaining 8 are parachutes from the Champions, and all 4 can be semifinalists. If anything shows why this is lesser level competition, this is it,AND, no Brit teams left in it!

  16. abebe says:

    i hope Man-utd and Barcelona will reach for the final and utd will be the champion of 2011.Good luck for utd.

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