Champions League Draw – Who Do We Want?
This morning see’s another room full of businessmen who have been lucky enough to get themselves into the halls of power at UEFA, pick some balls out of a pot to determine the games in the last 16 of this seasons Champions League. Without doubt we’ll be subjected to the normal boring, pomposity and video clips from the last few months of competition before we start the ball picking but once it’s completed we’ll start a mass rush to buy cheap airline tickets and hotel rooms before the travel agents triple the prices. So who will our potential opponents in the last 16 be? Here’s the candidates:
One of Europe’s more successful sides from an unfashionable country. I should clarify that, I’m not saying France is unfashionable, just their football league. Actually when I come to think about it, hmmmm, anyway they were semi finalists last season before making a very poor attempt at reaching their first final against Bayern Munich. They qualified for the next round by finishing second in group B behind Schalke with 10 points in one of the poorest groups this year. They always play open, attractive football which would probably suit us nicely and if we’ve sorted our defence out by then we should beat them over two legs fairly easily.
One team I really don’t want us to be pitted against. We all know on our day we can beat anyone, especially at white hart lane but Valencia are a good side. Finished second behind United, which included a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. Can score goals, although 9 of their 15 came against Bursaspor so how much we can read into that I don’t know. Any Spanish team will be technically gifted and Valencia are no different. With Soldado and Mata they’ve got players that could hurt us. Could be two tight games if we drew them, with the winner being decided by the smallest of moments.
These are the boys I want. No disrespect to them and knowing how we play against the “lesser” team maybe I shouldn’t feel this way but I want to get as far as we can and if that means we have to wait until the final to play Barcelona then so be it. I won’t pretend to know much about this Danish side other than the fact it’s the first time they’ve qualified for the knock out stages, much like us. I’ve also never been to Denmark so it’d be nice to make the trip.
Much like Valencia I guess I don’t really want them. However, they shouldn’t give the team too much to worry about. As with Valencia, they would probably be well organised but if we can beat Inter over 2 legs I’m sure we can do the same with Roma. Marco Borriello would probably provide the biggest threat but defensively they’re not good enough to keep us out often enough.
Another one of my favourites, simply because I like the south of France and it would be a good trip. They beat Chelsea in their final group game but it was a poor Chelsea that night and one that didn’t seem too bothered about the final result. They showed good mental strength to qualify from the group after losing their opening two games, so if we were to draw them we’d need to make sure we didn’t get carried away if we took a lead because they will fight their way back.
Finally, one I really don’t want. Not only because it’ll be going back to the San Siro but because it’s the one team I think can beat us. I know Seria A isn’t as strong as it once was but they’re still sitting top of the league by 6 points and to give you an idea how much better than Inter they are, they’re 13 points clear of Benitez’s side. We all know on paper they’re an ageing side and one that had a mixed group stage but it’s full of quality players. Quality players and Kevin-Prince Boateng that is. I’ll probably regret that one if we get them. Nesta, Zambrotta, Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Robinho and Ronaldinho. I’m not saying they’d definitely beat us and our high tempo, all out attack style might be too much for the dad’s army of Europe but I’d rather not find out.
So there you have it. A quick and simple run down of our six possible opponents. A few I’d like and a few I’d rather stay clear of, but when you look at each of them there’s no-one we should fear, and there’s one thing I can guarantee, none of them will want to draw us.
Submitted by THFC1882