Melde dich an, um diesem Inhalt zu folgen  
Folgen diesem Inhalt 0


2 Beiträge in diesem Thema

Champions League 2004-05 Preview

9/14/2004 11:47:00 AM

The Group Phase of the 2004-05 edition of the Champions League gets underway across the continent this week with a stellar cast comprising the great and the good of European club football – including 12 previous winners who between them have lifted the prestigious trophy 38 times.

Since the format changed from knockout competition to Champions League in 1992-93, the 24 finalists have included eight from Italy’s Serie A, six from Spain’s La Liga, four from Germany’s Bundesliga, two each from France and Holland and one apiece from the English Premiership and Portugal – whose FC Porto won the competition last May.

The Champions League has become an unprecedented money-spinner that none of Europe’s elite can afford to miss out on. All of the 32 teams preparing to kick-off their campaigns on Tuesday or Wednesday will harbour dreams of going all the way – or at least of making it into the increasingly lucrative knock-out stages. Only 16 of them can, of course, so the jockeying for position begins in earnest now, with everyone anxious top make a positive start.

Group A throws together Deportivo La Coruna – contesting their fifth consecutive Champions League and confident of progressing; Olympiakos – strengthened by the addition of Rivaldo and hoping Greece’s Euro 2004 triumph might rub off on them; Monaco – who did superbly to reach last season’s final, with Didier Deschamps eager to prove it was no fluke; and Liverpool – whose increasingly Spanish flavour might just give them an edge in this cosmopolitan tournament. On Wednesday, Liverpool host Monaco while Depor entertain Olympiakos. prediction for top two qualifiers: Depor and Liverpool.

Group B comprises Real Madrid – smarting after their first trophy-less season in five years and looking for an immediate return on their £32 million summer purchases; Roma – whose new coach Rudi Voeller will look to Francesco Totti and Antonio Cassano to provide inspiration; Bayer Leverkusen - who have started well in the Bundesliga but may lack sufficient strength in depth as the champions league progresses; and Dinamo Kiev – who will provide a typically awkward challenge from the Ukraine. This Wednesday: Roma v Kiev; Leverkusen v Real. prediction for top two qualifiers: Real & Roma.

Group C includes Juventus – whose coach Fabio Capello won the Champions League with AC Milan, and who has added Fabio Cannavaro, Emerson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the Old Lady’s squad; Ajax – four-times winners of the European Cup, who will Ibrahimovic’s goals; Maccabi Tel-Aviv – lacking experience at this level but cleared to play home games in Israel; and Bayern Munich – 2001 winners who despite some rocky domestic performances will expect to progress. This Wednesday: Ajax-Juve; Tel-Aviv-Bayern. prediction for top two qualifiers: Juventus & Bayern.

Group D pits Manchester United – unconvincing so far in the Premiership but experienced and good enough (especially with returning stars) to progress in the Champions League; Lyons – weakened by the loss of striker Giovane Elber for six months with a broken leg; Sparta Prague – aiming for a fourth last-16 appearance in six years; and Fenerbahce – spearheading the Turkish challenge with Rustu in goal and Pierre van Hooijdonk in attack. This Wednesday: Lyons v Man Utd; Fenerbahce v Sparta. prediction for top two qualifiers: Manchester United & Sparta Prague.

Group E brings together Arsenal – in imperious domestic form but still with much to prove in the Champions League; PSV Eindhoven – yet to reach the knockout stages after seven attempts and no longer able to call on Mateja Kezman or Arjen Robben; Rosenborg – in the Champions League for the ninth time in 10 years so certainly not short on experience; and Panathinaikos – also highly experienced in the CL and possibly possessing the Greek success factor. Tuesday’s fixtures: Arsenal-PSV; Panathinaikos-Rosenborg. prediction for top two qualifiers: Arsenal & Panathinaikos.

Group F has been labelled the Group of Death and includes Celtic – so dominant in Scotland and certain to give everything to the cause, but now without the talismanic Henrik Larsson who ironically could come back to haunt them with Barcelona – significantly strengthened over the summer and looking genuine contenders; AC Milan, winners in 2003 and also heavy spenders in the summer; and Shakhtar Donetsk – likely to view their second appearance in the CL as invaluable experience. Tuesday’s games: Celtic v Barca; Shakhtar Donetsk v Milan. prediction for top two qualifiers: Barcelona & Milan.

Group G comprises Uefa Cup holders Valencia – beaten finalists in 2000 and 2001 and now under Claudio Ranieri’s management but without the injured and influential Roberto Ayala; Internazionale – with a new midfield of Veron and Davids and expectations of making an impact this year; Anderlecht – who could struggle in this company; and Werder Bremen – the German champions who could provide stiff competition for Inter and Valencia for the top two places.

Tuesday’s games: Valencia-Anderlecht; Inter-Werder Bremen. prediction for top two qualifiers: Valencia & Inter.

Group H throws together Jose Mourinho’s past and present clubs. The coach who led Porto to the title last season is now in charge at Chelsea, whose limitless resources and new style of play under Mourinho – more pragmatic, less enigmatic – make them favourites to top the group. Porto’s team of champions has lost players (to Chelsea and Barca) but still look a good bet. Also in the group are Paris St Germain – without a win in the French League and looking fragile; and CSKA Moscow – who have invested heavily and include the Brazilian Wagner Love.

Tuesday’s games: Porto v CSKA Moscow; PSG v Chelsea. prediction for top two qualifiers: Chelsea & Porto.

Diesen Beitrag teilen

Link zum Beitrag
Auf anderen Seiten teilen

Gfallt mir, außer den Bayern keine Deutschen die weiterkommen würden.

Aber ManU und Sparta Praha? Hätte Lyon auch ohne Elber weit stärker eingeschätzt.

Und Gruppe E: Eindhoven ist wohl Panathinaikos ebenbürtig, Rosenborg wird a net viel schlechter sein.

Und auf Werder bin ich gespannt. :happy:

Diesen Beitrag teilen

Link zum Beitrag
Auf anderen Seiten teilen

Erstelle ein Benutzerkonto oder melde dich an, um zu kommentieren

Du musst ein Benutzerkonto haben, um einen Kommentar verfassen zu können

Benutzerkonto erstellen

Neues Benutzerkonto für unsere Community erstellen. Es ist einfach!

Neues Benutzerkonto erstellen


Du hast bereits ein Benutzerkonto? Melde dich hier an.

Jetzt anmelden
Melde dich an, um diesem Inhalt zu folgen  
Folgen diesem Inhalt 0

  • Folge uns auf Facebook

  • Partnerlinks

  • Unsere Sponsoren und Partnerseiten

  • Wer ist Online

    Keine registrierten Benutzer online.