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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Champions League group stages were drawn today. Some interesting ties to look forward to that's for sure.

Group A: Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Tottenham, FC Twente

Group B: Lyon, Benfica, Schalke, Hapoel Tel Aviv

Group C: Valencia, Rangers, Bursaspor, Manchester United

Group D: FC Barcelona, Panathinaikos, FC Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan

Group E: Bayern Munich, AS Roma, FC Basel, CFR Cluj

Group F: Marseille, Spartak Moscow, MSK Zilina, Chelsea

Group G: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre

Group H: Shakhtar Donetsk, SC Braga, FK Partisan, Arsenal

Group A = I would expect Inter Milan and Tottenham to get through. Inter Milan were very impressive last year and I see no reason why they shouldn't qualify, whilst Tottenham just shade it over Werder Bremen.

Group B = I can see Lyon and Benfica going through. The problem is, I don't know enough about any of the clubs bar Lyon, so I'm basically going by how they were seeded.

Group C = it's got to be Manchester United anyway. Clearly the strongest in that group. Valencia are probably favourites to make it through as well but I wouldn't be writing off Bursaspor. Turkish teams are always good at home and Valencia have lost two key players in David Silva and David Villa.

Group D = I'm going to go for Barcelona and Rubin Kazan. Kazan were impressive last year and Eastern European teams are very underrated.

Group E = Bayern Munich and Roma will be going through, I'm nearly positive. Cluj never posed any threat when they featured in the Champions League last and whilst I don't know much about FC Basel, Bayern and Roma should be good enough to win.

Group F = Well, first of all I expect Chelsea to qualify easily, especially after the fantastic start they have had to the season. Meanwhile, I expect Marseille and Spartak Moscow to fight it out for second place, though MSK Zilina could surprise a few if they can grab a point or two away from home.

Group G = The group of death. Real Madrid (seeded in pot two) will be favourites to qualify and AC Milan should do the business and qualify, even though they have been poor in Europe over the past few years. Ajax and Auxerre could be tricky fixtures away from home but Madrid and Milan should have enough to qualify.

Group H = It's a more difficult group for Arsenal than it looks, although they should qualify. Shaktar are a very good team and particularly difficult to beat away, whilst the other two teams will be expected to defend well and hopefully grab a goal A difficult group but Arsenal and Shaktar should qualify.

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