Return Of The Champions League

 

This week see’s the eagerly anticipated return of the Champions League with a slightly different schedule based on only two matches to take place per match-day.

Knowing U.E.F.A (European football governing body) it will probably have a lot to do with television and marketing rights, though they’ll vehemently deny this of course.

The draw has added to the eagerly anticipated up-coming fixtures, as happens with football draws on a regular basis, it has thrown together some very interesting reunions, battles and possible upsets.

The draw is as follows;

First Legs;

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

A.C. Milan v Manchester United

Lyon v Real Madrid

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Bayern Munich v Fiorentina

FC Porto v Arsenal

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Olympiakos v Bordeaux

VfB Stuttgart v Barcelona

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

CSKA Moscow v Sevilla

Inter Milan v Chelsea

Second Legs;

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Arsenal v FC Porto

Fiorentina v Bayern Munich

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Manchester United v AC Milan

Real Madrid v Lyon

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Chelsea v Inter Milan

Sevilla v CSKA Moscow

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Barcelona v VfB Stuttgart

Bordeaux v Olympiakos

With the draw in mind, who is your money on to win the tournament this year? Have a look at the latest tournament odds at Oddschecker, a great betting site, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I honestly believe it will be Chelsea’s year and part of the reasoning in appointing Carlo Ancelotti at the club was to fulfil the quest for this trophy.

Though I have a feeling on an outside tip, in French side Bordeaux, despite recent poor form, the way in which they progressed from a group with Juventus and Bayern Munich in, says a lot.

Several teams come into these fixtures in very good form, notably Manchester United, especially Wayne Rooney, as do Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Its going to be a fantastic stage of fixtures.

I find it disappointing yet unsurprising, that Sky Sports are over-hyping the return of David Beckham to Old Trafford and with him not starting the recent A.C. Milan win against Udinese, what are the chances of him sitting the start of the first leg out?

The return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge will be enjoyable to watch and he will receive a fantastic reception from the home fans, but I fully expect Inter Milan to fall at this hurdle AGAIN!!

Away from the games getting all the hype, Fiorentina versus Bayern Munich and Arsenal versus FC Porto, could offer some fantastic viewing for neutral football fans, so check one of them out.

Who will start as they mean to go on in the quest to win the biggest prize in European football (pictured above)?

Time will tell as Gaffers always says, but I expect lots of goals, incidents and entertainment in these up-coming set of fixtures.

As for my predictions, I will back; Barcelona, Chelsea, Bordeaux, AC Milan, Sevilla, Fiorentina, Real Madrid and Arsenal to make up the last eight.

Will I be right?

What are your predictions, let me know on here.

No matter what, it will be fantastic viewing and once we have suffered from the inept studio offerings from the host channels in England (ITV and Sky Sports) we will be entertained immensely.

Enjoy the Champions League.

Personally I would love to see Barcelona retain the trophy!!

Cheers.

Gaffers 

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