Thursday, December 11, 2008
ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME ................
We now know the sixteen teams that will go into the draw for the knockout stage, which will be held next Friday morning at 11.00 UK time. Group winners have home advantage in the second leg, can only meet a runner up, that is not from the same group, or from the same association (country).
So, Manchester United cannot face Villarreal, Chelsea or Arsenal, I assume that they want to avoid Real or Inter and would be "happy" with Sporting, Lyon or Atletico, but as you can see, there are no easy games left. On the other side of the draw, Chelsea and Arsenal will be content to avoid Barcelona, as will everyone else and maybe resurgent Bayern.
I am sure that some of the more cynical amongst you, probably think the draw has already been made, with UEFA desperate to keep the bigger, more influential clubs apart, I couldn't possibly comment. What is certain, is that we have one humdinger of a tournament !
Roma, Panathinaikos, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Porto and Juventus
Chelsea, Internazionale, Sporting Lisbon, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Olympique Lyonnais, Arsenal and Real Madrid.