Champions League Draw: Liverpool Sitting Pretty in Group A

Wanford deMellowContributor IAugust 31, 2007

sportslogos.netThe Champions League draw is finally out, and the scene looks good for the English clubs.

Manchester United and Chelsea have been reunited with teams they beat at the quarterfinal stage last year. The Mancs face Roma in Group F, whom they defeated 8-3 on aggregate in 2006. Chelsea are set to take on Valencia in Group B after knocking them out with a last-gasp Essien goal.

Liverpool and Arsenal also have little reason to worry, as their hardest competition will most likely come from Porto and Sevilla, respectively. 

That said, it's always foolish to expect any easy matches in the Champions League, as the Mancs found out two years ago when they finished fourth in an "easy" group consisting of Villarreal, Benfica, and Lille.

Liverpool are drawn against Portuguese champions Porto, Marseille, and Turkish runners-up Besiktas. Rafael Benitez should be quietly confident of surviving the group stage without a loss—and will likely look to to give some of his main players a rest.

Porto are no longer the team that won the tournament in 2004; Mourinho is with Chelsea and a host of other players, notably Deco, have left. Marseille, although a force in Ligue 1, will not trouble the Reds, and Anfield should be hoping to see Cisse and Zenden again. Besiktas are probably the weakest of the group—the only challenge for Liverpool will be the travel to Turkey.

Overall, the English teams should be happy with their groups, and should be hoping to progress to the knockout stages.