Champions League Draw Preview

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Champions League Draw Preview

The group stage is over and the draw speculation has begun:

Is it better to have won the group or been the runner-up?

Is Real Madrid a good draw amidst all the transition they've had, or will they recover by February? 

Is it better to draw a team that a club has played several times, or someone that they've played less?

The draw takes place a week from today, December 19th at 12pm CET, in Nyon. The rules for the draw are simply:

1) A club can't draw someone from their same association. (No Liverpool/Arsenal or Barca/Real Madrid).

2) A club can't draw the other club to qualify from their group.

3) Group winners can't draw group winners, and group runners-up can't draw group runners-up.

4) The knock-out round is February 24/25 and March 10/11. Group winners will play the last leg at home.

Following are the groups with winners, followed by the runners-up:

Group A:    Roma, Chelsea.

Group B:    Panathinaikos, Inter Milan.

Group C:    Barcelona, Sporting Portugal.

Group D:    Liverpool, Athletico Madrid.

Group E:    Manchester United, Villarreal.

Group F:    Bayern Munchen, Olympique Lyon.

Group G:    Porto, Arsenal.

Group H:    Juventes, Real Madrid.

Who would you feel good about your club drawing? Who scares you? Why? Comment with the club you support, who you would like to draw, and who you would like to avoid. For your convenience, all possibilities for each club are listed below.

Arsenal:    Barcelona, Bayern Munchen, Juventes, Panathinaikos, Roma.

Athletico Madrid:    Bayern Munichen, Juventes, Manchester United, Panathinaikos, Porto, Roma.

Barcelona:    Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Olympique Lyon.

Bayern Munchen:    Arsenal, Athletico Madrid, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Sporting Portugal, Villarreal.

Chelsea:    Barcelona, Bayern Munchen, Juventes, Panathinaikos, Porto.

Inter Milan:    Barcelona, Bayern Munchen, Liverpool, Manchester United, Porto.

Juventes:    Arsenal, Athletico Madrid, Chelsea, Olympique Lyon, Sporting Portugal, Villarreal.

Liverpool:    Inter Milan, Olympique Lyon, Real Madrid, Sporting Portugal, Villarreal.

Manchester United:    Athletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Olympique Lyon, Real Madrid, Sporting Portugal.

Olympique Lyon:    Barcelona, Juventes, Liverpool, Manchester United, Pananthinaikos, Porto, Roma.

Panathinaikos:    Arsenal, Athletico Madrid, Chelsea, Olympique Lyon, Real Madrid, Sporting Portugal, Villarreal.

Porto:    Athletico Madrid, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Olympique Lyon, Real Madrid, Villarreal.

Real Madrid:    Bayern Munchen, Liverpool, Manchester United, Panathinaikos, Porto, Roma.

Roma:    Arsenal, Athletico Madrid, Olympique Lyon, Real Madrid, Sporting Portugal, Villarreal.

Sporting Portugal:    Bayern Munchen, Juventes, Liverpool, Manchester United, Panathinaikos, Roma.

Villarreal:    Bayern Munchen, Juventes, Liverpool, Panathinaikos, Porto, Roma.

Some interesting possible matchups:

Manchester United/Real Madrid: The two titans could draw each other, but will this be a conflict of interest for Cristiano Ronaldo?

Barcelona/Arsenal: rematch of the 2006 finals, but with Thierry Henry on the other side.

The matches that can't happen, but we wish they could:

Chelsea/Inter Milan: Wouldn't it be great to see Jose Mourihno return to Stamford Bridge?

Liverpool/Juventes: Though they played in the quarter finals the year Liverpool won it all in Istanbul, it seems another match-up might help further heal the tragedy of the Heysel disaster.

Roma/Manchester United: I'd rather just have them get it over with in this round, than see a blow-out in the quarter finals for a third year in a row.

Be sure to leave your thoughts...

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