Thursday, August 30, 2012

UEFA Champions League Draw 2012-2013, Part II

[Continued from UEFA Champions League Draw 2012-2013, Part I]

Group of Death
Came back from lunch and saw the results of the draw. No question about it, Group D is the Group of Death, with 4 winners of their respective leagues, with representation from the 3 toughest leagues (Real, Man City, Ajax, and Dortmund). About the only possible combination that would have been harder was if Juventus (Serie A champion) and Ajax switched places from the Pot 3 draw.

Group of Life
At first glance, I thought the corresponding Group of Life - that is the group where anyone could advance, but they're weak - might have been Group A, with no teams from the any of the Top 4 leagues, i.e., Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A. However, I'd say that Porto, as the Primeira Liga champion, and PSG, which pulled a Man City last year with an influx of oil money, probably have the inside track to advance. So the Group of Life might actually be Group H, where Man U are guaranteed Group winners, but each of the other 3 have a shot at getting through.

Luckily, my beloved Gunners escaped the most difficult pairing possibilities, although there is some stiff competition from Schalke, which can play with highly technical German teams and Montpellier, the Ligue 1 champ.

The 2012-2013 UCL Group Draw & Predictions:
Top 2 teams in each group advance.

Group A
1. FC Porto
2. Paris Saint Germain
3. Dynamo Kyiv
4. Dinamo Zagreb

Group B
1. Arsenal
2. Schalke 04
3. Montpellier
4. Olympiakos

Group C
1. AC Milan
2. Zenit St Petersburg
3. Malaga
4. Anderlecht

Group D
1. Real Madrid
2. Manchester City
3. Borussia Dortmund
4. Ajax Amsterdam

Group E
1. Chelsea
2. Juventus
3. Shakhtar Donetsk
4. FC Nordsjaelland

Group F
1. Bayern Munich
2. Valencia
3. Lille
4. BATE Borisov

Group G
1. Barcelona
2. Benfica
3. Spartak Moskva
4. Celtic

Group H
1. Manchester United
2. Galatasaray
3. SC Braga
4. CFR Cluj


I am very disappointed that APOEL didn't make the CL this year! Might have to jump on the BATE Borisov bandwagon this season.

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