Champions League Talk Archives for January 2007

Win a game, lose your job

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The past week has seen some major changes at three clubs involved in the group stage of the Champions League. Rosenborg, Valencia and Sevilla have all lost or fired their managers.

Let's start in Norway, where a day after scoring a massive upset over Valencia, Knut Toerum was released from his contract as Rosenborg Trondheim's coach. The decision came after a meeting between the board and Toerum.

UEFA Cup Map

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Bill Turianski of billsportsmaps.com has created a map for all of the clubs involved in the UEFA Cup group stage. With that competition starting up today, I thought it was a good time to post this resource. Click the thumbnail below to view a larger version.


EPL Talk Show Tonight

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I'll be guesting on the EPL Talk Show this evening to chat with The Gaffer of epltalk.com about the latest goings-on in the world of football. Follow the links in the badge above to join the live talk show or download the episode after the fact as a podcast.

Matchday 3: Wednesday Predictions and Players to Watch

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I had a pretty decent day with the predictions yesterday, so let's see if I can keep it going. Today's matches feature some teams that desperately need to put points on the board, including Liverpool and Werder Bremen. Let's take a quick look at the matchups.

Besiktas - Liverpool
On the back of their derby win over Everton, Liverpool will look to get their Champions League campaign rolling.

UEFA Cup Fantasy Football

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As with the Champions League competition, I've setup a league for UEFA Cup Fantasy Football. If you'd like to join, goto:

http://en.ucupfantasy.uefa.com/

You will need this code to join the ChampionsLeague Talk league: 15941-1857

Matchday 3; Wednesday Predictions and Players to Watch

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(Summary is not available.)

Are Besiktas Fans The Best in the World?

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After following the game of soccer for more than 30 years, it's rare that I get ultra excited about a team that I don't support. However, there is one exception and that's watching a Besiktas home match on television especially one that's so important as today's match against Liverpool in the Champions League.

I "fell in love" with Besiktas fans last season after being amazed at how loud they were and their incessant singing during the UEFA Cup match against Tottenham.

Matchday 3; Tuesday Predictions and Players to Watch

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Here's a quick rundown of the Tuesday games. My picks to win are in bold.

Stuttgart - Lyon
Lyon's for has picked up in recent domestic outings while Stuttgart has continued to struggle. I don't see that changing in this match. Lyon will probably win by a couple of goals.

Rangers - Barcelona (draw)
Rangers will play this match tight and a draw would have to be considered a victory of sorts for the Scottish club.

Rangers run riot; AC Milan misfire

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Matchday 3 is upon us and there are some key matchups to look at. In this first preview, we start with Group E where Barcelona travel to Glasgow for a tough road game against Rangers. The atmosphere at Ibrox should be electric after Rangers massive win in the first Old Firm derby this weekend. What was shocking about the match was that Celtic appeared very flat and had little of the determination to win that you expect of defending champions, especially in a match against their age-old rivals.

Czeching in on a heated rivalry

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The international break has been an absolute godsend for me. It's allowed me some time to catch up with what's happened in football from late September until now. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had to step away from the blog for a couple of weeks for my wedding and honeymoon. Just as I was getting back from my honeymoon, the 263rd Pražský S (Prague S) derby was being contested.

Will Stuttgart continue to sink?

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The stakes are high for Stuttgart heading into Matchday 3. They have lost their opening two games, they sit joint-bottom (with opponents Olympique Lyonnais) of their group. Another loss for either side would make progress to the knockout rounds highly unlikely. Defender Ludovic Magnin and striker Ciprian Marica will miss the tie against Lyon on Tuesday with minor muscle injuries.

UEFA Cup Update

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The group stage starts on October 25 and Matchday 1 has a very tasty matchup. Former European champions FK Crvena Zvezda and FC Bayern München meet in Belgrade. "Red Star" will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten home record against "FC Hollywood", while the German giants are heavy favourites to win the UEFA Cup this season.

Here are the groupings for the UEFA Cup group stage.

Inter's Suazo banned

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Internazionale striker David Suazo has received a one-match suspension for what was deemed by the referee to be a flagrant elbow on PSV Eindhoven defender Carlos Salcido during their Matchday 2 fixture. He was only given the one-match ban and not a three-game suspension as the UEFA disciplinary committee felt that the incident could not be considered violent conduct.

Champions League Map

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I am sharing a link to a very cool map created by Bill Turianski who runs billsportsmaps.com. He has created a map showing all the clubs involved in the group stage but the twist is that their logo is sized relative to their average domestic league attendance figure. The site features similar attendance maps for some of Europe's top domestic leagues and is definitely worth checking out.

TV Rights to Champions League Set to Increase

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Many pundits, myself included, feel that the Champions League has reached a point where it's more entertaining than the World Cup. It can be deemed blasphemy in some places to say such a thing, but the quality of football in the Champions League has been far superior than the previous two World Cups. By the time the World Cup arrives, most of the players are already exhausted after a long club season.

Lampard for sale?

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As if Chelsea needed more rumours about goings on at the club, Spanish sports newspaper AS is reporting that three clubs were already in contact with the player's agent, Steve Kutner: Juventus, AC Milan and Real Madrid. AS has also reported that Lampard would cost around €18 million (£12.5 million), quoting unnamed sources at the London club and close to the England player.

Back soon

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I just wanted to post a quick apology for not writing anything in the last few days. I've been busy with my wedding (which was this past Saturday) and will now be off for a week for my honeymoon. I'll be back in full force next week and will recap this weeks games.

-The Scout