Champions League Talk Archives for January 2007
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.
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.
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.
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
As with the Champions League competition, I've setup a league for UEFA Cup Fantasy Football. If
you'd like to join, goto:
You will need this code to join the ChampionsLeague Talk league: 15941-1857
(Summary is not available.)
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.