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Discussion Starter #1
Here's my preview on Arsenal-Mania:

http://www.arsenal-mania.com/?page=articles&view=full&article=776

With Arsenal's commanding and relaxed 5-1 demolition over Rosenborg last week, the Gunners from N5 achieved their fifth consecutive qualification from the first group stage of the ever-disappointing UEFA Champions League. Once again Arsenal had to do things the hard way, much like last season's foray into Europe where Arsenal sat dead last in Group B at the end of Matchday 3.

A win against the multi-time Norwegian champions Rosenborg would send Arsenal into the Knockout Stages regardless of the result in Athens, but a Panathinaikos win would see Arsenal top the group: that very result happened as Arsenal trounced the Norwegians, and the Greeks slammed four past a PSV Eindhoven side that hadn't conceded a goal domestically for over a thousand minutes.

A rather inept performance in the Group Stages saw Arsenal looking like they were about to reach an all new low in Europe (which is certainly saying something!) and facing elimination from a group which hardly contained any European heavy hitters. The 1-0 victory over PSV on Matchday 1 was followed by four successive draws, all in matches Arsenal really should have won.

Arsenal allowed Panathinaikos to come back and snatch a point in Athens, with absolutely pathetic set piece defending which allowed Nigerian born Pole Emmanuel Olisadebe a chance to equalise and rob Arsenal of a victory, previously slack defending and a lacklustre performance allowed part-timers Rosenborg to grab a draw in Trondheim.

All this was compounded by a Pascal Cygan own-goal that gave Panathinaikos a 1-1 draw at Highbury (admittedly, Angelos Basinas did miss a penalty kick, however). The fourth draw was collected in Eindhoven with Lauren and Vieira sent off, however it was a well earned result for Arsenal leaving us with seven points from five games and a must win encounter against Rosenborg at Highbury.

The other seven teams that join Arsenal in the knockout stage draw as group-winners are AS Monaco, TSV Bayer Leverkusen 04, Juventus del Turin, Olympique Lyonnais, AC Milan, FC Internazionale and some other club no one cares about. All of these seven clubs finished with more points than Arsenal did, but Arsenal join Juventus and Inter as teams who didn't lose a single game.

Of course, as per the rules of UEFA, Arsenal can not been drawn against another group winner at this stage, nor can Arsenal be drawn against PSV, Manchester United or Liverpool from the second pot of teams as the rules state no team from the same country shall play each other in the Knockout round or a team played in the previous group stage.

So, that leaves Arsenal with but five teams: nine-time champions Real Madrid CF, 2001 champions FC Bayern München, current La Liga leaders FC Barcelona, reigning Bundesliga champions SV Werder Bremen and last seasons Champions League winners FC Porto.

There are three mouth-watering ties for Arsenal in the second pot against Barcelona, Bayern and the ever present Merengue's of Real Madrid. Should Arsenal be drawn against any of these three – especially the two Spanish sides – it will be a spectacle of attacking, flowing football of the highest calibre if Deco, Xavi, Ronaldinho, Eto'o, Zidane, Figo and Ronaldo walk out through the thin, caged tunnel that leads out from the East Stand.

Opponents and matches like that are what we play in Europe for, a dream tie against Real or Barcelona would certainly be more satisfying than matches against, with all due respect, SV Werder Bremen or FC Porto, even if the latter is reigning Champions League holders.

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Enjoy!
 

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Xtratime's Head of Humour 2007
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great preview, khimik :thmbup: :thmbup:

when is the draw ? today or tomorrow ?
 

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why do you want to get Real Madrid or Barca so early on wouldn't you want to face then further on in the tournament surely
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jern Lizardhous said:
great preview, khimik :thmbup: :thmbup:

when is the draw ? today or tomorrow ?
Tomorrow at around noonish.

SM Online said:
why do you want to get Real Madrid or Barca so early on wouldn't you want to face then further on in the tournament surely
We're more likely to beat them than we are to beat Porto or Werder as we'd get too over confident and screw up.
 

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Twayka said:
im gooing safely, i want PORTO.
aparently Porto are super, even though when i watched them against CSKA and Chelsea they looked utter pony to me. :pp
 

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khimik said:
Most likely. 60% chance of getting them, I'd say.

has anyone actually worked it out ?

i noticed in one of the other forums some have done the mathetmatics for it but haven't seen an Arsenal one.

i wouldn't have a clue how to work it out myself, i am crap at Maths and don't even know how the draw works. :sob:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm crap at Maths too but it all leans toward them. We want Real, we've never played Real before in ANYTHING, it'd be a good match ... but noooo, we'll get the boring Germans who we played three years ago!
 

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:nono: ....Werder bremen is Next!!!
 

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khimik said:
SV Werder Bremen or FC Porto, even if the latter is reigning Champions League holders.
Bloody no good champions of great footballing nations. What good are they anyway, doing in the Champions League?

:irritate:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Dr. Laborious said:
Bloody no good champions of great footballing nations. What good are they anyway, doing in the Champions League?

:irritate:
They don't have the prestige. If we beat Porto, nobody will give us any respect. If we beat Real, Barca or even Bayern, we might get a little bit of respect for a change instead of being called the "euro flops".

We beat Celta last year. Yeah, so it's only Celta Vigo, but it was still a big win for us ... had they been a club that commanded respect from everyone else, it wouldn't have been scoffed at.

Geddit?
 

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Celta was crap last year, that's why no-one gave them any respect, not because of a lack of prestige.

Real Madrid is crap this year, beating them is not gonna say much. Werder Bremen on the other hand knocked out the Spanish Champions.
 

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yeah but the Spanish champions are crap this year as well. :pp

no matter who we knock out we won't get respect, if we beat Barcelona people will say they were going through a bad period or something else.
 
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