So that’s it. What a draw. And, for those who love a conspiracy theory, when they did the rehearsal yesterday, the draw was identical…..
Manchester United to play Real. What a tie…..
10:51 – FC Porto vs Malaga
10:50 – Valencia vs PSG
10:49 – Real Madrid vs Manchestwer United !!!!
10:48 – AC Milan vs FC Barcelona
10:47 – Shaktar Donetsk vs Borussia Dortmund
10:47 – Arsenal vs Bayern Munchen
10:45 – Celtic vs Juventus
10:45 – Galatasaray vs Schalke
10:40 – Lots of wittering in progress, as predicted….
1037 – Apparently Steve MacManaman is a Champions League legend, according to our host! No sign of Zidane or Del Piero. MacManaman is the guest of honour for the draw. Austerity measures are in effect even at UEFA it seems!
1030 – Well suckle on my pachangas! It’s time to roll out the UEFA bigwigs for the draw. They will witter on generically about the beauty of the competition before retiring for expensed, boozy lunches and afternoons of lazy sex with their teenage mistresses. Jealous? Me? Don’t know what you are on about….. we will let you know the draw as it happens…
10:29 – Without wishing to tempt fate for United fans, The Red Devils have somehow managed to avoid Real Madrid in Europe for nearly 10 years. Both are regularly in the latter stages but haven’t met since a belter at Old Trafford when Brazilian Ronaldo scored a sublime hat-trick. I still don’t think that Madrid are a jot on Barcelona but Fergie will definitely want to avoid them at this stage….
1020 – An interesting aside – Ray Wilkins has suggested, in The Sky Sports News studio, that Jose Mourinho would not be up for a return to Chelsea as coach. ‘Once bitten, twice shy’ he asserted. As an ex-Chelsea coach you would think Wilkins would be well placed to make such a prediction. He also thinks that Jose would be perfect for Manchester United…..
1000 – OK it’s only 30 mins until the draw so we will soon be able to watch loads of UEFA bigwigs who have never played football, spanking themselves off with long, vacuous speeches in front of millions, when all we really WANT IS THE DRAW GOD DAMN YOU! GET ON WITH IT BIGWIGS!
09:40 – Without wishing to be a monger of doom, it’s difficult to see how Celtic can progress past many of the teams left in the competition. The one ray of light for them is that they can’t draw Barcelona. Still, The Hoops will be loving every minute of it and they have got out of a group which contained a Spanish superclub, which surely represents overall progression for Celtic.
09:30 – You have to say it’s a particularly strong line up for the first knockout phase this year, which means that virtually every team will be bricking themselves in the build up to the draw. Have we ever had a CL with more realistic contenders for the title?
Apart from the usual suspects (Manchester United, Barca, Real), you have the new money of PSG and Malaga, a resurgent Juventus and a stronger German contingent than at any time in recent memory (Bayern and Borussia). Schalke have been ordinary of late, at home, but will also provide stiff competition.
But the real banana skin is surely Borussia Dortmund who, we believe, are a match for anyone on current form. They were superb against City at The Etihad. Best performance of the season so far for me.
09:17 – We are starting well in advance of events to allow time for some facts and figures and also to crack some funnies in the build up to The Champions League draw, which begins at 1030 GMT.
Manchester United could get Real Madrid for the first time since David Beckham’s swansong for United in 2003. In their current form Manchester United would feel confident against allcomers but would surely prefer to meet Jose’s men later or have someone else knock them out before Wembley.
Arsenal will dread the prospect of another tie with the best club team that the world has ever seen. And Celtic look like they will get a tough draw whatever happens.
Here’s the worst case scenario for each British team.
Manchester United: Real Madrid
Celtic: Borussia Dortmund
and the best possible draws
Manchester United: Celtic
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