Monday, March 05, 2007

Big week ahead for British teams in Champions League

So then, after three away wins on the bounce the Red Devils face Lille on Wednesday at Old Trafford in the return leg of that Champions League double header. The Reds won the first leg courtesy of some quick thinking by Ryan Giggs, when he quickly took his free-kick and outwitted the French players, who then nearly caused a riot by walking off the field of play. Since then the off the pitch row has been simmering with Fergie calling Lille a disgrace and even suggesting that they should be booted out of Europe.

In response to the defeat and the manner of the Giggs goal, Lille have unsuccessfully appealed to Uefa and anyone else who'd listen, and there's talk of more appeals to higher European courts. Frankly, the French club are acting like a bunch of spoilt schoolgirls and many Reds fans would no doubt like United to spank their collective sorry backsides this week, but I see a very difficult game coming up.

No doubt Lille will want to avenge the 'injustice' of the first game. I just hope United grind them into the Old Trafford turf, but it will be one of our hardest games of the season. If United did lose this game and get knocked out, there's no telling what effect it may have on the remainder of the season, so it is vital United keep on winning. I predict a very narrow win for United.

Saturday's losers, the 'Liverpool Reds' take on Barca and I fully expect Liverpool to finish off the job they started in the Nou Camp, the Barcelona defence is at present like watching the Keystone Cops, they are all over the place and quite appalling.

Arsenal should and will comfortably overturn that 1-0 defeat against PSV in the first leg and ease their way into the next round.

Chelsea have what looks to be quite a tough game against Mourinho's former club Porto, but again the Blues should progress without too many scares.

That leaves Celtic, if they pull off a victory in Italy against AC Milan it will be arguably the result of the round, but few would back them, myself among them.

So with the exception of Celtic it should be a good week for British clubs in Europe.

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