Champions League Season 2011-2012 – Match Day 1


After another weekend of soccer excitement, Match Day 1 of the most prestigious European club competition, the Champions League, comes underway on the 13th and 14th of September, with a few mouth-watering match-ups kicking it all off. This year’s edition blasts off with a BANG as all eyes will be on the biggest game of the day in which seven-time Champions League winners, AC Milan, takes on defending European champions, Barcelona FC, at the Camp Nou. Both teams are coming from ties in their domestic league this weekend. The rossoneri stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to spoil the show for SS Lazio; whereas the blaugrana surrendered a 2-0 lead to Real Sociedad on the road. It should be a match full of outstanding technical ability as both teams possess players of great quality capable of making this fixture the game of the year. It will be an intriguing battle for the Milanisti as it is difficult to defend against a very well-coached Barcelona with extremely talented attacking players such as Lionel Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, and David Villa in the line-up. Group A, aka ‘group of death’, opens up with an interesting encounter as newcomers Manchester City will be up against a stubborn SSC Napoli, who are making their first appearance since their glory days with Diego Maradona back in the early ‘90s. Both teams have bolstered their rosters for the up-coming season, with Manchester City making the most notable signing in Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguëro who has scored 6 goals in 4 league games thus far in England. The other group A fixture is Villarreal of Spain taking on Bayern Munich of Germany. In group C, Benfica will take on Manchester United FC who is currently showing a great run of form in the Premier League winning 4 games out of 4 with Wayne Rooney scoring a hat trick at the weekend, which puts him on top of the goal-scorers standings with 8 goals.  The other big match-up of the day comes from group F where German champions Borussia Dortmund welcome a weakened Arsenal team. Both sides are currently displaying poor performances in their respective leagues.

Prediction for group winners and runners up

Group A


  1. FC Bayern Munich
  2. Manchester City FC
  3. SSC Napoli
  4. Villareal FC
Do not count out SSC Napoli and Villareal FC. They should both provide stiff competition for Manchester City FC and FC Bayern Munich.


Group B


  1. FC Internazionale
  2. Lille
  3. CSKA Moskow
  4. AS Trabzonspor
FC Internazionale should be able to claim first place easily. Turkish side AS Trabzonspor are included in this year’s Champions League due to the match scandal in Turkey which eliminated Fenerbahce.


Group C


  1. Manchester United FC
  2. SL Benfica
  3. FC Basel
  4. FC Otelul Galati
With the exception of surprises, Manchester United FC and SL Benfica should both qualify first and second respectively.

Group D


  1. Real Madrid FC
  2. Olympique Lyonnais
  3. AFC Ajax
  4. Dinamo Zagreb
Spanish giants Real Madrid FC and French outfit Olympique Lyonnais are expected to claim qualification but keep an eye out for AFC Ajax as the former Dutch Champions can be dangerous.


Group E


  1. Chelsea FC
  2. Valencia CF
  3. Bayer 04 Leverkusen
  4. KRC Genk
It is expected that the Blues from Chelsea take top spot. Tight race for second between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Valencia CF.


Group F


  1. Olympique de Marseille
  2. Arsenal FC
  3. Borussia Dortmund
  4. Olympiacos FC
The outcome of Group F is difficult to predict due to the poor form displayed by these clubs in their respective championships.


Group G


  1. FC Porto
  2. FC Shakhtar Donetsk
  3. FC Zenit St. Petersburg
Portuguese league and Europa League champions, Porto FC, could have an easy time here. But watch out for FC Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Zenit St. Petersburg as both clubs are capable of providing a battle for the Portuguese.


Group H


  1. FC Barcelona
  2. AC Milan
  3. FC Viktoria Plezn
  4. FC Bate Borisov
Without a doubt, FC Barcelona and AC Milan will claim the qualifying spots in this group.

Thats the last word on soccer

Frank Luciano Giuliano


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