Home > Arsenal, Celtic, Champions League, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Man Utd, Rangers, Soccer > Reaction to the Champions League Draw:

Reaction to the Champions League Draw:

Rafael Benitez, Liverpool:

 It’s clear when you look at some of the other groups that ours could have been easier. Porto have good experience in the Champions League and have enjoyed a good record over recent seasons. They will be tough opposition for us. Marseille are a good side in Ligue 1 and they will know a lot about us which could make it more difficult. And you always know when you go to Turkey that it will be hard because of the travelling involved and the wonderful support they give their teams over there. I am always confident we can qualify but as ever the key will be winning the home games and picking up results away.

  • Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United.

It’s going to be a very tight group. It’s going to be difficult, but if we get ten points, I think we’ll qualify. Obviously Roma will be the talking point after last season. Dynamo Kyiv are a good side and we know quite a lot about Sporting because we have two of their former players here. The whole group poses interesting aspects.

  • Arsene Wenger, Arsenal

We have two Eastern countries in Bucharest – who are traditionally a good technical side – and Slavia Prague – who caused the shock of the qualifiers. They knocked Ajax out in a convincing way because they won two games. I don’t think we have to speak about Sevilla because they are one of the four or five best teams in Europe. They showed last year they are a very good side. I think if it had not been for the Spanish Cup and UEFA Cup they would have won the League.

  • Peter Kenyon, Chelsea

The big difference for us this year is we’re seeded. We’ve been in two semi-finals in the last four years and got through the group stages every year, he said. It’s the elusive competition for us really but there’s a determination and that is fuelled by a squad we believe we’ve strengthened. Kenyon added on Sky Sports News: It’s not frustrating at all (to have missed out on a place in the final) but there’s a huge expectation within Chelsea to get to the next stage. We’ve had our share of semis, so obviously the next stage is to get to the final. This is clearly a big ambition for us and one we’d like to pull off.

  • Gordan Strachan, Celtic

Obviously it’s a tough group and we probably wouldn’t have wanted to be drawn against the two sides that we faced last year – AC Milan and Benfica. They are both good teams, but it’s also for the fans. They would probably like to have seen us playing some new teams. The benefit is that we know what we are up against; looking at the Milan and Benfica squads, there aren’t too many changes from last season and that means we know what we are facing. I’ve never been up against Shakhtar, but the club has been in Donetsk quite recently and we’ll have a look at them over the next few weeks.

  • Walter Smith, Rangers

It’s an extremely tough draw for us but it is simply part and parcel of qualifying for the group phase and there is a great element of glamour about it. Barcelona have fabulous footballers, Lyon have remarkable consistency having won the French title for the past six seasons and Stuttgart won the German title on the final day of [last] season. So there is a great standard of teams and it is clearly going to be very hard for us. In saying that, it will be a great experience for everyone because this is the stage that everyone wants to play on. We are in the group phase and have some huge games to look forward to.

(Thanks to Uefa.com, Arsenal.com and Liverpoolfc.tv…….)

https://thefc100.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/champions-league-draw/ (the full draw and commentary)

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