This is a tough draw for both teams who will play each other a few times between match ups in the Champions League. This is a classic match up of European soccer vs. Premier League soccer, as Liverpool always performs well in European play, while Arsenal always battles for the Premier League title. Things are no different this year, as Liverpool made it to the quarters of Champions League and are 4th in the Premier League, while Arsenal was recently surpassed by Chelsea for the 2nd spot after losing to them on Sunday. Even though Liverpool is moving up and Arsenal is moving down I think this is Arsenal’s year, as they will dispatch of Liverpool in the quarters.
The Champions League draw today sets up some intriguing quarter-final and semi-final match-ups. The quarter-final draw was:
The team listed first plays the first leg at home and first-leg ties take place on 1 or 2 April, with the return games on 8 and 9 April.
It is a tough draw for Arsenal and Liverpool who will play each other three times in a week with a league match sandwiched in between the two legs of the quarter-finals. Liverpool are the masters of European soccer and expect them to knock Arsenal out in a low-scoring affair.
The Champions League Quarterfinals are set, well almost as Liverpool and Inter Milan play their second leg in Milan on March 11th with Liverpool traveling to Italy after winning the first leg at home 2-0. There have been some major surprises and some not so major surprises in the 2008 Champions League. Defending champions AC Milan will be watching from home, as they were defeated in the first round of the knockout phase. Two of the surprise teams that have made it to the quarterfinals are Schalke 04 from Germany and Fenerbahçe from Turkey. If Liverpool can get past Inter Milan there will be 4 teams from England’s Premier League in the last 8 teams in the 2008 Champions League Tournament.
For the third straight year Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid topped the list of richest soccer clubs in the world. Three teams from the Premier League made the top five in Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal, while another Spanish League team Barcelona is the other club in the top 5. The list is for the money generated but does not include transfer fees.
Dan Jones the partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, the group that compiled the list, stated, “This is the first time that any country has had three clubs in the top five of the Money League. Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium has transformed their revenues whilst Chelsea’s revenue increase sees them return to the top five.”
For the second time in three years, one of England’s soccer giants is in turmoil because of its American owners. A couple of years it was Manchester United fans who were up in arms over the purchase of the club by the Glazer family.
The Glazers appear to put people in place who understand the sport side of the business and leave them alone. The Tampa NFL franchise is stable and has had only two coaches in the 11+ years that the Glazers have owned the team. At United the Glazers appear to have delivered the money whenever Alex Ferguson wants to buy a new player.
Well at the end of super Sunday in England, Arsenal and Manchester United solidified there positions as the top two teams in the country. When the dust had settled after two intriguing games the table looks like this:
- Arsenal – 40 points
- Man Utd – 39 points
- Chelsea – 34 points
- Liverpool – 30 points (Liverpool have a game in hand over the other three)
Each of the big three have now played each other once and the results have had an impact on the table. The head to head table is:
- Man. Utd – 7 points