With the UEFA Champions League group tables set to begin action in a little more than a week let’s take a look at who in La Liga has the best chance of surviving the first round of the season long tournament:
No team in any major league received as favorable a draw as the former treble winners have. The side will likely not be tested in the opening round of the tournament and were lucky enough to have Greek side Panthinaikos as the second most formidable opponent in the group. Add on the fact that the second strongest opponent is a Denmark club in Copenhagen and the final squad is fairly unknown to the football world in Rubin Kazan and you have a squad that should cruise to the second round.
2) Real Madrid
Although they play in the Group of Death, Real Madrid still has a solid shot at finishing in the top two spots in the league considering the enormous talent their roster possesses and their current coach’s excellent track record in the tournament. Serie A side AC Milan will truly be a battle of giants though and could put the Spanish side on the bubble. Dutch side Ajax is a respectable third seed and the final spot of French boys Auxerre is highly underrated as well.
Real Madrid has the hardest draw, but Valencia is not too far behind the La Liga giants with their own unfavorable group. EPL legends Manchester United should prove to be too tough of a test for the cash-strapped top four club and even Scottish’s version of the Red Devils in the Rangers will make for two very tough opponents. The final spot of Turkish side Bursaspor is a must win opponent considering the strength of the other two.
photo credit: John Lindie