Manchester United fans, who cheered happily after the Champions League draw puts the club in a relatively easy group, actually have to worry about a thing or two.
First, in last year Championship, the Red Devils couldn’t even pass the group stage consisted of Benfica, Basel and Otelul Galati. What makes them so optimistic they can get pass Galatasaray, Braga and CFR Cluj easily in Group H this year?
Second, although the draw feels like a victory, there’s a big possibility the fans are not going to see any United’s European game on national TV. Why? Because the national TV station which holds the broadcasting right is likely to pick a more high-profile game than, say, Manchester United v Braga.
On the other hand, rival Manchester City’s fans may not be cursing their luck for landing in a tough group in two consecutive seasons because the odds their games being broadcasted are higher than United. With Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax in Group D — all champions in their respective domestic leagues — every game is a big match that no football fan wants to miss.
Last season’s abysmal campaign in Europe still lingers in City’s mind where they only managed to finish third behind Bayern Munich and Napoli in the group phase. After grabbing their first Premiership league title last season, the matches against Real Madrid in this year’s Championship are something worth to wait: a must-watch game for any football fan, regardless of which club they actually support.
The reigning European champion Chelsea is drawn in a comfortable Group E with Italian champion Juventus being the only household name in the group. Shakhtar Donets and FC Nordsjaelland complete the group. Shakhtar play really good sometimes, although some other time they just completely lose the pattern in international competition. Hailing from Denmark, debutant FC Nordsjaelland is probably a club you’ve never heard of before. That said, Chelsea and Juventus are the perennial favorites to top the group, although the possibility of a surprise should never be written off.
Two league champions; Greece’s Olympiakos and France’s Montpellier, pitted the Group B with Arsenal and Schalke 04. It’s a decent draw for Arsenal fans, considering it could’ve been worse for them. The Gunners will be looking for another comfortable run in the group phase, although the other clubs in the group are not to be taken lightly.
Spanish giant Barcelona should not meet much difficulty getting out of Group G — consisted of Celtic, Benfica and Spartak Moscow. Last year’s Championship Bayern Munich also got a modest Group F along with Valencia, Lille and BATE Borisov.
The under-fire Italian club AC Milan dodged a tough Group C by drawing Malaga, Zenit St Petersburg and Anderlecht, while non-seeded club that nobody wants to meet, Paris St German, get to see Porto, Dynamo Kyiv and Dinamo Zagreb in Group A.
The drawings have been made and the teams have been paired. The prestigious Champions League will once again kick-off soon and football fans in Indonesia will be more than happy to stay awake late and skip sleeping during mid-week to watch their favorite team plays.