Predictions are bullshit.
But, that never stops me from making them ahead of the start of any competition. Well, now that the Group Stages of this year’s Champion’s League is done and dusted, it’s time to take a look back at my pre-Matchday One predictions for how the groups would go down.
Let it not be said that I have any shame or am too proud to admit when I’m wrong (it’s easy when it happens so often)…
Quite honestly, the seedings are dead-on and there shouldn’t be too many suprises. Yet, outside of Group A, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings one iota if there were a ton of them.
For shits and giggles, I’ll say the groups might shake out like this:
Group B: The Dream Continues: Chelsea & Valencia; UEFA Cup-bound: Schalke; Thanks For Playing: Rosenberg
Of course, Valencia finished butt-naked last in the group. Chelsea did top the table, but it’s Schalke who advances with them and Rosenberg claiming the UEFA Cup berth.
Group C: The Dream Continues: Real Madrid & Werder Bremen; UEFA Cup-bound: Lazio; Thanks For Playing: Olympiacos
Once again, I did the easy part by picking Madrid to finish first. Hardly impressive. Even less impressively, I missed the rest of the group as the Greeks finish second, the Germans get the consolation prize and the ugly half of Rome gets dumped out.
Group D: The Dream Continues: Milan & Benfica; UEFA Cup-bound: Celtic; Thanks For Playing: Shakhtar
Milan as winner? Check. Benfica as runner-up. No, they’re UEFA Cup-bound as Gordon Strachan’s Bhoys advance to the knock-out stages. And there are no points for picking perennial doormat Shakhtar to finish last (only a point behind Benfica).
Group E: The Dream Continues: Barca & Stuttgart; UEFA Cup-bound: Lyon; Thanks For Playing: Rangers
I picked another group winner then took a crap on the rest of the group. Barca go through with Lyon, not Stuttgart (who actually finished laaaaast). Rangers actually had a chance at going through, but go to the UEFA Cup.
Group F: The Dream Continues: Man United & Roma; UEFA Cup-bound: Sporting; Thanks For Playing: Dynamo Kyiv
*slow, sarcastic clap* Congratulations, Sven. You got one right.
Group G: The Dream Continues: Inter & PSV; UEFA Cup-bound: Fenerbache; Thanks For Playing: CSKA Moskva
I ‘nailed’ the group winner and ultimate loser, but PSV watches Fenerbache advance.
Group H: The Dream Continues: Arsenal & Sevilla; UEFA Cup-bound: Slavia Prague; Thanks For Playing: FC Steaua
Sevilla top the group, not Arsenal. The Eastern Europeans did finish predictably, though.
And let’s not even talk about my predictions for Liverpool…
Wednesday, Oct. 3 — vs. Marseille
- The return of Djib and Bolo. I’m sure they’ll recieve polite applause, but the spoils should go to the men in red.
Tuesday, Dec. 11 — at Marseille
- We finish the group stage the same way we started; away from home. Hopefully, qualification will be locked up by this date and it’ll be a squad half-full of youngsters getting a run-out.
Well, I did get one right…
Tuesday, Nov. 6 — vs. Besiktas
- In theory, this should be a feast.
I think 8-0 qualifies as a ‘feast’.
Later this month, once the Premier League reaches the half-way mark, we’ll take a look at how badly my PL predictions are looking now. Fun, fun, fun.