Friday, 26 August 2016

Arsenal To Face PSG In The Champions League

The draw for the group stages of the Champions Lesgue was made yesterday and Arsenal were in the pot with the second seeds. I suppose that's just about right for a team who came second in the Premier League last season and who haven't made it past the round of sixteen since the invention of the wheel. With two teams to qualify from each group qualification is the bare minimum expected from the group stages for Arsenal.

The draw was fairly kind I suppose with PSG as the number one seeds, Basel the the third seeds and Ludogerets in pot four. On the face of it Arsenal are more than capable of emerging from the group and it's certainly not beyond them to win it either. However, last season taught us how difficult the Champions League can be and we only just managed to sneak through in second place in our group despite losing three of the six games.

PSG will certainly be no pushover as they concentrate their considerable assets on another attempt to win this competition. The French League has become a stroll for them as they have so much more resources than all the other teams and their goal is to lift Europe's top club prize. Despite their best attempts they have yet to reach a final and the loss of Zlatan Ibrahimovic won't make their cause any easier.

Basel have done well in the Champions League in recent seasons and they're certainly capable of upsetting Arsenal and making the knockout stages. If I'm not mistaken they did just that to Manchester United and Liverpool in the last few years and won at home and away against Chelsea too. They cannot be taken lightly and Arsenal will have to be at their best to get the better of a team who seem to thrive against English opposition.

I can't say I know an awful lot about Ludogorets, but any team who makes it to the group stages has some merit as Arsenal learned to their peril last with the defeats to both Dinamo Zagreb and Olimpiacos. They play in the Bulgarian League and this isn't their first foray into the competition as they achieved their one and only Champions League group victory against Basel a couple of seasons ago. I have no doubt they will be a tough proposition on their own patch, but Arsenal have to target six points from the two games against them.

All in all it's a fairly standard group and progression to the last 16 should be well within Arsenal's capabilities. They took their opponents too lightly in the first two games last season and almost paid the price and I cannot imagine them doing so again this season. Arsenal kick off away to PSG in mid September and finish away to Basel in early December and hopefully they can win the group to give themselves a better chance of eventually getting past the last 16.

Finally it's not too late to join my Fantasy League and my Predictions League for the new season. There's a €50 prize for the fantasy league and it's open to anyone to join.

To join my fantasy league go to the official site and set up your team after entering your details. Once you've set up your team go to the league's option and join a private league. The code for my league (Ever Arsenal league) is 64693-22498 and there's already well over 1,000 teams in it.

For my predictions league go to the official site and make your forecasts and then go to the mini leagues option. Go to the join a mini league option (invitation code) and use the code for my league FD6F8-HYH to sign up. After that you can join in the fun of predicting every single game left to play this season.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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