Well I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised to see a rejuvenated Chelsea team last night. With a strong Didier Drogba and a rock solid back four, they looked impenetrable against Valencia. Things also took a unexpectant turn for the better for AVB, as Genk held Bayer Leverkusen to a draw to ensure that Chelsea topped the group. It was a breath of fresh air as the Chelsea manager had a right old go at the TV and written media for being doubters and making him a scape goat. The Portuguese feels that it has been a witch hunt against him. In my opinion, he took a job that has more pressure than most, it comes with the territory. On the other hand, I believe he handled the retort with good grace and a cheeky sense of humour.
Tonight, one must make a choice of watching Manchester City attempt a Houdini-esqe escape from their group or Manchester United secure the win to guarantee progress to the knock out stages. City must beat Bayern Munich and hope that Villarreal take points from Napoli. I cannot express my pleasure enough that we have finally reached the point in the Champions League where we can get a little excited at the prospect of a decent competitive game. I have said all to often, that the group stages of this competition is just to top up the major clubs’ bank accounts. I challenge anyone who has followed this tournament this season to point out a really thrilling game from match day one through five?
With all that said, I think it is most likely to be a routine evening ahead of us. City are most likely to slip into the dreaded Europa League , while I don’t see United making hard work of Basel like they did in the first meeting at Old Trafford. I was well wide of the mark in my prediction for last night’s game, but I have every confidence that I will redeem myself this time around.
Football Orphan predicts: Manchester United to beat Basel 3-1 to progress. Manchester City to beat Bayern Munich but Napoli will qualify with a win in El Madrigal against Villarreal.