Before this draw was made I said to myself “I hope we get at least one strong side in the group stages” because there isn’t much point in playing weak teams, I like to see the lads getting tested so that in later rounds they know what to expect. I didn’t want a group of death or anything, but I’m sure that many fans wanted the same as myself.
Before the draw I think too many people were making too big of a fuss about Real Madrid, some even sounded worried! Fans of all clubs on twitter were almost praying that their teams didn’t have to face Madrid, but the reason why I’m saying this is that I just don’t understand it. Last season Lyon knocked them out after they spent an enormous amount of money on the likes of Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema. They didn’t win the Spanish La Liga either so really what is there to be worried about?
I went into this draw fearing one team and one team only, that team was Rubin Kazan. The Russian team that gave Barcelona a difficult time last year when beating the Spanish giants Barcelona 2-1. This was a huge shock because most people didn’t know what the expect from them because they may not of heard of them before. Against Barcelona they showed no fear and had a very strong midfield, something we didn’t have in 2009 when we took Barca on in the Champions League final. But no we didn’t get Rubin Kazan, they were drawn in the same group of Barcelona for the second year in a row.
We were top seeds in group C which also has Valencia, Rangers and Bursaspor featured in it. I don’t know much about Bursaspor but they won the Süper Lig last season, bit obvious seeing their in the Champions League but it’s still a fact. Quite a distance for the lads to travel but if we go there with the right mentality we’ll win!
Next in line to talk about is Rangers who are nicknamed The Gers. Most of you would know who Rangers are, Champions of the Scottish Premier League last time round. Rangers sold a few players this summer and struggled to compete in the transfer market. That might set the SPL Champions back a little.
As I said above I wanted at least one strong side in our group and I think we got one in Valencia. Valencia finished third last year in the La Liga getting a goal difference of +19. Over the summer they lost two of their key players, David Villa and David Silva. You wouldn’t think that they’ll be as strong this year but you never know with football.
Overall I’m happy with our group which I’m sure will be entertaining. We kick off the campaign against Rangers at the Ibrox Stadium which is on the 14th of September.