Friday, October 26, 2007

A Decent Midweek

Not a bad midweek overall in Europe for the Bundesliga. The UEFA Cup sides had a perfect record, Werder secured their first points in the Champion's League and a surprise in Trondheim gave a life-line to the Royal Blues.

Yes, things are bad, however, Europe might be too much for a young team and concentrating on the Bundesliga should be a priority for the Swabians. I would contend that they might even want to stay in fourth. And when all is said and done, at least they aren’t Liverpool who spent 70 million Euros to secure all of one more point than the struggling holders.

Schalke 04
Few expected Schalke to go into Stamford Bridge and secure points when the draw was made. Maybe we all help out some home when Mourinho was unceremoniously dumped, but the fact is that this game ended as was expected. Granted, none of expected that Manuel Neuer would pull a Paul Robinson. Considering that Schalke went into that game without Kuranyi, Krstajic and Pander, they played well. Rosenborg’s win makes the second round possible and two of the games are at Veltins and the other is a visit to a Valencia side on the verge of implosion.

Werder Bremen
They finally got a European win. But Schaaf’s squad is starting to look comfortable with one another after an iffy start to the season. Another game against an injury plagued and squad-bare Lazio bodes well for Werder. I predict a win against the struggling Romans in two weeks and they could well sit 2nd going into the final two games.

A 1-0 road win against Norwegian outfit SK Brann. One might think they would do better, but A) any road win in Europe is good and B) Hamburg and 1-0 are becoming synonymous.

They were a little lucky to beat Toulouse 1-0, as they tried to defend a one goal lead for an entire half. But they got three points on a Keissling goal against one of the better teams (on paper) in the group. Fair play.

Bayern Munich
Bayern have said they care about this competition, but they obviously don't. Missing only Toni, Ribery and Kahn, they squeezed by Crvena Zvezda, who aren’t in the same Universe as Bayern, on a last minute goal by wunderkind Toni Kroos. While they will skate through this group, eventually their attitude towards this competition will catch up with them.

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