Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The New European Campaign Starts Tonight

Champions League Preview:

PSV Eindhoven vs Liverpool

I'm sure the picture on the left will make all you Reds fans out there a little happier after we've been humbled 3-0 by rivals Everton over the weekends. We will again mount the challenge for the European crown, for the sixth title and tonight is the night where it definitely holds some significance.

After being 'humiliated' by Everton, Liverpool will now have to recover fast to face the Dutch giants, who could've met Liverpool in the 2005 Champions League final if luck were on their side, playing against mighty AC Milan. Since then Guus Hiddink has left and it's already not the team it used to be. They are currently 6th in the Dutch Eredivisie table and will take heart that Liverpool didn't have the best of starts and key players are not on top form and conditions.

John Arne Riise is the only senior Liverpool player who didn't make it to Eindhoven due to the injury he picked up over the weekends and Rafa will most likely ring changes to the squad following that painful defeat. Dirk Kuyt seemed likely to start as he is set to face off with his former team's rival. It'll definitely hold some significance if he managed to score tonight, as it'll be his first goal for Liverpool, in European competition and of course back in homeland, Netherlands.

Bellamy who was not even in the 16 on Saturday, will most likely be the partner of Kuyt upfront. His pace will be the key. The Dutch that just left Liverpool 3 weeks back, Jan Kromkamp, will make his debut against his former team and Patrick Kluivert looks set to start for the first time after signing on for PSV.

PSV coach, Ronald Koeman is certainly no stranger to Liverpool fans, as he's the one that masterminded Benfica's double victory over Liverpool in last season's Champions League. Can he manage to defeat Rafa Benitez's Liverpool once again? Tonight, we shall see.

As a Liverpool fan, I hope that we can pick up the pieces and get going tonight. I don't wish for a 4-0 or 5-0 thumping, but just a decent and effective performance will do. Get the results, get the 3 points and most importantly, I hope we keep a clean sheet, defence kept solid.

We need to bounce back, hopefully tonight is the night.

Other Fixtures:

Barcelona vs Levski Sofia

Chelsea vs Werder Bremen

Bayern Munich vs Spartak Moscow

Sporting Lisbon vs Inter Milan

Galatasaray vs Bordeaux

Olympiakos vs Valencia

Roma vs Shaktar Donetsk

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