Friday, August 28, 2009

Europa League

CimBom cruised into the Group Stages of the Europa League with a 1-1 tie with Tallinn giving a 6-1 overall victory.

Today the draw was made for the group stae and we have been drawn with Panathinaikos, Sturm Graz and Dinamo Bucharest.

Those are three clubs with European form.

Dinamo have reached the European and Cup Winners Cup semi finals in the 1980's and during 2006/7 beat Besiktas, admittedly not that difficult, en route to the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup. Like a lot of Eastern European Clubs the sweeping away of communist regimes led to problems in the 90's as the financing of the clubs was severely affected but this is a team we should not take lightly.

Panathinaikos founded in 1908 just 3 years after GS is like the FB of Greece, that is the number 2 team in Greece. A good solid team in Europe they are managed by Henk Ten Cate and the forward line is led by Djbril Cisse. The game with these guys will likley be long on emotion and short on quality but interesting none the less.

Sturm Graz are an Austrian team founded in 1909. We have come across them before in the 2000 Champions League Group stages with a 3-0 loss in Austria and a 2-2 in Istanbul they are not fondly remembered.

So all in all an interesting group but with the the current squad and Rijkaard in charge I am cautiously optimistic we will get through. At least this season the competition has home and away matches rather than last season when it was single match against each team.

Next up in the SuperLig is Ankaraspor away on Monday. Given the turmoil in the Ankara clubs this season I would expect a win but teams always raise their game against CimBom so nothing should be taken for granted.

No comments: