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Battle of Britain part 1..

August 7, 2009

We usually have to wait until the latter stages of the Uefa Champions League before we are treated to the mouth-watering prospect of a match between two British (usually two English) teams facing each other. However, Christmas has come early this year and our present? Celtic vs Arsenal in the final qualifying round in Europe’s most illustrious trophy.

It will be the first time ever the sides play each other in a competitive fixture, and Tony Mowbray’s men will be sure to try and cause an upset when they host the Gunners at Celtic Park in mid-August. Celtic’s victory in the pre-season Wembley Cup tournament, in which they beat Tottenham, will give them confidence ahead of the clash with Spurs’ North London Rivals.

As for Arsenal, they need to put behind them some dubious season starts in the last few years and make sure they’re at the races come 2 or 3 weeks time.

No doubt should all English participants make it through to the knockout stages of this year’s competition, we will be in for a lot more ‘Battle of Britain’ match-ups. The most notorious and frequent of recent years has been Liverpool vs Chelsea, a fixture that always brings a disappointed sigh from Blues fans when their ball is picked from the infamous Champions League bowl. Liverpool certainly have the wool over Chelsea in this competition, so I won’t be complaining should there be yet another replay of this match.

I always look forward to an England v England clash in the Quarters, Semis or even Final. Something about it just makes it more enjoyable and exciting than watching the Italian teams, or the Spanish battle it out against each other. Possibly because both teams play in the League that we watch, and we know that they’ll always provide exciting attacking football usually thrown in with a bit of drama. But the fans seem to rise to the occasion as well. There seems nothing better than to get one over on your League rivals in a European competition, hence why Liverpool are practically invincible at Anfield when it comes to playing Chelsea in this competition, although one could argue about that in the last year or two.

They make the best matches because they have the best players and the best fans, who make the best atmosphere. I’ve never been that interested in watching a Champions League match between two sides from Italy, Spain or any other country for that matter. The English League, the players involved, and the charismatic, energetic, fanatic supporters make for brilliant England-on-England tussles.

Other matches to look out for in this, the final stage before we progress to the groups, are Fiorentina’s 1st leg visit to Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, and French Champions Lyon hosting Belgian outfit Anderlecht.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2009 11:54 am

    hear hear, definitely agree with you – an all england class is always a joy to watch, especially liverpool v chelsea games.

  2. Rite$h permalink
    August 7, 2009 12:56 pm

    Certainly a difficult task awaiting the Gunners, and since it will be a battle of britain expect this game to be harder than a United vs Liverpool match

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