Saturday, August 8, 2009

Checking in on the Champions League

On Friday UEFA drew the 10 fixtures that will determine the final qualifiers for this year's Champions League. Under the revised format, 22 teams are already in via automatic qualifying. In one of the most appealing qualifying round meetings ever, Celtic will face 2009 semifinalists Arsenal. For two teams accustomed to appearing in the group stages, a demotion to the Europea League will be tough to take.

While the fixtures in the "Champions Route," are lacking big names, they will accomplish UEFA's goal of getting more countries involved in the group stages. The champions of Moldova, Israel, Cyprus and Latvia are among those just two matches away from a huge windfall.

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