Friday, March 18, 2011

Barca to play Shaktar Donetsk

The draw for the remainder of thsi year's Champions League play has been announced, and FC Barcelona is to play Shaktar Donetsk.

According to ESPN analyst Ravi Ubha,

'The Barcelona side that won the Champions League in 2009 was pretty darn good. This year's version has gone up a notch.

The Catalans demolished Real Madrid in league play in November, one of the best team performances of all time. And they dispatched Arsenal in the Champions league for the second season in a row.

The likes of Messi, Iniesta and Xavi have hardly looked better in unison, with David Villa a substantial improvement from Zlatan Ibrahimovic up top. Barcelona can look vulnerable at the back at times, but the opposition barely touches the ball enough to exploit that potential weakness. The best chance for anyone to beat Barca will be in the final, when it's a one-off match instead of home-and-away games.'

In related news, the rest of the draw sees aging Manchester United facing injured Chelsea; a talented but confidence-shaken Real Madrid  facing Champions League debutantes Tottenham Hotspur; and workmanlike German side Schalke 04 against Italian legends Inter Milan.

It is worth pointing out that it is possible that FC Barcelona and Real Madrid could meet in the semi-final round, possibly setting up a colossal encounter between the two rivals.  If so, then Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho would be aiming to see a third side under his direction, through to the Champions League final. 

This would be insufferable, especially at Barca's expense, and must not happen.  Step one is the disposal of Shaktar Donetsk, which as Ravi Ubha has noted, will be no easy task.