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Posts Tagged ‘ Schalke 04 ’

Clubs Prepare For Champions League Draw

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The lineup for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage is complete and will feature no fewer than 14 previous winners of Europe’s premier club competition while FK Austria Wien will make their debut.

Eleven of the past champions were among the 22 automatic entrants, a number subsequently swelled by the progress of AC Milan, FC Steaua Bucureşti and Celtic FC through this week’s ten play-off ties. For the draw, which takes place from 4.45pm today at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum, the 32 contenders have been split into four seeding pots (based on club coefficients), with each of the eight groups to contain one team from each tier. Continue reading

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Bundesliga Sits Atop European Football Throne

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The Bundesliga league season has culminated in spectacular fashion with final day drama sealing the unlikely relegation of a club who thought they were safe. The standard of German football on the whole has improved since a beleaguered national side surprisingly made their way to the 2002 World Cup Final only to be humbled by the mighty Brazil. But German football has bounced back and is now stronger than ever as Europe gets set to witness the first ever all German Champions League Final this Saturday when Borussia Dortmund battle Bayern Munich at Wembley.

Ahead of the big showdown we take a look through the rest of the Bundesliga, a league brimming with big clubs, exciting talents and more goals than any other league in Europe. Continue reading

Pats Ready For Hannover Battle

St Patricks Athletic will look to continue their Europa League journey tonight when they square off against Bundesliga giants Hannover 96 at Tallaght Stadium (Kick off 7.45pm).

Tonight’s high profile tie with the Bundesliga giants is the reward for Pats following their extra time victories over both ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar and Široki Brijeg – leaving the Saints as the League of Ireland’s sole representative left in European competition.

It is the second successive season that Pats have reached this stage, having been knocked out by Karpaty Lviv last season.

Hannover remain in the middle of their pre-season preparations ahead of the beginning of the 2012/13 Bundesliga season on August 23rd when they open up their campaign with a home tie with FC Schalke 04. They come to Dublin with an air of confidence and few can blame them as they are the clear favourites, however such is the nature of football that the favourites tag can often be seen as a hindrance.

Pats won’t fear their illustrious opponents and have tasted the strength of the Bundesliga in recent years. 2008 saw the Saints square off against Hertha Berlin, a tie they were rather unlucky in. The Saints lost 2-0 in the first leg but achieved a credible nil all draw in the return leg in Dublin, a game they easily could have won.

Speaking to stpatsfc.com, Saints’ manager Liam Buckley stated that while his side were under no illusions of the calibre of Hannover 96 and the huge challenge they would pose, it was one that everyone at the club were relishing and that his side would concentrate on their own performance rather than worrying about the opposition.

“We have to make sure we play our way. When we get the ball, we’ve got to be even more patient in terms of keeping possession – our supporters have been great in understanding that and supporting us this season.”

“We’ve a tough game Thursday night, but we’ll rely on what we’ve been working on for the past few months, and if we retain the ball, they’re not going to score. So we cannot afford to give the ball away cheaply which we have done at times this season – if we can avoid doing that, we’ll give ourselves a chance.”

Buckley reported that the Saints will be without the services of Stephen O’Flynn after breaking a rib, the striker is expected to be out for up to a month. Dean Kelly is also on the casualty list with a groin injury, while Mark Rossiter is a long term absentee with a knee injury.

Buckley however is hoping to have new signing Vinny Faherty registered in time for tomorrow night’s clash.

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