Date:Wednesday March 5 2008
Though Chelsea and Liverpool have yet to book their place in the last eight, it looks almost certain that four English teams will await the draw for the quarter-finals.
Arsenal turned in an impressive performance at the San Siro, winning 2-0 while United were content with a 1-0 home victory over Olympique Lyonnais. Liverpool hold a 2-0 advantage ahead of their trip to Inter while Chelsea are at home to Olympiakos after a 0-0 draw away.
Therefore, we have a good chance of facing an English team in the last eight - and the prospect does not faze the boss.
'I expect Chelsea to get through and if Liverpool do too it's a 40 percent chance of getting an English team,' Fergie said, displaying a knack for mathematics.
'I don't think it matters who you play - they are all difficult games.
'That's why the quarter-finals throw up good teams and the important thing is to be there ourselves.'
Well, I'd say it matters who we play. Not only in such obvious cases like Fenerbahce would be a more pleasant draw than Barcelona - I think that we have a better chance against the Premiership teams than, say, against the two Spanish giants.
Fergie's tactical tinkering and cautiousness that infects him in Europe cost us too often in the past against continental teams. Barcelona or Real Madrid will not hesitate to attack us and if we are caught between two minds as usually happens in Europe, we'll be out.
Now have a look at our record against the other Champions League teams of the Prem this season. A 2-2 draw away and a 4-0 win home against Arsenal, a 2-0 home win over Chelsea and a 1-0 victory at Anfield - all fantastic results in European competition. Fergie has a knack of winning against the other members of the Big Four - winning against continental opposition is more down to chance: if we get it right from the start we can do it but there's a real danger of being inhibited by his drastically changed tactics.
Date:Wednesday March 5 2008
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|2. Man City||16||11||3||2||+19||36|
|3. Man Utd||16||9||4||3||+12||31|
|4. West Ham||16||8||4||4||+8||28|
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