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28.08.2008 18:31

Sporting Lisbon, Basel and Shakhtar, the rivals


FC Barcelona now knows its three rivals in the first group stage of the Champions’ League and they are Sporting Lisbon, Basel and Shaktar Donetsk. The debut, in the Camp Nou, is against the Portuguese on the 16th of September.

After the eliminatory stage, the Champions’ League 2008/09 began this Thursday afternoon with the draw, which took place in Monaco. This was where the side managed by Pep Guardiola found out whom their three rivals were in the first stage of the top European competition, this will be played between the 16th of September and the 10th of December. Barça, in group C, will come face to face with Sporting Lisbon, Basel and Shakhtar Donetsk.

The team will begín and end this first stage playing at home. That way, Barça will debut on the 16th of September, in the Camp Nou, against Sporting Lisbon. Next, on the first of October, the Barça squad will travel to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk. The third game will also be away from home, in this case in Basel’s stadium. The Swiss team will visit the Camp Nou on the 4th of November. Then on the 26th of November, Guardiola’s men head for Portugal to play Sporting Lisbon. FC Barcelona will finish this stage at home against Shakhtar Donetsk.

One previous meeting with Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA

The first rival for Gurdiola’s squad is Sporting Lisbon. Until now Barça and the Portuguese team had coincided only once in European competition. This was in the third round of the UEFA Cup in the 1986/87 season. The overall result of the eliminatory was a two all draw, but FC Barcelona ended up winning on goal average. The Portuguese also played in the Gamper in 1999, and they lost 3-1.

No previous meetings with Basel

As for Basel, to date there have been no previous meetings with this rival, but all Barcelona fans remember the historic final of the Super Cup in the Saint Jackob Stadium. Moreover, in the 58/59 campaign, they played against a selection from Basel in the fourth round of the Fairs Cup (Copa de Fires), in which Barça won by an overall 7-3.

The best known

FCB-Xakhtar2.jpgThe last team to enter this group was Shakhtar Donetsk from Ukraine. In this case Barça fans have a really recent encounter. It took place in the 2004/05 season in the group stage of the top competition. If Barça won by a clear 3-0, in the game in Ukraine they lost 0-2.
Before, the 1978/79 season, these two teams came face to face in the fourth round of the Super Cup. That time, Barça overcame its rival by an overall 3-2.

Barça’s games in detail

This is the order of the games that Pep Guardiola’s side will play throughout the first group stage of the Champions’ League:

Tuesday, 16th of September: FCB – Sporting Lisbon
Wednesday, 1st of October: Shakhtar Donetsk – FCB
Wednesday, 22nd of October: Basilea – FCB
Tuesday, 4th of November: FCB – Basel
Wednesday, 26th of November: Sporting Lisbon – FCB
Tuesday, 9th of December: FCB - Shakhtar Donetsk
Sporting Lisbon, Basel and Shakhtar, the rivals
The other groups
Group A: Chelsea, Roma, Girondins de Bordeaux, Cluj.
Group B: Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Panathinaikos, Anorthosis.
Group D: Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, Olympique Marseilles, Atlètic de Madrid.
Group E: Manchester United, Vila-real, Celtic, Aalborg.
Group F: Olympique de Lyon, Bayern Munich, Steaua Bucarest, Fiorentina.
Group G: Arsenal, Porto, Fenerbahçe, Dynamo Kíev.
Group H: R. Madrid, Juventus, Zenit, Bate Borisov.

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