Nov 29, 2007

UEFA Cup Group Stage Picture Clears Up

A semblance of order is beginning to emerge in the group stage of the UEFA Cup after today's match day. With three teams advancing from each five team group, I figure that a final tally of six points from the four games will be enough to do the trick. Right now seven squads have reached that threshold: Everton, F.C. Zurich, Tottenham, Panathinaikos, Hamburg, Helsingborg and Bordeaux. Everton, Zurich, Panathinaikos and HSV have only played twice.

Also in good shape are teams with five points (Zenit St. Petersburg, Fiorentina and Bayern Munich), as well as those with four points from two games (AZ Alkmaar, Villareal, Spartak Moscow, Anderlecht, Atletico Madrid, F.C. Basle and Aris Thessaloniki).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Larissa and Toulouse both have zero points from three games and are mathematically eliminated already. On life support are Aberdeen, Elfsborg and Rennes, with one point each from three games. Besides winning their last game, these three sides are going to need a lot of help from other teams in the group if they're going to advance to the Round of 32. As far as I can tell everybody else can still "control their own destiny" by winning out--even Austria Vienna and the team formerly known as Red Star Belgrade, both of whom have zero points with two games played.

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