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Villa Need To Battle In 'Group of Death'

Brad Friedel has said UEFA Cup and our group especially will be just as strong as the Champions League this season.

And he was adamant we will have to be ready if we expect to get anything out of Thursdays match against Ajax.

"It`s going to be fantastic. We are all really looking forward to it.

"This year, for some reason, when you saw the teams in the UEFA Cup, it mirrors some of the Champions League fixtures.

"You look at the likes of AC Milan, Deportivo, Valencia and Seville and then in our group, with having Hamburg and Ajax, they have both won the competition in the past and both play in the Champions League quite often.

"Zilina are a good side too and Slavia Prague are consistently in the Champions League as well. So it is a very good group and a very exciting group."

Friedel believes we must get the first win behind our belts if we hope to make an impact in the Cup this season.

"It would be nice to get three points to begin with to give us momentum but this time around, as opposed to when I played in the group stages with Blackburn, there are no easy games.

"You cannot bank on three points, you have to get out there and do the work.

"There are going to be a lot of teams taking points off other teams all along, and I think it is going to be really tight. So if we can get off the mark with three points against Ajax that would be brilliant."




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday October 21 2008

Time: 5:46PM

Your Comments

Easy games when he played with Rovers?!? Sorry Brad but Nancy, Salzburg, Wisla Krakow, Feyenoord and Basle were hardly easy!!!
Mikey D
just as strong as the CL - he's havin a larf!
merlin
Go on then Merlin, i'll bite - I don't think he quite said that - and I think he's making a fairly reasonable point. We're talking about teams like AC Milan, Deportivo, Valencia, Seville, Hamburg and Ajax. There's some definite Champions League quality there. Looking at the current Champions League Groups & you've got the mighty CFR Kluj in there...as well as Celtic (ahem), let alone some of the dross you've gotten rid of in the qualifying stages. There'll be some cracking quality games in the UEFA for sure. Of course we'd rather be in with the big boys though....
YatesyVillain
We all know the champions league is better, but I must admit Merlin, I don't think you're champions league group is any more difficult than our UEFA cup group. Hamburg and Ajax are better than CFR Kluj and Bordeaux.Roma's your only difficult opponent and they got stomped by Tottenham in preseason 5-0, and they've got two points!!! ; ). Slavia Prague and CFR Kluj are even stevens I reckon as well. So we may not be with the champs quite yet, but the quality surely is there.
los_angeles_villan
there are no easy games... how easily that line trips off the tongue. Is this Brad getting the excuses in before a ball is kicked or is this Brad being honest.
col8
If I know Brad like we do at Rovers he is just an honest guy TBH.
Mikey D
Slavia Prague are a pretty decent outfit los_angeles_villan, they'll certainly give us a thorough testing, particularly with the game in Prague, but I know where you're coming from.
glensider
Not exactly sure if it can be classed as a 'Group Of Death', despite it including three previous European club champions. Will be tricky though, no doubting that, particularly Hamburg away.
glensider
 

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