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November 24, 2010
 

Your Sparsely-Populated Pre-Thanksgiving CL Bootroom

"Me. I bring the turkey. Me."

Where is everyone? Already in transit to your Turkey Day festivities? Well, for those of us unlucky enough to remain chained to our desks and/or cubicles, find all the text-based CL entertainment you could possibly need right here. Right here, in our third-rate bosom.

Of course Eastern Europe had to ruin this delicate balance by kicking off an hour ago, but I care not; Rubin Kazan have a 1-0 lead over FC Copenhagen at the break. And the goal was a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Elsewhere, there’s a modicum of intrigue. Oh, and Spurs.

GROUP A
Spurs have a knockout spot more or less in the bag. I can’t believe I just typed that, but it’s true. With Gareth Bale serving as the wind beneath their wings, Tottenham have toppled Inter Milan at WHL, and must surely be feeling buoyant after their NLD comeback on Saturday at the Emirates. A positive result at home to Werder Bremen should lock things up, especially if Twente falter at the San Siro, though based on Rafa’s current run of results, anything’s truly possible there.

Injuries abound to Rafa van der Vaart and Gaz Bale that make them doubtful, but I’m sure nothing will stop them from partaking. That’ll doom Werder if they do.

Tottenham 2, Werder Bremen 1
Internazionale 1, FC Twente 1

GROUP B
Surprisingly, a group with something at stake. First-placed Lyon travel to second-place Schalke while third-place Benfica (just a point back from ze Germans) get to fight in Israel for that runner-up spot in the group.

Of course, if Schalke and Benfica win, the Ligue Unh lads will be in the weeds, though not too worried thanks to their GD that’s 5 better than Benfica’s.

Naturally, this means draws across the board, doesn’t it? Doubt it. Hell hath no fury like a free-scoring Portuguese team with their backs against the wall (see: Braga, Sporting Club de)

Schalke 1, Lyon 1
Hapoel Tel Aviv 0, Benfica 2

GROUP C
Will TSE owe Shane yet more beer? Will United, perhaps sans Rooney yet again, survive the trip to Ibrox, a place that’s not exactly fond of ex-Dons coach Sir Alex Ferguson? Can Bursaspor play spoiler to Valencia’s fairly strong grip on second place?

Thinking no on both counts. Sorry, Shane; despite a nice thought about the 5-4-1 in The Guardian today, I’m backing the Red Devils to turgidly march forward where they failed in Gameweek 1.

Rangers 1, Manchester United 2
Valencia 3, Bursaspor 0

GROUP D
Russians already on top over the Danes, and Barca hung 5 on the Greeks in Gameweek 1. Any questions?

Rubin Kazan v. FC Copenhagen — already over
Panathanaikos 1, Barcelona 3

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James T