Champions League 07/08 Group A Preview: Liverpool, Porto, Marseille, Besiktas

Premier League giants Liverpool take on Porto, Marseille and Besiktas in Group A of the 2007/2008 Champions League. There isn’t much history between these clubs which makes this a fascinating and somewhat unpredictable group.

Let’s look at the fixtures list before going team by team and analysing past matchups between these four teams.


Liverpool (England)
Porto (Portugal)
Marseille (France)
Besiktas (Turkey)


Matchday One – Tuesday – 18 Sep 2007

Marseille vs Besiktas
Porto vs Liverpool

Matchday Two – Wednesday – 3 Oct 2007

Liverpool vs Marseille
Besiktas vs Porto

Matchday Three – Wednesday – 24 Oct 2007

Besiktas vs Liverpool
Marseille vs Porto

Matchday Four – Tuesday – 6 Nov 2007

Liverpool vs Besiktas
Porto vs Marseille

Matchday Five – Wednesday – 28 Nov 2007

Besiktas vs Marseille
Liverpool vs Porto

Matchday Six – Tuesday – 11 Dec 2007

Marseille vs Liverpool
Porto vs Besiktas

Team by Team


Liverpool’s squad has been overhauled this season with the backing of new owners Gillett and Hicks with non-performing players weeded out and a stylish, attacking line-up built from some of Europe’s finest young talent.

The group stage is expected to be a breeze for Liverpool, and seeing the depth of their squad, you would expect the Reds to stroll by Besiktas and Marseille and only Porto would be expected to put up a decent challenge.

Out of the four Premiership clubs, Liverpool have the easiest group of them all – and as long as that first game against Porto (away) is negotiated safely, Liverpool should be aiming to win all their games without breaking a sweat.

Elitism? Liverpool can be stopped in their tracks provided a good team comes in their path, but Porto are unlikely to provide too much of an opposition, although the first game should be very interesting.


Porto have an impressive domestic record and they’ll be going into the Champions League as favourites to qualify for the second round along with Liverpool.

Porto have lost two of their most promising players over the summer, with Anderson heading to Manchester United and Pepe to Real Madrid. Nevertheless, they have a solid squad and in Ricardo Quaresma Porto have a classy and dangerous attacking threat.

The plus point with Porto is their will to win which has seen them topple stronger sides several times in the past. You wouldn’t bet against them taking 2nd spot in Group A, unless Marseille spring a surprise.


Marseille are not the pushovers everyone expects them to be, however there are few players to whom Albert Emon can look towards for leading Marseille to the 2nd round of this season’s Champions League.

All eyes will be on Samir Nasri, tipped by many people as the ‘next’ Zidane – we’ll have to wait to see if he’s another fake or like Messidona, perhaps the real deal.

Cisse and Zenden will be meeting their former club and both players will have a point to prove. If Marseille can sneak a point off Liverpool and beat Porto at home, they could easily move into the 2nd round ahead of Porto. It’s a stretch though.


Besiktas’ Champions League history makes for interesting reading – a 3-0 home win against Barcelona in September 2000 is matched by a 0-6 away defeat to Leeds United in the same month. Besiktas made the Champions League again in 2003/2004, coming 3rd and falling to the Uefa Cup after that.

They’re back this season by battling their way through the 3rd qualification round, and face a very tough group. If Besiktas can win at home against Marseille and Porto, they have a genuine chance of making the Uefa Cup again, something that will be a minimum objective for the club.

I don’t see them causing any major upsets, but they only need a couple of results to go their way to make this a reasonably successful campaign.

Previous Matchups

Liverpool vs Porto

Uefa Cup 2000/2001 – Liverpool drew the away leg 0-0 before winning the home leg 2-0 on their way to winning the Uefa Cup that season.

Liverpool vs Marseille

Uefa Cup 2003/2004 – Liverpool drew the home game 1-1 before losing the the away leg 2-1 in the 4th round.

Liverpool vs Besiktas

No previous encounters.

Porto vs Marseille

Champions League 2003/2004 – Playing in the group stages, Porto won the away leg 3-2 before winning the home leg 1-0.

Porto vs Besiktas

No previous encounters.

Marseille vs Besiktas

No previous encounters.


1. Liverpool
2. Porto
3. Marseille
4. Besiktas

Comments and predictions are welcome.

You can read the full 07/08 Champions League preview here.

Also Read: 07/08 Champions League Group Stage Draw and 07/08 Champions League Fixtures List.

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