Champions League 07/08 Group E Preview: Barcelona, Lyon, Stuttgart, Rangers

Barcelona are favourites to win in a group that includes French champions Lyon, German champions Stuttgart and Rangers. Lyon’s aura has diminished in the past two seasons and I don’t see them as a sure bet for qualifying out of this group.

Stuttgart could be a surprise package this season – and as far as Rangers are concerned, I’d like to see them do well but it’s unlikely considering the opposition they’re up against.

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


Barcelona (Spain)
Lyon (France)
Stuttgart (Germany)
Rangers (Scotland)


Matchday One – Wednesday – 19 Sep 2007

Rangers vs Stuttgart
Barcelona vs Lyon

Matchday Two – Tuesday – 2 Oct 2007

Lyon vs Rangers
Stuttgart vs Barcelona

Matchday Three – Tuesday – 23 Oct 2007

Stuttgart vs Lyon
Rangers vs Barcelona

Matchday Four – Wednesday – 7 Nov 2007

Lyon vs Stuttgart
Barcelona vs Rangers

Matchday Five – Tuesday – 27 Nov 2007

Stuttgart vs Rangers
Lyon vs Barcelona

Matchday Six – Wednesday – 12 Dec 2007

Rangers vs Lyon
Barcelona vs Stuttgart

Team by Team


Barcelona have strengthened their squad with the signings of Milito, Abidal, Toure and Henry, but they’ve lost Eto’o again to injury and despite a hugely successful pre-season have struggled a bit for form in the early games of the season.

Eto’o absence can rob Barcelona of their fluency and directness in attack, but if Henry fires and if the new recruits give Barcelona the defensive strength to go forward with confidence, this will be a different Barcelona in Europe than in the league.

With the away games coming early on for Barcelona (while Eto’o will still be out), it’s going to be a tough group for them but there’s little doubt that they’ll be able to negotiate their way to the next round. However, this side doesn’t look like winning the Champions League, so far.


Lyon have Cris, Coupet and Fred out as long-term injuries and while the squad itself is strong enough to withstand their absence in the domestic league, the Champions league and especially going up against the likes of Stuttgart and Barcelona is a different story. I’m not a big fan of Alain Perrin, and I doubt that he’d be able to do any better in the Champions League than his predecessors.

With an early trip to Camp Nou, there’s every chance that Lyon will be left scrapping for 2nd spot with Rangers and Stuttgart.

Lyon have bought well in Fabio Grosso though, and with Juninho on their side and Bodmer and Kallstrom in the middle of the pitch you can’t bet against the French.


2006/2007 Bundesliga champions don’t have a great history in Europe although they’ve been ever-present in either the Uefa Cup or the Champions League.

If Stuttgart can negotiate the first two games safely (away to Rangers, where they lost 4 years ago, and home to Barcelona, whom they can upset on their day), they’d have an excellent chance of making the 2nd round of the Champions League.

If it weren’t for Juninho and possibly Bodmer, I’d tip Stuttgart as clear favourites for the #2 spot in this group.


For a club with such rich domestic history, it might be strange for Rangers fans to think they’re underdogs going into this group, but that’s how it is. If Rangers can beat Stuttgart at home in the first game they might fancy a shot at #3 or even #2.

Doubt that will happen though.

Previous Matchups

Barcelona vs Lyon

Champions League 2001/2002 – Barcelona won 2-0 at home and 3-2 away in the group stages, and went as far as the semi finals that season.

Barcelona vs Stuttgart

No previous encounters.

Barcelona vs Rangers

No previous encounters.

Lyon vs Stuttgart

No previous encounters.

Lyon vs Rangers

No previous encounters.

Stuttgart vs Rangers

Champions League 2003/2004 – Rangers won the home leg 2-1, Stuttgart won their home leg 1-0.


1. Barcelona
2. Lyon
3. Stuttgart
4. Rangers

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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