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Champions League 07/08 Group F Preview: Manchester United, Roma, Sporting Lisbon, Dynamo Kyiv

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Group F sees Manchester United go up against Roma, Sporting Lisbon and Dinamo Kiev. It’ll be interesting to see the Man Utd – Roma rivalry from last year play itself out and you can bet your house on it that Roma will be an improved side to what we saw last season (throughout the season and not just from Old Trafford).

In fact, if Manchester United can’t get their goals (and they’ve struggled to do so this season), Roma can easily pip them to 1st spot.

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


Manchester United (England)
Roma (Italy)
Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)
Dinamo Kiev (Ukraine)


Matchday One – Wednesday – 19 Sep 2007

Roma vs Dinamo Kiev
Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester United

Matchday Two – Tuesday – 2 Oct 2007

Manchester United vs Roma
Dinamo Kiev vs Sporting Lisbon

Matchday Three – Tuesday – 23 Oct 2007

Dinamo Kiev vs Manchester United
Roma vs Sporting Lisbon

Matchday Four – Wednesday – 7 Nov 2007

Manchester United vs Dinamo Kiev
Sporting Lisbon vs Roma

Matchday Five – Tuesday – 27 Nov 2007

Dinamo Kiev vs Roma
Manchester United vs Sporting Lisbon

Matchday Six – Wednesday – 12 Dec 2007

Roma vs Manchester United
Sporting Lisbon vs Dinamo Kiev

Team by Team

Manchester United

Manchester United fabulous buying spree in the summer was both long-term reinforcement and a major play for European glory this season. Hargreaves, Nani, Anderson and Tevez will give Manchester United plenty of options and as long as they can keep one of Louis Saha and Wayne Rooney fit enough to lead the line, this side will be a formidable opponent in Europe.

A major concern for Sir Alex Ferguson will be his side’s lack of goals at the start of the season, although they’ve managed to squeeze out results so far and kept pace with the league leaders. It’s always been difficult for Manchester United to score away from home and this season it may be even more so.

Defensively Rio and Vida have been a rock again this season and they’ll need that (plus Hargreaves or Carrick in front of them) if they want to go past the round of 16 this time. I just don’t see them blowing teams away with lots of goals (although it has been known to happen before).


Roma have an exceptionally talented squad whose only fault is perhaps a lack of experience at the big stage. Last season would have taught them well though and the addition of Guily up front will undoubtedly aid matters more.

I expect Roma to be Manchester United’s strongest challengers in this group and if Manchester United take their league goalscoring troubles to the Champions League Roma will quite easily slip into first spot.

Last season’s humiliation at Old Trafford (after that fantastic win against Lyon) will drive this set of players on, and in Spalletti they have an excellent tactician capable of taking them to the quarter finals again, at least.

Sporting Lisbon

I’m not sure Sporting have the squad to succeed in the Champions League this season. Last season they ended 4th in their group and with both Roma and Manchester United looking quite strong, it’s possible that Sporting will go the same route again.

There best bet at this point would be the Uefa Cup, unless one of the top two happen to self-destruct spectacularly (like United did in 2005/2006).

Dinamo Kiev

Underestimate the Ukrainians at your own peril. Kiev will be the dog’s bollocks when it comes to home games and I expect especially Roma and Sporting to struggle there (Manchester United can win unless they fail to show up like they did last season against FC Copenhagen).

Kiev have an outside shot of making it to the Uefa Cup – however reacing the Round of 16 is perhaps one win too much for them.

Previous Matchups

Manchester United vs Roma

Champions League 2006/2007 – Manchester United lost 2-1 away before turning up for the best game of the tournament at Old Trafford in an amazing 7-1 win that took them through to the semi-finals.

Manchester United vs Sporting Lisbon

Cup Winners Cup 1963/1964 – Manchester United won 4-1 at home but lost 5-0 away.

Manchester United vs Dinamo Kiev

Champions League 2000/2001 – Manchester United drew 0-0 away before beating Kiev 1-0 at home.

Roma vs Sporting Lisbon

No previous encounters.

Roma vs Dinamo Kiev

Champions League 2004/2005 – Humiliation for Roma as they lost 0-3 at home before losing 2-0 away as well.

Sporting Lisbon vs Dinamo Kiev

No previous encounters.


1. Manchester United
2. Roma
3. Dinamo Kiev
4. Sporting Lisbon

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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