Schalke, Ajax, Inter, Zenit, Manchester United, Olympiacos, Shakhtar,... The top teams of the Europa League wouldn't look bad in the Champions League groups as well, it's just that... There are so few of them. Undeniably Mourinho's Manchester is the biggest baddest of them all with Ibra and Pogba as fresh faces and established names as Mata, Rooney and De Gea already on the team sheet.
AS Roma was seeded in pot 2, alongside teams like Fenerbahce, AZ Alkmaar, Saint-Etienne and Steaua. So, who would the Giallorossi face? These are the results:
Group E: Viktoria Pilzen, AS Roma, Austria Wien, Astra Giurgiu
Well, that's not too shabby, is it? We dodged Mourinho United, Ajax, Shakhtar and Zenit from pot 1 while the city of Rome is once again a safer place because the Feyenoord hooligans won't visit us this time. All the other teams from pots 3 and 4 are inferior to Roma and thus doable fixtures. Austria Wien is a gift from UEFA as we didn't draw Southampton, Celta or Krasnodar (don't like Russian trips) from pot 3.
Astra Giurgiu is the unknown in this group. They're the reigning Romanian champions (first time ever) and rather inexperienced in Europe, nothing to really worry about I guess. Don't know any players and don't care, this should be a 6/6 all day, every day. It's time to erase the Romanian curse from Cluj once and far all.
Compare it with group A or G and you know Roma got lucky this afternoon. No far trips to be made as well, with Czech Republic, Austria and Romania all not that far from Italy. No teams from the big leagues or Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. I'm a happy fan.
It"s sad there isn't a real big clash until December, but that's the only (small) downside really. At least our chances are increasing for European nights after New Year. Plus, I heard Vienna is a lovely city to travel to in Autumn and Winter. Ibra can wait until February...