Saturday, 1 September 2012

EMENIKE: I don't fear BARCA!

Nigeria striker Emmanuel Emenike has tipped his Russian club Spartak Moscow to shock mighty Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
Spartak Moscow, who eliminated Fenerbache of Turkey in the playoffs, have been drawn against Barcelona, Benfica and Celtic in Group C of the competition.

Emenike who was instrumental to his team’s qualification into the group stage of the Champions League at the expense of his former team, disclosed that he will do his best to see that his team down Barcelona.

"The group is tight as all the teams in group stage of the competition are good for the title, but there are always favourites,” Emenike said.

“We will not be a pushover to Barcelona and the other teams. I know people don't rate us as one of the favourites but we can make history as we will shock everybody. We are capable of going all the way to beat Barcelona and all the teams in our group.”

He added: “I am not afraid of Barcelona and I am sure same goes for my team mates. Our coach will be a big factor in the game against Barcelona as he has played and beaten them while in Spain and that can still happen. We only respect them as they play the best brand of football around, but we won’t be intimidated.

"Benfica and Celtic are also big teams and that is the more reason we need to be focussed on all the games we will play and not think of Barcelona only because the other teams also have a good reputation in Champions League.”
Nigeria striker John Utaka whose goals contributed to Montpellier’s first French league title last season will hope his club go past the group stage as they will campaign in Group A alongside Schalke 04, who parade fellow Nigeria striker Chinedu Ogbuke, Arsenal and Olympiacos.

Montpellier begin their campaign at home against Arsenal in a game that would mark the return of striker Olivier Giroud to his former club.

Nigeria defender Elderson Echiejile will be in action with Portuguese club Sporting Braga in only their second appearance in the group stage of the Champions League.

Four Nigerians – Taye Taiwo, Brown Ideye, Yusuf Ayila and Lukman Haruna - will hope to lift Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev into the next round of the competition from Group A that houses Porto, Paris Saint-Germain and Dinamo Zagbreb.

Nigeria midfielder Mikel Obi will be looking forward to a successful defence of the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea after the Londoners were pitched in a relatively easy group which has Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Nordsj√¶lland.