My appolgies for perhaps jumping the gun a touch however I think the current A-League Super thread format is beyond its used by date. And god dammit its time for change. We have a black man as the president of the USA, we need to move on as well.
I do propose maybe letting the current thread run out the season then move on over to this guy.
Anyhow the reason I want to start this tread is because the '09 ACL groups have been announced. Mainly of interest to Newy Jets and Central Coasties but still important.
Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia)
Al-Ahli (United Arab Emirates)
Saba Battery (Iran)
Al-Shabab (Saudi Arabia)
Winner of Play Off: Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) v Dempo (India)
Al-Jazira (United Arab Emirates)
Al-Ittihad (Saudi Arabia)
Al-Shabab (United Arab Emirates)
Al-Ettifaq (Saudi Arabia)
Ulsan Horang-i (South Korea)
Newcastle Jets (Australia)
Beijing Guoan (China)
Nagoya Grampus (Japan)
Gamba Osaka (Japan)
Seoul (South Korea)
Shandong Luneng (China)
Shanghai Shenhua (China)
* See Below (Play Off Spot)
Kashima Antlers (Japan)
Suwon Bluewings (South Korea)
Central Coast Mariners (Australia)
Tianjin Teda (China)
Kawasaki Frontale (Japan)
Pohang Steelers (South Korea)
Play Off Spor For Group G:
Provincial Electricity Authority (Thailand) Plays Singapore Armed Forces (Singapore)
Winner Plays PSMS Medan (Indonesia)
Winner of that second match then progresses to the group stage.
Gamba Osaka got back in due to them winning the Emporers Cup in Japan
I don't know much about the other leagues however from an Aussie prospective they seemed to have faired OK. They missed getting the Japan super powers Kashima Antlers and Gamaba Osaka, however you don't get 1,2,3 in the J-League by luck.
Actually looking closer Newcastle got what I would call the easiest group possible. Nagoya Grampus were the third team in the J-League (ie sorta last except the cup winner), Beijing Guoan came third in the Chinese League, The CCM's opponents came fourth. Ulsan Horang-i also came third in the K-League however like Japan they have a cup winner so its probably the lowest entrant.
First Matchday is March 10/11. Not sure who is playing when that isn't obvious atm.
As for tipping a winner, well it will come from East Asian (Groups E - H), thats all I am saying. Might be better to predict which A-League team will go further, will either make it out of the group stage? I just have a feeling, and it's not a smart one, that the Newcastle Jets might just sneak out of the group stage, on some stodgy defending and a couple of miracle goals to get results (aka J Griffiths). Mariners will really need to reign in the attacking flair and 4-3-3 formations to get anywhere, because defending is vital in the ACL, Adelaide showed that.
So heres to a new start
EDIT: Just made this an Asian Champions League thread to maintain the status quo around here and not rock the boat.