Champions League 07/08 Group H Preview: Arsenal, Sevilla, Steaua Bucharest, Slavia Prague

The Arsenal – Sevilla matches will be a delight to watch, although both teams should have no trouble in qualifying from Group H.

The big question here will be whether Arsenal or Sevilla qualify 1st from this group – and we might not have to wait long for an answer with Arsenal facing Sevilla at the Emirates for the first game.

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


Arsenal (England)
Sevilla (Spain)
Steaua Bucharest (Romania)
Slavia Prague (Czech Republic)


Matchday One – Wednesday – 19 Sep 2007

Arsenal vs Sevilla
Slavia Praha vs Steaua Bucharest

Matchday Two – Tuesday – 2 Oct 2007

Steaua Bucharest vs Arsenal
Sevilla vs Slavia Praha

Matchday Three – Tuesday – 23 Oct 2007

Sevilla vs Steaua Bucharest
Arsenal vs Slavia Praha

Matchday Four – Wednesday – 7 Nov 2007

Steaua Bucharest vs Sevilla
Slavia Praha vs Arsenal

Matchday Five – Tuesday – 27 Nov 2007

Sevilla vs Arsenal
Steaua Bucharest vs Slavia Praha

Matchday Six – Wednesday – 12 Dec 2007

Arsenal vs Steaua Bucharest
Slavia Praha vs Sevilla

Team by Team


Arsenal’s new-found verve this season is a clear bonus and while there’s every indication that they can take that spirit to Europe and come away victorious, there are injury problems and defensive concerns.

I’d still back Robin van Persie and co. to rampage through Group H, although Sevilla’s discipline will test them.

For all their new-found toughness Arsenal are still susceptible to getting stuck against physical opposition and combined with a worrying tendency to concede at least a goal every game, Arsenal’s hopes could be derailed if a European club pulls a Bolton or a Blackburn on them.


Ranked the best club in the world (at least until recently), Sevilla’s consecutive UEFA Cup wins and impressive domestic record hide the fact that the Spanish club are making their Champions League debut.

Nevertheless, there are high expectations from Juande Ramos and his men, and their path to the second round, at least, looks clear.

The side’s lack of Champions League experience could cost them though, and that’s perhaps the only reason why I’m backing Arsenal to win this group.

Steaua Bucharest

Champions Cup winners in 85/86 and Uefa Cup semi-finalists in 05/06, Steaua have the will but perhaps not the quality to trouble the top two sides in Group H. Their home form will count for a lot but I fancy both Arsenal and Sevilla to poach at least a point there.

Steaua’s real battle will be for 3rd spot, which they’ve got a good chance of winning.

Slavia Praha

First timers in the Champions League group stages, Slavia are the underdogs and truly out of their depth. Their best performance in Europe in their history has been a Uefa Cup semi-final appearance in 95/96 (although they did beat Steaua in the Uefa Cup several years ago).

There’s a good chance that Slavia could repeat the feat and beat Steaua again at home – if so, it could also be their ticket to the Uefa Cup.

Previous Matchups

Arsenal vs Sevilla

No previous encounters.

Arsenal vs Steaua Bucharest

No previous encounters.

Arsenal vs Slavia Praha

No previous encounters.

Sevilla vs Steaua Bucharest

Uefa Cup 2006/2007 – Sevilla won 2-0 away before winning 1-0 at home in this 3rd Round tie.

Sevilla vs Slavia Praha

No previous encounters.

Steaua Bucharest vs Slavia Praha

Uefa Cup 1999/2000 – Steaua lost 1-4 away before drawing 1-1 at home.


1. Arsenal
2. Sevilla
3. Steaua Bucharest
4. Slavia Praha

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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Champions League 07/08 Group G Preview: Inter Milan, PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow, Fenerbahce


  1. arsenal 16 September, 2007
  2. fab 16 September, 2007
  3. Paul 17 September, 2007
  4. steaua 7 October, 2007