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2001-2 Champions League Phase 1 Preview

Boavista

Best Run in Champions League 1999-2000 - 1st round
Tournament Odds 250/1
After winning the league by a single point over local rivals Porto last season, Boavista make their second appearance in the competition, following a first round group stage exit in 1998 when they qualified as league runners-up. This year also see's a return to Dortmund, who were one of the clubs in  Boavista's group in 1999. The club will be full of confidence after becoming only the second ever team to take the league title from one of Portugal's 'big Three' which consist of Porto, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.

But despite entering the draw as Portuguese champions, Boavista have been written off as no-hopers by most before the tournament even gets under way, but there have been weaker clubs than them to progress through the first round in past Champions League competitions and Boavista should not be underestimated.
Boavista in the Champions League - a Complete Record

 

Borussia Dortmund

Best Run in Champions League 1997 - winners
Tournament Odds 20/1
The only club in the group that has previously won the competition, Dortmund will be eyeing success again after an excellent start to the season.

Borussia have played in the Champions league just 3 times in the past, and after winning the trophy in Munich in 1997, they returned the following season looking to become the first side to successfuly defend their Champions League title, but were knocked out at the semi final stage to Real Madrid, who won the final.

Ottmar Hitzfeld left the club after winning the Champions League in 97 and has since joined bitter rivals, Bayern Munich. Dortmund have had no less than 5 different coaches since then, but under the guidance of Dortmund legend, Matthias Sammer, the current squad look more than capable of a good run in this year's competition.
B Dortmund in the Champions League - a Complete Record

 

Dinamo Kiev

Best Run in Champions League 1998 - semi final
Tournament Odds 66/1
Of all clubs who have never won Europe's premier competition, Dinamo Kiev have the best record. With 60 victories from 19 season's of competing in the cup, and with this being their 8th successive appearance in the Champions League, Kiev are well established as a regular in the compeition.

Last season's first round exit was their worst showing for 4 years, and they will be aiming to bounce back this year with a return to the latter stages of the cup.

In 1999-2000, Kiev were agonisingly close to making it past a 2nd round group containing both Bayern Munich and the eventual winners, Real Madrid. One year earlier, they had lost a close semi final to Bayern Munich, 4-3 on aggregate, and in 1998 it took the favourites, Juventus, to end a brilliant performance in the tournament, and a run which had seen them thrash Barcelona twice, betaing them 3-0 at home and 4-0 in the Nou Camp.

The main men during those campaigns were Shevchenko and Rebrov, and despite still being able to give any team a tough match, the absence of a world class partnership up front could mean another early exit by the Ukranians.
Dinamo Kiev in the Champions League - a Complete Record

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