Date TimeSeptember 17, 2019
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The Fiver | The consequences of defeat will be … almost entirely inconsequential
And then there were 32. After a total of 91 matches in its preliminary rounds, qualifiers and play-offs, Big Cup proper is finally back. While your Queen’s Celtics, your Feronikelis and your Slovan Bratislavas have been consigned to the dustbin of domestic competition or Big Vase, Europe’s elite – and the 16 other teams in there to make up the numbers – prepare to duke it out in the group stages. Ah, the group stages: 96 largely pointless and hugely predictable matches across eight groups in a complete waste of almost everybody’s time when history suggests that the 16 with the most money should just about be ushered through to the knockout stages.

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