Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Champions league finals

Well we are all anticipating tomorrows unexpected final between AC Milan and Liverpool. The Red's army of faithful have already begun decending on Istanbul, and for all of football I hope that things are lively but tame so as to avoid what happened in 2000 when Leeds United played Galatassary in Turkey, and two Leeds supports lost their lives over a football match.

But back to the game. I have not watched too many AC Milan matches this season so much of my analysis will be drawning from what I know of the team and players based on past experiences...but when prognosticating why should I use common sense.

  • Goalkeepers: Dida is overshadowed by many of the more artistic Brazilian field players, but he is solid and is currently on a un-scored upon streak that needs to be noted. As for his counterpart, Dudek...well I know that he is the Polish International, but he has had some serious gaffs during his stay at Liverpool. He reminds of Lehmann at times. EDGE - AC Milan
  • Defense: With the likes of Cafu, Maldini, Stam, Nesta on the back line, AC Milan brings an obscene amount of experience and talent to stop any attack. While these players are not young, their experience and especially their expereince in big games both for club and country make them a formidable force. Other than Sammy Hypia, I am a little nervous about Liverpools back four. Althought Hypia is such a strong presence he will settle the back four. EDGE - AC Milan
  • Midfield: The Spanish midfield of Alonso and Garcia have been on top of their games lately. While I am no big Gerrard fan, he does have moments of brilliance. And Riise is always sneaky with a big goal. Rui Costa and Seedorf are experienced but getting up there in age, Kaka will be the one to watch. Can the Brazilian take over the midfield and control it with his offensive ability? EDGE - Liverpool
  • Strikers: Shevchenko, Inzagi, and Crespo vs Baros, Le Tallac and Cisse....hmmmmm, if Cisse were 100% healthy this might be closer, but since he is not and since Baros seems to score for his country but not for club....EDGE - AC Milan AC Milan AC Milan
Overall I think that AC Milan has too much fire power and too much talent not to win, however Liverpool has been on an incredible run this Champions League. I think if they can control the midfield with their Spanish playmakers, and cause enough trouble up front with Baros or Cisse running at the AC defense they could pull off the upset. I just don't see a solution for Shevchenko (arguably one of the best stikers in the world). Unfortunately I do not think that Dudek can "stand on his head" and steal a win for Liverpool either.

Final score: AC Milan 3 - Liverpool 1

Then again for those liverpool supports, I also predicted a Man U win over Arsenal for the FA Cup....

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