Friday, December 17, 2010

How we meet again - Champions League final 16 draw sees many rematches

The round of 16 is set for the Champions League, with some old friends meeting again on the pitch. What any Arsenal fan feared...getting Barca...again. Similar to last campaign when the Spanish giants completely demolished the North London outfit, the Gunners will have to face their nemesis once again. Unfortunately I am not sure that anything will change for the Gunners. So the match ups -

  • AS Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Not an easy draw for the Italian side. The Ukranian champs are always a tough fixture.  I think that Roma have enough to get through, but just barely. Roma 2 - Shaktar 1 aggregate 
  • Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur: Ah Tottenham facing the other Milan club...this will be a very intregueing tie, not sure how Spurs will deal with the increased pressure of the Champions League. I look for the likes of Robinho and Ibra to run the Spurs back line ragged, the question is can Milan contain the Welsh winger - Bale? Milan through 3-3 on away goals.
  • Valencia vs Schalke 04: Well Raul will get to face some old foes from La Liga. Schalke 04 is one of those sides that is quietly doing well for itself this campaign, they handled Lyon easily, defeated Bayern...granted gave up 5 goals as well, but overall a side moving in the right direction. Schalke 04 through 3-1 on aggregate.
  • Inter Milan vs Bayern Munich: Ah another rematch, this one from last Champion League's finals. However there is no Special One this time around...and an apparently healthier Ribery. Eto'o is on fire for Inter, but Ribery and the Bavarian crew seem to be starting to hit their stride. Revenge will be a good motivator and while Rafa is usually the master of these knock outs, I think he will struggle. Bayern through 4-1 on aggregate.
  • Olympique Lyon vs Real Madrid: Last time these two met, OL surprised everyone by knocking off the Spanish giants, this was before Mourinho took over. OL could pull off the upset again, but I am not sure that Lloris et al will be as fortunate this time at Madrid (last season Higuain and his merry bunch missed a few sitters which would have killed off the game). Real through 2-0 on aggregate.
  • Arsenal vs Barcelona: The rematch I had no desire to see...Barcelona still too strong, Arsenal still no keeper and weak in central defense...meaning....ugly. Barca 5-1 on aggregate. To see why just watch the highlights of Messi tearing up the Arsenal defense last season...not pretty from an Arsenal perspective.
  • Olympique Marseille vs Manchester United: On paper this one would go to the EPL club, but not so fast. OM has some cards to play. I think that ManU is not the side they have been in recent history and Marseilles have shown they can travel to England with some success - see the game at Anfield. While I think it is a long shot, I think that Marseilles have a chance to sneak through. OM 2-1 on aggregate. 
  • KĂžbenhavn vs Chelsea: This would usually have been the draw when Mourinho was there! If the Danish side knocks of Chelsea that will be a huge duh. Chelsea 5 - 1 on aggregate.
 Well it does not look good for Ligue 1 nor Arsenal, Schalke 04 might surprise some teams ... we shall see. A reminder of what Messi did last year to Arsenal...

Frightening...for Arsenal.


philip said...

I think Arsenal will score more than one goal against Barcelona. They will also hopefully have Vermaelen back which is what they desperately need. But still at the end I think Barcelona will advance.

GFC said...

Vermaelen will be huge if he can come back, otherwise I think Barcelona will shred that back line.

If Cesc can also be close to 100%, his pairing with Nasri might give Barcelona some problems. But in the end I just cannot see how Arsenal will stop Villa, Messi, Xavi et al.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal Need a good GK. in 2006 they reached final because they had Lehman. That time he was Pick of his form.
Last time Arsenal Con-sided 6 goals from Barca..Becuse of Amunia..

If Arsenal Fined good gk ten they will fight against Barca...Remember Barca is not a Uninhabitable side???