Monday, February 11, 2013

Champions League round of 16 Part 1

Here we go...the Champions League gets ramped up again with the first round of knock outs

12 February 2013
Celtic Juventus
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP) – Stadium: Celtic Park, Glasgow (SCO)
Valencia PSG
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA) – Stadium: Estadi de Mestalla, Valencia (ESP)
13 February 2013
Shakhtar Donetsk Dortmund
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG) – Stadium: Donbass Arena, Donetsk (UKR)
Real Madrid Man. United
Referee: Felix Brych (GER) – Stadium: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid (ESP)

Some interesting clashes, none more interesting than the Real Madrid v Man United tie!

Celtic v Juventus: The Italian giants are playing well these days, quietly. While the Scottish giants are without their traditional rivals, as Rangers have been dropped into what appears to be purgatory! Both sides had some surprises in the group stages, most notably Celtic defeating Barcelona at home. Unfortunately I think the Old Lady is poised for a deep run. Juventus get through 3-1 on aggragate

Valencia v PSG: Ah the Manchester City on the Siene. They are starting to click in Ligue 1 and I think they will do so in Champions League. Valencia is no push over, and could be a dark horse themselves. They did have a relatively easy group BATE and LOSC not providing much resistance Valencia and Bayern. I just think that Ibra and co will find a way to get through. PSG go forward 3-3 on away goals.

Shakhtar v Dortmund: The Ukraine giants always seem to be in the mix...but get no respect. Unfortunately I think Dortmund will get through on their creative genius Gotze. Remember that Dortmund finished tops of what was seen as the group of death, besting the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax. Nothing to sneeze at. Dortmund advance 5-2 on aggragate.

Real Madrid v Manchester United: Wow, talk about story lines. The Special One facing off against the team many believe is the one he will head to once SAF retires. Ronaldo heading back to Manchester! The key is that the first leg is in Spain, which I think plays to the United favor. SAF will probably look to play conservative, maybe hold RVP or Rooney on the bench to try and get a late goal, head back to Manchester even and win back home. But could Ronaldo have something to say, he is wonderful form currently...but so is RVP. Real Madrid go through on PKs when it ends 4-4 on aggragate, Ronaldo strikes home the winning PK something he did not have the chance to do at the Euros!

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