Friday, March 21, 2014

Champions League 1/4 finals - PSG get "lucky" draw?

The 1/4 finals match ups were drawn today. The European giants will face off against one another:

  • Manchester United v Bayern Munich: can Moyes pull off another "hold up" and find a way to extend the Red Devils run in Europe? Uh no. Manchester United got very fortunate that Olympiacos had not practiced how to head a ball or how to slow down one RVP. The defending Champions League title holders have too much fire power for Manchester United. Bayern through on 4-1 aggragate.
  • Barcelona v Atletico Madrid: Might have been even more interesting had this been an all Madrid tie. Clearly these two sides know each other well. And neither team will be overwhelmed by the situation. These two sides have already faced off three times this year - twice in the Super Cup and once in La Liga. All three were draws. Only one goal scored by each side. So I doubt we will see a goal deluge in the Champions League. I am leaning with the Madrid side. Barca seem to be missing something this season. I am going to side with Atletico who go through 2-1 on aggragate.
  • Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund: A rematch from last year's semi finals. The Spanish giants are starting to click with Bale, Ronaldo and Benzema all in goal scoring form. The German side seemed to take Zenit a little too lightly in the return leg in the last round, but I have no fear this will happen again in the 1/4 finals. I cannot imagine a repeat of last year, then again Lewandowski who is playing his last season for Dortmund might have some extra incentive to push his side through. Unfortunately for the Pole (who is suspended for the first match), Real Madrid go through 5-3 on aggragate.
  • PSG v Chelsea: A match up of two clubs with massive financial backing. Some might argue two clubs (Manchester City being another one) that are prime examples of what is wrong with club football today - carpet bagging billionaires buying these clubs as toys. Regardless this is an interesting tie. I see the Special One playing negative football away to Paris. Trying to get a draw. Then coming back to London looking for the win. The tie will depend on the form of one Zlatan. The Swede seems to be on a mission this season and not sure any amount of negative play from Chelsea will slow him down. PSG get through 4-2 on aggragate.

Some interesting fixtures ahead. It will be difficult to derail the defending champion, and one might argue they received the easiest fixture. Dortmund might be looking at a last effort before they lose more of their top players and PSG desperately needs to get to the 1/2 finals or beyond. Of course end of day we will probably get a Chelsea v Manchester United final since everyone is poopooing the EPL!

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