Archive for the ‘Champions League’ Category

Champions League Predictions: Let The Bands Do The Talking III

April 28, 2009

Its been awhile since we’ve asked some musicians to help out with Champions League predictions so here we go!

Barcelona – Chelsea

What does Chelsea need to do to Barca to beat them in the Nou Camp?

…and get on the outside – fast!

What does Barcelona need to do to hold off Chelsea’s streaking Florent Malouda, the dogged determination of Frank Lampard, and the ever-dangerous striker Didier Drogba?

Prediction: Barcelona 3: Chelsea 1

Manchester United – Arsenal

How does ManU need to come out early to break the hot streaking Arsenal’s confidence?

And how does the young Arsenal side need to approach this match against the Red Devils?

Prediction: Arsenal 2: Manchester United 2

Champions League Review: Let The Bands Do The Talking

February 26, 2009

Instead of my own commentary on the results of this week’s Champions League matches, I’ll let some fine bands do it instead.

Bayern Munich 5 – Sporting Lisbon 0:

Chelsea 1 – Juventus 0


*Everyone knows the Gallaghers are huge City fans but this one just seemed to fit.

Arsenal 1 – AS Roma 0

Inter Milan 0 – Manchester United 0

Olympique Lyon 1 – Barcelona 1

*Yep Barca, you were Outshined.

Real Madrid 0 – Liverpool 1

Porto 2 – Atletico Madrid 2

Porto had something to prove and their comeback proved it well

Villarreal 1 – Panathanaikos 1

Perfect if you’re Panathanaikos

Last Minute Champions League Predictions

February 24, 2009

If you’re like me and could care less about the Oscars (and are already tired of hearing about it), tonight’s Champion’s League matches are arriving just in time. Here are my predictions:

Arsenal 2 – Roma 1. Roma’s road form is weak in Italy and even worse when they travel to England. But, Roma are on a roll and won’t go down easily.

Inter Milan 2 – Manchester United 1. This game is pretty evenly matched in terms of quality but The Special One has Sir Alex’s number tonight

Atlético 1 – Porto 1. Atlético barely survives a Porto attacking flurry that nearly pulls off an upset.

Lyon 1 – Barcelona 3. Lyon will put up a good fight in the freezing cold Stade Gerland but Barca’s quality will overwhelm the home side starting in the 65th minute.

Tonight’s Champion’s League Predictions

November 5, 2008

My record on predictions last night only confirms that I’m not much of a prognosticator on Champion’s League matches but here goes. You won’t see American Jozy Altidore in action tonight because he was not listed on Villarreal’s Champion’s League roster of 25 turned in back in September. Given recent injury problems, coach Manuel Pelligrini probably wishes he had Altidore as an option tonight.

AaB 1 Villarreal 3

Celtic 1 Man. United 2

Fiorentina 1 Bayern 1

Lyon 2 Steaua 1

Arsenal 2 Fenerbahçe 1

Dynamo Kyiv 1 Porto 1

BATE 0 Zenit 1

Real Madrid 2 Juventus 1

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Champion’s League: Night of The Greeks

November 5, 2008

Two Greek teams surprised everyone last night scoring a combined six goals and picking up four points from stiff competition. Werder Bremen fell to Panathinaikos 3-0 while Inter Milan, down 3-2 to Anorthosis well into the match, managed to salvage a point and finish 3-3.

OK, so I blew the call on the Inter-Anonthosis match but I think keepers Julio Cesar (Inter) and Arian Begaj (Anorthosis) combined for one of the most noteworthy goalkeeping displays we’ve seen this year.

Check out a few of their great saves here:

As for Roma putting three past Chelsea, that too was a real surprise, especially given the giallorossi’s league form lately. Roma looked more confident than normal while Chelsea looked tired from the early going (the muggy weather in Rome pobably didn;t help). Now if Roma could just play consistently on the road (a problem the past few years), they could make a run for the Scudetto (and perhaps more). I’m not holding my breath.

And the rest of the scores:

CFR Cluj 1-2 Bordeaux
Roma 3-1 Chelsea
Anorthosis 3-3 Internazionale
Bremen 0-3 Panathinaikos
Sporting 1-0 Shakhtar
Barcelona 1-1 Basel
Liverpool 1-1 Atlético
Marseille 3-0 PSV

Full highlights on the night here:

Champion’s League Predictions For Tonight

November 4, 2008

Its been quite awhile since I’ve done match predictions so here goes:

Inter 2 Anaorthosis 0
Roma 1 Chelsea 1
Bordeaux 2 Cluj 0
Werder Bremen 2 Panthanakos 1
Barcelona 3 Basel 1
Sporting Lisbon 1 Shakhtar 1
Liverpool 2 Atletico Madrid 1
Marseilles 2 PSV Eindhoven 2

Europa League To Replace UEFA Cup

September 27, 2008

UEFA announced yesterday that next years it will rename its venerable UEFA Cup tournament the Europa Cup in an effort to boost is prestige and appeal. It will also feature a 48 team field with home and away matches plus a more concerted marketing effort, new sponsorship, and will be more widely broadcast in Europe.

UEFA boss Michael Platini stated that “These changes will improve this historic competition which is very important for UEFA and for European football, as it gives more fans, players and clubs the thrill of European club football” and added that “I am convinced the new format will give the UEFA Europa League a successful new impetus.”

Since the advent of the UEFA Champion’s League, the UEFA Cup has been seen as something akin to the NIT tournament when compared to the NCAA basketball tournament. Fans know that the best of the best play in the Champion’s League while the rest play in the UEFA Cup so this may be a tough sell. That said, there may be some hope.

Where a new Europa League could find its niche is in selling itself as featuring the best clubs from the less wealthy leagues where the level of play is good but the passion is equal to or exceeds that of the Champion’s League. In the same way some Americans prefer college football to the NFL, there are millions of Ukrainians, Danes, Germans, Belgians, Swedes, and others who take great interest in watching their own local teams during European competitions. Capitalizing on that dynamic is what the Europa League should be all about.

Goal Of The Year (So Far)

September 23, 2008

OK everyone, the season is still young but Fenandinho’s 36 meter free kick for Shakhtar Donetsk against FC Basel last week is my first nomination for goal of the year. In case you missed it, watch it here.

Gooch Plans To Surprise Liverpool

August 11, 2008

After scoring two goals over the weekend to help Standard Liege beat RSC Anderlecht 3-1 in the Belgian Cip over the weekend, Oguchi Onyewu has his sights on their next foe; Liverpool.

Onyewu told the Belgian press that he thinks Standard can surprise a team like Liverpool when he said “Now we must concentrate our Liverpool. There are always chances, I think nobody thought that Anderlecht would be eliminated but we surprised them.” He further told the national TV station RTBF that “In football sometimes the underdog can surprise you. Hopefully, we can do something on Wednesday to show what Belgian football is about.”

From the way Onyewu has comported himself the past few weeks, you would never know that he is perhaps on the verge of being transferred to a bigger European club. Regardless of whether he ends up at FC Koeln, Fulham, or somewhere in France or Italy, it seems he wants to go out of Liege with a bang. Standard will face Liverpool at home on Wednesday in the third round of Champion’s League qualifying.

A few quick hits from the weekend:

– Villarreal may be missing Giuseppe Rossi and Jozy Altidore in training but they can be proud that the pair has already scored a combined three goals in Olympic play.

– American defender Bryan Arguez did not play for Hertha Berlin in their 3-1 German Cup win over Trier this weekend.

– The US team played very well within themselves yesterday against the Dutch and coach Piotr Novak proved what a good tactician he can be with his adjustments and substitutions. The missed US chance near the end came back to haunt them after the Oranje equalized but the card collecting in the waning minutes was annoying. If anyone’s international stock rose yesterday, it was Sacha Kljestan and Freddy Adu (the AS Monaco discussion boards are buzzing already).

– I have a good feeling about the Nigeria game, when Altidore, Danny Szetela, and Benny Feilhaber will need to step up. The team is starting to gel and play with much more confidence. They seem to believe in their coach, his system, and each other – not a bad way to go into Wednesday’s match.

Gooch Goes Distance in Friendly Against Saint Etienne

August 3, 2008

American defender Oguchi Onyewu played a full 90 minutes for Standard Liege Saturday night in a 3-0 loss to French Ligue 1 side Saint Etienne. Despite the impending transfer of Onyewu, Standard coach Laszlo Boloni chose to use the Maryland native in the friendly.

This may indicate that he intends to use Gooch in the third round of Champion’s League qualifying against Liverpool starting August 12th. While this would “cup tie” Onyewu, making him unable to play in European matches the rest of the year, this may be a of little consequence since few of the teams interested in him are playing in the Champion’s League of UEFA Cup this season.

At the same time, a stout performance in a high profile match against the Reds may be just what he needs to get the offer he is looking for.