When it comes to this years’ Champions league, would it be fair to say that British really is best? With one match to go before we get to the quarter finals all four British sides have given themselves great opportunities to progress. Given the relative doom and gloom at the beginning of the season about how the quality of the Premier League was not as high as it had been with Chelsea’s aging stars, Untied losing Ronaldo, Blackpool being in the top flight (!) and Liverpool, well being crap, lots was written about the period of European prosperity being over for English clubs.
However, here we are 7 months later and, just imagine, by some genius fluke they could all win their respective last 16 ties, miss each other in the draw and we have 2 semi finals completely made up of England based teams……..!!!!. Wait, wait, I am getting ahead of myself. First things first.
Spurs Vs Milan.
We have been waiting for the old legs of Milan to give up for a while now, and against Spurs last week things did not look great for them. They will be hoping that a rumoured return to action by Gareth Bale is just that, a rumour. Milan have never possessed pace and they struggled to deal with Aaron Lennon and the San Siro and the prospect of Bale, who is also lightning playing on the opposite must give them nightmares!
Spurs will have too much for the on the night is my prediction.
Utd Vs Marseille.
While those of you who watched the first leg of this may have needed to be shaken awake after at the end of the match, you have to think that the Reds will do better at home. For a start you would imagine that Paul Scholes will start in place of Darron Gibson. I like Gibson as a player and there is no doubting his quality but he does not quite have the guile of Scholes. His international manager Giovanni Trappatoni has actuall suggested that he leave Utd for a club where he will get more games. He might be right.
Man U to go through in this one, though an early goal from Marseille would put the proverbial cat among the pigeons, and really make me laugh!
Chelsea Vs FC Copenhagen
Despite (relative) domestic woes Chelsea looked pretty good easing their way past a ring rusty Copenhagen and as certainties go, this must be as close to one as you can get in football. It would be astonishing if Chelsea were not to get through. Interestingly the Anelka-Torres partnership looked a lot more potent than the Drogba-Torres one has so far. It early doors to make any judgements but it would be very interesting to see how Mr Drogba reacts to a prolonged period on the bench. My prediction would be that it would not take long for the toys to be out of the pram!
Anyway, Chelsea to breeze through this one I reckon.
Barcelona Vs Arsenal
Definitely tie of the round and if the second leg is half as good as the first we are all in for a treat. I have never seen a better game of football and the fact that Arsenal got that result at the Emirates makes this so intriguing! Barcelona are imperious and both teams work rate was so high, I am literally dribbling, cannot wait for this one! Team news-Arsenal are having some worries in that both Walcott and Fabregas picked up injuries this week and could be doubtful for the return leg. However Barcelona also have concerns about Xavi who picked up a knock against Athletic Bilbao and goalkeeper Victor Valdes who hurt his knee in the first half of the tie. Worryingly for the Gunners Messi kept up his record of better than one goal per game for the season on the weekend. How do you stop that guy?!
It is so difficult to predict anything other than a Barcelona win because they are just so good! But we can but hope.
Best of the rest
Around the other games in this round of the CL the stand out result is the Bayern Munich away to Inter Milan. They are a solid team and the genius of Robben is only going to cause further problems for a Inter side pushing for a equaliser. And of course there is also big spending Madrid who made history by not getting beaten by Lyon! They will now take them back to the Bernabeu confident that they can get a result.
There is massive promise for the next few round of CL football, let hope that the games live up to the hype!
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