- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 13, 2009
- 0 Comments
- Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, FC Porto, Geoff Reid, Liverpool, Manchester United, UEFA Champions League, Villarreal
Editor’s Note: Geoff Reid appears on WVHooligan.com every Monday with his take on the game. He returns today to preview the second leg of Champions League matches this week. As always feel free to leave Geoff your comments below.
FC Bayern Munich (GER) vs FC Barcelona (ESP) at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, FC Barcelona leads 4-0 on aggregate
I think itís fair to say my prediction for this tie is completely out the window because itís now anything but tight and the Catalans have a more then comfortable lead. Kilinsmann, who will be out of a job by the summer recently said its important to play for pride. Inside the dressing room he will be reminding his players about the AC Milan and Deportivo La Coruna tie earlier this decade at the same stage of the tournament when the Italians beat the northern Spaniards 4-1 at the San Siro only for Deportivo to win the second leg 4-0 at the Riazor and win 5-4 on aggregate. I canít see that happening again and although I think Bayern will get some goals, it ultimately wonít be enough and Barcelona just simply have too much quality throughout and they proved that at the Camp Nou last week. The Bavarians defense got exposed too often last week and at least that part of my prediction was correct!
Chelsea FC (ENG) vs Liverpool FC (ENG) at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, Chelsea FC leads 3-1 on aggregate
I was lost for words when my beloved Reds got beat at whatís become our European fortress in L4 and conceding three goals at home is unheard of these days. I did predict Chelsea would win the tie because they had the advantage of hosting the second leg and obviously the first leg result has not changed that.
I am an optimist but also a realist and I put those two words into theory when thinking about this match. The Merseysiders needs to score three away goals at least. Tough job. However, after seeing Bolton do it this past weekend gives me hope and with the Londoners having captain John Terry suspended gives me even more hope. As a Liverpool fan I am officially in the same mindset I was in at half time of the 2005 final vs AC Milan: just go out and give it your best shot and donít get embarrassed or get back into it quickly and see what happens. Still though Chelsea will get through and meet the Catalan giants in the semi-finals and the club should do whatever they can to keep Guus Hiddink because is a winner.
On a personal note UEFA should be congratulated for making sure this tie is not played on the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster on April 15th, 1989. I didnít know any of the 96 that lost their lives on that tragic day, but as a fellow red and ultimately more importantly fellow fan and human being itís important we pay the utmost respect to the families that lost loved ones and UEFA made that possible.
Arsenal FC (ENG) vs Villarreal CF (ESP) at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, teams level 1-1 on aggregate
After the draw in the Mediterranean coast this one is still tight to call. To add to the Gunners hosting the second leg, Marcos Senna is now not available due to an injury sustained at the weekend which makes things 10 times harder for Pellegriniís men. As mentioned before the first leg, Adebayor is back in full form and even though I like and admire Villarreal as a team and a club they have ultimately run their course this season and should now concentrate on getting into next seasons competition. Arsenal have all but secured their spot in next seasons tournament, so they will now be fully focused on winning this years tournament.
FC Porto (POR) vs Manchester United FC (ENG) at the Estadio Do Drago on Wednesday, teams level 2-2 on aggregate
All of a sudden, this tie has become the most interesting one as far as neutrals are concerned. Porto did themselves a huge favor by getting two away goals in the first leg and if youíre a Porto fan you have to somewhat fancy your chances in this tie.
I still like United to get through because they are very experienced, been through this sort of thing before and come good. They can score goals anywhere even though their former invincible defense now has big holes that have been exposed in recent weeks. You also just have a feeling Cristiano Ronaldo will be up for this one after Sir Alex Ferguson gave him a talking to and coming back to Portugal heíll want to do well.
So my picks are still the same: Arsenal vs Manchester United and Barcelona vs Chelsea. It remains to be seen whether they will still be correct and of course I hold out hope that one of my picks will be wrong. Keep an eye on the Porto/United tie folks, this one will be interesting.
Coming back to this side of the Atlantic, the Puerto Rico Islanders lost a heartbreaker in Mexico City last week. How was it that the away goals rule doesnít count in extra time in CONCACAF? It does count in UEFA competition and that should be the same since the CONCACAF version is based off of the UEFA version.