UEFA Champions League: Quarterfinal Second Leg Previews

UEFA Champions League: Quarterfinal Second Leg Previews

  • Posted by Geoff Reid
  • On April 13, 2011
  • Geoff Reid, UCL 2010/11

By Geoff Reid

Tottenham vs Real Madrid from White Hart Lane, London (Real Madrid leads 4-0 on agg.)

Well after a goal fest first legs in all the ties apart from one, we’re all left wondering what do the second legs have in store? In this particular tie, what are the chances of Harry Redknapp’s side coming back from this massive deficit? Some of his players, including the manager himself said they believes in miracles. While that might be politically correct, it’s highly unlikely, especially a Jose Mourinho led team giving up a four goal lead. Redknapp looks to Fulham last season in their Europa League tie against Juventus when they were 3-1 down after the first leg before coming back to win in the second leg. The one thing that we all learned after the first leg in the Spanish capital was that clearly Tottenham were not at this level yet, and Redknapp isn’t either which will dent his chances of one day managing the English national side.

Mourinho has said his side have come to play and they will not coast in this second leg. In one sense you think the Portuguese manager has to say that, but also what we must realize is that awaiting his team in the semi finals just so happens to be a club like Barcelona, and if who can’t get excited about a Real Madrid vs. Barcelona semi final in the Champions League?

The home side has Peter Crouch suspended for this leg after his sending off last week in Madrid. The good news for Spurs is that winger Aaron Lennon who was a scratch after failing a late fitness test before the first leg is now available for today’s match. For the visitors, Karim Benzema will be available after a hamstring injury, and Pepe is suspended following a yellow card accumulation.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Real Madrid (Real Madrid wins 5-2 on agg.)

Schalke vs Inter Milan from the Arena Aufschalke, Gelsenkirchen (Schalke leads 5-2 on agg.)

Just like today’s other game, one club has a big hole to try and dig out of. The problem is none of us thought it was going to be the defending champions! This is the match to really keep an eye on out of the two because it could be a banana skin for the home side. Schalke were magnificent during the first leg in Milan, and fully deserved their 5-2 victory. Apart from the first 20 minutes or so, they won pretty much every facet in the game, and Inter showed they have an aging squad. Manager Ralf Ragnick has come out and said his team will approach the game as if it’s still 0-0, and out of all the ties that had lopsided leads, this is the one that could potentially change.

For the visitors, it will be incredibly hard to come back from three goals down, plus with Schalke scoring five away goals it’s nothing short of an uphill task. However, Inter have the personnel and experience to do so, and we know Inter will not give up their crown without a fight. What was interesting in the lead up to the first leg was Inter lost the Milan derby 3-0, and then conceded another five goals in the Champions League, so conceding eight goals in two games was unheard of, and one has to wonder if they would have conceded as many had Rafa Benitez been kept on as manager?

Jefferson Farfan is suspended for the home side today, but Angelos Charisteas, Christoph Metzelder are still up in the air, and there may be a chance they can both take part. The good news for Inter is Lucio is back from suspension, but Cristian Chivu is out due to suspension so it’s likely Lucio will come in place of Chivu. Walter Samuel is still a long term absentee, but apart from that the holders should have a full squad to choose from.

Prediction: Schalke 3-1 Inter Milan (Schalke win 8-3 on agg.)

Editor’s Note: Yeah, we’re a little late getting these up today. Geoff has been busy, I’ve been busy…you know.