Champions & Europa Leagues knockout stage begins!!

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by SAMCRO, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,860
    Likes Received:
    4,247
    This is where the fun begins.... some big time games this week...
    TUESDAY
    PSG v Barca
    Benfica v Dortmund

    WEDNESDAY
    Bayern v Arsenal
    Real v Napoli

    THURSDAY (Europa - some, not all the games)
    Gent v Spurs
    M'gladbach v Fiorentina
    Man U v Saint-Ettenne
    Villarreal v Roma

    Some big decisions for the likes of Man U, Sours, Roma, Villarreal... Do you rest your top players for league play and trying to qualify for UCL next season that way, or go for broke and try to win Europa to qualify for UCL next season. Same could be said for Arsenal, Dortmund but my bet is they go all out since it is CL.
     
  2. Waquoit

    Waquoit

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    13,779
    Likes Received:
    11,408
    Who I am rooting for (in reverse order):
    3. Barcelona
    2. Any EPL team (LC, Arsenal,City)
    1. Juventus - I have a future book bet (10-1) on them. I have a shot, Higuain can carry a team the way he's playing.
     
  3. shizzle787

    shizzle787 King Shizzle DCCLXXXVII of the Cesspool

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    7,059
    Likes Received:
    3,467
    As Juve is my favorite team, I hope they win.
    As far as my predictions for tomorrow.
    Barcelona 2 PSG 1 in France
    Dortmund 1 Benfica 1 in Portugal
     
  4. shizzle787

    shizzle787 King Shizzle DCCLXXXVII of the Cesspool

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    7,059
    Likes Received:
    3,467
    Holy smokes. Barca gets destroyed at PSG 4-0 today. (You read that correctly.) Benfica wins 1-0 on the back of their goalie who saved a penalty. Somehow, Barca and Dortmund will still go through, but wow.
     
  5. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,860
    Likes Received:
    4,247
    Ya, that was an incredible score line in Paris, and should set up for a wide open, full court press type replay in Spain. I just don't know how Barcelona overcomes that g.d. with zero away goals.

    Dortmund will get thru back in Germany, but they are really missing Gotze. Pulisic came on in the 82nd minute and was pretty involved, almost scoring twice and collecting a yellow.
     
  6. Butch

    Butch

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    13,943
    Likes Received:
    4,909
    Barcelona has a better chance of a comeback than the Patriots. That's insane.
     
  7. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    15,901
    Likes Received:
    10,667
    They need Gotze to actually start playing well. He hasn't had much of an impact yet this season.

    I think Dortmund is in real trouble. I've watched nearly every game this season and they simply can't keep the ball out of the net. Without a shutout they probably need at least 3 goals to go through.
     
  8. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,860
    Likes Received:
    4,247
    Fiorentina, Roma, and United all had impressive wins. Spurs, not so much.

    Spurs are not playing great right now, losing at Gent (and they started half the regulars too). The upside is Rose is due back soon, and Vertonghen is not far behind. Rose is a difference maker. I'd like to see Poch rest Lloris, Kane, Alli, Walker, Wanyama, and Alderweireld @ Fulham Sunday in the FA Cup. Go with Vorm, Davies, Dier, CCV or Wimmer, Trippier, Winks, Dembele, Sissoko, Ericksen, Son, and Jannsen, Bring the likes of Wimmer or CCV, N'Koudou, and Onomah off the bench.

    Kane got a knock late v Gent, and the rest just need a mental and physical break to snap out of it. Get fresh legs for Gent next Thursday at Wembley, then host Stoke on Sunday. That's a lot of games in 2 weeks, and I'd prioritize League, Europa, then the FA Cup
     
  9. businesslawyer

    businesslawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    12,127
    Likes Received:
    19,066
    Spurs haven't played a good game since coming back against Man City. That was four weeks ago. They miss Vertonghem, but the guy they really miss is Rose. The delta from him to Ben Davies just changes everything they do. The good news is that, with 13 league games left, they have the next 9 without playing any Big 6 teams, and the only 2 games they have left against Big 6 teams are home. So when they come out of their melancholy, they are in good shape for a top 3 finish.

    With Fulham and home to Gent making 3 straight non-league games, it will be very interesting to see if the play a B team against Fulham and the A team against Gent, or mix it up and give some folks a rest Sunday and others on Thursday. I have no idea how to predict how Pooch will play it.
     
  10. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,860
    Likes Received:
    4,247
    Yup. Rose has developed a ton under Pochetino, and he is a natural fit for the high press Poch likes to bring. He used to be a high risk/high reward player who was inconsistent and seemed to be on the verge of being sent off at any moment, or scoring a goal. When he was good, he was great; when he was bad, he was terrible. He's turned in to a world class back/wing who is pretty consistent, and provides stability across the back. as well as on the wing going forward.

    Give me a 3-4-2-1 with Dier, Alderweireld, and Vertonghen across the back - Walker, Wayama, Dembele, Rose as defensive midfielders where your wings can make overlapping runs forward and still get back to defend - Eriksen, Alli as attacking mids supporting 'arry Kane up top. You sub in Son and Sissoko, and either Trippier, Winks, or Davies depending on the state of the game and health of the 10 field players.

    Spurs schedule does set up nicely, as you mentioned, with Chelsea, City, and Liverpool out of the way... and then Arsenal and United at WHL in April. If they can stay healthy I like them to finish top 4.
     
  11. shizzle787

    shizzle787 King Shizzle DCCLXXXVII of the Cesspool

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    7,059
    Likes Received:
    3,467
    Hahaha.
     
    UConnDan97 likes this.
  12. UConnTrumbull

    UConnTrumbull Simba Walker on Twitter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,618
    Likes Received:
    3,659
    You should've parlayed that
     
    bobbygt likes this.
  13. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,860
    Likes Received:
    4,247
    Was that an amazing comeback, an amazing collapse, or a little of both? That was insane. Cavanni will have nightmares tonight with a couple of the missed opportunities he had.
    Incredible. Of course I had to stop watching when it was 3-1.....
     
  14. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    15,901
    Likes Received:
    10,667
    Dortmund vs. Monaco today. Taking the afternoon off to take this in. Pulisic went the full 90 in the loss to Bayern but arguably he has looked better in Champions League than Bundesliga and he was rested all last week for the most part. Marco Reus is still out so I think he starts this one but he will at least make an appearance.

    Other than that, this is a great matchup for many reasons. Monaco and Dortmund are the biggest talent developers in the world right now. Both love to attack, attack and attack some more. There could be a ton of goals. Also ESPN has framed this as a match up of young talent. Of course Dembele is still probably higher rated than Pulisic but he does have a season or two of professional soccer and this is P's first full season.

    Kylian Mbappe and Christian Pulisic represent the future of attacking play
     
  15. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    15,901
    Likes Received:
    10,667
    No way there is a game today. Dortmund's bus involved in possible terrorist bombing. Marc Bartra hospitalized.
     
  16. UConnTrumbull

    UConnTrumbull Simba Walker on Twitter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,618
    Likes Received:
    3,659
    FUQ THIS WORLD
     
  17. shizzle787

    shizzle787 King Shizzle DCCLXXXVII of the Cesspool

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    7,059
    Likes Received:
    3,467
    Juve beats Barca 3-0. Juve is way better than PSG so I don't see Barca coming back. The best they do is probably a 2-1 win at home.
     
    meyers7 and UConnDan97 like this.
  18. UConnDan97

    UConnDan97 predicting undefeated seasons since 1983

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Messages:
    9,324
    Likes Received:
    12,327
    Beautifully played game by Juve. Organized, and denied both Messi and Neymar for most of the game. 8 shots on goal to 4 for Barca. And Juve did great work with Cuadrado up the right wing today. Allegri showed how good of a tactician he was today...
     
    shizzle787 likes this.
  19. shizzle787

    shizzle787 King Shizzle DCCLXXXVII of the Cesspool

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    7,059
    Likes Received:
    3,467
    If RM beats Bayern, I think we win the whole thing, but I do want revenge on Bayern.
     
    UConnDan97 likes this.
  20. UConnDan97

    UConnDan97 predicting undefeated seasons since 1983

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Messages:
    9,324
    Likes Received:
    12,327
    Let's take it one opponent at a time. Other teams have tried to take it faster than that, and they ended up having to return to Paris... :eek:
     
    meyers7 and shizzle787 like this.
  21. LIuconn

    LIuconn

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    265
    No way should BVB have played a day after the bus BOMBING (!!!)

    Atleti keep cruising (I hope they win and can hang onto Griezmann and The Man in Black)

    Who can stop CR7? Maybe a full-strength Bayern, but a tough ask to do it at the Santiago Bern
     
  22. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    15,901
    Likes Received:
    10,667
    With the away goals rule, how many does Dortmund need to score? 11? I hate that rule.

    I think if they win 2-0 they can get through.

    I thought their lineup was too defensive. Since their best defender was injured in the bombing and they already have a really suspect defense that was probably a not so good decision.
     
  23. LIuconn

    LIuconn

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    265
    Agreed, at the q-finals the away goal rule should be scrapped
     
    Chuck likes this.
  24. SAMCRO

    SAMCRO

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,860
    Likes Received:
    4,247
    I am curious if there is an over/under for how many PK's Barca will be rewarded this week v. Juve this week. They do seem to get their fair share, especially in critical moments/matches. I don't think this game will follow the same script as the comeback v PSG. Juve is better than PSG, and will finish the majority of the opportunities they get with Barca pressing the attack. PSG misfired on so many great opportunities in that colossal loss.
     
    UConnDan97 and ZooCougar like this.
  25. LIuconn

    LIuconn

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    265
    Is Juve that good or Barca slowly declining? Iniesta isn't as Iniesta as he used to be, it seems, but Juve has the pieces in place

    Monaco can win the whole thing, which would be fun.

    The entire Atleti starting XI and coach are linked to other teams - could be their final chance in a while. I hope they exorcise the Real demon and beat them in the semis. Would love to see them send off their stadium and stars with a win over Real to advance to Wales.

    Real keeps Realing. Those refs at the Santiago Bernabeu sure helped the cause.

    ATLETI
    REAL
    MONACO
    JUVENTUS

    Should be good!