December 17, 2005

Champions League Draw

The Gods have a sense of humour.

CHELSEA v Barcelona
Real Madrid v ARSENAL

You can just imagine the Barca players chomping at the bits to get to Chelski, who have the disadvantage of playing the second leg at the Nou Camp. Hell, Rijkaard doesn't even need to motivate his players - they'd be fired up for revenge. On the other hand, this could be exactly what Chelsea need to fire up for the final stretch of the season - the domestic race hasn't been much of a challenge for them, and a blistering set of matches against the top Spanish team of the moment could be just what the doctor ordered. Stop Ronaldinho and you'll have a chance, although that's easier said than done.
My prediction: Barcelona's attack is brilliant, but I suspect Chelsea's defensive strength and Mourinho's tactical mind might sneak a win.

The Gunners against Real? Arsenal did so admirably well against Inter Milan a couple of seasons ago, but can they pull of an upset - and Arsenal are the underdogs here - against a Real side that could well find themselves under new management by the time this game comes around? No Vieira this time, of course, but that seems to have only been a problem for Arsenal in matches against very physical, rugged teams - certainly not a description applicable to Real Madrid. To me, though, much will depend on how many of Real's galacticos will be available and on-form for the match. Real's defence will have no chance against Henry, so it's up to the midfield and attack to stamp their class. Arsenal's defence is not as strong as during their 'invincible' season, and their midfield might have problems with Real's ball wizards. An on-song Henry could swing events their way, but this over-dependence on one man could be their downfall.
My prediction: I think Real could sneak this by a whisker - but even if I'm wrong, the second leg at Highbury looks to be a potential blockbuster nevertheless.

Benfica could be tricky. While they did beat Man Utd, let's not kid oursleves by pretending that they actually knocked the Red Devils out - MU were undone with their results in other matches. What I see happening here would be a typical European knockout performance from Rafa's men - a defensive approach away and attack like hell at home. Worked against Chelsea last season - disputed goal and all.
My prediction: No surprise here - Liverpool to thrash Benfica 15-0 in aggregate, with Crouch, Cisse, Stevie G, Garcia and Alonso scoring hat-tricks. Sounds about right, doncha think? :P


scorkes said...

Liverpool is going to CLOBBER Benfica! LIVERPOOL! LIVERPOOL! WOO! WOO!


sorry. Heh.

Anonymous said...

wait...wheres man unit....oooh nvm....:P

Unknown said...

you forgot to mention one very intriguing match-up:


lishun said...

so now liverpool can go minum kopi and have a laugh while the giants clobber each other, eh? don't forget the so-called "not so interesting" draws...after all, 4 of them are gonna advance too.

Bex said...

Liverpool to thrash Benfica 15-0 in aggregate, with Crouch, Cisse, Stevie G, Garcia and Alonso scoring hat-tricks. Sounds about right, doncha think? :P

Except Cisse might NOT be here anymore. =(

There are some really interesting matches lined up, and the good thing is that by the time this round is over, at least 3 great teams will be out, thus making it easier for the 'underdogs' or dark horses (Lyon, in my opinion, this year) to shine!

scorkes said...


Cisse himself has said,"Why would I want to leave".

Let's all hope it's true.

Bex said...

The thing is, though, it's not up to him.

I heard Marseille are preparing a nice bid for him and if there's any club he would want to go to, Marseille is it.

But I hope Rafa only sells him in the summer if he's really serious about selling him because it'd be hard to find a replacement.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping to get Barcelona, and we got it!! Beat the "best team" in Europe this season, and the path is clear for us! Don't think Liverpool will get that lucky again with another "goal that was not a goal" ... :)

scorkes said...

I find it mindboggling as well. I like Cisse and the guy's got a good goal tally. I just hope that him going to France would just be speculation. After all, I don't like dissing my own team but if someone has to go, there are other players I rather see leave then Cisse. Rafa would be a fool to let him leave.

scorkes said...

Oh .. and if Benfica trashes Liverpool after knocking out MU, there's going to be hell to pay! Not after all the ribbing I gave to my MU friends!


Bex said...

Benfica might as well sell Simao to us already coz they'll be out of Europe soon. =p

Well according to what I know Rafa thinks Cisse has a serious attitude problem. And I think Rafa doesn't like players like Cisse who seem to spend a lot of time doing funny things to their appearance. He doesn't look like the kind of manager who can tolerate such things but mainly he thinks he has an attitude problem. Well if you look at most of the players Rafa has bought, all of them seem to be your typical 'boring and nice' type of players.

And last week Rafa said something about not wanting players who score lots of goals for themselves. Wonder if that's a swipe at Owen or Cisse, both of whom are quite similar players.

Either way, I think it'd be a shame to let him go. Like you said, he has scored quite a lot of goals, and it seems silly to let your current top goalscorer go. And what I like about him is that he's fast and has a face that can terrorise defenders! Hahah..

Lord Vendetta said...

Rafa wants players who play as a team, not with an individual attitude, which is why Cisse may have to go, unless of cuz he changes his style/attitude. I wouldnt be sad if he goes, cuz hes got only speed and when he gets the ball he just blasted it away. Look at Morientes, hes a lil old, but has got fantastic skills i.e. keeping the ball, deadly headers, etc.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Real Madrid vs Liverpool is going to be like The Village People vs Gaylang FC. Expect to see loads of falling about, tears and little bitch slaps over soft fouls.

Liverpool vs Benfica is going to be one of those games where you'll probably miss the solitary goal that decides the tie, because you fell asleep halfway through the 1st half of the 2nd leg.

Barca vs Chelsea is going to be like Wrestlemania XXI, but without the neon underpants. Unless of course, Rijkaard has a fetish for fluorescent-coloured thongs. Now there's a mental image to spoil your Sunday brunch.

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