Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The Champions League round of 16 starts today so let's take a look around and predict the winners.
Internazionale v Manchester United
Two teams that are absolutely dominating their domestic leagues, makes this arguably the biggest matchup of the Round of 16. Inter is 9 points clear of second Juventus while ManU is 7 points clear of second Liverpool both are poised to take their respective crowns. This matchup also pits Jose Mourinho back against Sir Alex in a rematch of the Special 1's Chelsea days when he dominated the Scotsman. I don't expect Inter to go into Old Trafford and come out with a victory so everything rides on their matchup at the San Siro today.
Prediction: Inter with the upset 2-1 on aggregate. 1-0 at San Siro, 1-1 at Old Trafford
Lyon v Barcelona
Barca takes on Lyon in another matchup of squads at the top of the table. The difference is that the French Ligue is weaker than the Spanish and Barca plays at another level which Lyon won't be able to handle.
Prediction: Barca with the easy win 3-1 on aggregate. 1-0 at Stade de Gerland, 2-1 at Camp Nou
Arsenal v AS Roma
In the opposite of the first two matchups, Arsenal and Roma are sputtering domestically and have positioned themselves outside of the mix of the 2010 Champions League. This is where all their eggs are left for their season. The Premiership has dominated this tournament in years past
Prediction: Arsenal with the win 2-1 on aggregate. 1-0 at Emirates, 1-1 at Olimpico
Atlético Madrid v FC Porto
Talk about the luck of the draw. Both of these squads do not have the look of Champions League Trophy holders. Madrid are lucky to have drawn Porto, but it still won't matter. Down go the Spaniards.
Prediction: FC Porto with the win 2-1 on aggregate. 1-0 at Vicente Calderon, 0-2 at Estadio do Dragao
Chelsea v Juventus
Only weeks after sacking their coach, Chelsea now continue the quest to get the one trophy that has slipped through their fingers. The test starts with Juventus who have bounced back from their corruption relegation to make a strong run in the Champions League Group stage. Guus Hiddink is now the man in charge and he will get it done.
Prediction: Chelsea with the win 2-1 on aggregate. 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, 0-1 at Stadio Olimpico di Torino
Villarreal v Panathinaikos
Greek teams don't make it far in the Champions League. The fact that Panathinaikos made it this far is accomplishment enough. Their time will end at the Spanish Feet.
Prediction: Villarreal with the easy win 4-1 on aggregate. 2-0 at Estadio El Madrigal, 2-1 at Athens Olympic Stadium
Real Madrid v Liverpool
Liverpool once looked like they were going to win the Premiership, now they look distantly up the table at ManU. But this is the Champions League, a place Liverpool has played above expectations for years. Real Madrid is a great squad but behind Fernando Torres, Liverpool will squeek it out.
Prediction: Liverpool with the win 3-3 on away goals. 2-2 at Bernabéu, 1-1 at Anfield
Sporting Lisbon v Bayern Munich
Don't mess with the Germans on PKs.
Prediction: Bayern Munich with the win 2-2 on PKs. 1-1 at Jose Alvalade, 1-1 at Allianz-Arena