Hi there friends of the futbol we’re down to 8 clubs left in the Champions League and after that last round the cream has risen to the top for this year. A lot of the players are going to have real long seasons this year and have been getting some rest domestically but if you’re healthy then you’re playing at this time of year.
I was at a pub last week and the Elvis song ” A little more action” came on and I immediately had a flashback to a really fun video put out a few years ago with footballers on a boat. I present it to you for your judgement here.
I would have love to have been there when they shot this. The trickery would have been legendary. So many personalities goofing around and doing ridiculous things.
On to the matches!
Bayern Munich @ Sevilla, Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
Well I for one would like to thank Sevilla for knocking Manchester United out in the round of 16. Other than watching Ronaldo cry there is nothing better than Jose Mourinho getting knocked out of any competition. This time however they’re facing the monster that is Bayern Munich. They have had zero competition in Germany so far this year, are in the semifinals of the German Cup and have breezed through the Champions League as well. They good and they make you pain for mistakes.
Los Rojiblancos have not been to the quarterfinals in 60 years and get Bayern as a matchup. That seems fair. They have been great at home this year and are coming off a 2-2 draw with Barcelona. Everything goes to Ben Yedder with them so I would expect Bayern to lock him down and try to get the away goal precioso.
Prediction : Sevilla 1 Bayern 2. They are just too classy for Sevilla and will continue their roll.
Hippo: Sevilla just got a result off Barca over the weekend, too! They either will be feeling super good about themselves, or just be super ready for the other shoe to drop. Having correctly bet on Bayern to lose to RB Leipzig for the first time in EVAR, not going quite that bold here. But a draw in the home leg? Totes doable.
Prediction : Sevilla 1 Bayern 1. An uncomfortable fingering awaits on the return leg, but they can feel like they acquitted themselves well here at least.
Balls: Sevilla played really well against Barcelona and realistically could have and should have won 3-0 or 4-0. Given that, they were too selfish and instead of making a pass to an open man, they shot and missed. You can’t do that against good teams and you definitely cannot do that against Bayern.
Predicción: Barcelona put Messi in with 30 minutes to play and they scored two goals in two minutes with four to play to salvage a tie. If Messi had played the whole game, things would have been different. I think Sevilla play well again, but give up a crucial away goal. Call it a 1-1 tie that means nothing as Bayern will romp in the second leg.
Don T: Bayern Munich is crazy stacked. They are easily one of the best three teams in the world. Sevilla, well… So far, in La Liga, They’ve gone 8 wins, 4 draws and 3 losses at home, and 6 wins and 9 losses away (via soccerstats.com). From January on, they’re 2 W, 2 D , and 3 L at home.
Yes, Barcelona is at Bayern’s level, and Sevilla gave Barça a scare last Saturday—or choked away the W; whatever works for you. But Munich has much better defenders than last Saturday’s Barcelona crew. And I really don’t think Sevilla can put more than one against Bayern, unless penalties re involved. And since Germans never foul, the rojiblancos are jodidos.
Predicción: Sevilla 1 – 2 Bayern. For the sevillanos, it’s winning the Copa del Rey in Spain or bust.
Real Madrid @ Juventus, Juventus Stadium
If you have been with us aficionados of the beautiful game you will know that we don’t take too kindly to Real around these parts. It gives us joy when they struggle, comedy when they infight, and the media coverage is fantastic Schadenfreude . I spoke earlier about fatigue and one would think that Ronaldo will have a lot of miles on his treads when the World Cup rolls around. In other news they redid his bronze bust in Portugal as the first one was one of the greatest fails ever. Apparently the powers that be are still going to keep the funny one up at Madeira airport which would be worth the trip! Madrid beat Las Palmas this past weekend 3-0 but 2 of those were on penalties. I still get really happy when they lose. They will put their stamp on this competition because they have nothing else to do this year. It will be infuriating.
The Old Lady is through after a crazy last round against Tottenham. I for one welcome Gigi Buffon playing in any competition anywhere. I will not miss watching Italy’s boring style of play in the World Cup this summer but I will miss the game’s most interesting man in goal. Juve’s 4 pts clear at the top of Serie A, and are coming off a 3-1 beat down of AC Milan. Juve is also in the Italian Cup final so they have a shot at a treble which would be quite the accomplishment and would be a fitting way for Buffon to hit the dusty trail. This game is in Turin and it could come down to Juve having tight D and hitting Madrid back on the counter attack.
Prediction : Juventus 1 Madrid 0. Please let this happen.
Hippo: I go back and forth on this’un. This is a shitty, shitty matchup for Juve. They can’t keep up with Real’s speed for 90 minutes. Just fookin’ can’t. But when Spurs had them on the ropes at Wembley…they fought back and knocked them out before they even knew what hit ’em. It’s complicated. When in doubt, punt?
Prediction : Juventus 2 Madrid 2.
Balls: While I admittedly am one of the Real Madrid non-fans, I do recognize that they are on a roll and on a mission. This is the only competition that matters to them and they will put their best team forward.
Part of the problem for Real has been figuring out exactly what that best team is. Isco can’t find the field for Real yet scored a hat trick in the Spanish national team’s destruction of a Messi-less Argentina. Bale is rumored to be leaving as is half the team.
This has all the makings of a “one last gig” theme straight out of a crime caper flick. Same as with Buffon. The difference is that Juve actually matches up well with Real. They play good defense and can frustrate an offense.
Predicción: Since the game is in Italy, I give Juve the advantage. That means a 1-0 home win that ensures one away goal is enough on the return leg to knock Real out. The only problem is that this goal may never arrive.
Don T: These teams proved to be the best last year in the Champions, and the winner here will be a strong contender for current Top Dog in this competition. Last time these teams met, was in the Finals of last season’s Champions League final, which Real Madriz won 4-1. I think anyone can win this game, and each team has extra motivation: Real for getting at least one trophy this season, Buffon and the Juve backline having a Champions League medal to polish while watching the World Cup.
Predicción: Juventus 2 – 1 Real Madrid, five yellow cards (Juve 2 – 3 Madrid).