An “English” Derby + Barça-Roma: Champions Elite Eight (1st Leg) Open Thread

Don T

Don T

Poor choices, mixed results.
¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre!
Titans4Eva
Don T

My friend Balls of Steel and Fury, Esq. notoriously scoffs at English teams making the Champions League knockout stages. I can do without English teams most of the time, which does not apply to top English Premier League teams. The distinction is clear, because the great EPL teams are as English as arroz con pollo.

Since 2008, the United Arab Emirates owns Manchester City. (Dear Corp. Law pedants: I’m aiming for concision; full info from Wikipedia here). The coach, Pep Guardiola, is from Catalonia. Looking at their roster, out of 30 players currently with the club, five are English—and only three can be considered regular contributors: Raheem Sterling, John Stones, and Fabian Delph.

Liverpool is owned by the fucking Red Sawx since 2010. Their manager is the nicest German eva and… OK, Liverpool has 12 Brits, of which nine are English—please don your sunglasses to protect from the star power of the notables: Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and James Milner. Now, distinguishing between Brit / English ain’t pedantry. This is me listening to a Scottish friend when I called him “English”:

Season 1 Blow Dryer GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Totally my bad.

Point is: the EPL is the top moneymaking league, thanks to TV money and talent culled from everywhere BUT England. With notable exceptions, the English SUCK at playing AND managing fútbol. Who’s the best English manager right now? No fucken idea, but the “names” are terrible: Allardyce, Hodgson, Moyes, Pardew…

Yes; as far as I’m concerned, Moyes is an English cooch. Never say I don’t luv ya, Scotland.

I’d say Eddie Howe has been tremendous for Bournemouth, and the Burnley guy (Sean Dyche) deserves recognition. Promoting small teams into the EPL and having them become mid-table perennials is very hard. But enough of grinders; the Champions is a crème de la crème competition.

ALL TIMES CENTRAL

Liverpool (UK) vs. Manchester City (UK) – 1:45 PM

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian international, has 29 goals in the EPL. No one else, in Europe, has more than 26. Roberto Firmino is also a top, TOP player:

Fancy Footwork Liverpool GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Liverpool has been coasting in the Champions League. In the EPL, LIV has taken hard losses against top teams as a visitor (5-0 at ManC, 4-1 at Spurs, 2-1 at ManU), plus a 1-0 loss at Swansea. At home, Liverpool’s unbeaten and, in the EPL, it handed Man City its only defeat of the season 4-3.

Yeah yeah; Man City lost a cup match in England and two dead-rubber Champions games against Shakhtar and FC Basel—with B-teams. Sergio Agüero and Raheem Sterling are third and fourth, respectively, in the EPL top scorers table.

This game will be tense and balanced. I’ll be watching the Spanish feed—what’s the deal with English announcers and names that end in a vowel? Agoo Ererr? It’s Agooeroh! Gimme a break. [UPDATE: BBC Sport reported today that Agüero is out. Still, I stand by my perceived cultural slight about English announcers.]

Predicción: Liverpool 2 – 1 ManC

Hippo: Life is not going well, but it’s been awhile since I took one off the balls so hard that I couldn’t properly inhale.  This week has been full of Evertonian talk of how we Blues would gladly take a drubbing in this weekend’s Derby in exchange for having the Redshite safely out of the Champions League.  If they get past City, or even have hope after the first leg, the fear will be suffocating.  My brain says City 4-2, but I am going with The Darkest Timeline.

Predicción: Redshite 3 – 1 (Ian Curtis turns over in his grave, Hippo goes to the v-profen factory in the sky)

Balls: If y’all think I’m going to talk nice about EPL teams in the Champions League,  you must have me confused with another Mexican. The best thing that could have happened to EPL fans is that ONE team is guaranteed to be in the semifinals.

As it is,  the LEAST English team happens to also be the best. Pep has adapted well to the EPL and is essentially dragging it out of the kick-it-long-and-chase prehistoric tactics the English have been mocked so long for. That’s like every NHL team playing dump and chase instead of carrying the puck into the offensive zone.  It is boring and it’s ineffectual.

Prediction: City is the better side and will show it over two legs. Liverpool will play well at home, though, so let’s call it a 1-1 draw.

Litre_Cola: I think that Man City has a shot to win the whole thing, they are a good blend of International players with class who have adapted to rough and tumble English play. I really don’t care either way as long as Real doesn’t win and after yesterday they are through to the semis. Which one of these sides do I think could beat Real? City, most definitely.

Liverpool has been an absolute joy to watch in the prem this year and I rate Klopp as a top 3 manager in the world at the moment. Mo Salah is absolutely phenomenal and how the redneck Pool fans have accepted him is fantastic. Sadly I do not think that they will progress.

Prediction: Liverpool 1 Manchester City 1, the all important road goal.

FC Barcelona (Still Spain) vs. AS Roma (Take a Guess) – 1:45 PM

Messi is beyond overestimation. ‘Nuff said. He’s been dinged, missing the two friendlies for Argentina during International Break last week. Medics from FC Barcelona attended those matches, and were kept abreast of Messi’s state. My guess is doctors from the Argentina National Team will attend this Champions match, and will keep a close watch on the proceedings inside the underground stockade at the Camp Nou.

Never Getting Out Humphrey Bogart GIF by Warner Archive - Find & Share on GIPHY

Dr. Mauro Spinetta, of the Argentine

Football Assn. requests a copy

of the starting lineup

Roma, what can I say. It was the team everyone in the Champions draw wanted to play. Memes don’t lie:

 

I gave Roma zero credit the last time they played, in their second leg match against Shakhtar Donetsk. It turned out to be a lively game, with a lot of good defense by Roma (IMHO). Plus, Edin Dzeko is an able forward, despite resembling a ‘roided Peter Crouch with lubricated limbs. And manager Eusebio DiFrancesco looks a lot like Elvis Costello.

And yet, Barcelona’s players are the attractions in this game. Roma, the backing lambs to slaughter.

Predicción: Barça 2 – 0 Roma.

Hippo: I am bold enough to predict that Roma will score.  Beyond that, you are on your own.  Didya know this gets FS1 coverage, ahead of the two Premiership sides?  Just goes to show how big dat Barça name brand really is, yo.  Enjoy your shite FS2 standard def (it’s HD if one streams it, as I will), Redcoats.

Predicción: Barça 4 – 1 Roma.

Balls: Messi played all of 30 minutes against Sevilla and that made all the difference.  He didn’t necessarily run hard,  but he made enough plays to salvage a tie and Barcelona’s unbeaten streak in La Liga.  The injury situation is tricky as no one wants him to get worse and miss significant time or GASP the World Cup.

I think Valverde has a tough decision ahead of him.  I would start Messi on the bench and bring him on in the second half,  if needed.  Then,  I’d go with a mix of youth and experience to season and sharpen the young guys.

Predicción: A tight 0-0 first half leads to decision time in the second for Valverde.  Messi comes on and Barcelona score 1 to get a bien sufrida victoria de 1-0 over Roma.

Litre: I like this draw a lot I really hope that Barca moves on and gets Real in the next round so the is MOAR CLASSICOS FOAR ALL!!! The Catalans can turn it on and off, and they have Messi who is otherworldly.

I miss Totti, he was a fantastic talisman for Roma and could always be counted on in big games. The man never left the club of his youth and hated Lazio with all of his soul. It is cool though, they hated him too but were proper in his goodbye.

Predicción: Barça 3 – Roma 1.  Messi bangs in two real late.

Banner photo by Dave Thompson / AP, via thenational.ae; gifs via giphy.com; other images, I dunno. 3rd parties. Info. on games and records via the indispensable soccerstats.com.

Don T
Don T
Poor choices, mixed results. ¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre! Titans4Eva
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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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litre_cola

I now pray that it is Barca v Madrid and Liverpool v Munich.

ballsofsteelandfury

NOOOO!!! Barca-Liverpool and Real-Bayern!

scotchnaut

Watching the doc, Rucker50-if the names Helicopter Herman, Peewee Kirkland, Earl Maningault, Dr.J, , Joe Hammond, Dean Meminger and Bobby Hunter mean anything to you, ya gotta watch.

SonOfSpam

SHOHEI JUST WENT YARD AGAIN

DOMO ARIGATO

SAPPORO

YAMAHA

I mean, it’s not exciting like soccer, but…

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

Speaking of soccer, I just bought a slide rule on eBay! A K&E 68-1100!

Why? Because I always wanted one. This should not be confused with the slide rule I bought on Saturday, which is completely different. I also downloaded K&E Publication M-188, “Learning To Use The Slide Rule.”

When it arrives I am going to calculate the shit out of everything.

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BrettFavresColonoscopy

Your internet search history could be fodder for a PhD thesis.

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

There’s a lot of things about me that could be fodder for a PhD thesis. In fact I’ve thought about going down to the college and applying for a doctorate studying myself. It’d be pretty funny if I got a B.

rockingdog
rockingdog

Word Nerd.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

You DIDN’T have one?? WTF????

King Hippo

and all the semifinalists are set. Fuck you, world.

King Hippo

Hey, Roma got THEY pity goal at least.

King Hippo

4-1, spot on!

ballsofsteelandfury

You called it!!

litre_cola

If any side can give up this lead it is Liverpool

King Hippo

I turned my stream off to give humanity a chance.

King Hippo

fuck it, gonna watch Rays/Damn Yankees on MLBN. Maybe do some (ugh) legal work.

King Hippo

King Hippo

Pep somehow has to convince his group that the “3” is a good thing, in that 2-3 or 3-3 is actually a really good result given the away goals rule. But 0-3 is a disaster, and 1-3 is close.

King Hippo

Not feeling optimistic about City keeping it within 2 any MOAR, Christ. They will throw the Derby over the weekend too, just to fuck with us and trick Moshiri into keeping Fat Sam.

King Hippo

Most important prong of “Operation Keep Head Out of Oven” – turning the sound off FS2 stream and onto the Roma match. They at least such Liverpool dick less frequently/loudly.

King Hippo

prong 2 – MOAR GAMBLOR!!

litre_cola

That was a hell of a shot.

King Hippo

Loved the crowd shot, dude in Red Sox hat (didn’t look like ownership, neither). Just the perfect bandwagon side.

I hate everything.

King Hippo

and HOW does City not score there? yup, kick in the balls day.

King Hippo

Sloppy. As. Fuck. What a cheap fookin’ goal.

litre_cola

Offside

King Hippo

ROMA not looking like a 15:1 dog/fit bird at the pub, neither

King Hippo

City on the front foot huzzah

SonOfSpam

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King Hippo

Man, I published a Lesser Footy translator a long time ago. Peoples can use the search function ,, smgdh.

SonOfSpam

If I wanted to read unintelligible garbage from loud white guys, I’d visit Fox Nation.

King Hippo

if it helps – they are CLEARLY NO LONGER ON THE FRONT FOOT

SonOfSpam

They do not seem to be, no.

litre_cola

Guinness in hand.

SonOfSpam

Me too!

Wait, I thought you said “penis” – never mind.

King Hippo

it can be two things!

LemonJello
LemonJello

So, I’ll just drop into the clubhouse…annnnnddddddd futbol? For reals?
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ballsofsteelandfury

We’ll win you over eventually…

LemonJello
LemonJello

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I really like teh lesser footy – both Orange- and TangerineJello played it which was my first real introduction to it besides “combat soccer” for unit PT in the Marines.

I just don’t have a real rooting interest in any of the “good” leagues. I’ll watch the USWNT, but feel like a bandwagon jumper otherwise.

King Hippo

I’m trying to think who theeeee Ohio State University would be. Probably Chelsea, yeah? Since red and blue are reversed and shit?

Similar sense of entitlement without that much to back it up (to outsiders) but still big and win a lot.

King Hippo

wait, that’s herodotus. SHIT I am dumb today.

Senor Weaselo

Combat soccer? Is that shooting at the ball for it to go forward or to block?

LemonJello
LemonJello

Take 30 Marines, have them wear their helmets, flak jackets and boots – the “soccer” is very much optional – lots of collisions, grappling and cursing.

King Hippo

I hate to break it to you, but this being a World Cup year…

/also wonder if Herr Fuhrer’s brain cavity imploded if he saw FS1 announce it was “the home of El Tri”

King Hippo

Braying idiot Redshite supporters break windows of City’s bus on way into stadium. VERY representative of the bloody Kopites.

King Hippo

also, would it kill goddamned motherfucking Monaco to get a 2nd? Apparently, yes.

King Hippo

How much does Hippo want to lose his bets (on both the draw and the Redshite win)? Head to toe in Man City blue. RIP, Ian.