Champions League Round of 16 Leg 2

Matchweek 29: 6-5-4
All-Time Record: 194-171-47 (58% Win/Push Rate)
My Form: 14-13-8 

Quick Hits: City beat Chelsea 1-0 to put them 4 wins away from securing the title, which would make them the fastest to secure a title and are surely poised to break the points record set by Chelsea in 04/05. Arsenal fall into more turmoil (if that’s even possible for them right now) losing to Brighton with one of their worst performances maybe in the history of the club. It’s now becoming seriously embarrassing for Wenger as the entire universe is calling for him to step down. You really have to feel for Gunner fans. Also in the Premier League, United had a triumphant comeback winning 3-2 after going down 2-0 at Palace. And finally, FC Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid to almost secure the title for the Catalan boys with a beautiful Messi free kick. Now they can direct their focus on the treble (La Liga, Copa Del Rey and Champions League).

But the biggest news from the weekend came from Italy as Davide Astori the Fiorentina captain, was found dead from cardiac arrest in their team hotel room the morning of their match against Udinese. It has shocked and gripped the Soccer world as all Italian matches were cancelled for the weekend, with tributes occurring and scheduled around the world for the Italian National Team player. A manslaughter investigation has been launched and our thoughts are with his family and Fiorentina.

But let’s turn the dour mood into soccer bone-hairs as we sliiiiiddeee into the midweek with some HUGE and I mean HUGE Champions League matches as Real Madrid travel to PSG and Juventus travel to London to try to fight back against Tottenham. Four heavyweights battling it out to try to keep their European dreams alive, what on Earth could be better?

Tuesday:
2:45 pm

FC Porto (+1) @ Liverpool  (Aggregate 0-5) This is an odd match as the ‘tie’ (as they call it in England) is basically over at this point. Liverpool boast a 5-0 lead coming back home before they go to Man United in a massive rivalry match on Saturday. Surely Liverpool don’t play their stars to make sure they are fit and healthy for the huge United matchup with 2nd place on the line. Is it bold? Yes. Is it stupid? Maybe. But I think Porto with the points is the right move here.

Real Madrid @ PSG (-0.5) – (Aggregate 3-1) Probably the most anticipated match of the season here as both PSG and Real Madrid look to keep their only realistic goal this season alive; the Champions League. PSG lost 3-1 in Madrid but got a crucial away goal to give them hope coming back home to Paris. But this last weekend they lost Neymar to injury for the rest of the season, making the Parisians underdogs to climb out of the hole they’ve dug themselves in. The hopes of Paris now rest in the hands of Mbappe, Cavani and Di Maria and a lot of people are stupidly counting this team out. After their epic collapse to Barcelona last season, they’re going to right the ship here and at least win this match. With a 2-0 win they go through, but letting up an away goal to Real Madrid could end it all. Expect lot’s of goals, but for PSG to at least get the win here.

Wednesday 
2:45 pm 

FC Basel (+2.5) @ Manchester City (Aggregate 0-4) A match very much like the Liverpool/Porto one where the tie is absolutely over and it means nothing to the home team. City are clearly playing like the best team in the world right now and people think they will blow Basel out of the water, but with little motivation to crush the opponent and with the squad they’ll most likely throw out there I don’t see this being a blowout. City will win, but don’t expect a bloodbath.

Juventus @ Tottenham (Pick -125) – (Aggregate 2-2) Another HUGE matchup this week which has huge implications for both clubs. Juventus can revenge losing in two Champions League Finals in the last 3 years and Spurs can usher in a new era for the club, bringing them to only their 2nd quarterfinal in the competition in over 30 years. After Juventus scored 2 goals in the opening 10 minutes in their match in Italy, Spurs responded exceptionally to secure 2 away goals from Kane and Eriksen. Both clubs are playing really well in their respective leagues and this is sure to be a spectacle in Wembley on Wednesday. All Spurs need to do is let up less the two goals (unless they win) or draw and they go through, with a win securing their path automatically. Expect drama and a low scoring match with Spurs advancing through to the quarterfinal.

Twitter: @nicodegallo // @canikickitblog 

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Nico

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