I’m baaaacccckkkk! It’s been a bit since my last post (I moved, dumb international break friendlies, laziness…) but I’m back to preview the start of the Champions League Quarterfinals. From last year’s Final rematch to two Premier League heavyweights battling it out, we’re in for a real treat this week.
Last Matchweek: 10-4-2
All-Time Record: 206-177-49
Form (Last 3): 18-12-6
Tuesday April 3
Real Madrid @ Juventus (Pick +105) – A rematch of last year’s Final already in this year’s quarterfinal? Champions League you beautiful son of a bitch! Real Madrid have used their successful Champions League campaign to help bring form to what was looking like a very, very poor season. Now it’s just… poor. Madrid’s only chance to salvage their season is a Champions League title, while Juventus have gained a reputation of being the club that falls just short every year. Juve comes into this match in fantastic form as they just took down Italian rivals AC Milan over the weekend and have not lost a single match since November. Madrid meanwhile have won their last 5, outscoring opponents 16-6 in those matches. But I can’t fade Juve here, as they are seeking revenge from another Final loss in their history and are at home. Will they win both legs? Probably not. But don’t count them out at home here.
Bayern Munich (-1/2) @ Sevilla – Both clubs took very different paths to get to the Quarterfinal as Sevilla beat Man United 2-1 in England in one of the shocking defeats of the year and Bayern won 8-1 on aggregate against Besiktas. Sevilla are NOT a team you want to count out here, as if it weren’t for Messi this past weekend they would’ve snapped Barcelona’s season-long unbeaten run. But they sit in 7th in the league fighting for a Europa League qualification spot and are coming off of a tough game on short rest. Bayern meanwhile, have slowly proved their worth as arguably the best club in Europe right now. While everyone is salivating over City and Barcelona, Bayern have a 17 point lead in Germany and are coming off of a 8-1 aggregate victory in the Champions League. Whatever you do, do not fade Bayern in this.
Wednesday April 4
Manchester City (Pick -130) @ Liverpool – The last time these two English giants met, Liverpool ended Man City’s league unbeaten run with a 4-3 victory. Although the scoreline seemed close, Liverpool controlled the entire match and it felt like utter domination. As a City fan myself, I am known to have said there are two English teams I fear playing against City; Liverpool and Spurs. At home, Liverpool have been an offensive juggernaut, scoring 38 goals in 16 matches in the league. To add to that, they have not lost a home match in European competition since October 2014 (14 matches). But there’s always a ‘but’ with Man City this season, as arguably the best team in Europe is coming off of one of the best displays of football they have had all season. After a 3-1 beat down of Everton, City now have a commanding 16 point lead in the Premier League and can clinch this weekend against their cross-town rivals United. Yes they’ll want to clinch but they have the rest of the season to do that. Instead, they have shifted complete focus to the Champions League which should make Liverpool very scared. This it the hardest match to pick this week, but I can’t fade Man City with how they are playing right now.
Roma (+2) @ FC Barcelona – Barca are coming off of a spectacular comeback led by Messi and Suarez over the weekend, as they kept their league unbeaten streak alive. But Messi is reportedly not 100% healthy and bringing him on late over the weekend will not help his fitness, as well as the rest of the team as they played a tough full 90 just a few days prior. They will win this match, but don’t expect Roma to let the flood gates open. In 30 league matches this season they have only let in 24 goals and won their Champions League group that consisted of Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. They may go down, but they will not go down easy in the Camp Nou. It could very well be a two goal game, but I will cap it off there.
I hope everyone can enjoy the matches as we start to heat up to the end of the season. Get on board the soccer train now so you know what you’re talking about come World Cup time. Thanks for reading and long live footy.
Stay kickin’ it. Peace.