Not the best 6 or so days for your boy here. First the City loss last week, then the embarrassing blown 2-0 lead in the Derby leading to a 3-2 loss to United and finally I went 3-6-2 over the weekend with my picks. But as the great Dave Portnoy says, ‘minor setback for a major comeback’. So let’s get that comeback going baby!
Last Matchweek: 3-6-2
All-time Record: 210-186-51
Still have that positive all-time record, which has not once sniffed negative (no big deal). Let’s kick it…
Liverpool (3) @ Manchester City (0) – Man City are in trouble, it’s as simple as that. Down 3-0 on aggregate to a league rival is not a position that you want to be in, especially days after an embarrassing comeback defeat to rivals Man United on a day where they could’ve clinched the title. The good news for City is that they are; 1. Home, 2. Well-rested, 3. Have nothing to lose. If there was one team in the Premier League that could overturn a 3-0 deficit, it would be City. But if they were to give up a goal, the aggregate would be 4-0 and City would have to score 5 instead of 3 in order to trump Liverpool’s away goal. That CAN’T happen if City want even a chance to get to the semifinal.
Expect this to be a very tense affair as Liverpool will do everything they can to tick time off of the clock as well as frustrate City with physical play. More good news for City? Last season Barcelona had to score 5 at home to beat PSG in the second leg and did; winning 6-1 on the day and 6-5 on aggregate. If City score an early goal, then it’s game on at the Etihad. They will win this match, but I don’t think it will be enough for City to go through. Manchester City (-1).
Barcelona (4) @ Roma (1) – Second leg matches can be really tough to bet on due to aggregate scores and away goals, but sometimes the lines can be easy to exploit. Barcelona will have absolutely no rush in this match; they’ll be quick to waste time and keep possession. Roma meanwhile have to push forward to get a few goals early and hope to not concede and let their away goal give them an extra bonus. They come into this match one goal underdogs which is surprising. Even if Roma do concede, Barcelona will still sit back due to their 5-1 aggregate lead. Roma (+1).
Juventus (0) @ Real Madrid (3) – This tie (tie is a word for matchup in soccer language) is completely over. There is NO chance Juventus can go through here as they’ll need to win at least 3-0 at the very least to put it into extra time. Will Juve go down easily? Absolutely not and here’s why. 1. Real Madrid, much like Man City, had a huge Derby this weekend against Atletico where they put out their normal lineup. They did take Ronnie off early, saving his legs, but expect their team to not be pushing forward with their normal gusto in this match. 2. Juventus have always made it and fallen short in their history in Europe, and mark my words when I say that this team will not go down easily. They will refuse to be humiliated. 3. If this will be Gianluigi Buffon’s last European match, they will make sure they go balls to the walls for it. The Italy and Juventus captain is now over 40 years old, still playing because a Champions League title is the one thing he has not won. Juventus as underdogs may be a dangerous bet, but I expect these Italians to go down with a huge fight. Juventus (+1).
Sevilla (1) @ Bayern Munich (2) – This tie is also completely over. ‘Waaahhh but it’s 2-1!’. Bayern has a 2-1 lead with 2 away goals to add to the tally and are coming home while in great form. Yes, Sevilla came back to win at Manchester United in the second leg of the last round, but Bayern is not United. Plain and simple, Bayern will run away with this one at home. Bayern (-2).
I hope everyone can catch the action and maybe there will be another comeback for the ages this season!
Stay kickin’ it. Peace.