Two unexpected results yesterday in the Champions’ League as Inter Milan and CSKA Moscow both won and went through to the last eight. Heartbreak for Chelsea and Sevilla, but joy in Italy and Russia. The Premier League is widely considered as the top league in Europe, yet two of the big four will now not be in the quarterfinals. Anyway, read on about the Champions’ League and my fascination with the Mexico-North Korea friendly in what is a shortened Morning Kick-Off today (hey, we gotta work too!).
Champions’ League Predictions
Two more matches left in the first knockout round, Barcelona aims to continue their assault on back-t0-back European titles as they host VfB Stuttgart. The 1-1 from the first leg favors Barcelona, however the Germans showed they could play in the first leg and were unlucky not to have scored another goal or two in the first half. Barcelona are also without their maestro Xavi and this could be a big problem for Pep Guardiola’s team. Still, you have to expect Barcelona to go through especially with the awesome form of Lionel Messi. So, here we are predicting a 3-1 win for Barcelona.
The other match features Bordeaux and Olympiakos. Bordeaux hold a 1-0 advantage from their win in Greece and will be huge favorites at home, also considering that the Greeks are notoriously poor on the road in this competition. Both teams enter this match coming off of some disappointing domestic form. The Greeks look set to lose the league for the first time since 2004, while Bordeaux has seen a 9-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 evaporate in recent weeks. The edge has to go to Laurent Blanc’s side, though after impressing all observers in the first half of the campaign, something suggests that this team is not as strong as originally thought. Olympiakos in another season with their European experience could perhaps have offered a greater challenge, but the club are in disarray at the moment. We see Bordeaux winning a close second leg, 1-0.
Finding Out About The Unknown
Just a quick tidbit, I am excited to check out the friendly between Mexico-North Korea tonight. This should be almost fascinating I would say in order to check out the state of the North Koreans. As I think about analyzing the tournament and also filling out my World Cup predictions, the North Koreans remain one of the mysteries of this tournament for me. I guess the other good thing about watching this match means it will be one of 48 opportunities to scout the Mexicans as they are playing an ungodly amount of friendlies in the lead up to the tournament.
North Korea have almost no realistic chance (football is not always about reality, but still) to advance from their group at the World Cup which includes Brazil, Portugal, and Ivory Coast. However in a group that may be tight and decided on goal difference, it will be revealing to see whether this will be a team that ships goals at every turn or if they are able to frustrate teams a little bit. Anyway, looking forward to see their style of play and deciding whether they will cause any problems to anyone in South Africa.