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Weekend Football Preview

THE CHAMPIONS!!! Also Europa League.

Champions League Round of 16 Leg 2

Man City (2) vs. (1) Real Madrid

Man City take on Real Madrid in their 2nd leg of the Round of 16 tie as Real look for a comeback against Pep and team. City were brilliant in the 1st leg as they became one of the few English teams to win at the Bernabeu. Post lockdown Man City have won 9 games, and lost 3 scoring 36 goals and conceding 6 goals in the process. City remained 2nd but did beat Liverpool 4-0. Real Madrid have won 10 and drawn 1 since returning to football as their brilliant run saw them be crowned Champions of La Liga. Real were slightly less prolific in front of goal scoring 22 while conceding 6. Real have to score a minimum of 2 goals to swing the tie in their favour while City have to concede fewer than 2 to keep the tie in their favour. Ramos is the key man missing for Real but the likes of Benzema are playing well and Hazard always favours a game against City. It will be a fun game to watch Pep’s men are in unknown territory while Real have been their and done it under Zidane. A must watch game. 

Juventus (0) vs. (1) Lyon

Lyon travel to Turin for the 2nd leg of this tie with the French team having a goal advantage. Juventus were poor in the first leg although that is now quite a long time ago. Post lockdown Juventus have won 6 games, drawn 3 and lost 5 as they were crowned Champions of Italy although the teams behind them never really posed any threat to their dubious form. Lyon never returned to football post lockdown as Ligue suspended their season and so the away team has been playing friendlies recently to warm up for the season ahead. They played 4 friendlies winning 3 and losing 1 while they lost the Coupe De La Ligue to PSG on penalties. This should be a fairly open game with neither team in hair raising form. Juventus have to score to restore parity while an away goal for Lyon would make matters difficult for Sarri and team. Time for Ronaldo to step up. 

Barcelona (1) vs. (1) Napoli

Napoli travel to Barcelona with the Spaniards having the away goal advantage from the last leg. Barcelona won 7, drew 3, and lost 1 of their games post lockdown as they lost their title to Real. The Spaniards have not been great this season and turmoil behind the scenes has really affected players on the pitch. Napoli won 9, drew 2, and lost 3 of their games post lockdown as they fell short of 5th and finished 6th in the table. Napoli have done decently under Gattuso and will be fired up for this game against Barcelona. Napoli have to score with the game nicely poised while Barcelona have Messi and that is usually enough to tilt a game in their favour. Very interesting. 

Europa League Quarter Finals

Inter Milan vs. Leverkusen

The rest of the Europa League is being held in Germany in a tournament format as the upcoming fixtures will be 1 legged ties with the winner taking all. Inter and Leverkusen will play their quarter final in Dusseldorf as Conte takes on Bosz. Inter had a nervy game against Getafe but still managed to win the game while Leverkusen were never really going to lose to Rangers. It is a game of opposing styles with Conte’s counter attack 3 at the back against Bosz’s more attacking style. I think Conte has more quality with his players and Leverkusen might just fall short. Still a very interesting game to watch. 

Man United vs. Copenhagen

Quarter Final 2 comes to us from Koln where United will take on Copenhagen. United and Copenhagen both won their ties fairly comfortably  with United fielding their 2nd string team against LASK. United have been great since Bruno has joined and have been in rampant form especially against weaker teams. These are one of ties though and tournament football and so Copenhagen should not be fearing the English team. Ole will most likely field his strongest XI but if Copenhagen can stay solid at the back they can take advantage of United. On paper United are still the favourites but tournament football is an unknown. 

 

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