Champions League Quarter Finals Preview
It was an exciting first day of the Champions league quarters as both home teams pulled off wins albeit in different fashions. I’d like to apologize to the readers as I had meant to put out a preview yesterday but since I got promoted, I’m working the jobs of 3 different people all by my lonesome and that had to take precedent. My gracious and generous bosses here at Cigs indoors unfortunately only compensate me in the occasional clothing item and with the barter system all but extinct I needed to focus on a job where the money comes in. SHOW YOU THE MONEY! I CANT HEAR YOU JERRY! SHOW YOU THE MONEY! NAH JERRY YOU NOT SHOWING ME THE MONEY YOU SHOWING YOU THE MONEY! SHOW ME THE MONEYYYYYYYY! THANK YOU JERRY YOU STILL MY AGENT!
We have Chelsea and Porto today as well as the big one Bayern and PSG. Before we get into that just a few quick thoughts about yesterday’s tilts.
Real vs Liverpool:
Trent Alexander-Arnold sucks. Alright might be a bit harsh but at the same time its probably true. He had an absolute howler on both sides of the ball as Vinicius was able to do whatever he wanted. Trent was the wall of ice protecting the realm of men from the White Walkers and Vinicius was the Night King with an undead dragon. It was that simple. Toni Kroos may have been the Night King and Vinicius was Viserion. Unintentional alliteration there but the German international showed his class and quality all night long. The reds looked like an army of the walking dead in the first half. I mean it was only the quarter finals of the champions league against the team that won the final against you only two years ago, had trap game written all over it. Why Klopp continues with this high line and lacking the defenders to do so is beyond me but Kroos and Vinicius took advantage of that all night long in the young Brazilian’s coming out party. Salah did get an all important away goal and now a 2-0 victory back at Anfield would get them through but if they play like that again I have a hard time believing that is going to happen. Oh man PS, when will Klopp run out of things to complain about? Started complaining about the stadium after the game saying Anfield is a proper stadium. Yeah no shit you were playing at Madrid’s practice facility and I am not going to try and understand why but there’s no fans anyway what does the stadium capacity have to do with anything? Man the fuck up you crazy German and get that team ready to go.
City vs Dortmund:
As you all know I’ve been a lifelong City fan since 2012. This game had me nervous as it always does because for some reason Pep becomes Bruce Arena after the round of 16. In his 4 years at City he hasn’t made it past this round and we all remember Lyon last year. So when the lineups came out I was pleasantly surprised to see he didn’t overthink it. However, saying that I had some questions about Dias moving to the left side in possession. He is not a lefty and was put in some precarious positions that City were lucky enough to get away with. The usual calm and collective Portuguese unit looked nervous for the first time I’ve seen this year. Speaking of the Iberian Peninsula, Cancelo had a bad game as well. He didn’t play simple, got caught on the ball and kept trying ridiculous passes that let Dortmund just start their attack the other way. He’s been massive this year so far but I am tired of these players forgetting how to play when they get to the quarters. Let’s put all our cards on the table, City were extremely lucky to get out of this tie with a win. Jude Bellingham should’ve had a goal after Ederson tried to start juggling with the young Englishman bearing down on him. If the ref wasn’t Stevie Wonder it was 1-1 at half. Dortmund started the second half very well again and if not for a good Ederson save on the wunderkid Haaland the game would have been tied. City grew more and more into it with Gundo moving back up to the double pivot with Rodri and Phil Foden should have had 2-3 goals this half. As is usually the case when you do not put the game away when you should the other team will score. Jude plays a great ball into Haaland who has the awareness to play a clever thru ball in to Marco Reus. Kyle Walker had a great view of Reus as he ran right by him and finished coolly into the bottom corner. I am in the camp that Ederson should’ve saved it, but it never should’ve came to that. Foden who was brilliant all night besides inside the 18 did get his goal 5 mins after. De Bruyne played a sensational ball into Gundo who controlled well and rolled to Phil to finish into the opposite corner. 2-1 as we had back to Dortmund and the away goal scares me. I do not think Dortmund can keep a clean sheet against City but the more open the game gets the more you’d have to like Dortmund going through.
Chelsea vs Porto:
Alright onto the games today as we get the Tuechel led Blues against the pesky Portuguese. More alliteration I know. Chelsea got by Atletico and were rewarded with the team many have as the weakest left in the competition. As if that wasn’t enough, they are also on the bracket that does not involve City or Bayern until the final should they advance. Makes you think. I’m kidding but up until the ill-fated West Brom game Teuchel had the lads humming and playing a structured system. They are not scoring much but any team with Timo Werner seems to be having that problem. Gretzky and Michael Scott once said that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. While true, Werner also misses 100% of the shots he does take which is a problem when you find yourself alone with an empty net. I hope he does find his form because every time I saw it can’t get worse we have the situation we had against North Macedonia. I think the West Brom game was an aberration with Thiago Silva picking up the red and Chelsea possibly looking past their basement dwelling opponent. Porto are home and have been scoring in the Champions league but they are missing their two leading scorers due to suspension. Ouch. I’d like their chances a lot more if they were playing. Due to this I think Porto sit back and absorb a ton of pressure like they did against Juventus in the second leg. Pepe is 38 years young manning that back line like Tyrion at the battle of the Blackwater. Look for Porto to try and keep Chelsea away from the important away goals and try and win the tie next week with a healthier team. Chelsea on the other hand have almost all their players fit for the first time, with Kante coming back from injury but most likely as a sub. The West Brom game was their first defeat since making the coaching change and I cannot see them losing in this spot. I think this will be a rather boring game but I think the pressure and possession Chelsea hold will get to Porto eventually.
Prediction: Chelsea 2 – Porto 0
Werner and Pulisic to score
Bayern vs PSG
Every time I start writing these blogs I say I’m only going to write a few thoughts on each game and move on. An hour later I’m at 1300 words and I still have a game to go. It has to be these weird game of thrones references I’m putting in. The great thing also is I’ll tweet this link and it’ll go out on the page and I’ll get maybe 10 viewers max. And 3 of those are me clicking on it at first to make sure everything looks good. The other 7 are my friends who click on it and read maybe the first sentence. At this point I’m just checking to see if anyone even made it down this far. I have a hard time believing anyone does but if you do text or tweet me the word “Kazoo”. That’s how I’ll know who actually reads the article. Paris Saint-Birthday Parties take on the big bad Bavarians (one more alliteration) in this heavyweight clash. A couple weeks ago this was the game everyone circled and while it still holds the best matchup the shine has come off a little with injuries to Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry. Bayern still have the depth to pull this off but boy did this get a lot harder. I have a hard time seeing Bayern putting the ball in the net without those two. Lewy is world class year in and year out and they rely on his prowess in front of net often. Muller probably takes the 9 spot over but he’s a different player as he’s aged and more suited for that deeper 10 role he has carved out for himself. The onus may fall on their wide players to score and I believe in Leroy Sane. Kimmich is one of the best players in the world and with him and Goreztka patrolling the midfield PSG will have a tough time breaking through. I’m predicting a cagey affair in this one as PSG have not looked particularly good in that farmers league they call Uber Eats. I would say you can throw that out the window because all they really care about are name days and the Champions League but is it that easy to just flip that switch? Real Madrid don’t have a problem with that but no one else comes close to that so far. A dismantling of Barca was impressive and Mbappe is a star but Bayern did the same thing last year and even worse. Worked one more Game of Thrones reference in there you are welcome. Alright I’ll stop now so I don’t hit 1800 words. Peace and Love baby.
Prediction: Bayern 1 – PSG 1