Friday, December 16, 2011

Last 16 Champions League Just Announced

With both Manchester clubs crashing out of the groups stages of the Champions League fairly surprisingly this month, and neither Arsenal or Chelsea exactly running away with it as far as English football is concerned, one would think that those in the Barcelona camp would be pretty confident of defending the glory of being current champs - despite David Villa's cringe-worthy leg break yesterday in Yokahama. OK, there have been some pretty fantastic results in the qualifyers (Lyon anyone?), but you just can't help thinking that if they can avoid a...ahem.... "top" team bnefore the winter break, then they have all the more chance of progressing with time for people to come back from injury, etc.

So, we've just had the draw for the last 16 for the Champions as well as the Europa, and it's looking as follows:

Lyon v APOEL 
Napoli v Chelsea 
AC Milan v Arsenal 
Basel v Bayern Munich
Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona
CSKA Moscow v Real Madrid
Zenit St Petersburg v Benfica
Marseille v Inter Milan

So, looking at that, it could have been worse, right? As always, my opnions here are just that - another football bloke giving his 2 pence against coming results and although I've been accused of having a crystal ball in the past, I'm thinking...

No probs for Lyon. Chelsea will scrape through in a dramatic fashion. Arsenal go through but VanPersie injured and their season then goes down pan. Bayern no worries. Barcelona few nerves, but too much for Leyverkusen. Mou to complain about plastic pitch no end but Real go through. Zenit go through cos Benfica players have never felt so cold they just curl up inside themselves. Which leaves Marseille and Inter. Possibly the most entertaining of matches on paper (although you watch now it'll be dull as dishwater!) but I'll got Inter. 
These are the Valentine's weekend fixtures, remember, to be repeated in March in the away legs, so those Leverkusen fans might get a bit of spring sunshine in the fan parks, too!
Anyone else like to chip in with predections?! Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong below!! 
Any any Leverkusen fans looking to get some spring sunshine, then check out these apartments for rent in Barcelona as a great alternative to a hotel. And for a short guide to Barcelona, click the link. 


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