World Football Update - Feb 12th 2013
Jon Forget
Feb 12th 2013
World Football Update - Feb 12th 2013
Feature Matches
 
Let it begin, and by "it" I mean the Champions League Round of 16! The fight for a spot in the Quarterfinals of this coveted competition begins this afternoon, and continues Wednesday with a total of four mouth watering fixtures to look forward to this week. All the Champions League fixtures will kick off at 12:45pm MST, and if you miss them live there will be replays throughout the evening.
 
Celtic v Juventus: The first leg kicks off in Glasgow, with Celtic Manager Neil Lennon calling this fixture the "biggest game of his player's careers". They will be counting on the fans, 60,000 strong at Celtic Park, to be the twelfth man that urges them on to victory. Celtic have not lost in the last eight games to Italian visitors dating all the way back to 1969. Juventus, led by manager Antonio Conte, will not underestimate Celtic. They are well aware of the Scot's success against Barcelona at home in the Group stage, and recognize the threat that Celtic presents with their physical presence and off set pieces. Juventus are strong defensively and well organized, but it is their attacking football they have come to be recognized for under Conte. With a host of strong attacking players, and a midfield anchored by Andrea Pirlo, Juventus will present a strong challenge to Celtic here.
 
Valencia v Paris St. Germain: Valencia are currently in good form, and will benefit from playing at home in the first leg. They currently sit fifth in the table in La Liga, and have a stellar record against french opponents, having gone 17 games unbeaten dating back to 1980. Paris St. Germain are not your average French side though, as something of a renaissance has occurred their in recent years. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has a host of great players at his disposal, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic headlining up front. To their detriment, they will be without Thiago Motta and Thiago Silva, two World Class players. David Beckham, PSG's most recent acquisition, will watch from the stands, as he fights to regain match fitness.
 
Real Madrid v Manchester United: These two storied Clubs, that have 12 European Cup trophies between them (RM 9, MU 3), first met in the competition in 1957. This is perhaps the most anticipated of all the Champions League match ups in the Round of 16, with Christiano Ronaldo facing his former Club for the first time since his departure. A renewed rivalry between Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson is the other major storyline for this one. CR7 spent six years at Old Trafford, scoring 118 goals for United, capturing the Champions League trophy with the Club. His new Club has not won the Champions League in over a decade, and with the La Liga title out of sight this season, Madrid will pour everything they have into this match up. Sir Alex and Mourinho, although bitter enemies and rivals on the pitch, are known to have a very cordial and friendly relationship outside the game. Often seen exchanging pleasantries before and after their encounters, and even sharing a glass of wine on occasion. Overall Mourinho has the best of his counterpart with a record of 6W 3L and 5D against Sir Alex. The Merengues have come out on top three of the last four times the two sides have met in the competition, and they hold a strong record against English Clubs at home, W6 D4 L2. Madrid are 33 games unbeaten on their home ground, while United have won only twice in twenty previous visits to Spain. To United's advantage, they are at full strength going into this tie, and are expecting nearly 5000 of their faithful to travel. Sir Alex's lads have been characterized this season by their ability to score goals, not prevent them, which could make this quite a shootout!
 
Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund: Ukrainian side Shakhtar are at home for this first leg against the reigning German Champions, and they will be trying to reach the Quarterfinals for only the second time in their history. They narrowly missed topping their Group in the Fall, after losing on the final day at home to Juventus. They'll have their work cut out for them against Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund, who won the Group of Death against the likes of Man City, Ajax, and Real Madrid. Dortmund were very strong on the road in the Group Stage, winning one and drawing two to go undefeated. The Germans have not lost in six previous meetings with Ukrainian Clubs.
 
Champions League starts our week of football, but there are plenty of other incredible matches to enjoy, including Europa League Football all day on Thursday, and FA Cup Fifth Round action on the weekend. Don't miss any of it, as we open early both Saturday and Sunday to cover all the action!
 
On the Horizon
 
Midweek we have Champions League and Europa league to look forward to, and on the weekend Manchester City hosts Chelsea, and the Milan Derby falls Sunday afternoon!
 
This Week's Football
 
Tuesday February 12th
Celtic v Juventus 12:45pm (UEFA Champions League Round of 16)
Valencia v Paris St. Germain 12:45pm (UEFA Champions League Round of 16)
 
Wednesday February 13th
Real Madrid v Manchester United 12:45pm (UEFA Champions League Round of 16)
Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund 12:45pm (UEFA Champions League Round of 16)
 
Thursday February 14th
Zenit v Liverpool 10am (UEFA Europa League)
Sparta Praha v Chelsea 11am (UEFA Europa League)
Newcastle v Metalist 1pm (UEFA Europa League)
Tottenham v Lyon 1pm (UEFA Europa League)
Atletico Madrid v Rubin Kazan 1pm (UEFA Europa League)
 
Friday February 15th
Wolfsburg v Bayern Munchen 12:30pm (Bundesliga)
Milan v Parma 12:45pm (Serie A)
 
Saturday February 16th
Luton Town v Millwall 5:45am (FA Cup 5th Round)
Arsenal v Blackburn 8am (FA Cup 5th Round)
MK Dons v Barnsley 8am (FA Cup 5th Round)
Oldham Athletic v Everton 11am (FA Cup 5th Round)
Grenada v Barcelona 12pm (La Liga)
Real madrid v Rayo Vallecano 4pm (La Liga)
 
Sunday February 17th
Chelsea v Brentford 5am (FA Cup 4th Round Replay)
Manchester City v Leeds 7am (FA Cup 5th Round)
Liverpool v Swansea 8am (EPL)
Huddersfield or Leicester v Wigan 9am (FA Cup 5th Round)
 
Monday February 18th
Manchester United v Reading 1pm (FA Cup 5th Round)

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