World Football Update - Apr 3rd 2013
Jon Forget
Apr 3rd 2013
World Football Update - Apr 3rd 2013
Feature Matches
The first leg of the UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals are set to kick off today and tomorrow, with four mouth watering fixtures on tap. In addition we have the Semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League tonight and tomorrow night, with the Seattle Sounders and L.A. Galaxy representing the MLS against Mexican competition. Here is a quick preview of this week's four UEFA CL matches:
Paris St. Germain v Barcelona: Tito Villanova's Barca meet Carlo Ancelotti's PSG in the Stade De France in Paris this afternoon. Villanova will be returning to the dugout for the first time in two months, which may be a boost for the Catalans. He is recovering from treatment in New York City for throat cancer. Barca survived a scare from AC Milan in the round of 16, and seem to be back on track heading into this tie. Talisman and leader, Lionel Messi, has struck the back of the net in 19 consecutive La Liga matches. Jordi Alba and Xavi sat out on the weekend, and are fresh for this fixture. Barca will be without Carlos Puyol and Adriano, but their #1 keeper Victor Valdes will be available. PSG may be a stranger to the last eight in the Champions League, but Manager Carlo Ancelotti is well experienced at this level. PSG is the fourth Club he has led to this stage of the competition (AC Milan, Juventus, and Chelsea are the other three). His side are thirteen games unbeaten at home, and they know they will need a good result here to have any chance away in a weeks time. PSG are quick on the break, and strong in the air, and will be receiving a big boost with the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His suspension appeal was upheld, and his three match ban was dropped to one, allowing his return for both legs of the Quarterfinal. The former Barca striker will be well motivated to make an impact against his former Club. This should be a terrific series, and although Barca are probably the favorites, PSG are full of confidence and belief.
Bayern Munchen v Juventus: The juggernaut that is Bayern right now hold a commanding twenty point lead in the Bundesliga, and are coming off a nine goal win on the weekend. Manager Jupp Heynckes is pleased with the way his players are performing, but he is wary of a confident Juventus side. Juve is a physically powerful side, and they are capable of running hard all game. The Italians have a staunch defense, combined with a very creative attacking flair, which we saw against Celtic in the round of 16. One thing that bodes well for Antonio Conte's Juventus is their record against German competition in the Quarterfinals of this competition, having won all five QF ties. In addition the Italians are unbeaten in their last nine European away games. Overall this is a battle between two strong sides, that are both teeming with confidence!
Malaga v Borussia Dortmund: Malaga is perhaps the biggest surprise in the last eight, and they are hardly in peak form, having failed to get a win in their last four games. That is of no concern to Coach Manuel Pellegrini though, as he prepares his side for the biggest match of their season. Malaga were pleased to get the draw against Dortmund, avoiding their Spanish rivals for this round at least. This will be their first ever match against German competition, facing a Dortmund side that has a poor record in Spain (W1 D3 L5). Two key players for the Spaniards, Martin Demichelis and Roque Santa Cruz, spent a considerable amount of their careers with Bayern Munchen. Both players are well familiar with Dortmund, and will be keen to play a major role for Malaga. Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund are out of the race in the Bundesliga, and will throw everything at the Spaniards. Striker Robert Lewandowski is the man to watch for them. Dortmund also have the comfort of knowing the return leg will be in front of 65,000 passionate Germans in a weeks time.
Real Madrid v Galatasaray: Real Madrid are the hosts in this first leg, and they know all too well the importance of a good result at home. This is their 30th Quarterfinal appearance, and they have advanced in 23 of their previous attempts. Manager Jose Mourinho also has a perfect record in the Quarterfinals, having never suffered a defeat when reaching this stage of the competition. Three former players of Mourinho's ply their trade for Galatasaray, Hamit Altintop, Didier Drogba, and Wesley Sneidjer. Galatasaray are a capable and confident side, and they clearly relish the role of underdog here. Coach Fatih Terim has found a system, 4-3-1-2, that proved very successful against schalke in the last round. Sneidjer is the playmaker, sitting just behind Drogba and Burak Yilmaz. Yilmaz, although not a household name, is the joint top marksman in the Champions League with eight strikes. His partnership with Drogba has proven to be formidable, with the Ivorian taking the support role and feeding the finisher. Madrid will have their hands full with this one, but expect their usual perfection in counterattack to be the impetus behind their success.
Our match of the weekend sees our frustrated hometown boys, the Colorado Rapids, facing rivals Salt Lake in the second match of this years Rocky Mountain Cup! The Rapids are dealing with injuries and suspensions, but hope to build on the strong performance they had at Rio Tinto in March. It would be nothing short of epic if the Rapids could pull off their first win of 2013 in the Rocky Mountain Derby! The match kicks off at 5:30 MST, and their will be shuttle service from both the Bulldog and Three Lions. Cheers, enjoy a great week of football, and hopefully some more Spring weather! Click Here To Reserve
On the Horizon
Next week Manchester United host Manchester City in a Monday afternoon clash, the return leg of the Champions League Quarterfinals (and CCL Semifinals) are Tuesday and Wednesday, the FA Cup Semifinals take place Saturday and Sunday morning (including Chelsea v Manchester City), and the Colorado Rapids are away to Chivas on Saturday night!
This Week's Football
Monday April 1st
Chelsea v Manchester United 5:30am (FA Cup 6th Round)
Fulham v Queens Park 1pm (EPL)
Real Betis v Getafe 2pm (La Liga)
Tuesday April 2nd
Paris St. Germain v Barcelona 12:45pm (UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals)
Bayern Munich v Juventus 12:45pm (UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals)
Seattle v Santos Laguna 8pm (CONCACAF Champions League)
Wednesday April 3rd
Sampdoria v Inter 10:30am (Serie A)
Malaga v Borussia Dortmund 12:45pm (UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals)
Real Madrid v Galatasaray 12:45pm (UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals)
L.A. Galaxy v Monterrey 8pm (CONCACAF Champions League)
Thursday April 4th
Chelsea v Rubin Kazan 1pm (Europa League)
Tottenham v Basel 1pm (Europa League)
Benfica v Newcastle 3pm (Europa League)
Fenerbahce v Lazio 3pm (Europa League)
Friday April 5th
Marseille v Bordeaux 12:30pm (Ligue 1)
Granada v Real Betis 1pm (La Liga)
Sporting K.C. v D.C. United 6:30pm (MLS)
Saturday April 6th
Reading v Southampton 5:45am (EPL)
West Brom v Arsenal 8am (EPL)
Stoke v Aston Villa 10am (EPL)
Real Madrid v Levante 10am (La Liga)
Barcelona v Mallorca 2pm (La Liga)
Toronto v Dallas 2pm (MLS)
Columbus v Philadelphia 3pm (MLS)
Colorado v Salt Lake 5:30pm (MLS Home Game Rocky Mountain Cup)
San Jose v Vancouver 8:30pm (MLS)
Portland v Houston 8:30pm (MLS)
Sunday April 7th
Liverpool v West Ham 6:30am (EPL)
Tottenham v Everton 7am (EPL)
Queens Park Rangers v Wigan 9am (EPL)
Getafe v Atletico Madrid 11am (La Liga)
Valencia v R. Vallodolid 1pm (La Liga)
Chicago v New York 3pm (MLS)
Monday April 8th
Manchester United v Manchester City 1pm (EPL)
Sevilla v Athletic Club 2pm (La Liga)

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