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Which Premier League manager will get fired first

Friday, 18 March 2011

The Competition

The Champions League has a strong Quarter Final line up this season and the draw has produced some intriguing ties that may provide some surprising results with no easy route of passage to the final.

Whilst Barcelona seem to have got the easiest draw with Shakhtar Donetsk they have struggled against Rubin Kazan and Dynamo Kiev in recent seasons so the Ukranians may not prove the easy passage that some Barcelona fans anticipate. If they do negotiate the cold of the ex-Soviet city they could well come unstuck against Real Madrid who will have a point to prove following their thrashing in the El Classico match earlier in the season.

Whilst Tottenham have done extremely well in this year's Champions League I expect Cristiano Ronaldo to prove the difference between the two sides as he has played against Spurs on several occasions whilst at Manchester United and while Van Der Vaart will want to prove a point against his ex-employers and Gareth Bale will force them to defend deep Sergio Ramos has a good goal threat as well and may well force Bale to start deeper than he would like. The two matches between Spurs and Madrid will be exciting and entertaining but I think the Spaniards will produce one or two moments of special skill that will ultimately turn the tie in their favour.

Spurs will be a side that Inter Milan will be glad to have avoided and the defending champions will (with some justification) really fancy their chances against Schalke but while the Germans have struggled in the league this is a competition that Raul loves and will want to win again before retirement but I think it will be Milan who progress.

The tie that stands-out though is Chelsea vs Manchester United simply because of the rivalry between the teams and the controversy surrounding refereeing decisions within recent meetings between the two at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will want revenge against United for their defeat in Moscow whilst United will want to ensure that Chelsea remain without any silverware this season.

The key in this match will be the battle between Didier Drogba and Nemanja Vidic. Whilst Torres has historically been a difficult opponent for Vidic he seems to have forgotten where the goal is and turned the tide of the league match at the Bridge when he came on as United were in cruise control at that point. That is not to say that Chelsea are a one-man team but for all the skill of Essien, Lampard, Malouda and Cole, Drogba is the natural outlet and a player that causes every opponent problems. United need to get a grip on their midfield which will be helped if they can get Fletcher and Ferdinand fit. If so I fully expect a 4-5-1 line up with a midfield of Nani, Giggs, Fletcher, Scholes and Valencia with Rooney leading the line on his own.

As a United fan I am going to be biased and say that United can reach the final as they do have the ability to see off either Inter or Schalke, but it is Real Madrid not Barcelona who I think will ultimately stand between Sir Alex Ferguson and a 3rd Champions league triumph at Wembley.

16 comments:

  1. Its been a pretty good draw for United I think by virtue of avoiding Barca until the final. Chelsea will be tough but I'm not convinced by them when they're under pressure so I agree in thinking United will make the final but unless Barca run out of steam by May, its gonna be a Barca triumph at Wembly unfortunately.

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  2. Can't believe I voted for Norwich.

    I bet UEFA would be chuffed with a Schalke v Shaktar final.

    Real v Inter.

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  3. UEFA will be happy with the draw as long as they keep it smooth and easy for Barca.

    Hoping for Barcelona v Chelsea in the finals!!

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  4. I hope ManU win it v Barcelona at Wembley, the stuff of dreams!

    However, I can't see Fergie playing Nani, Giggs and Valencia together in midfield, are you still on crack?

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  5. No just hoping for a way to avoid having to play Michael Carrick really. Likelihood is it will be Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Scholes, Valencia

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  6. joe said i give that win to chelsea becuause like there football parten

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  7. Liam McDonagh18 March 2011 15:46

    I have to disagree with the 5 man midfield you go with. I'd go with Valencia wide right, Fletcher Scholes Anderson centre, Nani wide left, with Wazza up top. However, I could possibly see Wayne going left with Hernandez up top.

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  8. Jesus it wouldn't surprise me if he put O'Shea in midfield and to be honest I'd rather have him than Carrick, at least O'Shea can tackle a bit. I'd play Giggs and Hernandez in the second half cuz the time to beat Barca is probably in the final 15 mins or so when they're a bit knackered from passing, moving and closing down.

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  9. trouble is that I don't think Anderson or O'Shea will be fit in time and Hernandez didn't play well up top on his own against Chelsea so I think Rooney or Berbatov will get that job if Rooney is in midfield but I think Nani and Valencia will be on the flanks at the start

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  10. Liam McDonagh18 March 2011 16:39

    Trouble is RodTheFierce, we're playing Chelsea, not Barcelona here :P

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  11. Madrid, I think is poor. The only class attacking side that they have meet this season is Barcelona, and they got a 5 goal beating.
    If Spurs go for it, they will be too strong for Madrid.

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  12. Curious, this revenge angle, isn't it? Chelsea blew their final through Terry's incompetence (probably daydreaming about raising the cup as he took his penalty kick). United's reverse is to play with a better standard of referee. It's almost beyond belief that Europe could provide a worse fool than the PL's selection.

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  13. Ferguson clones - please think for yourselves and stop blaming Martin Atkinson for your defeat at Stamford Bridge. Ferguson does that for longer term psychological reasons - he doen't necessarily believe it himself, you fools!

    Chelsea won because they eventually over-powered United on the night.

    And I think they will in this tie too, Chelsea the one Premeiership team who don't get overawed by United's strong winning mentality.

    United look like they are weakening at the moment with injury problems in defence and their most effective players being 35+ - its a long season.

    Whilst Chelsea are getting stronger with options in attack, Benayoun and Alex soon back and no injuries at all - squad looking deep and fresh again.

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  14. I think the difference between Spurs and Real will be Mourinho, not Ronaldo. I'm glad that Spurs got this draw to be honest. We could have been put in a group with Lyon, Braga and Copenhagen (I'm sure that may not have been possible with the seedings but you get my point) and then got knocked out by Shaktar, but instead we've got to play in Bremen's great stadium, at the San Siro twice, and now we go to the Bernabeu, and possibly the Nou Camp. Spurs getting to play in some of the great arenas of football and the experiences for the players must be so exhilarating.

    Is Park anywhere near fit? If so, then he'll be in the Utd midfield. I'm expecting a score of 1-0 over two legs, hopefully in Chelsea's favour.

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  15. Why is Manchester United complaining about Refs, it's high time Ferguson got himself retired and stop making silly comments about the match he was not good at, he got what he deserved at Stanford Bridge, they can use their prowess at clubs which do not understand their tactics but not Clubs like Chelsea who are strong in defence and attack. Come to think of it Fergie, in the last 8 to 9 yrs, how many matches have you won against Chelsea? You are senile and needs psychological treatment.

    Go and prepare for the clash on 6th April, a dangerous squad is coming your way, not for revenge but to dismantle your pride and culminate our success.

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  16. Adam, I was on crack yesterday when i asked if you were on crack. Obviously I was wrong to question the wisdom of playing Giggs, Nani and Valencia in the same team. Unless Fergie's on crack too. Well done, ManU deserved the win but goodness gracious Matty Taylor!

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