Friday, March 20, 2009

Champions League 2009 Quarters Draw

With the buzz from the recent standout performances of Bayern and Liverpool, there was built up anticipation of what the quarterfinal draw will throw up. These are the fixtures scheduled for the month of April.
It had to happen, didn't it? The irritatingly annoyingly CL staple fare of Liverpool-Chelsea....sigh.

Apart from that, the English teams do have a relatively easy draw, probably 65% sure of a Rome final ticket at the end of May. Still let's crunch some numbers to assess the potential banana skins in the draw.

Villareal v. Arsenal
Robert Pires has said he relishes coming back to his old stomping ground for this. So he is clearly up for it. Villareal must be feeling pretty good drawing Arsenal. Nothing to choose from between these two sides, statistics-wise. Therefore, this matchup could swing either way.
FanZine Prediction: Arsenal to go through (away goals rule)

Manchester United v. Porto
United should be gunning for revenge in this one. But will they get past the Portuguese champions? Equal on the Goals Scored (11) column but Porto's defence is clearly porous (10 goals conceded) and this is an area that United should capitalise. Apart from Barcelona, the United attack has more shots on target (124) than the other quarterfinalists. This matchup is United's to lose and I tip them to go all the way and retain the title.
FanZine Prediction: Manchester United

Liverpool v. Chelsea
Yawn! The fixture that we all dread....Liverpool will typically be counter-punching. They are 2nd lowest in terms of possession (49%), making it all the more possible that this will turn out to be much like the previous Liverpool-Chelsea game. Both teams commit a lot of fouls as seen from the "Fouls Committed" column (135/145) suggesting that both teams will sought to disrupt the opponent's pattern of play. This is guaranteed to make the game very unattractive. Cat and mouse all the way.
FanZine Prediction: Chelsea (due to the "feel Guus" factor)

Barcelona v. Bayern Munich
The plump tie of the round. The joint top scorers (24) in the competition face off against each other. Both play the attacking game, but Barcelona are the masters at keeping possession (63%) of the football. Barca however will need to be wary as their defence will leak goals (11) which augurs well for an open game of attacking football. Barca's very low "Fouls Committed" stat (92) means that Bayern can actually come forward and play their brand of football. Should make for an excellent footballing spectacle. The most glaring weakness being Barca's leaky defence. Bayern has the attacking prowess to exploit that while keeping it tight at the back (only 5 goals conceded).
FanZine prediction: Bayern Munich

There you have it! The predicted semifinalists will be,
1. Arsenal
2. Manchester United (and to retain the title)
3. Chelsea
4. Bayern Munich

Oh, the prospect of a Man U-Bayern final is just too good to be true. A repeat of the '99 final, what an ending that would be to this year's competition.


Anonymous said...

wow, ur stupid analysis of bayern munich going to semi-final, think properly, blogger, barcelona is the most superior on pitch and their satisitcs are way better than bayern, bayern may have ribery but barcelona have more better players and so good together.

please think properly of prediciting, stupid blogger

TheFlatBackFour said...

At the time of the post, Bayern went into the quarterfinal clash with Barcelona after thrashing Sporting Lisbon 12-1 on aggregate.
They were in good form and so was Barcelona. I root for the underdogs and Bayern were the underdogs...Barcelona had a phenomenal season!

Anonymous said...

so what, sporting is nothing except for reibery but barca have the depth, no really, i think you should learn more socer than to predict by the way, the manger of bayern is klinsmann, he has no experience at all in the league, dont count the international managering, both are differnet. while barca manager pep have the experience managing barca reserves for two years that why ur stupid predication make you a stupid blogger

TheFlatBackFour said...

As you correctly mentioned, Pep Guardiola was a first-time Champions League manager and also no La Liga first team league experience - Juergen Klinsmann, as you also right mentioned, no Champions League and no league experience. Two rookie managers going head to was beautiful to watch.
Thanks for the comment!

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