Categorized | Barcelona, Champions League

2013 Champions League Quarter-Final Draw

CL

This morning in our household, we were discussing the match-ups that we were expecting to see out of today’s draw for the Quarter-Finals.

We should have laid a bet on it because we picked all four combinations. If Arsenal had made it through, we would have drawn the Gunners.

At 12pm CET in Nyon, Switzerland, retired English mid-fielder Steve McManaman plucked the following:
Malaga vs. Dortmund
Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray
PSG vs. Barcelona
Bayern vs. Juventus

The First Legs will be played on 2/3 April; the Second Legs on 9/10 April and the draw for the Semi-Finals will take place on April 12th.

It all happens very quickly from now on.

Here’s what Andoni Zubizarreta had to say, after the draw:

“The teams that have reached the quarter-finals are there because they have done well [in the tournament so far]. The draw can be seen as both good and bad, it all depends on whether we are back in Nyon for the semi-final draw in three weeks or not. We have just experienced something in the round of 16 that demands us to be prudent.”

“We have to look on playing the return game in Barcelona as being positive. PSG have very good players with a lot of talent. With their experience and knowledge of playing these types of games I am sure they will be challenging right until the end [of the tie]. They are very competitive and we will be coming up against several players we know quite well.”

 

PSG Sporting Director, Leonardo, commented:

“It is the most difficult draw against the best team in the competition. We play the return leg at their home ground. It won’t be easy, but we are looking forward to it because Paris deserves to be part of what will be a celebration of football.”

“We get the chance to measure ourselves against one of the greatest sides of all time. Barcelona are the red-hot favourites, it’s a celebration in which anything can still happen.”

 

PSG will be without Ibrahimovic for the First Leg and Barcelona will be without Pedro.

 

Força Barça!

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78 Responses to “2013 Champions League Quarter-Final Draw”

  1. mom4 says:

    And I’m curious, nzm, did J curse in German or English when RM drew Galatasaray? :-D

    I kinda figured that RM would be the ones to get Galatasaray. I was hoping they’d get Dortmund, Bayern, or Juve. I’m just glad that we don’t have to face Juve yet. They scare me. And I wasn’t ready for another clasico this soon. I’m content with our draw.

    • nzm says:

      There was plenty of resigned cursing going on in both languages.

      I woke up this morning to lots of German cursing in our dining room, but that was because the software programming wasn’t going too well!

      • mom4 says:

        Yeah, A broke the news to me bright and early (at least early) this morning. There was only mild cursing because you just had to know it was gonna happen. Sucks. Hopefully Drogba will be bringing some of that good luck that followed him and Chelsea thoughout last season.

  2. Gogah says:

    I was really hoping for a Juve-EE matchup, but I guess we always knew they would draw Galata. Hopefully Sneijder will be extra pumped to prove a point. A bit sad for the Dortmund-Malaga tie, as I would have loved for both to progress. I like that we are playing PSG, not strong enough that we should be worried and not weak enough for us to take ‘em lightly. Also sad for the competition, that one of Juve, BM would go out. Anyone has a clue as to whether the Barca players would rather face EE in a 2 legged tie or a final?

  3. blitzen says:

    I’m quite happy with PSG. They have some excellent players, but don’t always “gel” as a team. I think we can exploit that. And no Zlatan for the first leg. Plus, we won’t have to travel very far, and the return leg is at home.

    As for the other match-ups, I expect Bayern Munich/Juventus will be a fantastic game of football. And poor Malaga, I doubt they will have much chance against Dortmund. Then again, you never know.

    As for RM/Galatasaray, well, it will be fun to watch. Sneijder will have something to prove against RM, but he is also a big Mourinho fanboy. And Drogba vs Di Maria? You’ll need underwater cameras to catch all the action!

    • nzm says:

      Hamit Altintop might also have something to prove to Mourinho!

      And Ujfalusi is also there now – he who damaged our Messi.

      :lol: at the Drogba vs. Di Maria imagery!

    • fotobirajesh says:

      For one time, I will route for Drogba finally.

      Really hope we will see RM in the semis, not in the finals. With our present defensive frailities, we many not be good against RM counter attack in a one leg match. Over two legs, at our best, we can go through, even if they are at their best. Either we get them in Semis, or Galatasaray / Juventus /Bayern finish them in the semis.

    • blaze0fglory says:

      Yeah.. Qualifying till next stage would do so good for troubled malaga and the troubled la liga.

      Bayern vs juve is the best match. I think the italians will slip past the germans

      Juventus
      borussia (hard for malaga to beat them, they r 20 pts behind bayern in the bundesliga so they must be very focused in the cl)
      barca
      n hopefully gala in the semifinals.

  4. psalmuel says:

    I’d rather we face EE in the semis instead of the final. One goal in the final and mou will shut us out with a double-deck bus parked infront their box. I hate their lightning fast counters,imagine last season, it took them just 10secs to get the ball from their own box into Ajax’s net with just 5touches

    • Levon says:

      I’d rather not meet them at all, but if we have to I’d prefer it to be in the semis.

      I know that if we beat them in the final it would be historic but the mere thought of losing a final to M***** is unbearable.

  5. nzm says:

    The Disciplinary Committee dismissed the club’s appeal against VV’s 4 match suspension and upheld the original decision. At least 3 more matches with Pinto between the sticks this season.

    Also, Del Bosque has called up the following players for the WC qualifiers vs. Finland and France:

    VV, Pique, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Pedro and Villa.

    Capi Puyol wasn’t selected. I wish that Xavi hadn’t been as well, but I bet that he wouldn’t say that!

    • mom4 says:

      As well they should have. Really VV, what were you thinking!

      Wonder if Capi really is hurt as was said before the Milan match or if we’re seeing the end of Puyi’s NT days :-( .Xavi is NEVER allowed to recover fully from anything. Ever! The man won’t be able to walk by the time he’s 40. Take Thiago for the senior team rather than the U21s. Yes I know the game against France kinda needs Xavi but still!

    • Messiah10 says:

      It HAS to be down to Xavi to declare himself unfit to play! He must take the initiative and rest for Barca. At least take the Finland match off and let Del Bosque chose younger players. Seriously, there’s no need for him to be there. If I were Del Bosque I wouldn’t have chosen Puyi either based on his form & fitness. Del Bosque has to bleed in some young defenders to start the transition to a new generation.

      • blitzen says:

        According to the interwebs, it was Xavi who asked VDB to include him, as the second game against France is very important for qualification. He almost certainly won’t play against Finland.

        Very disappointed that Thiago didn’t get a senior call-up, he has more than earned it. And Michu was left out again!

        • nzm says:

          Javi Garcia got called though, instead of Thiago perhaps, who knows for sure.

          I think that it’s wise that they don’t call Thiago yet – just need to take some time with some of the younger ones. Call them for friendlies, certainly, but the WC Qualifiers are more serious and require the top performers.

          I think that Thiago is still eligible for the U-21 team – he’s more valuable to them right now.

          Yeah – Michu left out – Boo! Torres left out – Yay! Negredo in – WTF?

          • blitzen says:

            The last few times I have seen Negredo play with the NT I have not been impressed. Especially the game he played at the Euros, he was pretty bad. I caannot understand why Michu couldn’t get a call-up instead.

      • nzm says:

        Ramos and Pique have been pretty solid as the CB pairing in recent times.

        • mom4 says:

          I agree, but then we have to watch Arbeloa play rb. Gggrrrr.

        • Ryan says:

          Puyol himself said he saw Ramos as his successor in the national team…think the transition may have already taken place? They did just fine without him in the Euros and now he looks to be out again for the next qualifiers.

          With Alba being so adventurous on the left, it might not be such a bad thing to have the solid but not offensively gifted Arbeloa on the right, as much as it pains for me to say it! It’ll be some time yet before Montoya gets a chance, especially if he remains on the fringes at Barca.

  6. Ahsan says:

    Why did UEFA institute this new “new draw for the semi finals” thing? Until last year, the QF draw also laid the path for the semis and the final. Guess it’s more TV money/ads.

  7. blaze0fglory says:

    Wonder what cesc’s role will be for the rest of the CL. Maybe he’s had a dip in form but so did everyone. And it is anyone’s guess what would have happened had he started against milan second leg. I mean iniesta is iniesta and xavi is xavi, but cesc happens to be the third best mdfielder in the world…and he has won us some games with his amazing telepathy with messi and others.

    Its really an unhappy situation. A player of his calibre having to play second fiddle. But thats what happens in a big club i guess. But age is on his side. We can’t realistically expect xavi to be this amazing always.

    P.s. for some reason i think rm will struggle against galatasaray.

  8. nzm says:

    Awwww…after the draw and on a live TV feed, PSG’s Sporting Director Leonardo asked his Italian journalist girlfriend to marry him:

    http://video.repubblica.it/sport/leonardo-proposta-in-diretta-tv-anna-mi-vuoi-sposare/122407/120892?ref=&ref=fbpr

    She said yes. :)

  9. barca96 says:

    This is really off topic but does anybody here’s likes stand up comedy shows? I’m trying to find one skit that I downloaded 10 years ago.

    In the skit, the comedian said something about black people putting batteries in the freezer and also talked about shopping malls. I thought it was Martin Lawrence but I couldn’t find anything on YouTube.

    If anybody knows this skit, please let me know. Many thanks in advance.

  10. Kxevin says:

    I couldn’t have asked for a better draw than PSG, even if they will be more dangerous with Ibrahimovic out for the first leg. And don’t think that RM won’t have a tough time with Galatasaray. Them boys is nasty.

    PSG is going to open up the match against us. It will be the only real chance they have, given the players the have on offer. And that means they are screwed.

    Malaga, we knew ye well. Dortmund is going through. The Bayern/Juventus tie is going to be a delight to watch.

  11. PSG match comes with not so tough liga matches. Shouldn’t be too bad, gives us more time to improve. IMO Villa must start every match now. He is vital to our CL hopes. If Alexis can discover first his confidence and then through a miracle some resemblance to scoring form we’d be good to go.

    Galatasaray aren’t a walk in the park either. They’ll be easier for Madrid than they would’ve been for us though. What a physically strong team with quite a few difference makers and their home ground is hell.

    I’m sure both cules and madridstas were sad to see Bayern facing Juve. Both teams quite capable of taking either out. I’d rather Madrid in semis than a final.

    We had poor rotation in the past two months, I hope Bartra, Montoya and a few other kids get more minutes now on.

  12. psalmuel says:

    All of a sudden, we became scared of EE! Lol!

  13. I’m gonna repost a few things on the Animation Groups cos I got hectored by the Depor match and it’s an important issue to me.

    I got a distinct feeling that many here and even sensible cules on twitter seemed absolutely fine with a complete shut down of the youth section. A massive generalisation of a few bad elements to thousands of die hard fans is not acceptable.

    When Rosell made it hard for foreign fans to become socis generalising his paranoia over everyone people called him out on it. Yet when the same thing happens to others, we accept it willingly? I call bullshit.

    The bad elements are not even 1% of the entire group this project would benefit. And frankly, lets call out the catalan police who have been utterly lazy and could not identify potential trouble makers when they’ve had the list for well over a year. Not to mention their ineptitude when it comes to protecting cules at away games or even outside Camp Nou.

    That Rosell tried to have talks with several die hard fans who had been marginalised for almost a decade is not a bad thing. This project was NEVER a bad idea. The police and the club should have done a better job filtering through the list.

  14. (post 1)
    First off, let it be very clear that it is an extremely complex situation and the complexity has led many cules and even the club to be ill informed and take poor stances on this.

    The complexity here comes firstly from the fact that Barca or even Camp Nou do not exist in isolation. Hooliganism, fan violence and ultras have existed for decades and continue to exist in the whole of Spain. It has been a threat to cules in away stadiums, as well as in Camp Nou. It has been threat outside of Camp Nou, in nearby bars etc. as well. To put the point across, consider that cules have been subject to abuse and violence such as attacks by sticks, pelting with bottles, flares and in some cases even stabbed.

    Another major point of complexity comes from the fact that while the extremely violent, neonazi skinhead part of the ultras is what gets highlighted, it was always only a small part of the huge supporter groups that exist. ( The most violent ones were generally Casual or a faction of the Boixos)
    There are a huge number of fans that were non violent that are painted with the same brush which does them a great disservice for all the loyalty and support they have given the club.
    (Much more than most penyas in my opinion)

    Letting the Boixos or Casuals Back into Camp Nou is the worst thing one can do. Undermining one of the most important work Laporta did and I really cannot highlight this enough, with Gaspart they had incredible amounts on power, and lets be clear we’re talking about violent,racist neo fascist criminals here, Laporta mostly did away with them and destroyed most of the power they enjoyed. A HUGE task by any measure.

    BUT it has come at the cost of greatly punishing other supporter groups who are non violent and have stood by the team for many years. And that has come at the cost of a dead atmosphere in the Camp, however anyone may try to justify it.

  15. Specifically I’d like to point out the Almogavers. They have fervently supported the club for almost 25 years. For a quarter of a century they have supported the club, singing their lungs out, waving flags coordinating tifos and in general making the Camp Nou have atmosphere with the best parts of English and Italian style mixed with their own. In the worst of times, these young and economically weak cules spend their hard earned money to be checked like criminals just so that they can come to the Gol Sud and give everything to the club for 90 minutes and cheer it on.

    In that entire time I haven’t heard them linked to even a single incident of violence. That is because they have been strictly non violent and also very importantly apolitical in this heavily political club and the scene of youth groups.

    “Almogàvers distinguished itself by its non-violent, apolitical fan model characterized by the organization of large, spectacular choreographed displays. The group’s article of association prohibits the use of physical violence among its members.”

    When they are lumped up with the worst of the Boixos and Casuals and other violent ones by fans, media or even the club, it makes me sad and angry that we do a great insult to them.

    Why should die hard cules suffer because the action of a few other idiots? Be treated as extremists even when they are the farthest thing from that? Why should they suffer from extremist rival and barca fan groups who threaten and do violence against them?

    There needs to be discussion on these matters and serious one that takes into account the many types of groups and fans. Branding all under just one banner (almost what Laporta did) isn’t fair to the others. It specially isn’t fair when such supporter groups, in this cules’ eyes are far more important than old men who sit in their club houses (penyas) and do nothing.

    • Kxevin says:

      Excellent comments and points, TriploVolanti. It’s why I said back in the original post, that we should be very careful NOT to assume that all supporters groups are Ultras. My heart was warmed by how loud the Camp Nou was for the Milan match, but those Gol Sud seats are otherwise going to remain empty for the remainder of the season’s home matches.

      I do wish that the club wasn’t being so silent on this matter, and I am glad that you specified “the worst of the Boixos ….” People forget that not even all Boixos are like the ones that sully the entire group’s name, even as I agree with you that letting them back in would be a grave error.

      • Yeah, The Boixos when they started out was more leftist, pro independence. It was only when the skinhead wave overtook most of Europe did they become largely right-wing and increasingly violent. The leftist faction of the Boixos exists till date. Many of them quite older and wondering how things got so bad for their group.

        From a 100 Boixos you’d find not more than 10 skinheads now. Even if 30/40 of the total have ever been violent, they are only towards violent ultras of other clubs. For example, if you’re going to espanyol/madrid away (or in europe to places like Napoli) and plan on wearing your colours you’d be much safer sticking with the Boixos. Specially if you’re white.

        So even in the group the worst ones are a minority. The problem comes because this minority holds the most power. They’re generally connected to powerfull people or politicians.
        In the time of Gaspart, they had his full support. (not sure but he’s a primary member) and so they were called the chairmans’s boys. That’s why I think you can’t give them an inch.

    • blitzen says:

      Um…am I missing something? The Gol Sud seats will still be available for fans, just not sold in a block, or at that extremely knock-down price. The Almogavars and other non-violent supporter groups aren’t banned from the Camp Nou, just the Boixos Nois and a few individuals who have been implicated in previous incidents. No one is stopping these other groups from buying the same tickets they always do and screaming their lungs out for the team–except the groups themselves, who are going on “strike” for the rest of the season. So they are punishing themselves. And it is the team they claim to love that will end up suffering most.

      My feeling is that the club, or Rosell and his people, are going about it the wrong way. Instead of trying to create a special section for fanatic supporters, they should be concentrating on raising the level of animation throughout the stadium. Plenty of people on this blog have pointed out ways the club could do this, drawing particularly on their experience of Bundesliga clubs, but unfortunately I can’t remember specifics. I believe one idea was to hire a few people whose job it would be to instigate and lead chants and songs in different areas of the stadium–I’m sure your Almogavar members would love to get paid for their efforts! Simply improving the acoustics in the stadium would also help a lot–someone mentioned that in Germany some clubs have microphones in supporter areas to amplify the noise of the crowds.

      I’m not actually opposed to the club selling cheap tickets to recognized supporter groups, either, but the members would have to be registered with the club and submit to a background check to vet out any known troublemakers. That is the harsh reality if the club wants to keep the worst elements out.

      • nzm says:

        Yeah – that was me mentioning all that stuff.

        Touched on it here, and have mentioned it in previous comments over the past months, particularly when the discussion has been about the condition of the stadium:
        http://www.barcelonafootballblog.com/18850/knowns-unknowns-supporters-sections-ultras/#comment-147969

        but I think that most of it was in a recent email between the mods.

        As far as the striking penyas and supporters’ groups punishing themselves by striking – yes, yes they are, but there’s a bigger picture here which I wrote about here:
        http://www.barcelonafootballblog.com/18850/knowns-unknowns-supporters-sections-ultras/#comment-147994

        but will repeat:
        They are looking at the bigger picture.

        This issue is greater than their love of the team – it’s their love of the club that isn’t being supported by the Board.

        The penyas aren’t getting the support in return for their loyalty. The Grada Jove and now the Grada d’Animacio have been shelved after Penyas were told that these would be areas in which they could be seated at reduced prices in return for creating an atmosphere of support for the team during matches at Camp Nou.

        The club has not come out and admitted that they made errors around the flare incidents at Camp Nou – initially accusing Boixos Nois and other penyas of the act when it has now been proven that the organised penyas weren’t to blame.

        The club has depended on these penyas to be at the stadium to create the atmosphere while doing little about it themselves. Time for the club to put on their big boy trousers and step up to the job.

        • nzm says:

          To reinforce this lack of support by the Board for a Camp Nou fans’ area, compare that to what the Palau Blaugrana has.

          In that stadium, Dracs1999 Supporters’ Club attend basketball, handball, futsal and roller hockey games, and they are ferociously vocal with their support:
          http://dracs1991.blogspot.com.es/2013/02/fotos-campions-copa-despanya-alcala-2013.html

          The Barca Board and Management needs to be applying this model to get the fans going in Camp Nou as well, and some support for Barca B would be very cool.

          • While it’s great to see the Dracs and Sang Cule make Palau a special place, they both pretty much abandoned the Camp. The reason that happened was the fights they were getting into with other ultras as well as the Boixos over politics. (Sang Cule was heavily leftist)

            Why the Palau has numerous incentives for the youth groups but the Camp has none is beyond me.

            (If memory serves, the fan areas of Palau and other sports were a major talking point during the no confidence motion agaianst Laporta, no?)

          • nzm says:

            Yes – they abandoned Camp Nou because it was just getting too hard.

            The fights weren’t always necessarily of a violent nature per se, their attendance was seen as an encroachment on the other groups’ territory and their leftist views didn’t sit comfortably with a lot of people.

            It’s pretty petty, as you’d expect these groups to be working with each other for their club support rather than against each other.

            However, when people’s fundamental beliefs cause divide and dissent, the cause – the one thing that they all have in common – becomes the victim of their differences.

            In this case, it was the fan support within Camp Nou.

      • nzm says:

        I’m not actually opposed to the club selling cheap tickets to recognized supporter groups, either, but the members would have to be registered with the club and submit to a background check to vet out any known troublemakers. That is the harsh reality if the club wants to keep the worst elements out.

        That was the idea all along – that the fans seated in Grada d’Animacio would be vetted by the Mossos and would only be accepted if background checks proved that they were fun-loving fans with no records of criminal activity. (although why they would think that all trouble-makers would have records is beyond me!)

        Somewhere along the line, the Mossos backed out of this deal and started to voice their concerns.

        Which still makes me wonder – who did throw those flares, and why now, given that all has been peaceful for at least a couple of seasons?

        • blitzen says:

          (although why they would think that all trouble-makers would have records is beyond me!)

          Not all of them, but the fact is that many of the people with violent tendencies will have criminal records of one kind or another: drunk & disorderly, assault, vandalism, ect. Disenfranchised youth + extremist beliefs = well, it’s a pretty simple equation.

      • One thing you have to realise, is Camp Nou is very expensive. As it is, these young people don’t have much money. A large number are students not to mention Spain’s economic condition which has high no of them unemployed.

        Going to every home game, organising the group, making the flags and banners all costs quite a bit of money. Let alone those few who go to away matches have got to deal with travel, food and accomodation.

        And as I said after all that, they’re still treated like criminals. Checking for the areas behind North & south goal is the strictest anywhere in the Camp.

        It’s a miracle they even try anymore, let alone getting a few hundred everygame and close to ~1000 for the big matches.
        ____________________________________________

        I’ll let you know the privilages the Youth groups had before Laporta:

        Heavily discounted tickets for every game (generally a tenth of the cost) Many times even free. Some of these tickets were sold to other fans to raise money, club allowed this.

        Free merchandise, to use or sell. They got autographed flags and photos nearly every game plus alot of other stuff.

        Entire storage rooms for them to store their flags & banners.

        Free travel to many away games, mostly with the team or staff. Cheap accomdation in the same hotel as the team.

        Special meetings with the Board (atleast once a year) plus a few with the sporting staff.

        With Laporta there was nothing. Zilch. Nada.

        Just imagine the difference between the two situations. Tell me anyone wouldn’t feel wronged after that. I am one hundred percent behind the strike. The club has ignored the situation for far too long.

        • fotobirajesh says:

          Your posts have been so informative, at least for some one like me, who is a club supporter from another country.
          Thank you.

        • nzm says:

          Triplo – that’s what I find interesting.

          All the things that have been attempted to re-install the Grada D’Animacio have been countered with bad results:

          ~ sell cheap tickets? Someone lets off a flare in that area.
          ~ Mossos withdraws support.
          ~ Grada D’Animacio plans cancelled.

          Which really does leave me wondering, who did start the trouble with the flares, and why now after so long?

          There was a flare incident in Monaco a couple of seasons ago at the UEFA Super Cup, but that too was such an isolated event.

          I highly doubt that the supporters’ clubs would damage their chances, but then no one wants to blame the police, do they? ;)

          The club really needs to be working more closely with their supporters’ groups. A more organised and structured approach needs to be formalised, and it needs to be tough too.

  16. nia says:

    Good draw for us. Going to be a great match against the tactician Ancelloti. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.

    I find it annoying that now the British press, everywhere you read it’s now, Barca vs Beckham. How annoying. David was good at a certain point in his career but, to always put him on that much of a pedal stool, confuses me a lot. Granted, other English players have given more to the game than Beck’s. Besides I find it disrespectful to his team mates who play week in week out and churn out results whilst this guy gets all the attention.

    DM has even gone as far as doing a stat comparison of Messi v Becks. Seriously?!?!? Get real, this is not just about Becks.

  17. Nik says:

    From @migerucb: “Puyol will miss the Champions League quarter-finals against PSG due to a knee injury according to @Diario_SPORT”

    :(

    Let’s hope El Jefe is ready to step in and rock it against the Parisians.

    • Nik says:

      From @barcastuff: “Carles Puyol, who has knee dicomfort, is undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery at this moment. He will be out for at least 3 weeks. [tv3]”

      ¡Ànims, Capità!

      • mom4 says:

        What the…

        Well if it needs to be scoped it’s not just a little ouchie booboo.

        Bartra should’ve maybe gotten a wee bit of time. Adriano wasn’t awful at CB. Messi could play there. :)

      • nzm says:

        Those knee joints are beginning to disintegrate. Surgery is required to remove the loose bone. Ouch.

        Explains why he wasn’t selected for the NT.

  18. endico says:

    Is it true that every time there is a papal conclave and barca are playing, they win with a scoreline of 4 – 0?

  19. Chiu says:

    - PSG; a good draw and worthy opponent to keep our team alert – but still beatable in normal day. I would say 60:40 chance for our favour. Playing 2nd leg at home also a safe cushion in case we screw something in Parc Des Pricess. I hope we dont take it lightly, remain cautious, bring our A game and we can eliminate PSG.

    – Malaga vs Dortmund = 50-50, both have equal chance I think. Dortmund are not having a great season in Bundesliga as well as Malaga. CL would be the place to rectify their season. Wouldnt be a surprise we could see Malaga in the semifinal.

    – RM vs Galatasaray = 70-30. The gap in the terms of quality is huge. Galatasaray would need a lot of fortune and some moment of brilliant from Sneider or Drogba to stay in the competition. I predict the tie would be over after the first leg Bernabeu and RM wouldn’t need to sweat in Istanbul (I really hope am wrong)

    – Bayern vs Juve = 50-50. I think Juve could make it through to semis because of advantage of playing 2nd leg at home.

    – So my semifinalist = Barca – Malaga – RM – Juve. We draw Malaga in the semis and RM/Juve killing each other. The ideal final would be Barca vs Juve/RM

    – Puyol is out for month or so. This is one of reason we bought Song. He have to step in as part of CB rotation with Pique and Masche. We have no other choice in CL, Pique and Masche are certainly the first choice pairing now. Song should be involved a lot in the remaining liga games and hope Bartra also remain fit till end of season as back-up.

    – I want to see Thiago and Cesc play more in liga as part to rest Iniesta, Xavi and Busi for CL. Liga is almost a guarantee. Our pillars should be prepared fresh for the big ears. am hopeful we can end this season with double silver, the most important silver of the season; La Liga and Champions League winner.

    Visca Barca!

    • nzm says:

      I think that Dortmund will get past Malaga. Demichelis is going to have a hard time against Lewandowski and, unless Malaga’s mid-field improves, Dortmund is going to kill them in that area.

  20. Kxevin says:

    The Puyol situation makes the club’s unwillingness to address the CB situation foolhardy, as we save our pennies for Neymar.

    — La Gazetta dello Sport is reporting that Sanchez has reached personal terms with Inter. Nothing on their official site, so not sure where the information is coming from. Could be one of those Twitter rumors that somebody starts somewhere.

    There is something here:

    http://forzaitalianfootball.com/2013/03/inter-agree-to-terms-with-barcelona-forward/

    But it should be noted that the same report suggests that Inter are also after Song and Montoya, which makes things increasingly less credible.

    • KEVINO17 says:

      Seems a bit early to be making those sorts of deals. But I wonder if Barca will try to sell Sanchez to try to pay for Neymar.

    • nzm says:

      There’s a question mark at the end of that headline. ;)

      I sincerely hope that it’s not true, because I’m a believer in Sanchez if he’s played on the right. He could even be played ahead of Messi (as was seen with Villa in recent matches) and, as he’s younger and sharper, he could be the real deal in keeping the defences occupied to create room for Leo.

      This could just be speculation. Milan has just been in town so let’s write an article about which player they could take home this time.

      Moratti left town too quietly – last time he was full of it when he “took Ibra home”.

    • bhed says:

      This is why Bartra’a suitability as a big time CB is THE question. Maybe he’s a Varane in waiting? Did anyone really believe Puyol wouldn’t have injuries during key times? Bartra needs serious playing time now, and we’ll see. I don’t see how Neymar will bring trophies if we don’t have a solid defense.

  21. KEVINO17 says:

    As a dedicated Sanchezista, I couldn’t agree more. He will provide a highly mobile back to goal option if Villa goes. But what if Villa doesn’t go? He might be tired of knowing that Pedro will always play in front of him, no matter what his form. He’ll probably also slip behind Neymar, the big signing. Further, it looks like Sanchez has quite a few suitors, so could unlock some cash.

  22. KEVINO17 says:

    Mallorca up two-one over EE

  23. Kxevin says:

    Sanchez agent says to Sport that thay haven’t talked to anyone, nor will they.

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