First things first.December 23 it is ; when Barca will kick Real's ass with or without Messi. Oh how relieved all Real Madrid supporters would be(remember last year's Messi hat trick?)But alas, King Eto'o is back so all the Real supporters have got another excuse to piss in their pants.
Henry was always redundant in this Barca lineup and now that he is playing not so fabulously there is not much thinking required.And I hate to say this but Gudjohnsen is playing much better and is more useful than Henry.Well, looking at the current developments it seems Ronaldinho will also start on bench.This is nothing short of unbelievable that an 18 year old Mexican is given preference over (The Great)Ronaldinho and a 17 year old Spaniard over (The Great)Henry;but thats Barcelona for you.By the way, Real Madrid is no pushover.It has a whole lot of scary new players and rejuvenated older players.As always there is tremendous amount of hype surrounding "El Clasico" , but this is one match that never fails to deliver.
This is the draw for the Champions League first knockout stage.Well there are some really close fixtures but I am generally pretty good at predictions :) All the teams that will win are on the left hand side.
Barcelona - Celtic
Barcelona doesn't have a very good record against Celtic....but come on, Celtic??..huh??
Real Madrid- Roma
This is really tough, but I think after 3-4 years of poor performances in UCL Real Madrid will live up to its name.
Porto - Schalke
Porto is in a good form.
Chelsea - Olympiacos
Chelsea is still good enough( that is if Drogba stays)
Inter Milan - Liverpool
I will go with Inter.They are in red hot form. They have some great young players and when Ibrahimovic is in mood( he is sort of moody) , he is probably the best striker in the world.Liverpool have been outdoing themselves for last few years in UCL but how long?
Man Utd - Lyon
Lyon will again under perform.And well ManU is playing good. One thing I fail to understand is how come Lyon provides at least 3-4 world class players to other big clubs every goddamn year and still don't perform well enough in UCL.They'll always remain underdogs.
Sevilla is just too good.Even with their dodgy league form they are just too classy.No surprise they finished ahead of hot shot Arsenal in the group stages.
Arsenal - AC Milan
This is the most difficult call.Even Milan might be too tired of performing so well at the European stage every year.And Arsenal and Wenger might be just too keen to win this.Even the world footballer of the year might not be able to save Milan.
Euro 2008 draw was also held some days back.Whats with France and Italy they can't seem to live without each other.Add Netherlands and Romania with them and you get the group of death. I think Netherlands will be sacrificed(I always find them overrated).
Spain's group is also no easy one. Sweden ,Greece and Russia with Spain. I feel the defending Champion and the England killer will be knocked out and Spain-Sweden will go through.Did I tell you that this is the last time I am giving Spain a chance to live up to their potential. If they fail to reach even the semis I am through with them :)
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