Champions League Quarter Final Previews – Chelsea vs Liverpool & Bayern vs Barca

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ITV must be gutted that they’ve ended up with the two dead games tonight, with the real excitement likely to be at Porto and the Emirates tomorrow. I guess Chelsea against Liverpool could potentially still be open to Liverpool progressing but the 10/1 odds on the Scousers suggests it’s unlikely. Bayern against Barca will be a formality in that there’s no way the Germans can overcome the four goal deficit but Barca still have to go through the motions and complete the 90 minutes. I don’t have the time/inclination to do proper previews for these two games but here are a few thoughts.

 

Chelsea vs Liverpool

In contrast to the previous four years of boredom we’ve had to sit through, the first leg at Anfield was surprisingly open. The four goals we saw a week ago matched the combined total from the previous four battles at Anfield between the two clubs. Even though Liverpool took an early lead, Chelsea hit back with two goals from Ivanovic of all people and then a third from the Drog. He could have had a hat trick having earlier missed two very presentable chances.

Tonight’s game should be open even though the matches at Stamford Bridge have also been previously tight. Indeed last year’s five goal thriller was completely out of character (after one lousy goal in three previous games) but hopefully a sign of things to come. Liverpool need to attack from the off though despite all the rumours will do so without Steven Gerrard. Chelsea can afford to sit back and play on the break but will be wary of the three goals in eight minutes they conceded against Bolton at the weekend. I can see Liverpool getting two or three goals (especially with Terry out) but I can’t see them do it without conceding themselves. Chelsea will go through, but perhaps not without a scare.

 

Bayern vs Barcelona

Rent a quote master of hyperbole Franz Beckenbauer branded Bayern’s performance in the first half of the first leg the worst in their history. Perhaps, but they were missing key defenders Lucio and Lahm as well as Klose up front. The former two will be back tonight to provide at least some semblance of a challenge for Messi and co but Barcelona won’t sit back, they’ll try and get their away goal early and put any lingering doubt to bed. If they do, you could see another spanking on the cards.  Barcelona go through, obviously. Bayern might actually score this time though, which would be nice for their fans.

 

T.

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