UEFA Champions League: Bold Predictions for the UCL Semis
Just before the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draws were made, I published an article on some bold predictions for the last eight and there’s nothing cooler than seeing your predictions work out. I had stated that;
- Two Teams from the Same Nationality Would Lock Horns – Yup, there was a clash between Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona, two teams from the same nation.
- The Ibrahimovic – C. Ronaldo – Diego Costa Golazo Fest Would Continue – Cristiano Ronaldo got in on the scoring act but injuries plighted Zlatan and Diego Costa’s chances of getting on the score sheet.
- Atletico Madrid Would Cruise to the Semifinals – The Red and White Dark Horses surprised everyone in the football world with a two-legged victory over juggernauts, Barcelona, but I wasn’t perturbed cuz’ I said so.
- A ‘Big’ Team Would be Dumped Out – If FC Barcelona is your definition of “big”, then you’re correct. 😀
- End of the Line for Manchester United – Of course, they never stood a chance with the defending champions.
The draws for the semifinals coming up soon and the road to Lisbon is getting closer with each passing game. Gooner Daily has decided to take a tentacle from Paul the Octopus to make a couple of predictions ahead of the next phase of Europe’s elite football competition.
Atletico’s Profligacy Will Cost Them a Place in the Finals
In the absence of a clinical forward like Diego Costa through injury, Atletico Madrid needed their next experienced forward, David Villa, to step up in his absence. David Villa had a good game by his standards but he left his shooting boots at home as he missed a hat-trick of chances that smashed the woodwork.
As the game progressed, Atletico found more loopholes in the Barcelona defense but their poor finishing coupled with Barca’s toothlessness in front of goal saw them book a place in the last four. Against vastly experienced sides like Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, Atletico’s naivety in front of goal could be exposed and they would be brushed aside.
Notwithstanding, they have been the team of the tournament thus far.
Jose Mourinho and his Goons Would Progress to the Finals
As we all know, Jose Mourinho is one hell of a charismatic character and while he can be a massive pain in the ass sometimes, you can’t take nothing away from his tactical acumen.
He had noticed how Eden Hazard had been struggling on the wings right from the kickoff but he took a bold step to replace him in a game of that magnitude with Andre Schurrle. David Moyes on the other hand, saw that Wayne Rooney was clearly struggling at the Allianz Arena but Javier Hernandez and Adnan Januzaj came on for other players while Shrek remained on the pitch.
I’m not here to laud Mourinho for his tactics because PSG also had chances to kill the game off and they weren’t taken but Mourinho is a coach that knows how to adapt to different game plans and when his team gets drawn against either Bayern, Real Madrid or Atletico, Mourinho would have the edge.
As expected, he would probably park a large bus away then balance the scoreline at home. Bleeeeeeh
There Would be Penalty Shootouts in One of the Fixtures
At the semifinal stage, there would be some tactical battles on and off the pitch. Teams would take cautious approaches over the course of two legs and I’m confident that there would be a fixture that would be settled by the lottery of a penalty shootout.
Let’s just hope that Sergio Ramos won’t be available to shoot another ball that would be launched into orbit if Real Madrid turns out to be among the teams playing in the shootout.
Do you agree with these predictions? Feel free to share yours with your comments.
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