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iceblizzard69
02-23-2004, 06:31 PM
After two months, the Champions League is back. The format has changed, last year the round of 16 was another group stage but now it is a knockout round. Each series is 2 games, with the winner advancing based on goal differential. Here are the games for the first leg of the round of 16:

24th February 2004

Lokomotiv Moskva - Monaco
Celta - Arsenal
Bayern - Real Madrid
Sparta - Milan


25th February 2004

Deportivo - Juventus
Stuttgart - Chelsea
Porto - Man. United
Real Sociedad - Lyon

I personally don't think there will be any upsets. Tomorrow, Monaco, Arsenal, Real Madrid, and Milan should all be able to win. Three of the four games tomorrow feature teams where one team is a lot better than the other, the only one kind of close being Bayern - Real Madrid, but I don't think Bayern will be able to win.

On Wednesday, Juventus gets to play Deportivo La Coruna. Deportivo has a very good side and this one may be close but I think the worst case scenario for Juventus would be a draw. After a stellar start, Stuttgart no longer leads the Bundesliga and will probably lose to Chelsea. Manchester United will not have defenders Rio Ferdinand and Mikael Silvestre for their match against Porto but they are still clearly the better side. Real Sociedad joins Celta Viga as two Spanish teams still in the Champions League even though they are both close to the relegation zone in La Liga. Lyon is one of the best teams in France and this might be a close. I predict a draw in this one.

Dolfan02
02-23-2004, 10:00 PM
Way to go Ice

I'm sure all the people who don't know much about soccer will know exactly what you're talking about. And good job on not keeping it boring. :up::goof:

I'll pick AC Milan to win it all. I won't go with the favorite Real Madrid, thats too easy. Plus, Milan has been playing really well ever since they let go of Rivaldo, they're in 1st place in the Italian league.

iceblizzard69
02-23-2004, 11:11 PM
I think the Champions League is wide open. There are a lot of contenders. I originally thought Manchester United would win it but without Ferdinand I doubt they will. Real Madrid would be an easy choice and they are obviously a favorite. Arsenal has played great all year (they still have not lost a league game) but they never do well in the Champions League.

Germandolfan
02-24-2004, 03:28 PM
The first match is already over. Lok Moscow beat Monaco 2-1.
But the most interesting match will start in 20 minutes: Bayern vs Real.
My club Bayern played a poor season until now, but I think they''ll show a good performance today. It's very cold here in Munich, about 24 F, a temperature Madrid is not familiar with. Both questionable players, Kahn and Ballack will be able to play. Bayern is still missing a few key players in the offensive midfield due to long-term injuries, but as a team they have to compensate that.
Go Bayern! :D

iceblizzard69
02-24-2004, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by Germandolfan
The first match is already over. Lok Moscow beat Monaco 2-1.
But the most interesting match will start in 20 minutes: Bayern vs Real.
My club Bayern played a poor season until now, but I think they''ll show a good performance today. It's very cold here in Munich, about 24 F, a temperature Madrid is not familiar with. Both questionable players, Kahn and Ballack will be able to play. Bayern is still missing a few key players in the offensive midfield due to long-term injuries, but as a team they have to compensate that.
Go Bayern! :D

I really want to see the Bayern/Real Madrid match, but the morons at ESPN have decided to give us the Stuttgart/Chelsea match tomorrow instead. :(

Dolfan02
02-24-2004, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by iceblizzard69


I really want to see the Bayern/Real Madrid match, but the morons at ESPN have decided to give us the Stuttgart/Chelsea match tomorrow instead. :(

I wanted to see Bayern/Real as well, but I'm glad with the Stuttgart/Chelsea match. I don't have Fox Sports World, so I have never seen a Bundesliga game in Germany soil. I have Fox Sports Espanol which shows all the garbage leagues from Central America and South America (Argentina is the only good league in Latin America). And occasionally they show English Premiership which is the greatest.

But I'm looking forward to seeing a German team in its house.

Germandolfan
02-24-2004, 06:09 PM
It was a great match in Munich. As expected, Bayern played very good today.
They were by far the better team today, but Kahn made a big mistake and thus the result was only 1-1. Lucky Real!
Other results:
Sparta Prague - AC Milan 0-0
Celta Vigo - FC Arsenal 2-3

iceblizzard69
02-24-2004, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by Dolfan02


I wanted to see Bayern/Real as well, but I'm glad with the Stuttgart/Chelsea match. I don't have Fox Sports World, so I have never seen a Bundesliga game in Germany soil. I have Fox Sports Espanol which shows all the garbage leagues from Central America and South America (Argentina is the only good league in Latin America). And occasionally they show English Premiership which is the greatest.

But I'm looking forward to seeing a German team in its house.

You don't have the English language version of FSW but have the Spanish language one? That's wierd, I actually have the opposite of that.

FSW is a pretty good channel, we get a few EPL games a weekend (usually one or two live and a bunch tape delayed) and 2 live Bundesliga games. We also get a game from Holland, sometimes it is live and sometimes it isn't.

I am happy with FSW, but it isn't enough. :( I wish I had Gol TV, they show a lot of games from La Liga and Serie A.

Good thing that MLS starts in a month. I know it isn't the greatest league, but I like it anyway. Also, with Freddy Adu in the league, it should get a lot more publicity, which the league needs desperately.

iceblizzard69
02-24-2004, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by Germandolfan
It was a great match in Munich. As expected, Bayern played very good today.
They were by far the better team today, but Kahn made a big mistake and thus the result was only 1-1. Lucky Real!
Other results:
Sparta Prague - AC Milan 0-0
Celta Vigo - FC Arsenal 2-3

Good for Bayern. Now all they need is a win in Madrid or a draw where Bayern scores 2 or more goals and they advance. :) I can't stand Real Madrid, so I am definitely supporting Bayern in the second leg.

Germandolfan
02-24-2004, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by iceblizzard69


Good for Bayern. Now all they need is a win in Madrid or a draw where Bayern scores 2 or more goals and they advance. :) I can't stand Real Madrid, so I am definitely supporting Bayern in the second leg.

Actually not good for Bayern :). In fact the result pisses me off, because Bayern dominated Real today. I would have saved the freekick by Roberto Carlos that Kahn let in. Anyhow - Kahn has another chance in Madrid to prove himself. I hope he does ;)
Do you get to see the rematch in Madrid?

iceblizzard69
02-24-2004, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by Germandolfan


Actually not good for Bayern :). In fact the result pisses me off, because Bayern dominated Real today. I would have saved the freekick by Roberto Carlos that Kahn let in. Anyhow - Kahn has another chance in Madrid to prove himself. I hope he does ;)
Do you get to see the rematch in Madrid?

I hope I will be able to see it but I am not sure. I think there is a good possibility of that being the match they show, ESPN likes to show Real Madrid and of all the second leg matches, it is probably the biggest one.

Migs182005
02-25-2004, 05:08 PM
Wow, I can breathe with a sigh of relief after that horrible outing Real Madrid showed yesterday.

Bayer dserved to win that game, but Kahn screwed it up.

It's the REAL MADRID aura I tell you :cool:

Honestly though, I doubt Real will win it or even reach the finals this year. They play so bad it's hard to watch. But, I'll be rooting for them anyways!

GO REAL MADRID!!!!! :cool:

iceblizzard69
02-25-2004, 06:00 PM
Today's Results

Deportivo 1 - 0 Juventus
Stuttgart 0 - 1 Chelsea
Porto 2 - 1 Manchester United
Real Sociedad 0 - 1 Lyon

Dolfan02
02-26-2004, 03:34 AM
Man.. Stuttgart totally dominated and manhandled Chelsea.

I cannot Believe they lost on an own goal 1-0. I hope they'll be able to get some scores in the next match. They're a pretty sharp team.

BTW, Stuttgart has some pretty cool fans. Although I have no clue what they're chanting.. its loud, in sync, intimidating, and continuous. I heard light Chelsea chants too. But the Germans surprised me with the chanting... sharp!

iceblizzard69
02-26-2004, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by Dolfan02
Man.. Stuttgart totally dominated and manhandled Chelsea.

I cannot Believe they lost on an own goal 1-0. I hope they'll be able to get some scores in the next match. They're a pretty sharp team.

BTW, Stuttgart has some pretty cool fans. Although I have no clue what they're chanting.. its loud, in sync, intimidating, and continuous. I heard light Chelsea chants too. But the Germans surprised me with the chanting... sharp!

I was only able to see the second half, but Stuttgart was basically just running into Chelsea's defenders. They should have taken more shots from outside the box.

Dolfan02
02-28-2004, 12:19 AM
Do you think that Major League Soccer should merge with the A-League in order to unite soccer fans instead of divided? Do you think it will generate greater benefits in promotion, profits, and a greater fan-base? Is there any way for it to happen? And if Rochester were to get an MLS expansion team, how will it affect the Rochester Rhinos who play in the A-League, shoud the Rhinos BE the expansion team for MLS?

With all the talk about soccer already having the potential to grow and the MLS needing more support to prove in can be a powerhouse... why not unite ALL soccer fans and merge with the A-League and with some of those other US soccer leagues??

I say go for it!

iceblizzard69
02-28-2004, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by Dolfan02
Do you think that Major League Soccer should merge with the A-League in order to unite soccer fans instead of divided? Do you think it will generate greater benefits in promotion, profits, and a greater fan-base? Is there any way for it to happen? And if Rochester were to get an MLS expansion team, how will it affect the Rochester Rhinos who play in the A-League, shoud the Rhinos BE the expansion team for MLS?

With all the talk about soccer already having the potential to grow and the MLS needing more support to prove in can be a powerhouse... why not unite ALL soccer fans and merge with the A-League and with some of those other US soccer leagues??

I say go for it!

The A-League the is the minor league of the MLS. A-League is lower in quality and there is no fan division. If Rochester got an MLS team, the Rhinos would leave A-League and that would be the MLS team.

Merging the two leagues is a terrible idea. A-League has a very small fanbase outside of Rochester (the only place where people actually go to A-League games). The players are worse in the league, and the best players in the league eventually go to MLS.

Merging MLS and A-League would be like merging MLB and AAA. The only difference between A-League and AAA is that in A-League, teams don't have affiliations with MLS teams. However, there is a huge dropoff in quality between MLS and A-League.

Dolfan02
02-28-2004, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by iceblizzard69


The A-League the is the minor league of the MLS. A-League is lower in quality and there is no fan division. If Rochester got an MLS team, the Rhinos would leave A-League and that would be the MLS team.

Merging the two leagues is a terrible idea. A-League has a very small fanbase outside of Rochester (the only place where people actually go to A-League games). The players are worse in the league, and the best players in the league eventually go to MLS.

Merging MLS and A-League would be like merging MLB and AAA. The only difference between A-League and AAA is that in A-League, teams don't have affiliations with MLS teams. However, there is a huge dropoff in quality between MLS and A-League.

Oh ok. But I still think many people consider the A-League to be something equivalent to the MLS. I've heard several people talk about the Vancouver Whitecaps and how much fans they pull in on average per game, I think its like 10,000-12,000. And I heard you say that Rochester pulls in 9000 on average, so that sounds about the same. And some fans have spoken about the Toronto Lynx as something great. I don't know because I've never seen any of the A-League teams. And then they also have the 'Pro Soccer League'. Just why they call it it "Pro", I don't know. And Ajax also has a team in the PDL. So its all a mess. I think the MLS should work together with those other leagues offically in somekind of contract and brandname unification so that all the soccer fans understand that its one big system as opposed to two different systems.

iceblizzard69
02-28-2004, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by Dolfan02


Oh ok. But I still think many people consider the A-League to be something equivalent to the MLS. I've heard several people talk about the Vancouver Whitecaps and how much fans they pull in on average per game, I think its like 10,000-12,000. And I heard you say that Rochester pulls in 9000 on average, so that sounds about the same. And some fans have spoken about the Toronto Lynx as something great. I don't know because I've never seen any of the A-League teams. And then they also have the 'Pro Soccer League'. Just why they call it it "Pro", I don't know. And Ajax also has a team in the PDL. So its all a mess. I think the MLS should work together with those other leagues offically in somekind of contract and brandname unification so that all the soccer fans understand that its one big system as opposed to two different systems.

PDL = Professional Developmental League

A-League is no where near MLS. No one that is capable of playing in MLS plays in the A-League.

A-League and PDL teams do participate with MLS teams in the US Open Cup. A lot of teams don't really care about the US Open Cup so MLS teams sometimes lose to teams in lesser leagues but it is rare. MLS teams almost always win the US Open Cup even though they don't care about it.

MLS doesn't need to work together with the A-League. It will do absolutely nothing for MLS. That's like saying that the NBA should work with the USBL.

It isn't two different systems. If you are good enough, you play in MLS. If you aren't, you play in the A-League.

Bodzilla29
03-01-2004, 04:06 PM
Actually Ice, Sociedad is a mid table team now and are nowhere near the relegation battle, but will come up way short against a VERY GOOD Lyon team, who is playing briliantly without Elber. I wouldn't be suprised to see Lyon in a semi final.

ManYoo have a horrible defensive record and are conceeding goals left, right, and center. There is no way the make it past a good team. Porto's abysmal record in England should be enough to see Manyoo thru htis round tho.

Chelsea are missing Duff and Veron, their 2 most creative players and it shows. Stuttgart have good young players, but not enough in the final third of the field to shock Chelsea at the Bridge.

Monaco's late goal in Moscow should be enough for them to go thru to the next round as a 1-0 win in the principality is enough for them to advance. Lot of credit to Loko tho, they haven't played competitively in 5 weeks.

Can not see Munich beating Madrid in the Bernabeu. Will be a close encounter but Real have too much fire power for the Germans.

Sparta are a VERY GOOD defensive team and should play Milan very close again, but inevitably they will not have enough in the way of attacking options and MIlan will prevail, my guess 1-0.

Arsenal are a lock to go thru as Celta area struggling side going to cold London.

juventus are not the same team they were last year, they miss Davids tho they will not admit it. Look for Depor to come out on top in a small upset.

Bodzilla29
03-01-2004, 04:07 PM
I am a regular on a Chelsea Mboard and this is a take on the CL by an Italian who's knowledge of the game and opinion I respect:



Pauly wote:
If you look at the strength of the squads (and the current points) of the teams chasing the EPL, you can already say that it will finish; Arsenal winners, Chelsea second and Manure a distant third.

I believe that by simply looking at the squads you can narrow the champions league down to only one possible winner, but for the sake of arguing i will say there are 4 teams that could possibly win.

This is the weakest champions league for many many years, and we do have a small chance of winning it - this is what i think of the competition that is left.

1. Man Utd & Juve: Neither have a chance. Decimated squads, Man Utd without Ferdinand will be exactly the same as man utd without Stam. I don't think that any team that is sweating on the fitness of MIKAEL SILVESTRE & WES BROWN can challenge for the cup. Juventus made an error in selling Davids, and it shows. I went to watch them at Bologna a couple of weeks ago, and they looked absolutely horrible. Del Piero plays 4 out of every 5 games indifferently, and is a dead weight on the field and they don't look safe without Antonio Conte on the field - a bad situation. In summary, Neither have the possibility of winning.

2. Monaco, Lyon, Sociedad, Celta, Sparta Prague, Lokomotiv are all second class teams and have no possibility of winning.

3. Bayern Munich, Stuttgart & Depor would be distant outsiders even if the qualified from their current matches which is unlikely. Bayern would have the best chance out of those 3, but i can't see any of them making it past the semi's at best.

4. That leaves remaining: Arsenal, Milan, Madrid & Chelsea. The first 3 more importantly because they are well formed teams that know eachother very well, and then obviously because of the squads. I put us in there, simply because of our squad - the CL is played disjointedly, and is a cup, that is the only reason we stand a chance. But we do have that chance because we have, THANKS TO CLAUDIO RANIERI, a squad that is COMPLETE.

Naturally it is my opinion that Milan are the only eventual winners. (that should guarentee a loss to sparta) But Arsenal are very high on confidence and Madrid are Madrid... with zidane and ronaldo. Milan are the only team with what i think are the two components necessary to go down as one of history's great teams - A complete team (one that defends, holds the ball and attacks with the same genius), AND the individual stars.

This is the direction Chelsea are going, we are not going to be a Madrid, Arsenal or Manure that are great going forward but undoubted have many big weaknesses. We have the complete squad, we just lack a real star player (zidane, nedved, ronaldo etc.)

SO in summary;

Finalists; Milan & Madrid
Semi-Finalists; Milan Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal.

Pauly

iceblizzard69
03-01-2004, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by Bodzilla29
Actually Ice, Sociedad is a mid table team now and are nowhere near the relegation battle, but will come up way short against a VERY GOOD Lyon team, who is playing briliantly without Elber. I wouldn't be suprised to see Lyon in a semi final.

ManYoo have a horrible defensive record and are conceeding goals left, right, and center. There is no way the make it past a good team. Porto's abysmal record in England should be enough to see Manyoo thru htis round tho.

Chelsea are missing Duff and Veron, their 2 most creative players and it shows. Stuttgart have good young players, but not enough in the final third of the field to shock Chelsea at the Bridge.

Monaco's late goal in Moscow should be enough for them to go thru to the next round as a 1-0 win in the principality is enough for them to advance. Lot of credit to Loko tho, they haven't played competitively in 5 weeks.

Can not see Munich beating Madrid in the Bernabeu. Will be a close encounter but Real have too much fire power for the Germans.

Sparta are a VERY GOOD defensive team and should play Milan very close again, but inevitably they will not have enough in the way of attacking options and MIlan will prevail, my guess 1-0.

Arsenal are a lock to go thru as Celta area struggling side going to cold London.

juventus are not the same team they were last year, they miss Davids tho they will not admit it. Look for Depor to come out on top in a small upset.

Sociedad is only 4 points away from the relegation zone. There are a lot of teams between them and the drop zone though. Celta Vigo, on the other hand, is in serious danger of getting relegated.

I agree with a lot of what you said. Man United has played terribly without Ferdinand and they have no chance at winning the EPL without him. I did say they would win at Porto, and I was wrong. I think they might have trouble even advancing because their defense is playing like **** and they aren't scoring many goals either.