Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Champions League Previews - 9/26/2006

Match Day 2 of the UEFA Champions League is upon us. Here are some previews and picks.

Manchester United vs. Benfica
Sir Alex wants a win in this match so badly that he is willing to suit up himself...well maybe not that bad. With the ultra sour taste of last season's UEFA Champions League defeat at the hands of Benfica, which proved to dump United out of European competition entirely, SAF is drooling over the chance to return to Portugal and get a result against the Portuguese. Wanting the win and actually getting one might be light years away from each other.

First things first, I am a Manchester United supporter. I spent 9 hours on the Jersey turnpike the last time they were in the USA to watch them lose on penalties to AC Milan at Giants Stadium. On vacation last year, I made my way to Nevada Smiths in NYC to watch the Carling Cup final with some 300 or so other United supporters. While I am not as rapid a supporter as some others, I support the club and if they are on TV here in the States, I am infront of the TV watching them.

That said, I am not too impressed with this line-up. I have been able to watch the last two EPL matches (vs. Arsenal & vs. Reading) as well as the last Champions League match. United do not look like themselves. Their efforts in the last attacking third of the field have been crap. They look more like my hometown club, DC United, than Manchester United. Based on their latest form, I really am not too convinced that a victory can be achieved from this match. The finishing is dreadful and the services sent into the box are downright sad.

I hope I am wrong, but until United begins to display better attacking skills, they might very well suffer a similar result as last season.
Manchester United 1 - 1 Benfica

Arsenal vs. Porto
Arsenal, while they started the EPL season rather badly, have pulled off three straight victories in all competitions, including a 2-1 Champions League victory over Hamburg and a 1-0 victory of Manchester United in the Prem. The return of Captain and the heart and soul of the club, Thierry Henry, things should be looking up for the Gunners, assuming everyone else stays healthy.

Porto started their Champions League campaign with a 0-0 draw with CSKA Moscow, which in a match that it should have easily won, was a wasted opportunity. Having started their domestic season with four straight victories, Arsenal might be in for a sluggfest. I am looking for an upset here.
Arsenal 1 - 2 Porto

Real Madrid vs. Dynamo Kiev
So, with both clubs getting thrashed on Match Day 1, this should be a wide open, all out match. Real were handled by Lyon 2-0, while Kiev took one on the chin and went down for the count in a 4-1 obliteration against Steaua Bucharest. For either club to truly feel that it will make the knockout stage, they will have to get 3 points today.

If the cloud over Real has truly been lifted and they can actually play up to their potential, then the recent history of Dynamo Kiev having poor trips to Spain should continue. If they are still out of sync, which was sited for their loss to Lyon, then a drab and boring match will be in the cards, and both clubs might eliminate each other with a draw.
Real Madrid 2 - 0 Dynamo Kiev


Post a Comment

<< Home

Office Depot Coupons
Office Depot