Champions League Preview 2/18

Alright people it is finally that time the Champions League knockout stages.

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What feels like an eternity we have been waiting today is now the day. We have two absolutely brilliant matches today. I am going to break down the teams, see who I think will win, and of course their chances of winning the whole damn thing.

Let’s go.

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First things first we are getting two amazing games today from UEFA Champions League but why the f*ck would you not stagger the start times? You really are playing both these games at the same time? Do you just hate everyone UEFA or do you want to see who exactly gets more views? I am about to lose my mind, but whatever now I will just stream it illegally cause y’all are playing games.

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Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool

Here we have a team that is great in the Champions League in Atletico Madrid, been to plenty of finals and usually makes a deep run in the competition. On the other side we have the defending champs Liverpool. Liverpool have only lost 1 game all season so this is a bit of a tall order for Atleti.

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Simeone usually known for his defensive tactics has had a very wild year of things just all seeming to go wrong. Now two things could happen in this game. 1. Simeone has a master class waiting for Liverpool, and will dominate them at the Wanda Metropolitano. Or 2. They are going to get smoked. Now looking at past performances from both sides it would seem that the 2nd option is more likely but this is Diego Simeone. The highest paid coach in the world right now, he’s had 2 months to figure out the best way to shut down Liverpool’s attack; I think of all the teams for Liverpool to draw in the first knock out round this is a great matchup. That being said you got Salah, Firmino, Mane, as well as one of the best defenses in the world in VVD, Arnold, Robertson, and Gomez. Oh did I forget to mention the worlds most expensive goal keeper?

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This one should be all Liverpool all day, Atleti shouldn’t be able to hold them. But I pray to God the Spaniards make it interesting. Joao Felix this is your opportunity to make your mark for Atletico and show the fans exactly why they paid so much for you. Joao Felix is “Hurt” with no specific time to return so I am thinking that they are chalking that up as a bust already though.

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Liverpool 2, Atletico Madrid 0. (First Leg)

 

Dortmund vs PSG

Here is an even better matchup, mostly because I think the teams are a little bit closer in talent/skill level than the Atleti-Pool match. We have some of the most exciting young talent in the world on the pitch today.

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We head over to Dortmund park to watch Mbappe and Erling Haland go at it for the UCL Golden boot. Mbappe sitting at 5 goals, Haland sitting at 8 goals, and if you expect anyone else to score in this matchup and they aren’t name Kylian or Erling just shut up for a little while. Yes there is also Neymar returning, we also have Jadon Sancho who is already in double digits for goals and assists. Just a whole lotta attack to shove down all the viewers throats and honestly what else can we ask for? PSG has been cruising in the league and in the UCL, they brought in Keylor Navas a UCL master mind between the sticks seems like they are prepared.

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The real advantage here is going to be the defensive battle which I give the nod to PSG. Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Bernat, and Meunier holding down that back line all year with Keylor Navas sitting behind them cleaning up the rest. They clearly have the stronger defense which is why Dortmund seem to be taking a more offensive approach letting their outside backs join the midfield Hakimi and Guerreiro are playing more as wings. They have Hummels, Akanji, and Piszczek, good defenders to try and hold that front 3 at bay but I just do not see it happening. PSG are just too strong and if Neymar ends up starting this game just hold on tight for Dortmunds back line. Icardi in fantastic form, Mbappe is Mbappe, Neymar supposed to be returning. There is just too much fire power for Dortmund to answer to. However Dortmund is an extremely hard place to go play at with the yellow wall. I think the fans, and the young attack will be the brightest spots for Dortmund, but I got PSG. KEYLOR NAVAS  X FACTOR!

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PSG 3, Dortmund 1.

 

Written by: Anthony “Young Leg” Shopa (@shopaaj)

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