Tuesday, 18 April 2017

My point of view on Champions league (I. part)

Leicester - Atletico Madrid


First of all, I would like to say, that in my opinion there is little value on Atletico. Odds above 1,90 are simply little bit too much on one of the strongest teams when it comes for knockout phases of Champions league, while they are playing against one "average" Premier league team. I don't wan to be disrespectful, but comparing those two teams, I think that Leicester is not in advantage not even on one position. On first match, I was writing about possible problems of Atletico, because they are not among the teams who love to be in possession of the ball, but they scored in 28th minute from penalty spot, and that was enough for them. Today, Leicester will need to show something more, and I think that might be big problem for them as Atletico is deadly on counters. With Gameiro back, they have another high quality attacker, and I am more and more confident in Atletico.

Before the match with Atletico, Leicester lost in EPL against Everton (4-2). Their last match in EPL finished 2-2 against Crystal Palace. Shakespeare substituted Mahrez in 75th minute, Benalouane in 76th, while Drinkwater came in instead of King in 64th minute. His key player, Vardy played whole 90 minutes. 

Leicester will miss: Mendy, Wague and suspended Huth, while Slimani and Morgan are not 100% neither, but one of them might play.

Atletico who played draw on Santiago Bernabeu against city rival before meeting Leicester at home, won their last match against Osasuna, with comfortable 3-0 + they missed two penalties. Simeone rested Griezmann and Saul, while he substituted Filipe Luis in 67th minute, Fernando Torres in 72nd minute and Gaitan in 76th. With some rotations in last match, his team will be fresher then the opponents.

Atletico will miss midfielders Tiago and Fernandez, and defender Vrsaljko. All key players are available to Simeone.


Real Madrid - Bayen München


One of most expected matches of 1/4 finals finished with surprised win of Real Madrid with 1-2. As I wrote in my last point of view, odds were far from normal (more than 5,00 on Real Madrid) and even if match could finished totally different if Vidal would score from penalty for 2-0 in first half for example, it finished with win of Real Madrid, who played one of their best matches this season. On the other hand, we need to admit that we saw one of the worst performances of German team. Anyway, red card of Martinez changed situation on the pitch, and Real started playing more and more aggressively and all in all, Bayern can be happy that it ended with only 1-2. What can we expect today? I am not sure. Odds are pretty tricky, but value in my opinion is on Real Madrid AH 0. It's true that Bayern will have Lewandowski back, but it might happen that they will be without both central defenders. As Javi is suspended, that means that Ancelotti is practically without central defenders by profession. One might be Alaba, while the other one could be one of midfield duo Xabi Alonso/Kimmich. It's true that midfield and especially offensive part of the team will be much stronger because of Lewandowski, but how will their defence work? Also Neuer is not 100% as he missed training on Santiago Bernabeu, but he will probably start. In my opinion, match can still go in either side, but from what we saw on first leg and especially regarding the situation with Boateng, Hummels, Neuer, Real is in big advantage.

Zinedine Zidane rested Marcelo, Carvajal, Ronaldo, Benzema, Modrić, Asensio, Kroos, Marcelo came in after injury of Coentrao in 57th minute, while Casemiro came in almost for the final whistle instead of Kovačić. Even with so many rotations they managed to win in Gijon, it's true that in last seconds of the match but points are important, and they got all three of them. Besides, Isco played amazingly! As we can see he rested many important players, and Real is fully prepared for the match with Bavarians. 

Real Madrid will miss defenders Pepe, Varane and Fabio Coentrao, and winger Gareth Bale. Is that as bad for them as it looks? I am not sure. It's obvious that Bale didn't find his top form after the injury while Isco, Vazquez and Asensio, all players who will be in position to substitute Gareth, are in very good form. 

Bayern played draw with Leverkusen, and Ancelotti used Alaba as central defender with Bernat on left full back position, which might happen again tonight. Kimmich and Vidal played defensive midfielders, while Thiago, Coman and Douglas Costa played behind Müller. The only rested a bit players were Lahm (substituted Javi Martinez in 72nd), Robben (substituted Douglas Costa in 60th) and Xabi Alonso (substituted Coman in 70th minute). 

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