Wednesday, 12 April 2017

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

If anything, than I would rather try to catch some higher odds here, but again risk a little. Don't risk too much on those mathes as the differences between teams are small, importance of the match is enormous...

Atletico Madrid - Leicester City

First match will be played on Vicente Calderon in Madrid, which means that Leicester is the team with advantage of having second match at home. Can Leicester surprise another Spanish team? Sevilla had dozens of chances, even two penalties, but they missed everything. One thing is clear, if Atletico will have that many chances than there is nothing positive to expect from side of the only still alive English team in Champions league. 

Atletico's last match in La Liga was against city rivals Real Madrid, and it finished with draw 1-1. Of course Simeone needed full squad. Luckily no one picked up an injury, so he can count on all important players except Gameiro.

Simeone will miss attacker Gameiro, midfielders Tiago and Fernandez, defender Vrsaljko and 2nd goalkeeper Moya.

Leicester finished their win row after Shakespeare's take over as they lost in Everton with 4-2. Leicester played in pretty strong lineup as well. Only Mahrez stayed on the bench and came in, in 61th minute. Other two substitutions were Musa and Ulloa. First instead of Vardy in 61th, while second one instead of Albrighton in 78th minute.

Shakespeare will miss important defender and captain of the team Morgan, midfielder Mendy, while defender Ndidi remains doubtful. 

In my eyes, this match might be closer as majority of people think. Everyone expects Atletico all over Leicester. It's true, that should happen, as Atletico is far more experienced team, with much better individuals, but there is one thing which bothers me enough, that I am not going with Atleti. Leicester is among the teams, who likes to let the ball to the opponent, and wait for their chances from counters. With Mahrez and Vardy, they have both - quality assists and pace, ability to score. Vardy maybe wouldn't succeed in any other club, but in Leicester, with their tactics and with his ability to fight, to be aggressive, with his quickness and nose for goal, he is indispensable figure for Foxes. Just remember the match between Atletico Madrid and PSV on 15th March 2016. PSV gave the ball to Atletico, and they were struggling with creation. They were not capable to break the Dutch defence and in 57th minute Jan Oblak saved incredible opportunity for Dutch team, which might be 0-1 up in this match. We could even say, that Atletico had less problems with Barcelona in 2 matches, then with PSV (both matches finished with 0-0, and Atletico won after penalties!). Atletico tried to change their style in start of this season, but after half season, their results were far from expected, and they moved back to old, proven style. Maybe someone is thinking why the hell am I not going with Foxes AH +1,5 then as odds are pretty fine (1,92 on Pinnacle right now). Well, Leicester will be without Wes Morgan, who is captain and leader of this team. Without his commands in defence, things might be difficult for Leicester. All in all, I expect win of Atletico, but I think that there is no value in those odds.

Bayern München - Real Madrid

Without doubt, one of the most interesting matches of quarter finals. Allianz Arena is expecting Real Madrid with amazing atmosphere, as it is just 4 days after amazing win on Der Klassiker (4-1 against Dortmund). Both teams came into quarters without serious problems, even though we could say that Napoli outplayed Real Madrid in 2nd match in Italy, but Real Madrid shown why they are among top clubs, and why Napoli isn't. As so many times this lately, Sergio Ramos happened and finished all the hopes of Italians. Bayern perfectly knows how it feels when "Ramos happens" as he scored two goals in first 20 minutes in 2nd match of Champions league semi finals (29/4/2014).

As mentioned, Bayern is coming to match after big win against Dortmund with 4-1. They played good, having 66% of possession, creating lots of chances, and what is most important, all their key players seems to be in hell of a form.

Ancelotti will miss Hummels, while key striker Robert Lewandowski remains doubtful (didn't participate on trainings last two days), but I think that he will start the match anyway.

Real Madrid had derby as well, they played 1-1 against city rival Atletico, but even with winning only a point, extended their lead before Barcelona on league table, so I believe that morale in locker room is fine. Unluckily they lost Pepe in this match, who joined Varane on injury list.

Zidane won't be able to count on defenders Pepe and Varane, which means that home grown player Nacho will start as centre back partner of Sergio Ramos. 

Many Real Madrid fans would rather see players as Asensio, Vazquez, Isco and Morata in first lineup than Benzema, Bale and some of them even instead of first star of Real - Cristiano Ronaldo. Of course, that won't happen, and we can be sure that at least Bale and Ronaldo will start the game, while some changes might happen when it comes for position of "number 9", as Morata is in far better form lately. With Modrić in pretty average form, some difficulties in attacking trio, and without excellent Pepe, Real might have some problems against almost "top form" Bayern. I think that this is one of the best teams of Bayern in all their history, and for me, they are first favourites to win the Champions league. Having strong first eleven, and at least 3-4 players who can change the game from the bench, they have the widest squad in Europe and as it looks they are really in top form. Leading Bundesliga by 10 points, with goal difference +56 they have no worries in league, and we cannot exclude factor of coach here. Ancelotti is former Real Madrid coach, he knows players perfectly, as well as Zidane, who actually learned a lot from Italian and took over the team right from his hands.  Without doubts, Bayern is favourite for me, but be careful with betting on them, as odds are crazily low. At 1,60 on Germans, it feels as if Bayern is playing against one average team from Champions league, but we all know that that's not true. It is also true that advantage of having second match at home is in Spaniards hands, so Bayern is the team under bigger pressure of making a good result before going on Santiago Bernabeu.

p.s. Get well soon Marc!

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