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Champions League Knockouts Preview + Predictions – R16 (Leg 2/Part 1)

Sam's Soccer Safe Space For Stoolies

Hi haters™,

Boys. Girls. Ladies. Gentlemen. This is the week that the 2020-21 edition of Champions League sprouts some hair on its balls and starts to become a man. Several clubs that enter the week with grandiose hopes and even grander dreams are at risk of having those aspirations dashed.

Other teams come in with seasons already in tatters and could exit with little left to play and perhaps even live for.

In other words: high, hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh drama.

So sit back, relax, and let the soft melodic words of Barstool’s only self-assigned Sissy Sport Spirit Sherpa enrich your brain and drain your wallet… but only after you get in the mood with the sweet sounds of soccer sex:



ROUND OF 16

So this is what we are looking at this week:

And, for posterity’s sake, the updated odds (according to the 538 nerds) on where things go from here:


TUESDAY’S PICKS

JUVENTUS [-225]
PORTO [+700]
Draw [+375]

Never bet against the Portuguese in Portugal in Champions League. Rule #1. I broke it and we paid dearly. Credit to Porto. They played well in the first leg. At the same time though, Juventus just plain didn’t show up for most of the game and seemed clueless with how to deal with the high-pressure defense Porto threw at them everywhere on the field.

Two things are different this time around: Morata and more importantly Arthur are back and will help Juventus stretch the field and hold the ball, respectively. Those are both huge. Also, no chance Ronny – about as useless as a third testicle in the game two weeks ago – lays two UCL goose eggs in a row. 

Porto’s intensity means they certainly have a shot if they can create some mistakes, but it is a high-risk/high-reward approach and I’m going with the tried and true and tested and newly officially Weston McKennie-ed up….

Prediction: JUVENTUS TO WIN 3-1


DORTMUND [+120]
SEVILLA [+235]
Draw [+275]

Sevilla and Dortmund are two very different teams that play very different styles. Dortmund won out BIG time in the first leg as they turned it into a track meet and Erling Haaland was an absolute beast. Unfortunately he picked up an ankle injury and had to leave the Bayern game this weekend, so his health status is a bit up in the air. That is just about the only good news for Sevilla, who come in having lost three straight (including on Saturday to something called Elche, which sounds more like a skim milk-based dietary supplement than soccer team).

If Haaland is out this could definitely be a contest. If he’s back (and let’s just assume not playing on one leg Daniel-san style), I got Ze Other Germans all day every day.

After all this ain’t Europa. Sevilla is a fish out of water.

Prediction: DORTMUND TO WIN 2-1


WEDNESDAY’S PICKS

PSG [+130]
BARCELONA [+190]
Draw [+310]

No chance, right? I mean, no fricking way history repeats itself.

Definitely not. No way. But maaaaaaaaaaaybeeeeeeeeeeee for three good reasons and one great one:

1) Neymar is confirmed out. Love him or hate him the dude is damn good and PSG are a lot less dangerous without him… not that you would have known that based on the first game (which he missed).

2) Messi. Closest thing to a living god I have seen and probably will ever see on god’s green earth. Potentially his last season at Barcelona. You really wanna doubt him pulling a rabbit out of his hat one more time?

3) The stink of Spursy doesn’t wash off that quickly – no matter how many showers Pochettino has taken since November 2019. If PSG somehow cough up this lead again it will be 51% their fault, and 49% Tottenham’s fault. It is what it is.

4) Fact: you can't spell capitulationings [multiple] without P-S-G. Think about it.

But will it really happen? Could it really happen? AGAIN???

Mannnnnnnn, I hate betting against Messi in a game this big, especially since Barcelona have sneakily been a lot better than all the headlines (and Sam’s Army memes) would suggest.

Feels like a game where a LOT of different things could happen. An early goal for PSG could completely break Barcelona’s spirit and PSG could run out to a big win. That is a real possibility. At the same time, given that the Frenchies predilection for folding at smallest sign of adversity (plus The Power of The Messi), I would not put it past Barcelona to make it very interesting. But in the end I’m gonna be a massive gaping wuss and split the baby, and say Barca win the battle but PSG win the war.

Prediction: BARCELONA TO “WIN” 3-2


LIVERPOOL [+145]
RBL [+260]
Draw [+190]

Liverpool at "home" (actually at Puskas Stadium -- aka the Anfield of Budapest) is basically a confirmed loss these days so the question for me isn’t if they lose but rather when they lose is it by a small enough margin to still advance. If they had pulled the trigger on Aaron Long this January then I would say yes. As it is, I say no.

Prediction: RBL TO WIN 3-1



Reminder: another big slate on Spursday. Kidding, it’s just Europa.

As always, thanks for reading you beauties.

Holler,
Samuel Army