What a song. What a glooooooorious song.
Remember when we watch some magical soccer and got rich doing it yesterday? Yep, let’s do that again.
Reminder of the results from the first 75% of the first half of the first round of home-and-home knockout stages:
Recap of yesterday’s action (in trusty .gif format):
Now on to today’s action….
PICKS OF THE DAY
Ya boy Sammy had one of those blind-squirrel-finding-two-acorns-at-once experience yesterday, getting all sorts of rich in the process. Dummies would probably suggest that today is ripe for some regressing to the mean, but that’s why they are probably poor. Let’s go get richER.
Dynamo Kiev (+250)
Is Chelsea dead? Not quite. Is Arsenal dead? Body’s still twitching but nobody is home. Fannnnnnnnnnntastic. That means that City, a club that has lost three straight including the 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Chelski on Sunday, is by far the best hope the EPL has of remaining alive in this season’s Champions League – which, incidentally, as I have mentioned many times is unusually important if the league is going to hang on to its cherished fourth auto-slot in the UCL.
So for the EPL it all comes down to City, which was already feeling enough pressure after spending several hundred buttloads of oil money to become the undisputed favorite heading into the EPL season, while recently becoming perilously close to falling out of the title chase altogether. Sounds like a good time to be heading to the tropical environs of Ukraine to play a club that has not lost a competitive match since… EARLY NOVEMBER.
That becomes a little less impressive though when you realize that the Ukrainian club hasn’t played a competitive match since early December when their domestic league ended. And here’s a little research you won’t get anywhere else (unless you know how to use the internet): Dynamo has played a number of friendly games over the past couple months and the results were not all that impressive, including losses to a THIRD-tier Spanish side and something called Sparta Prahia.
But right when you start to seriously question City, that’s when they come back to bite you in the ass. The club sacrificed all hope in the FA Cup but playing a C-squad against Chelsea, predictably getting its ass handed to it but leaving it well rested heading into today’s game. Kompany is well and truly back, which – along with Toure, Sterling and Silva roaming the middle, and Aguero up top – means the visitors are as healthy as they have been in forever. Add to that a rusty Dynamo is likely missing their best player in Andriy Yarmolenko… this has to be a win for City because it just has to. Dynamo will put up a fight because the Ukraine is nothing if not not weak, but City to win 2-1. [Note: keep in mind clubs’ tendency to play conservative in the first legs of a home-and-home.]
Little known fact: the nickname for PSV’s home stadium translates in English to “The Dutch Over”.
If you think Atletico is going to come in and wipe the floor with their hosts PSV today then I want some of whatever you have been smoking. The visitors have admittedly been extremely good in UCL and on the road, going unbeaten away while conceding only three goals in the group stage. Not to be outdone, PSV has been quite good itself at home, going unbeaten and only conceding two goals in the three group matches.
This has all the makings of a slow, tame, “cagey” affair, with both sides likely willing to settle for a low-scoring game that sends the tie back to Spain all knotted up. I could see it finishing 1-1 but for betting purposes I’m going 0-0 draw. [Note: by saying no goals will be scored I have ensured this will finish 6-4… you’re welcome neutrals.]*****************************************
So there it is, the second-best ever Champions League preview that Barstool will publish this week. I may be back tomorrow to discuss Europa – or maybe not. It is Europa we are talking about, after all. Either way, the EPL is back in a big way this weekend
so don’t miss me too hard.
Sam U.L. Army