So there I was, just minding my business looking at other peoples’ Instagram pages, when I happened across this little beauty
UK newspapers are saying it was Adam Johnson’s sister who started this but quite simply I don’t believe that. This has to be a viral marketing campaign by NAMbLA – and an absolutely brilliant one at that. The pictured scene has all the hallmarks, after all…
– Guy who admitted banging an underage kid: CHECK
– Little boy with a shirt mysteriously labeled “Daddy”: CHECK
– Guy who admitted banging an underage kid potentially molesting little boy: CHECK
We got soccer fans out here defending admitted statutory rapists. We got other soccer fans battling to the death over whether Messi or Ronaldo is better.
Just a banner week all around for fanaticos del futbol, I’d say.
But enough about that. It’s Tuesday, which means life invariably sucks. But wait, what’s this – how about some splendid soccer to make everything okay again?
So we are about to embark on the second leg of the home-and-home Round of 16 games, meaning it is time for some clubs to get sent packing. As a little reminder, this is what happened in the first legs:
And here is the schedule for the four gamedays over the next week or so:
As far as the four days go, on paper this is indisputably the tamest of the bunch (when taking into account previous results and clubs involved), which can only mean one thing… the games will be inexplicably entertaining and come right down to the wire. Get pumped.
Now on to today’s action….
PICKS OF THE DAY
It has been a strange season for ya boy Sammy. I’ve been hemorrhaging units on regular EPL games then making a killing on UCL. Last season it was the polar opposite. On the bright side: today (and tomorrow) are all about Champions League, and when you’re hot you’re hot, so let’s go make some moneys.
Real Madrid (-270)
The Madridista’s 7-1 whupping of Celta Vigo last weekend looks a lot more impressive on paper than it did live, as the visitors were handicapped by an early red card but still managed to retain a surprising amount of possession (and nick a goal) before completely running out of gas. Roma comes in playing some of their best soccer all season having just destroyed Fiorentina – granted, Spurs has just eaten the Purple People Eaters soul for lunch – to extend their domestic winning streak to seven games.
Alas, in the middle of that streak the Italians welcomed the Spanish Giants to their domicile where they were beaten 2-0, putting them in a serious hole heading to Madrid needing to score a minimum of two goals. If there was a silver lining for the Giallorossi it was that they showed they could more or less keep up with Real in the first leg (only to be undone by two defensive breakdowns). Giving Mohamed Salah some looks on the counterattack will be key, and it would not surprise me at all if Roma managed to find one at some point and keep it close – hint: both clubs to score = yus – but with Ronaldo in scoring form and Gareth Bale reportedly back healthy it is tough to go against the home side in this one. Real to win 2-1.
I badmouthed my beloved Wolfy last matchday but, despite some late bobbles, they managed to come through with a 3-2 road win. Can’t beat that for a first leg in a home-and-home situation. Nevertheless, I still am not convinced they have the type of quality to be anything more than a sacrificial lamb next round, but we’ll deal with next round when next round rolls around. At the moment there are a few reasons for optimism for the Belgian visitors, including the fact that Julian Draxler is doubtful after limping off for Wolfy at the weekend. Little known fact: Gent has scored in every Champions League game this season. I’d expect that to continue, but as much as I do think Gent has a chance to pull off a shocker, I think the best they could hope for in this one is a draw – which, apart from the moral victory, is actually a big fat loss since it means going home. Gimme a 1-1 draw.
FA CUP REPLAY
Hull City (+440)
You are probably asking yourself, “Wait, what the shit is this?” and I don’t blame you. Given how busy the fixture list is over the next few weeks and months, the FA decided to clandestinely schedule a little fifth round replay action on a Champion League Day – the most holy of all the days ending in Y. I honestly have half a mind to boycott discussing the game out of respect to the UCL, but there is money to be won so I’ll be damned if I’m going to leave stoolies hanging. #Strive4Greatness
Yes, Arsenal are hanging on by their fingernails in UCL and EPL league title, but anybody with a brain knows that the FA Cup is far and away Arsenal’s best shot at lifting a trophy this season. Unfortunately for the Gooners they will be missing all sorts of players due to either injury (Cech, Oxlade, Chamberlain, Cazorla, and possibly Koscielny, to name a few) or suspension (Coquellin), and Arsene is widely expected to rest some others (Ozil and Sanchez being distinct possibilities). That makes this game a lot more of a toss-up than you might otherwise think, especially with it being played at the KC Stadium.
Given the number of guys Arsenal will be missing, and Hull’s tendency to be involved in games with very very few goals, it’s hard to imagine this being much for entertainment value. 0-0 draw would not surprise me but based on how badly I would love to laugh my wee balls off at Arsenal for crashing out, I have to assume they will find a goal… through Mathieu Flamini. 1-0 win for Arsenal.
So there it is, the second-best ever Champions League preview that Barstool will publish for at least 24 hours. Lot’s more action coming up this week with Chelsea/PSG tomorrow followed by some surprisingly intriguing Europa action, about which I may or may not blog… gotta keep you guessing.
Sam U.L. Army