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Barstool’s Champions League Preview – The “ELITEish EIGHT (Day 4 of 4)” Edition

Sam’s Soccer Safe Space For Stoolies

Hi haters,

And that, folks, is why they play the game. On the one hand, I’m a little disappointed that City and Barcelona won’t be meeting in the final. They are both having remarkable reasons and it would have been a big-balled battle for the ages. On the other, two snaps

for Liverpool and Roma. They didn’t just squeak by. They went out and beat their bigger, richer opponents, and both absolutely earned their spot be in the semi-finals. Good for them.

‘Member yesterday when I said there would still be drama in the quarterfinals despite the seemingly insurmountable leads in all four of the matchups? I wasn’t saying that just to say it. I meant it. And yet, I definitely wasn’t expecting THAT much drama… with a full day of games yet to be played!

So buckle up, kiddos, cause it’s time to get your minds right for lots more ball-tingling SOCCUH action…

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Results from last week and yesterday, along with today’s schedule:

3-schedule

JSB was going to do a little recap blog of yesterday’s ridiculousness but it sounds like she came down with the black lung so instead I’ll give you the quick and dirty version:

Roma gave zero F’s about Barcelona’s ridiculous record this season and came out and took a watery three-goal dump on the Catalans head. Perhaps more people should have seen it coming with how well the Italians played in the first leg, where the 1-4 scoreline was in no way reflective of how close the game had been. But hanging a three-spot – including one almost at the death – on a team that lost ONE TIME ALL SEASON… that, my friends, what sports are all about. Thanks for the memories, FOX!

– How about the watermelon-sized nuts on Liverpool? City scored within two minutes of the opening kickoff (on a play that could easily have been stopped for a foul on VVD) and the whole world was like “ho boy, here we go – Ts and Ps to Liverpool”… that includes about 100 Liverpool fans who were shitting their drawers in my mentions. So what does Liverpool do? How about not concede again for the rest of the game – granted, with the help of a blown offside call wherein Leroy Sané (who sucked yet again) was onside – while nicking two on counters to not just advance, but to beat City at City to do so. That takes some big ‘ol danglies.

[IMPORTANT NOTE: there has been a LOT of discussion about the Sané goal that was called back so let me clear that up once and for all. There are two questions: (1) did James Milner “deliberately” play the ball. It’s a total judgment call. Every Liverpool fan will say no. Every City fan will say yes. I am neither and I say yes, he reacted to the ball coming at him by lifting his leg and played the ball in order to prevent Gabriel Jesus from playing it… just because the ball went directly to Sané – meaning not where Milner would have liked it to go – doesn’t change the fact he deliberately played the ball. So by my interpretation of that rule, Sané should have been ruled onside.

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But again, that’s a judgment call. More importantly, that “judgment” DOES NOT MATTER because (2) when De Bruyne originally played the long ball through, which Karius punched and Milner then deflected, Sané was ONSIDE at that time, meaning he is therefore onside PERIOD. That supersedes the dumbass “judgment” on whether Milner’s touch was “deliberate” and CONFIRMS that Sané should NOT have been ruled offside, and the goal should have counted. Would it have changed the game? Maybe. Perhaps even probably. But that is soccer. City still had 45 minutes to score a couple more goals. They didn’t and instead let Liverpool score twice. Shit happens. Liverpool won. We’re moving on.]

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WEDNESDAY’S PICKS

Real Madrid [-180]
Juventus [+390]
Draw [+325]

Some people may be asking themselves:

“Roma just overcame a three-goal deficit against Barcelona. Why can’t a better team in Juve do the same against a worse team in Real Madrid?”

A fair question. After all, never say never, especially not with a club as experienced as Juventus. However, there are two huge differences between Roma/Barça yesterday and Real/Juve today.

The first and most obvious is that (a) today the Italian club, which got its ass handed to it at home last week, is going on the road. This is particularly important because (b) Juve will be with Paulo Dybala who picked up a silly red card in the first leg, meaning the in-form Argentinian playmaker is suspended today. That is a YOUGE loss and makes it all but impossible to have much faith in Juve today.

Also, Ronny.

Real Madrid to win 2-1.

For the record: Madrid rolling over Juve in no way changes this:

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as I have said all along that Ronny & Co. are not on the same level as City, Barcelona or Bayern. However, the facts that somebody else cleared the way by taking care of those first two potential vanquishers – and you and I both know UEFA already has Roma’s ping pong ball on ice in preparation for lining them up against Real Madrid – suffice to say that the confluence of those two happenings does indeed make me slightly nervous. Only slightly though. There’s no way Real win it again this year. Just no frickin way.

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Bayern [-425]
Sevilla [+950]
Draw [+560]

I’m not saying Sevilla is going to win this game. But IF Sevilla were to win this game and advance, at least it would put to rest any questions about who the world’s biggest cooler is given the aforementioned prediction.

The unfortunate truth (for yours truly) is Sevilla do have an outside shot. Not only will Bayern be without two key pieces in half-man, half-bulldog Arturo Vidal and speedy left back David Alaba, but also Ever Banega returns from suspension to lock down the Spanish side’s midfield. Ze Germans have a ton of depth, of course, but the absence of Vidal in the middle of the field could still be big. As it is, DM Javy Martinez will play above Hummels and Boateng in the middle, with Thiago Alcantara, James Rodriguez, Thomas Muller and Ribery/Robben supporting Lewandowski up top. Not exactly a weak XI but – as United and Barcelona can recently attest – Sevilla is like a stage 5 clinger your buddies tricked you into buying a drink for and just won’t go away. Bayern is capable of blowing anybody out (ask BVBabyjesus) but I’m guessing Sevilla hang – cling? – around…a draw would be pretty exciting, and pretty damn liucrative, but I’m wussing out and saying Bayern to win 2-1.

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Another big day tomorrow…… hahahaha, kidding, it’s just Europa. So with Arsenal sitting very pretty (up 4-1) and Atleti sitting kinda pretty (up 2-0), perhaps you can even get some actual work done for once – congrats! Either way, I’ll be back on Friday with another weekend preview. Don’t miss me too much.

God-fricking-damit!


Holler,
Samuel Army