Analysis Opinion Insight

Friday, March 18, 2011

Quarter Final Draw 
Most fans are saying Barcelona is the only team we are hoping to avoid. Yes, they are the favourites( and rightly so), but saying they are the only tough team is naivety in the extreme. Real Madrid, with Adebayor bringing the best out of Karem Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo & Higuain returning to fitness from injury, Ozil & Di Maria buzzing around and playing brilliantly, with Kaka relegated to a super-sub role, Alonso pulling the strings as directed by Jose Mourinho, Real stand a great chance of making their way to Wembley.

At current holders Inter, Leonardo has them playing brilliant offensive football, although their defence & keeper are a large liability. Eto'o, Pandev, Milito & Snjeider form their attacking department, supplemented by the young Countinho & Maicon bombing down from the right back position. The frailty of their defensive midfield, defence and goalkeeper mean the pressure is on their attackers to win inevitably high scoring games.

Chelsea will be tough opponents, and Spurs will be an unknown, both ties largely dependent on our own tactics.

Most fans don't mind who we get, just as long as we don't get Shaktar for travel concerns (distance, effect on fixture previous to and immediately after), but its not just the travelling, Shakhtar are the form team from the knockout stage, with their 6-2 aggregate win being the highest aggregate score from the knock-out stage.

I'm hoping we get our defenders( Rafael, O'Shea, Rio, Vidic, Evans) plus midfielders ( Anderson, Fletcher, Park and praying for Hargreaves) all fit before the quarter final ties start..

As for a team, I'd like to face the mangerless Shalke.

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