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The Soccer Thread 12/13

Originally posted by NinerAce:
And the 4 favorites advance... 2 German sides and 2 Spanish sides.

Messi should be healthy for the next round. My question is... who will be alongside Piqué as central defender? Adriano got hurt again and is out for the next game anyway, and Mascherano will be out. Will Captain Tarzan be back? Is Bartra ready?

Really hoping Adriano comes back healthy. Need him bad, especially if they have to play Real or Bayern. If he's not good to go, then Bartra gets the call.
Originally posted by 49erha:
Congrats to barca but also to psg they didn't lose. After today I again have to say bayern are the most complete team.

I'm hoping that the semis are barca v bayern and real vs dortmund would love to see an all German final

Dortmund is the weakest of the 4...don't see them going through. I want Barca vs. Bayern in the Semis too. Barca is tougher to beat over 2 legs than in the fina. Bayern vs. Barca will be the most entertaining match-up.

IMO, Real is the most complete team...followed by Bayern. Barca's defense is a huge liability right now...but with a healthy Messi - they keep 70% of the possession regardless of opposition...so really have to defend 25-30 minutes a game.

If Barca can limit the damage to 1 goal...I don't see them losing. Valdes and the back four need to get their act together.
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by 49erha:
Congrats to barca but also to psg they didn't lose. After today I again have to say bayern are the most complete team.

I'm hoping that the semis are barca v bayern and real vs dortmund would love to see an all German final

Dortmund is the weakest of the 4...don't see them going through. I want Barca vs. Bayern in the Semis too. Barca is tougher to beat over 2 legs than in the fina. Bayern vs. Barca will be the most entertaining match-up.

IMO, Real is the most complete team...followed by Bayern. Barca's defense is a huge liability right now...but with a healthy Messi - they keep 70% of the possession regardless of opposition...so really have to defend 25-30 minutes a game.

If Barca can limit the damage to 1 goal...I don't see them losing. Valdes and the back four need to get their act together.

No doubt dortmund is the weakest of the 4 but they have playmakers and if hummels plays they will be tough. There is danger plus they have beaten Madrid and should have beaten them in Madrid.

As far as bayern goes it will be intresting if they play barca cause they haven't played against a player like shweinstiger he controls the game so well. They don't give up goals and Nuer may be the best in the world. Can't wait!
Originally posted by 49erha:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by 49erha:
Congrats to barca but also to psg they didn't lose. After today I again have to say bayern are the most complete team.

I'm hoping that the semis are barca v bayern and real vs dortmund would love to see an all German final

Dortmund is the weakest of the 4...don't see them going through. I want Barca vs. Bayern in the Semis too. Barca is tougher to beat over 2 legs than in the fina. Bayern vs. Barca will be the most entertaining match-up.

IMO, Real is the most complete team...followed by Bayern. Barca's defense is a huge liability right now...but with a healthy Messi - they keep 70% of the possession regardless of opposition...so really have to defend 25-30 minutes a game.

If Barca can limit the damage to 1 goal...I don't see them losing. Valdes and the back four need to get their act together.

No doubt dortmund is the weakest of the 4 but they have playmakers and if hummels plays they will be tough. There is danger plus they have beaten Madrid and should have beaten them in Madrid.

As far as bayern goes it will be intresting if they play barca cause they haven't played against a player like shweinstiger he controls the game so well. They don't give up goals and Nuer may be the best in the world. Can't wait!

Yea, Bayern's gonna be a huge challenge. No doubt. The way they played against Juve is pretty damn impressive. But, Bayern hasn't played anyone like Barca, or remotely close to the level of Barca.

For once, I want the first leg at Camp Nou!!!!!!
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by 49erha:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by 49erha:
Congrats to barca but also to psg they didn't lose. After today I again have to say bayern are the most complete team.

I'm hoping that the semis are barca v bayern and real vs dortmund would love to see an all German final

Dortmund is the weakest of the 4...don't see them going through. I want Barca vs. Bayern in the Semis too. Barca is tougher to beat over 2 legs than in the fina. Bayern vs. Barca will be the most entertaining match-up.

IMO, Real is the most complete team...followed by Bayern. Barca's defense is a huge liability right now...but with a healthy Messi - they keep 70% of the possession regardless of opposition...so really have to defend 25-30 minutes a game.

If Barca can limit the damage to 1 goal...I don't see them losing. Valdes and the back four need to get their act together.

No doubt dortmund is the weakest of the 4 but they have playmakers and if hummels plays they will be tough. There is danger plus they have beaten Madrid and should have beaten them in Madrid.

As far as bayern goes it will be intresting if they play barca cause they haven't played against a player like shweinstiger he controls the game so well. They don't give up goals and Nuer may be the best in the world. Can't wait!

Yea, Bayern's gonna be a huge challenge. No doubt. The way they played against Juve is pretty damn impressive. But, Bayern hasn't played anyone like Barca, or remotely close to the level of Barca.

For once, I want the first leg at Camp Nou!!!!!!

Agreed I have wanted to see this match up since 2010 may finally get it.
Originally posted by 49erha:
Agreed I have wanted to see this match up since 2010 may finally get it.

It has to happen. Barca and Bayern are probably the two most entertaining sides to watch. Barca will have to play at their best from here on out. They can't have 1 poor leg and expect to come back against teams like Bayern, Dortmund, or Real.
  • NickV
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 13,561
Semifinals UCL:

RM vs BVB
FCB vs BAY

Semifinals UEL:
SLB vs FEN
TOT vs CHL

My predictions for the draw tomorrow. Of course the europa League games still need to be played today but those matches are pretty much won. Base. Still has a chance. Especially with no Gareth Bale.
Got the match-up everyone wanted to see.

Barca goes to Bayern for the first leg
Real goes to Dortmund for the first leg


Barca vs. Bayern should be a really exciting Semi. Finally, we get to see these teams go at each other!!!
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Got the match-up everyone wanted to see.

Barca goes to Bayern for the first leg
Real goes to Dortmund for the first leg


Barca vs. Bayern should be a really exciting Semi. Finally, we get to see these teams go at each other!!!

I'm hoping for a Dortmund vs Bayern final and I think there is a reasonable chance of it happening.

If you watch the group stages Dortmund were much better than Real and they play great football. In the quarters Malaga set up to defend, and their GK had two great games. If Real attack more Dortmund will get some chances on the break and the pitch will open up. Either way it will be a great game.

Barca struggle against speedy teams, if you can get in behind their defenders and stop them playing so high it becomes harder for them to pin you back. A lot of their game relies on winning the ball back quickly and pressuring you in your own half, which in turn relies on the defensive line playing high up.

With players like Ribery, Robben and Mueller they can't afford to play too high and leave a lot of space in behind the defence, this should open up the pitch and make it harder for them to play the game they want
Originally posted by kunged:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Got the match-up everyone wanted to see.

Barca goes to Bayern for the first leg
Real goes to Dortmund for the first leg


Barca vs. Bayern should be a really exciting Semi. Finally, we get to see these teams go at each other!!!

I'm hoping for a Dortmund vs Bayern final and I think there is a reasonable chance of it happening.

If you watch the group stages Dortmund were much better than Real and they play great football. In the quarters Malaga set up to defend, and their GK had two great games. If Real attack more Dortmund will get some chances on the break and the pitch will open up. Either way it will be a great game.

Barca struggle against speedy teams, if you can get in behind their defenders and stop them playing so high it becomes harder for them to pin you back. A lot of their game relies on winning the ball back quickly and pressuring you in your own half, which in turn relies on the defensive line playing high up.

With players like Ribery, Robben and Mueller they can't afford to play too high and leave a lot of space in behind the defence, this should open up the pitch and make it harder for them to play the game they want

It is reasonable, but I see the results going other way. Real Madrid is playing much better now and I've to give the edge to Mourinho to make the necessary adjustments.

It will not surprise me one bit if Bayern beats Barca...because as you pointed out very well - Barca doesn't play so well against speedy teams. That's a very fair point. But, at the same time - I don't see how they contain Messi, a healthy Messi. They will have to utilize multiple guys at a time to stop Messi - and that's exactly when Barca can capitalize. Their finishing has been questionable in the past, but lately Villa...Pedro...and even Sanchez have come through.

First leg is a must win for Bayern without conceding a goal. Barca's goal will be to earn a 1-1 draw at least in the first leg and win the second leg at home. IMO, that's more likely to happen.
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by kunged:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Got the match-up everyone wanted to see.

Barca goes to Bayern for the first leg
Real goes to Dortmund for the first leg


Barca vs. Bayern should be a really exciting Semi. Finally, we get to see these teams go at each other!!!

I'm hoping for a Dortmund vs Bayern final and I think there is a reasonable chance of it happening.

If you watch the group stages Dortmund were much better than Real and they play great football. In the quarters Malaga set up to defend, and their GK had two great games. If Real attack more Dortmund will get some chances on the break and the pitch will open up. Either way it will be a great game.

Barca struggle against speedy teams, if you can get in behind their defenders and stop them playing so high it becomes harder for them to pin you back. A lot of their game relies on winning the ball back quickly and pressuring you in your own half, which in turn relies on the defensive line playing high up.

With players like Ribery, Robben and Mueller they can't afford to play too high and leave a lot of space in behind the defence, this should open up the pitch and make it harder for them to play the game they want

It is reasonable, but I see the results going other way. Real Madrid is playing much better now and I've to give the edge to Mourinho to make the necessary adjustments.

It will not surprise me one bit if Bayern beats Barca...because as you pointed out very well - Barca doesn't play so well against speedy teams. That's a very fair point. But, at the same time - I don't see how they contain Messi, a healthy Messi. They will have to utilize multiple guys at a time to stop Messi - and that's exactly when Barca can capitalize. Their finishing has been questionable in the past, but lately Villa...Pedro...and even Sanchez have come through.

First leg is a must win for Bayern without conceding a goal. Barca's goal will be to earn a 1-1 draw at least in the first leg and win the second leg at home. IMO, that's more likely to happen.

Madrid are playing better and I think that from a tactical standpoint Mourinho is the best manager in the world. However, I feel that Dortmund totally outclassed them in the Group stages and that Madrid will struggle in defence, I see Dortmund scoring at least 3 goals over the two legs, it will come down to how well they (Real) attack.

Messi makes that Barca team what it is, but I still think that Bayern have the players to limit (I don't think anyone can stop him, the best you can ever hope for is containing) his effectiveness. They have combatative central midfielders and are well organised in defence. They should be able to squeeze him in the midfield and if their wingers are willing to drop back and defend they should force Barca out wide. If they can force them into crossing balls instead of playing through the middle they have a great chance.

As I said on another post, Barca's failure to adapt to other styles of play will always limit them. As we saw with Chelsea, if the whole team works hard (epitmoised by Drogba's great shift at LB), they can stop Barca and I feel a well organised Bayern is just the team to do it.

I agree with you about the not conceding a goal in the first leg, but not about the must win part. IMO the key thing about a home first leg is not conceding that away goal
Originally posted by kunged:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by kunged:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Got the match-up everyone wanted to see.

Barca goes to Bayern for the first leg
Real goes to Dortmund for the first leg


Barca vs. Bayern should be a really exciting Semi. Finally, we get to see these teams go at each other!!!

I'm hoping for a Dortmund vs Bayern final and I think there is a reasonable chance of it happening.

If you watch the group stages Dortmund were much better than Real and they play great football. In the quarters Malaga set up to defend, and their GK had two great games. If Real attack more Dortmund will get some chances on the break and the pitch will open up. Either way it will be a great game.

Barca struggle against speedy teams, if you can get in behind their defenders and stop them playing so high it becomes harder for them to pin you back. A lot of their game relies on winning the ball back quickly and pressuring you in your own half, which in turn relies on the defensive line playing high up.

With players like Ribery, Robben and Mueller they can't afford to play too high and leave a lot of space in behind the defence, this should open up the pitch and make it harder for them to play the game they want

It is reasonable, but I see the results going other way. Real Madrid is playing much better now and I've to give the edge to Mourinho to make the necessary adjustments.

It will not surprise me one bit if Bayern beats Barca...because as you pointed out very well - Barca doesn't play so well against speedy teams. That's a very fair point. But, at the same time - I don't see how they contain Messi, a healthy Messi. They will have to utilize multiple guys at a time to stop Messi - and that's exactly when Barca can capitalize. Their finishing has been questionable in the past, but lately Villa...Pedro...and even Sanchez have come through.

First leg is a must win for Bayern without conceding a goal. Barca's goal will be to earn a 1-1 draw at least in the first leg and win the second leg at home. IMO, that's more likely to happen.

Madrid are playing better and I think that from a tactical standpoint Mourinho is the best manager in the world. However, I feel that Dortmund totally outclassed them in the Group stages and that Madrid will struggle in defence, I see Dortmund scoring at least 3 goals over the two legs, it will come down to how well they (Real) attack.

Messi makes that Barca team what it is, but I still think that Bayern have the players to limit (I don't think anyone can stop him, the best you can ever hope for is containing) his effectiveness. They have combatative central midfielders and are well organised in defence. They should be able to squeeze him in the midfield and if their wingers are willing to drop back and defend they should force Barca out wide. If they can force them into crossing balls instead of playing through the middle they have a great chance.

As I said on another post, Barca's failure to adapt to other styles of play will always limit them. As we saw with Chelsea, if the whole team works hard (epitmoised by Drogba's great shift at LB), they can stop Barca and I feel a well organised Bayern is just the team to do it.

I agree with you about the not conceding a goal in the first leg, but not about the must win part. IMO the key thing about a home first leg is not conceding that away goal

I don't see bayern parking the bus like Chelsea so I can see messi getting 1 if not 2 goals how ever bayern should not have a very hard time with barca defense they shredded what most thought to be the best defense in the world against juve. So I could see bayern taking the first leg 2-1 and then losing the second 3-2 which would put them through. They are going to miss mandzuckic big loss right there.

I think dortmund has a chance against real but that will probably depend more on if Madrid shows up to play
Originally posted by kunged:
Madrid are playing better and I think that from a tactical standpoint Mourinho is the best manager in the world. However, I feel that Dortmund totally outclassed them in the Group stages and that Madrid will struggle in defence, I see Dortmund scoring at least 3 goals over the two legs, it will come down to how well they (Real) attack.

Messi makes that Barca team what it is, but I still think that Bayern have the players to limit (I don't think anyone can stop him, the best you can ever hope for is containing) his effectiveness. They have combatative central midfielders and are well organised in defence. They should be able to squeeze him in the midfield and if their wingers are willing to drop back and defend they should force Barca out wide. If they can force them into crossing balls instead of playing through the middle they have a great chance.

As I said on another post, Barca's failure to adapt to other styles of play will always limit them. As we saw with Chelsea, if the whole team works hard (epitmoised by Drogba's great shift at LB), they can stop Barca and I feel a well organised Bayern is just the team to do it.

I agree with you about the not conceding a goal in the first leg, but not about the must win part. IMO the key thing about a home first leg is not conceding that away goal

Once again, great observations. You should post more here.

I agree, Barca plays one way and one way only. It's not that they can't adapt to another style, it's that they don't even try because of the success they have had with tiki-taka for years now. Other clubs are trying to play the way Barca does because of how dominating it can be.

Chelsea went through because Messi missed a PK, Barca as a team missed several easy chances to score a goal, and Chelsea defended with 11 guys and converted on the 2 chances they got. In other words, they were extremely lucky. Chelsea had nothing to lose, so they employ that strategy. I doubt Bayern will take that chance.

Barca should move Dani Alves next to Pique and play Montoya at Dani's spot to counter speed. I like Adrianno as the first man off the bench if any of the back 4 need to be substituted. Another option is to move Iniesta to the wing and play with two defensive mid-fielders (Busquets and Song). Iniesta has been very very effective as a wing and I can totally see Barca doing that.


IMO, Bayern has to win the 1st leg without conceding a goal. Barca is too good at home. The game against PSG changed completely as soon as Messi stepped on the field. The crowd started believing that they got this. It's really tough to win there. Of course, Bayern is good enough to still win it...but if you can't win at home - a win at Camp Nou will be very unlikely.
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Once again, great observations. You should post more here.

I agree, Barca plays one way and one way only. It's not that they can't adapt to another style, it's that they don't even try because of the success they have had with tiki-taka for years now. Other clubs are trying to play the way Barca does because of how dominating it can be.

Chelsea went through because Messi missed a PK, Barca as a team missed several easy chances to score a goal, and Chelsea defended with 11 guys and converted on the 2 chances they got. In other words, they were extremely lucky. Chelsea had nothing to lose, so they employ that strategy. I doubt Bayern will take that chance.

Barca should move Dani Alves next to Pique and play Montoya at Dani's spot to counter speed. I like Adrianno as the first man off the bench if any of the back 4 need to be substituted. Another option is to move Iniesta to the wing and play with two defensive mid-fielders (Busquets and Song). Iniesta has been very very effective as a wing and I can totally see Barca doing that.


IMO, Bayern has to win the 1st leg without conceding a goal. Barca is too good at home. The game against PSG changed completely as soon as Messi stepped on the field. The crowd started believing that they got this. It's really tough to win there. Of course, Bayern is good enough to still win it...but if you can't win at home - a win at Camp Nou will be very unlikely.

Thanks, just started posting again after a little break, so hope to post here more often.

I agree that teams are starting to adopt it and when done right it is incredibly effective. However, I would argue that a well drilled team (ala a Mourinho team) with top quality players can have a reasonable chance of stopping it. They want to draw people out of position, so if you are fit enough and dedicated enough to track runners etc you can limit it.

The Chelsea example wasn't a great example I'll give you that, they were incredibly lucky at times. However, some of the recent El Classicos have shown a blueprint of how to beat Barca on a "consistent" basis (I use the term consistent very loosely, mainly to mean having a good chance before any match)

If you mean move Dani Alves into a CB spot I would disagree. I always find he gets pulled out of position and leaves space in behind him when he plays RB (typical Brazilian wing back lol) so I think it would be even more of a problem if he played CB. I also don't think he has the height or strength to match up against a centre forward. Whilst you could argue the DMs would help protect him, I think they would end up compensating for him too much and dropping too far back undermining the DM role.

Iniesta could be effective, but I would argue that Ribery and Robben can be physical when they want to and I don't think Iniesta would be able to provide the defensive cover when they are on the attack. I know you could say if he can't cope physically on the wing he wouldn't be able to at CM, but I think as a CM you get a bit more lee way when positioning yourself and more licence to roam so he can pick and choose where he has to "get physical".

Not conceding is key. If Barca go to the Nou camp ahead, or with the away goal there is a lot less pressure and they will beat Bayern as they can play their own game. Bayern will want to win the first leg, or draw it (0-0) and grab an away goal. If that happens and Barca have to chase the game I could see Bayern winning at the Nou Camp, swift counter-attacking. But for that to happen they will need to set themselves up i.e. A long-winded way to say I agree with you about the away goal haha

I will say that Messi changed the game, as only he can, but PSG aren't quite the same team as Bayern, either way it should be interesting.
Originally posted by 49erha:
I don't see bayern parking the bus like Chelsea so I can see messi getting 1 if not 2 goals how ever bayern should not have a very hard time with barca defense they shredded what most thought to be the best defense in the world against juve. So I could see bayern taking the first leg 2-1 and then losing the second 3-2 which would put them through. They are going to miss mandzuckic big loss right there.

I think dortmund has a chance against real but that will probably depend more on if Madrid shows up to play

I agree with you about the Bayern not parking the bus. However I would worry about them winning 2-1 at home, that away goal is always crucial.

I disagree about the Madrid part. I think people underestimate Dortmund and the quality football they can play, I think it was the German cup final last year when they beat Bayern 5-1 (I think), so they have the quality to take good teams apart.