Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Dream Champions League Quarterfinals Draw--Part 1

The real Champions League draw for the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final will take place tomorrow in Nyon, Switzerland, and for the first time in the competition, teams from the same group or country can be paired against each other. It's likely that we'll get a few duds and also a few exciting ties; that's just how it usually turns out. UEFA says that these draws are random, which I'm not necessarily questioning, but it seems like the same teams are always drawn against each other and things have appeared a little fishy at times...

For now though, he's my dream draw for the next round of the Champions League:

1. Arsenal-Fenerbah├že: Both teams play an attacking style and are capable of scoring multiple goals in any given game, something that can't be said about every team left at this stage in the competition. I'd be interested to see how Arsenal handles the raucous crowd in Istanbul, which is a different beast altogether than than the one they encountered at the San Siro last week. I don't doubt that the Gunners would go through in this tie, but Fenerbah├že would certainly give them a good game in Turkey and both legs would have goals in them. The winner of this tie would go on to face the winner of...

2. Manchester United-Roma: A rematch of last year's quarterfinal which Manchester United won 8-3 on aggregate, using a 7-1 thrashing at Old Trafford to overcome a 2-1 deficit from the first leg. This is a different Roma team though, and their leader, Francesco Totti, is playing out of his mind right now, and Manchester United looked pretty shaky at times against Lyon in both legs of their Round of 16 encounter. Would Roma have the firepower to overcome United? I'm not sure, and a lot would depend on how Totti performs.

Check back later for my other two dream pairings.

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