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Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by Boston Brawler, Mar 15, 2019.
And the brackets are:
-Spurs-City vs Juve-Ajax
-Barça-MUFC vs Liverpool-Porto
Subsequent semi pools:
Barçelona/Manchester United vs. Liverpool/Porto
Tottenham Hotspur/Manchester City vs. Juventus/Ajax
The Camp Nou/Old Trafford legs will be switched with the first game in England because of a local authority ruling that City and United can't play on the same or consecutive nights. Red Devils were given the bump because the Blues are an earlier grouping.
I mean, the two squads couldn't be more different than 10 years ago, but historically the Reds are 1-4-3 against Blaugrana in CL play. Probably the worst matchup for them out there, as Paul Scholes is not walking through that door.
Wouldn’t this be a fun final four in terms of shear quality? Barca, City, Juve, Liverpool
Quarter Final Draw:
Ajax v Juventus
Liverpool v Porto
Tottenham v Man City
Barcelona v Man Utd
Semi Final Bracket:
Tottenham/Man City v Ajax/Juventus
Barcelona/Man Utd v Liverpool/Porto
Match dates/times expected to be announced within the hour. First leg will be 9/10 April. Second leg 16/17 April. Semis first leg will be 30 Apr/1 May, followed by a 7/8 May second leg.
Nightmare draw for United, but at this stage you're going to get a good team no matter what.
I have all the favorites going through. There is a decent chance if Barca are going to win this they'll have to play 3 English teams to do it.
Moved a handful of post-draw posts from the previous round thread into this one.
Worst possible draw for Spurs; City are the hardest, least interesting matchup. Also Spurs now have to play twice at the Etihad in four days.
that's too bad, I was rooting for no intra-EPL matchups. What were the odds of that? Lemme think... 4/7 * 3/5 * 2/3 = ~23%. Ah well.
Isn't the league matchup at Spurs?
This is probably the weakest quarterfinal group we've seen in 10 years but also the most wide open.
Nope, in Manchester.
Attributable mostly to down years for Bayern and Real, United's stunning upset of PSG, and Atleti drawing Juve in the R16.
On paper Barca should rock United, but OGS has some crazy juju going right now and Barca have not been at their historic best this season (see Lyon first leg). Nevertheless, I think Barca wins out by dominating MF, United struggling to score, and United setting up too aggressively.
Liverpool should handle Porto but Reds supporters don't seem convinced of their own side quite yet. I'll defer to the Scousers on details here.
Citeh will probably roll Spurs over two legs, but on their day Spurs have the quality to hang with anyone. But the likelihood of the whole squad being on their game twice while still clinging to a top 4 ECL spot is low. Citeh and Pool seem like fairly safe bets to progress.
Ajax-Juve should be a great matchup. Juve may just outclass the Dutch and roll, but Ajax do have the look of a side that could create problems for an older Juve squad. Nevertheless, I'm banking on Juve's experience to get them by a talented side.
All that being said and I think the Barca-United tie is the closest to call. I may be underestimating Barca (who will likely be without Dembele for at least the first leg), but I think the other matchups have bigger disparities between the clubs.
There’s always a team or two that sneak into quarters and a few big matchups that knock out true contenders early. This doesn’t strike me as especially weak.
That said, Ajax are getting entirely too much credit here. That Madrid team is a shell of the reputation it carries. They’re not even top in a relatively poor domestic league (although they are second). They were in a relatively poor group (Bayern, Benfica, AEK) which they progressed out of mostly due to h2h results against Benfica. It was wonderful to watch them turn over a really poor Madrid squad but I find the idea of them also taking Juve wuite improbable. I just don’t think people are separating well enough the Madrid myth from its current reality.
FWIW, a lot of advanced metrics absolutely love Ajax: 538's model has them ranked as the 10th best club, ahead of Napoli, Spurs, Valencia, Arsenal, Dortmund, Man Utd, and Porto. That seems too high to me, but they are clearly much better than any Dutch teams have been for a while.
Does 538’s model count as advanced metrics?
I was surprised to read it but loooked into their SPI a bit and it seems to include Transfermarkt player values as an input. This may correlate well but it seems prone to overrate precisely the kind of team Ajax is with young, valuable players who have high value for their potential
Their rankings include both MLS and USL teams. Last season, their rankings had the reserve team of one club (can't remember, maybe RSL) ranked ahead of the first team. So I'm skeptical...
This field is comparatively weak not because a few teams sneaked in but because there just isn't the same quality at the top. The trio of Real, Barca, Bayern were just exceptionally strong in the past decade - for an unusual confluence of reasons - and now have come back to earth. IMO, there are no teams this year (including Barca) that holds a candle to many of the Real/Barca/Bayern clubs of the past 10 years. There were probably some years where all three of those teams were better than any side in the competition this year.
I agree with this. Since I am heavily biased towards Barca, 2008-2009 has always been a dividing line for me as it was the first great Messi/Xavi/Iniesta team (Pep’s first year as coach, Pique and Dani Alves brought in). The Barca of Pep Guardiola was as good as any team I’ve ever rooted for.
Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Madrid in 2009, and those years were similar to 2003-2004 Sox/Yanks in terms of being an arms race between the two Spanish giants (Kaka, Ronaldo, Zlatan, Neymar, etc). Real-Barca formed almost the entirety of the Spanish national team, the best of years for La Furia Roja.
The rise of Germany was fueled almost entirely by Bayern. There were years where it felt like BM had the entire German national team plus Ribery, Vidal, Tiago, Robben, Lewandowski and so on.
Barca and Bayern are still among the world’s very best clubs, with Madrid a tick below. But they are nowhere near what they were in the past decade, no other clubs have replaced them. Those were just absurdly good teams.