UEFA Champions League- Quarter/Semi Finals

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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At least TNT is airing the right game today (City vs Spurs).

I expect City to be too much for Spurs today. Spurs might put one in, but I think we'll see 3 goals for City.
 

teddykgb

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At least TNT is airing the right game today (City vs Spurs).

I expect City to be too much for Spurs today. Spurs might put one in, but I think we'll see 3 goals for City.
I dont know where all this pessimism for Spurs comes from (I guess I do, it’s history but City are no slouch there) but they’re in a great position. They can pack it in and seek to defend while hoping to nick one in the counter. Plenty of teams play City this way and few of them have the talent Spurs will put on the pitch. City have to chase the game with an eye on 2 or 3 goals so the counter will be there. Then you factor in needing to be clinical with whichever chances City do create and they stand a hell of a shot. Keeping City off the scoresheet was such a huge development, they just need an away goal now to make things incredibly complicated. I can’t believe how much I’m reading about City overwhelming them I’m scared shitless for this game
 

coremiller

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I dont know where all this pessimism for Spurs comes from (I guess I do, it’s history but City are no slouch there) but they’re in a great position. They can pack it in and seek to defend while hoping to nick one in the counter. Plenty of teams play City this way and few of them have the talent Spurs will put on the pitch. City have to chase the game with an eye on 2 or 3 goals so the counter will be there. Then you factor in needing to be clinical with whichever chances City do create and they stand a hell of a shot. Keeping City off the scoresheet was such a huge development, they just need an away goal now to make things incredibly complicated. I can’t believe how much I’m reading about City overwhelming them I’m scared shitless for this game
Beyond the general Spursiness Tottenham's recent history against City was very poor. Before last week City had basically played Spurs off the park in their last three meetings.
 

teddykgb

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Beyond the general Spursiness Tottenham's recent history against City was very poor. Before last week City had basically played Spurs off the park in their last three meetings.
But Spurs also went into Barcelona and grinded out a result. I feel like they’ve been adept at that in recent years. Certainly have plenty of large, physical players to goon a match up and just try to stifle free flowing play. I think pochettino is a really strong manager and while Spurs generally struggle against City because they actually try to play football they won’t be naive here given what is on the line. A well setup and stout Spurs team that needs to avoid conceding 2 is in my view a really good position to be in. Fundamentally City could play a fantastic match and just not do enough. Any hit on the counter by Spurs nearly ends the tie especially the later in the match it is
 

Zososoxfan

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When a combination of Aguero/Jesus, KDB, Bernardo, Sterling, Mahrez, and/or Sane is coming at you, it's fair to be scared shitless. Funny enough, I think Spurs may have a chance to overwhelm the MF if City try to force too many attackers on the field and sacrifice real team shape.

Other than Fernandinho, who is going to help win the middle of the park? I'm a huge fan of Bernardo and he does track back fairly well, but if KDB, Sane, Sterling, or Mahrez start, none of those guys is going to get stuck in. For example, if it's Dinho, Silva, and KDB, there should be space for the Spurs front 2/3 to receive the ball, turn, and run at the defense:

Ederson
Mendy-LaPorte-Stones-Walker
Dinho
Silva-KDB
Bernardo-Aguero/Jesus-Sterling

Spurs will likely try to gum up the middle with Sissoko and Eriksen, but I wonder if Poch tries to get Wanyama out there as well for a double pivot:

Hugo
Trippier-Jan-Toby-Davies
Rose-Sissoko-Wanyama
Eriksen
Dele-Son

The only other formation I could see would involve bringing on another CB (Sanchez/Foyth), but then you almost have to sit either Trippier or Rose because they would get too congested:

Hugo
Jan-Toby-Sanchez/Foyth
Rose-Sissoko-Wanyama-Davies
Eriksen
Dele-Son

I think the latter is my preference because Wanyama >>> Trippier in this match.
 

teddykgb

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When a combination of Aguero/Jesus, KDB, Bernardo, Sterling, Mahrez, and/or Sane is coming at you, it's fair to be scared shitless. Funny enough, I think Spurs may have a chance to overwhelm the MF if City try to force too many attackers on the field and sacrifice real team shape.

Other than Fernandinho, who is going to help win the middle of the park? I'm a huge fan of Bernardo and he does track back fairly well, but if KDB, Sane, Sterling, or Mahrez start, none of those guys is going to get stuck in. For example, if it's Dinho, Silva, and KDB, there should be space for the Spurs front 2/3 to receive the ball, turn, and run at the defense:

Ederson
Mendy-LaPorte-Stones-Walker
Dinho
Silva-KDB
Bernardo-Aguero/Jesus-Sterling

Spurs will likely try to gum up the middle with Sissoko and Eriksen, but I wonder if Poch tries to get Wanyama out there as well for a double pivot:

Hugo
Trippier-Jan-Toby-Davies
Rose-Sissoko-Wanyama
Eriksen
Dele-Son

The only other formation I could see would involve bringing on another CB (Sanchez/Foyth), but then you almost have to sit either Trippier or Rose because they would get too congested:

Hugo
Jan-Toby-Sanchez/Foyth
Rose-Sissoko-Wanyama-Davies
Eriksen
Dele-Son

I think the latter is my preference because Wanyama >>> Trippier in this match.
City face this question every week and after all the success I think it’s fair to say that while you don’t think of the two lightweight attacking CMs and Fernandinho as enough of a midfield it always seems to be due to the nature of the press. City tend to accumulate fouls by being aggressive in the tackle immediately after possession loss and it gives everyone time to recover. Also the way Pep has modified using his fullbacks means that Fernandinho usually has two others in support.

I would expect Wanyama on for Spurs today tbh and if Pep doesn’t select Sane for this I may blow a gasket. As good as David Silva is, he’s been really off form. I’d have Bernardo in the midfield with KDB and Sane and Sterling spreading play instead of the way they played in first leg. Sterling left and Bernardo right means wingers cutting inside and Spurs will have plenty of bodies there. Pep doesn’t bomb his fullbacks on like he used to teams can just let those inverted wingers run into traffic and try to place shots through traffic. I think City will have to take the wingers outside and seek to score more of those cutback across the box goals that have become their bread and butter.
 

coremiller

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I'd be surprised if Wanyama starts. He went 90 minutes on Saturday and that was his first full game in several months.

The one thing we can be sure of is that Pep will do something weird.
 

Zososoxfan

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City face this question every week and after all the success I think it’s fair to say that while you don’t think of the two lightweight attacking CMs and Fernandinho as enough of a midfield it always seems to be due to the nature of the press. City tend to accumulate fouls by being aggressive in the tackle immediately after possession loss and it gives everyone time to recover. Also the way Pep has modified using his fullbacks means that Fernandinho usually has two others in support.

I would expect Wanyama on for Spurs today tbh and if Pep doesn’t select Sane for this I may blow a gasket. As good as David Silva is, he’s been really off form. I’d have Bernardo in the midfield with KDB and Sane and Sterling spreading play instead of the way they played in first leg. Sterling left and Bernardo right means wingers cutting inside and Spurs will have plenty of bodies there. Pep doesn’t bomb his fullbacks on like he used to teams can just let those inverted wingers run into traffic and try to place shots through traffic. I think City will have to take the wingers outside and seek to score more of those cutback across the box goals that have become their bread and butter.
I think this is right BTW, but it depends on if KDB and/or Bernardo are told to stay forward. The holding nature of Pep's FBs is a huge shift from his Barca and Bayern days, but that may be a personnel choice rather than tactical. With Spurs unlikely to get wingers forward, this may play more like a 2-3-2-3 in defense (WM or MW, I always get them confused):

Ederson
Stones-LaPorte
Mendy-Dinho-Walker
KDB-Bernardo
Sterling-Aguero/Jesus-Mahr...Sane

That doesn't leave much room for Son or Dele to operate even if KDB-Bernardo stay up. I would expect for Son to try and drag Mendy/Walker out to the wings, but that still leaves a huge numerical advantage for MANC in the middle against Dele, Eriksen, and even an aggressive run from Sissoko or Wanyama. If both of those pivots gets forward, MANC will be thrilled with counter opportunities.

For these reasons, Poch may decide he needs runners to help with offense/defense balance. If that's the case, then I think we see Rose, Trippier, and Davies. In other words, that would be a more aggressive approach since those 3 would presumably be asked to give some attacking width and leave Son, Dele, and Eriksen some room in the middle to attack.

In all, I expect the team that scores first to advance. If Otamendi starts, I would be terrified of him on set pieces. He is underrated in that respect, but he is overall worse than Stones and LaPorte.
 

Kliq

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I'm expecting City to win 3-0 so keeping expectations low. I do think Teddy has made some good points; Spurs in the past have tried to press City and force City to play their game, which just plays into the talent and style that City has. By parking the bus and waiting for the counter, Spurs may fair better than they normally do against City. Teams that park the bus against City are typically the lower-level sides, ones that don't have as solid of a backline or Dele/Eriksen/Son/Moura to lead counter attacks.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Has anyone used a paid B/R (Bleacher Report) stream? I'm seeing that they are offering a $2.99 option for today's Liverpool-Porto match which seems reasonable but not sure of the quality or safety.

https://live.bleacherreport.com/
I've done it with no issues. Definitely worth the price, I wish this option was more readily available for all sports. COYS!
 

Boston Brawler

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City starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Mendy, Gundogan, D. Silva, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero
 

teddykgb

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No Sane again and the wingers inverted. I love Pep and the style of football and know this will almost assuredly be the best I will ever see as a fan of this club but I think he just overthinks this competition. He can stay at City as long as he wants but I think he’s got it wrong here.

I also think Sane will push for a move which will be a big blow. Pep seems to live Gundogan especially in this competition but this just isn’t City’s best XI
 

coremiller

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So no Sane, and instead four central midfielders. Sterling the only natural wide player -- which side will he play on? Pep wants to dominate the center I guess. But this will require the fullbacks to provide the width, which will leave counterattacking lanes for Spurs on the wings.
 

teddykgb

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Mendy has been OK. Clearly rusty but our other options are all dire so he’s quite a step up. This will be the first time he plays twice in short period so I’m already mentally prepared for this to be his last match. I don’t think his knee is truly healed

Bernardo will play the right wing, he plays there often as an inverted winger. Sterling will be on the left. It’s City’s typical formation
 

OilCanShotTupac

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Agree with everything said re: City's lineup. If I'm Spurs I'm looking at that and thinking that I can find some joy up the flanks.
 

coremiller

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Spurs XI: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Wanyama, Sissoko, Eriksen, Alli, Lucas, Son.

I'm surprised by Wanyama's inclusion over Winks. Poche goes with a back four, rather than a 3/5. The positioning of Eriksen and Alli will be the only wrinkles -- with City overloading the center they may have to both play pretty deep.

Key questions: can Spurs' midfielders get enough time on the ball to spring Son and Lucas into space or will City's central midfield overload will press them out of the game? And with a back four + only two defensive midfielders do they have enough defense to slow City down? Watch for City to try to get Sterling/Mendy isolated against Trippier.
 

teddykgb

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I think we just posted past each other but there is no midfield overload for City. Bernardo will hug the right side. If anything Spurs will have a numerical advantage depending on how/where Alli and Eriksen play
 

Kliq

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The only attacking player on the bench for Spurs is going to be Llorente, no Lamela. It's going to be Son or Lucas on the counter for Spurs to get a goal. Maybe Eriksen/Trippier on a free kick.
 

teddykgb

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With City playing Gundogan at holding mid you would be wise to play for set pieces. This will be a small lineup and any free kick will provide real opportunity
 

coremiller

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I think we just posted past each other but there is no midfield overload for City. Bernardo will hug the right side. If anything Spurs will have a numerical advantage depending on how/where Alli and Eriksen play
I think Bernardo tends to play too centrally to be considered a true wide player. He's not really even an inverted winger, just a midfielder that will shade to one side. Putting him out on the touchline wastes his defensive and possession abilities.
 

Zososoxfan

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Welp, I got it wrong what else is new. I think Moura is very limited, but he is pacy and he theoretically will keep City's defense from bombing forward. I like Pep's idea of playing Gundogan instead of Dinho, but it's absurdly aggressive. Perhaps Dinho comes in if City have a scoreline that puts them through? Not a bad idea unless City's over-aggression allows Spurs to score first.

I'm shocked that Kompany is starting ahead of Stones. For health and speed reasons, not to mention that Stones is a much better passer (mitigated by Gundogan over Dinho). I like Sane but I don't see a problem with him not starting with that XI. I'm not a fan of David Silva and I'd prefer to have Bernardo take that MF spot with Sane on the wing, but I recognize that they are different players better suited for different tactics. Sane likely gets into the match with at least 30 minutes anyway.

For Spurs, it's a 4-2-2-2 with the front 4 very fluid. I expect that only 1 Spurs attacker will stick with a City defenseman. i.e. It will be more like a 4-4-1-1 without the ball.
 

teddykgb

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Kompany is this team’s leader and brings an intensity to the squad. He’s been used like this in derbies and what not in prior seasons and the squad usually responds. He’s still a great defender the worry is having to burn a sub early
 

Zososoxfan

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Kompany is this team’s leader and brings an intensity to the squad. He’s been used like this in derbies and what not in prior seasons and the squad usually responds. He’s still a great defender the worry is having to burn a sub early
I've always liked him a great deal, but his selection is inconsistent with the team setup. In other words, City are going to press high and want possession (no Dinho). That typically involves playing a higher defensive line and an older slower CB like Kompany could be a liability. He's no slouch, but the margins could be thin today. Or, you know, Aguero nets a hat trick in the first half.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Watched the first 15 minutes of the Liverpool game, then decided to do a quick check of the other one.

Holy shit!