Monday, May 2, 2011

INFTH Champions League Predictions

Barcelona vs Real Madrid- The last of a series of four Classicos, a run that looks like it will end with the ultimate anticlimax.

Despite claiming that his side are out of this tie, Mourinho still fielded a second string line up for his team's home match against Real Zaragoza, one that couldn't replicate last week's six goal haul in Valencia, Real were beaten at home. Likewise, Barcelona were also beaten, though that loss shouldn't hinder their progression towards a third straight La Liga title.

2-0 up from the first leg, Barcelona are obviously huge favorites, and I suspect that they will only increase their aggregate advantage in this one. Real Madrid had the feel of a team that had given up at the weekend, and even with Cristiano Ronaldo back in the line up, they will struggle to overcome Barca at the Nou Camp.

Suspended for Madrid are Sergio Ramos and Pepe, two big losses, players that you have to think would be needed for a stunning comeback.

Prediction: 3-0

Manchester United vs Schalke- Both these teams suffered difficult away losses at the weekend, with Schalke beaten 4-1 at the Allianz Arena and United losing 1-0 at The Emirates. While both those defeats were tough to take, they should have no bearing on events in this match.

United come in with a 2-0 advantage from the first leg, one they will be keen to turn into a place at Wembley. Ferguson mentioned after the Arsenal game on Sunday that he planned to "freshen up" the line up for this one, next week's huge meeting with Chelsea is looming large. While I don't expect the Scotsman to make dramatic changes, I imagine that a few first team regulars will get a rest.

If Schalke are to get anything out of this game, then they are going to have to play a lot better than they did in Germany. In the first leg they were awful, anemic in attack, and porrous at the back. United will be keen to make both those weaknesses pay once again, and roared on by the Old Trafford crowd, only a fool would predict a slip up.

Prediction: 4-0

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