Preview: Les Parisiens hope to wrap up title race against Les Gones
On Tuesday, despite holding a 3-1 advantage from the first leg, PSG were dumped out of the Champions League by a resurgent Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Two days later, Lyon saw their European dreams go up in smoke after being defeated in the second leg of their clash with Juventus.
Hence, both sides will be eager to put this week's disappointments behind them as they turn their attention towards the domestic campaign. For hosts Lyon, they are just four points behind fourth-placed Saint-Etienne who occupt the last European football spot--albeit whichever team makes it will have to secure a spot in the Europa League via the playoffs. As for PSG, Laurent Blanc's troops can clinch the league title should they win--and should Rennes do them a favour by beating second-placed Monaco.
Probabilities are very few with only four teams left, yet many fans are lost in predictions. How will Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid be paired on Friday in Nyon?
Atletico Madrid arguably provided the biggest result in the Last 8 by kicking giants Barcelona out of the competition. The Rojiblancos needed a lone goal from Koke in the second leg to beat the Catalans 2-1 on aggregate.
This sealed the fact that “Barca are out whereas Bayern, Atletico, Real…
Preview: Chelsea looking to overturn two goal deficit
After a disastrous outing last time out, Chelsea will be hoping for a better showing in the second leg of the Champions League Quarter-Final. The London side was outclassed in the first leg as the French champions raced to a 3-1 victory courtesy of goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore as well as an own goal from Chelsea defender David Luiz.
However Chelsea do have an away goal advantage heading into the match courtesy of an Eden Hazard penalty as a result of rash tackle inside the box by Thiago Silva on compatriot Oscar. This implies that if Chelsea are to score twice without letting the Parisians score at all, the Blues will make it to the last four of the competition.
Preview: Blues face stiff test against French Champions
Two unexpected defeats in the last four games have resulted in Chelsea surrendering their lead at the top in the Barclays Premier League.A 1-0 loss at Villa Park on the 15th of March was followed by a defeat at Crystal Palace by the same score line last Saturday and the Blues really need to pull their socks up if they are to achieve anything this season.
However Chelsea have no time to ponder over their league situation as they face a stiff test in the form of a PSG side who are undefeated in their last 13 matches in all competitions and have won their last nine.
PSG, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich qualified first. They were joined by Chelsea, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United. The Last 8 line-up is a mouth-watering one. Who are the favourites to reach the semis?
Round of 16 results – how it happened
Les Parisiens gave Bayer Leverkusen no chance in the Round of 16, thus underlining their ambition to seat at the table of giants on the European scene. One of PSG’s targets is to clinch the giant UEFA Champions League trophy. With on-fire Zlatan Ibrahimovic, few may underestimate the chances of the French team to progress into the Last 4.
Preview: Sami Hyypiä and Leverkusen chase an unlikely miracle
PSG have one foot in the Quarter-Final of the tournament after demolishing Leverkusen 4-0 in the first leg at BayArena. Yohan Cabaye scored his debut goal for the club on that night, which also saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic score a brace.
The Swede’s double took his tally to ten goals this season in the Champions League and the former Barcelona star is just a goal behind Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the scorer’s chart.
Preview: Can Leverkusen mount a challenge against one of the contenders for the crown?
Football is a game of finances as much as it is a game of skills; Rudi Völler knows this as much as everyone else does. The Bayer Leverkusen sporting director had an interesting statement to make prior to this clash as goal.com noted:
“In the end, money does score goals. You can see it at PSG and at Bayern. PSG are one of Europe's five best teams and they're among the favorites to win the Champions League, too.”
Preview: Claudio Ranieri and co out to prove title credentials
A clash which has been termed as “El Cashio” owing to the immeasurable cash vaults of both the clubs, could have a major impact on the title race this season. Second place Monaco are just five points adrift of defending champions PSG and could close the gap to two points if they manage to notch all three points in what is expected to be a scintillating encounter.
However prior to the match coach Claudio Ranieri has recognised the brilliance of Laurent Blanc’s team and has claimed that the league leaders are head and shoulders above his side in terms of quality.
"To win the Champions League, you need a budget of at least €300 million", Bayern Munich legendary goalkeeper Oliver Kahn stated to German publication Kicker when asked his opinion on what it takes for a side to lift European continental football's highest trophy.
He then went on to add that it was thanks to their lavish spending that saw Chelsea lift the trophy in 2012, the first in the club's history but conceded that "it doesn't make them any different than Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, or Bayern Munich".
Still, no one can dispute that since Chelsea's July 2003 takeover by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich that the Blues have not enjoyed an upswing in success, notably winning the league title three times (their first since the the 1954-1955 campaign).
Preview: Another Ibra-Ronaldo showdown on the cards
Last time the two men were on the same pitch the match ended in a five goal thriller and both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo scored all of their side’s goals as Portugal beat Sweden 3-2 in the second leg of the WCQ play-off to secure a place in the last 32.
This time when the two men face one another, the match will be played in the context of a friendly match but there is no denying that it promises to be a spectacle given the number of world class players which are present on either side.
Entertainment is described in Merriam-Webster as “amusement or diversion provided especially by performers”.
According to this definition, entertainment can be measured by not just one but by several criteria as amusement or diversion can come in several forms.
However, a smaller, perhaps financially constrained, side contesting a historic name of the game does not provide the viewer with the same entertainment as two giants logging heads with each other. This is because, unless both sides are of similar caliber, the superior side tends to dominate or in other words, bully the smaller side.
Preview: Portuguese giants will need a memorable night to go through to the knockout round
Benfica's name has generally been one that is associated with European Football, for many years now. With the UEFA Champions League Final being hosted at their stadium, the Portuguese side's hopes of making it to that final are now in the balance heading into Tuesday night's match.
Jorge Jesus' side has not started the new season very well, despite a number of new acquisitions in the squad. Apart from that, no key figures left from last season's roster, which has caused fans to question the manager.
Preview: Olympiakos looking to pull off an upset at Parc des Princes
The Greek champions will be looking to pick all three points when they face Paris Saint Germain, a victory will take them on level points with the group leaders and will definitely enhance their chances of making it to the next round.
However PSG who have been unbeaten in both league and European games will be very difficult to break down and Olympiakos will surely be pessimistic of their chances on Wednesday. Les Parisiens have won three of the four Champions League matches they have played this season and defeated Olympiakos 4-1 in the reverse fixtures.
Preview: Parisiens looking to continue unbeaten run
The Capital side have been unbeaten in the Champions League in the last ten outings and will be hoping to better their tally when they face Belgium based club Anderlecht. Even though they were knocked out of the Champions League in the Quarter- Finals last season, their elimination was a result of an away goal advantage to Barcelona after both legs finished with the scores levelled.
Laurent’s Blanc men will however make their trip to Brussels in a confident mood currently undefeated in all competitions this season. Les Rouge-et-Bleu will aim to make it three wins out of three when they face Anderlecht, having already scored easy victories over Olympiacos and Benfica.
Preview: PSG hoping to go on top with a win over Marseille
A victory in Le Classique could take both the teams to the top of table, should league leaders AS Monaco drop points over the weekend. Paris Saint Germain would be hoping to continue their impressive form which saw them defeating Portuguese outfit Benfica 3-0in what was arguably their best display of football this season.
The French champions are currently undefeated this season in all competitions, having so far won the French Super Cup, both their Champions League matches and notching up 18 points from the eight league games they have played so far.
Preview: PSG's high-flying offense could cause problems for Benfica
Since all the money was injected into PSG, they have not been able to establish themselves in European Football. While they've won Ligue 1, and came close to eliminating Barcelona in the Champions League, given the amount of talent they have, a European title should be expected.
On Wednesday they will take another step towards that, when they welcome Benfica to the Parc de Princes.
The Portuguese side has not started their domestic campaign off in the greatest form, but they were able to defeat Anderlecht 2-0 in Lisbon in their opening group match. Goals from Djuricic and Luisão lifted the Águias past the Belgian side.
Preview: Monaco in pursuit of new Ligue 1 order with victory over defending champions
The cash laden clubs will face each other for the first time in two years in a match which has been termed “El Cashio”. The last two encounters between the two sides ended in a draw, however this time it is an altogether different story.
PSG were expected to take the league by storm for years to come after being acquired by Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who guaranteed his full financial support to the club. Lucrative spending by the Parisien side enabled them to buy one of the brightest players in the world of football which helped PSG to win its first league title in 19 years.
Elsewhere in Europe, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City both ensured that they also earned all three points against Greek outfit Olympiakos Piraeus and Czech side Viktoria Plzen respectively.
This left PSG and the Citizens top of their respective groups. The former shares the number one spot in Group C with Benfica while Man United’s city rivals are joint leaders in Group D with Bayern Munich.
Manchester City’s 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow – with second half goals in the span of ten minutes from Edin Džeko, Yaya Touré, and Sergio Agüero – does not reflect the hardship they went through. There was certainly quite a bit of added pressure on Manuel Pelligrini’s men going into this match.
Biggest clubs eying transformation
Last season, these squads suffered from lack of balance in attack, midfield or defence – due to injuries or loss of form by some of their players. They have since been busy letting names out or bolstering themselves with new acquisitions.
With the appointment of David Moyes at Manchester United, the return of Jose Mourinho to Chelsea, the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, and the appointment of Pep Guardiola by Bayern Munich, several players have been linked with moves to the respective clubs of these aforementioned gentlemen.
And this year’s most hyped transfer stories are not just about the Red Devils, the Blues, Los Blancos or Hollywood FC. Other popular clubs like Arsenal, Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool, Man City, Milan and Spurs complete LiveSoccerTV.com’s 2013 Summer Transfer Guide.