Unprofessional Foul


March 14, 2008

Sir Alex Ferguson’s prayers and pocketbook pay off


The Champions League draw for the rest of the tournament took place this morning, and what a crock of s**t it was.

Manchester United, after slinking past Lyon in the last round, were given the kind fortune of a date with AS Roma, a team they battered 7-1 in the knockout stages last season. Lucky f**ks.

Arsenal and Liverpool got drawn against one another, much to the chagrin of either side, and this puts them in the rather ridiculous position of playing three games against each other within a calendar week. The CL ties will fall either side of their EPL clash on Sunday, March 5th, and honestly, that’s just too ridiculous for words. You can bet your bottom dollar that the EPL game will be a reserves match for the most part.

Meanwhile, Chelsea get a nice little trip to Turkey for their troubles, and you wonder which will be higher there: the score, or the number of Blues fans getting stabbed.

The final tie sees the impressive FC Schalke 04 get shafted with a date with Barcelona, Ronaldinho, Messi and co.

The breakdown for the semis would work like this:
Liverpool/Arsenal vs. Fenerbahce SK/Chelsea
Man Utd/AS Roma vs. Barcelona/FC Schalke 04

After the jump, some entirely baseless predictions.

Man U vs. AS Roma
Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez against Francesco Totti, Mirko Vucinic and Ludovic Giuly. It won’t be a blowout like last year, as Roma has tightened the ship since then, but you have to fancy the Reds to prevail, irritating as it will be. Expect none of the flair that either side exhibited in earlier rounds; instead, both sides will adopt a rather cautious, defensive stance like two aging boxers who are a little rusty in the ring. Prediction: 4-2 Man Utd

Liverpool vs. Arsenal
Neither side deserved this after the raping and pillaging job they put on both sides of Milan in recent weeks, but that’s how the cookie crumbles, or so they say. I fancy my LFC to prevail, simply because their recent run of form has been miles better, they’re playing confident football, Torres & Gerrard have 9 goals in the CL this season, and a pesky Mascherano is a good match to bottle up Fabregas. Meanwhile, Arsenal are dangerous, but three dismal draws in the EPL lately doesn’t exactly inspire, does it? And what’s happened to Adebayor since his haircut? Should we call him Samson yet? They will be cagey games, snuck in the end by the team that wants the CL just a little bit more. That will be the team that has precious little else to play for. Prediction: 2-1 Liverpool

Chelsea vs. Fenerbahce SK
Atrocious. The Turkish side will be more of a match for Chelsea than Avram realizes, and despite a 6-1 pasting of Derby the other night, Chelsea’s recent form has been far from godlike. I’m calling the upset special on this one…. Fenerbahce SK will steal an away goal and hold them back in the hostile confines of their home turf. With Steven Appiah in midfield and former Chelsea striker Mateza Kezman up front, I foresee heartbreak for Roman’s mercenaries. Prediction: 2-1 Fenerbahce

FC Schalke 04 vs. Barcelona
Sorry, Germany. No chance here. Even with wonder striker Kevin Kuranyi, you’re up against a four-pronged attack with goals that could come from anywhere. For Barca, as Celtic found out, it’s only a matter of time before they conjure up a goal, and you can’t hold them down for very long. Messi, Henry, Ronaldinho, Gudjohnsen, Eto’o…. pick your poison. Prediction: 5-0 Barcelona

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