Goth is banned at the moment, so I'm temporarily in charge around here again, though quite honestly that doesn't mean much- I'll be around posting a bit more often I guess.
So, crazy day in the cup yesterday! Obviously the stand out result was Barnsley winning at Anfield, and as I pointed out to my girlfriend (who happens to be a pool fan), just 4 days after they were beaten 3-0 by the mighty Argyle. We even softened them up for them! There is clearly a lot wrong at Liverpool at the moment- the fact that they seem incapable of playing any kind of decent football without Gerrard and Torres on the pitch is mystifying, even more so considering those two are rested so often!
Meanwhile Man Utd gave Arsenal a bit of a spanking, though it seems obvious that Wenger couldn't care less about the Cup- he's after the Championship and Champions league this season. Still, it may destroy their momentum (though I suspect not).
Which all leads up to midweek Champions League predictions (as frankly both of today's cup games look incredibly dull on paper)!
Tuesday: Liverpool v Inter
If Liverpool don't show up again this could be an embarrassment, but despite everything that has gone on recently I just don't see that happening. Liverpool always pull out the big performances in Europe, especially against sides that really should hammer them on current form. Meanwhile Inter traditionally under perform in the Champions League. 1-1 (with Inter still going through in the second leg)
Olympiakos v Chelsea
As usual Chelsea seem to have the easiest draw (as they have all year in the FA Cup as well...), and I'd be stunned if they came away with anything worse than a draw here. Terry and Lampard are back, which will be a big boost, and I presume Drogba must be back as well, though I've heard nothing of that. 0-2 prediction, with a comfortable home tie to follow.
Roma v Real Madrid
Awesome tie, 2-2 prediction.
Schalke 04 v Porto
Not so awesome, two of the weaker sides left in the competition in my opinion. Over two legs it could go either way, and this will probably be a draw. 1-1.
Arsenal v AC Milan
The pick of the matches involving British sides in my opinion. Everyone is predicting that the youth of Arsenal will finally show up the aging Milan defence, but where Arsenal always do badly in Europe (not including the one season they made the final), Milan always do extremely well. It depends on the Arsenal that shows up- if they are down after yesterday's mauling they could get battered, if they are up for the game they could run out easy winners. Prediction: 2-1.
Celtic v Barcelona
A dreadful draw for Celtic (from a progression point of view- a great draw for the spectacle). Over two legs I can't see them winning, but at home they are really tough to beat, and I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled another result out here. 2-1.
Lyon v Man Utd
Not a bad draw for United, especially if they can maintain their current form from the weekend. Lyon have been strong in Europe in the past, but Rangers demonstrated that they aren't quite what they used to be, and I'd expect united to progress. Either 0-1 or 1-1 in the first leg, with a comfortable home win to follow.
Fenerbahce v Sevilla
Sevilla to win over two legs, a draw in the first leg, 2-2.
Now wait and see all of that go horribly wrong...