Tag Archives: Champions League TV schedule

More Barca-Real drama today

3 May

Barcelona will host Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal this afternoon.  The bad blood boiled over in the last meeting as there were dives, fouls and cheating out the wazoo.

Barcelona holds a 2-0 lead and has no real need to score any more goals today.  They will be perfectly content with 80% possession and no shots.  How exactly will Real score if they can’t hold onto the ball?  It will be even more difficult for Real without Pepe, who was vital to the disruption of the Barca midfield in the last couple matches.  Last week, Barca couldn’t get a breakthrough until after his red card.  Real will also be without the services of Sergio Ramos (yellow card accumulation) and Jose Mourinho (red card). Mourinho has already labeled this tie as ‘mission impossible’.  (Talk about a way to inspire your team.)

Tensions ran incredibly high in last week’s match and it resulted in an ugly, foul-filled affair.  Will these teams be able to move past that or will this game be even uglier as Real pushes for goals of its own?  A 2-0 hole is not the end of the world for Real, but they will have to find someone else to play the disruptive role that Pepe did if they want any chance of getting back into this clash. If no one can fill that role, it’s going to be a long day for the Copa del Rey champs and a second final in three years for Barcelona.

TV Schedule
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Live

Drama, drama, drama

27 Apr

Yesterday’s semifinal between Schalke and Manchester United was merely the appetizer for today’s main course: El Clasico #3.  Let’s recap the last two meetings, shall we?  El Clasico #1 – A  1-1 draw in league play thanks to penalties on both sides, Real effectively shut down Barca’s passing game.  El Clasico #2 – Real wins its first domestic trophy in 18 years on an extra time header from Cristiano Ronaldo and again they shut down Barca’s midfield.  Sergio Ramos drops the trophy under a bus (yep, still funny).

What can we expect from this edition? Real had  success against Barcelona the last two times out mainly because Pepe is a beast.  That man was all over the place.  Barcelona did not have the space or time to get the ball high up the field to players like Lionel Messi.  I’m sure Pep Guardiola has realized that there needs to be a shift in the way Barca plays today, so it will be interesting to see the adjustments.

There are also some injury issues for both squads.  Real will be missing Sami Kheidra and Barca will be without midfield man Andres Iniesta.  Good news for Barca, though, as Carles Puyol is back in the squad.

Barcelona has dominated the clash the last couple years, but Real’s drastically improved performance over the last week shows that this Champions League match is totally up for grabs.  Hopefully it will be epic.

My prediction: Real 1, Barca 1  Why?  I just can’t see Barcelona getting shut out by Real for the second time in a row.

TV Schedule
Real vs. Barcelona – 2:45 p.m. ET/FX (Live)

Schalke-United kick off Champions League semis

26 Apr

Schalke hosts Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal clash today. United is definitely the favorite and will try to put this tie to bed early, but if Schalke can play like it did against Inter in the quarterfinals, it will be a close contest. The visitors will be without Dimitar Berbatov, who is injured, while the host side will be missing key defender Benedikt Hoewedes, who was injured over the weekend.

United was eliminated by Bayern Munich last year in the quarterfinals and doesn’t have the best track record against German teams, winning only seven of 19 Champions League matches. However, that really does not matter one iota as it’s in the past. Meanwhile, Schalke has won all five of its home Champions League games this season, so it will be no walk in the park for United.

Of course, this is the forgotten semifinal as everyone is geared up for El Clasico #3 tomorrow, but more on that later.

My prediction for today’s game: Schalke 1, Manchester United 1 – There is no doubt that Schalke is more than capable of hanging with likely EPL champs Manchester United. The German side will score a surprise goal early, but a typical late goal from United will salvage a crucial away goal.

TV Schedule
Schalke vs. Manchester United – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Last two semifinal spots up for grabs today

13 Apr

Both Tottenham and Inter Milan have their work cut out for them as they both look to overturn big deficits in second leg Champions League quarterfinal action.  Spurs sits in a four goal hole, courtesy of an early sending-off and a strong Real side.  Inter was shocked by a rampant Schalke side at the San Siro, 5-2.

Of course, Spurs will be without Peter Crouch, the red card recipient from the first leg, however, they will be boosted by the return of Aaron Lennon.  Real should be fielding a full-strength squad.  It will take quite the herculean effort from Spurs to overturn this one.

Schalke will have to play some tough defense to hold Inter at bay.  Of course, the tactic of sit back and never attack generally fails miserably, so hopefully Schalke will be out to put this one away early with some goals of their own.

TV Schedule
Tottenham vs. Real Madrid – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Schalke vs. Inter – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)

Champions League semifinal spots on the line

12 Apr

Manchester United defeated Chelsea, 1-0, in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie at Stamford Bridge.  Going into today’s second leg at Old Trafford, it is by far the closest contest as only one goal separates the sides (the number is at least three in all the other quarterfinals).  Once again, Fernando Torres will start for Chelsea and Didier Drogba will be on the bench.  I would be so pissed at the owners if I was Carlo Ancelotti.  The only reason Torres is playing is because he cost so damn much.  Drogba gives Chelsea a much better chance to claim a comeback win.  It should be a tight game, but I think United will head to the semifinals as they will hold Chelsea scoreless.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, Barcelona should have no problem maintaining its four-goal advantage over Shakhtar after a 5-1 win in the first leg.  The Spanish side is expected to rest some of their starters.  On the other side of the field, Shakhtar will be missing all foru of their defensive starters due to injury or suspension.

TV Schedule
Manchester United vs. Chelsea – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Shakhtar vs. Barcelona – 5 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)

Champions League Quarterfinals Continue

6 Apr

Hopefully today’s games will be more competitive than yesterday’s slaughter.  Today we’ve got Barcelona, the “best team in the world”, taking on Shakhtar Donetsk.  Lionel Messi picked up a knock while playing with Argentina and only saw sub action against Villarreal this weekend, but I’d be surprised if he wasn’t in the starting lineup today.  While Barca is clearly the favorite, Shakhtar has the ability to surprise.  They dominated Roma in the round of 16, winning 6-2 on aggregate.

On the British isles, we have Chelsea hosting Manchester United.  Will Chelsea avenge its 2008 Champions League final loss?  Will Fernando Torres finally score a goal?  Will Wayne Rooney go apeshit?  These are all vital questions being asked in the buildup to the game.  Chelsea will miss the playmaking ability of their better January transfer, David Luiz, who is cup-tied.  Of course, if I were Carlo Ancelotti, I wouldn’t be playing Torres either as he doesn’t exactly deserve it.  Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka would start instead since they actually know how to score goals.  Stamford Bridge hasn’t exactly been a great place for ManU to play either as they have lost six of nine at the stadium.

TV Schedule
Chelsea vs. Manchester United – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Barcelona vs. Shakhtar – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)

Champions League quarterfinals kick off today

5 Apr

Inter Milan might be the defending champion, but their quarterfinal game against Schalke isn’t the big draw of the day.  Is it because both teams are struggling domestically?  After all, Inter’s loss to AC Milan all but eliminated Inter from winning the league.  Schalke on the other hand is like the VCU of the Champions League.  The team sits 10th in the Bundesliga, nine points out of European qualification.  Possibly, but it probably has more to do with the fact that Real Madrid has the ever-dangerous Cristiano Ronaldo and Tottenham has the talented Gareth Bale, who should both be playing today despite injury issues.

Of course, the man to really watch out for is Two-Meter Peter.  Peter Crouch has scored seven goals in his last eight Champions League games for Spurs.  Spurs have done a good job of adapting to their opponent’s style throughout the competition and will look to continue that strong performance today.  They will need a strong showing out of goalie Huerelho Gomes, who is somewhat prone to making even the simplest of saves seem like an adventure.

Real finds itself in the quarterfinals for the first time in forever (2004 actually).  In order to take a first leg lead, they will need to take advantage of their chances and keep crashing the goal.  They also must figure out how to slow down Bale, which means there needs to be a strong defensive effort.

TV Schedule
Real vs. Tottenham – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Inter vs. Schalke – 5 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)