Tag Archives: Schalke

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)

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Champions League semifinalists set

13 Apr

And then there were four.  Schalke and Real Madrid booked spots in the Champions League semifinals with convincing wins over defending champ Inter and Tottenham, respectively.  Schalke took down Inter with ease, winning 7-3 on aggregate.  Real had no problems with Spurs either, claiming a 5-0 aggregate win.

Here’s where the fun starts.  Real will now play Barcelona in the semifinals – two of four El Clasico matches in 18 days.  Craziness.  Not sure the world soccer media will be able to handle the intensity of that many (supposedly) awesome games without spontaneously combusting.

In the other semifinal, we will see Schalke take on Manchester United.  Schalke is making its first trip in club history to the semis, so congrats are definitely in order.  If Schalke continues to play like they did against Inter, things could get interesting.  Keep in mind also that United was eliminated by a German team (Bayern) in the quarters last year as well.  Of course, this semi will get less press than the Spanish bonanza, but that doesn’t make it less worthy of attention (as long as MU isn’t the only team getting attention).

The first leg of the semifinals will be April 26-27 and the second leg is set for May 3-4.

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)

Real, Schalke roll in Champions League quarters

5 Apr

Well, Peter Crouch played an important part in today’s match, but not like I thought he would.  The striker was sent off for a second yellow 15 minutes into the game and Real cruised to a 4-0 win over Tottenham.  No three-goal miracle from Gareth Bale this time!  Real got the scoring started with a fourth minute goal from Emmanuel Adebayor and never looked back.  It was only a one-goal game at the half, but goals from Adebayor, Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria put the game beyond doubt.  The second leg will be at White Hart Lane, but I don’t think Tottenham has that kind of comeback in them.

Meanwhile, in Italy, Schalke demolished Inter, 5-2.  Who woulda thunk it?  Inter opened the scoring in the first minute on a ridiculous volley from Dejan Stankovic from close to half field.  It didn’t seem to bode well for Schalke, but the German side responded twice to one goal deficits and much like Real, poured in the goals in the second half. Joel Matip opened the scoring for Schalke, while Edu added two of his own.  Raul added to his incredible Champions League tally of 70 goals (!) with a strike of his own.  An own goal from Inter’s Andrea Ranocchia completed the Italian side’s misery.  I don’t think anyone thought Schalke would come into the San Siro and beat the crap out of the defending champs.  Well done, Schalke, now just make sure you keep up the intensity in the second leg.

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)

2011 Champions League Quarterfinals Announced

18 Mar

The matchups for the Champions League quarterfinals were announced today and the one that will grab the most headlines is Chelsea-Manchester United.  The Red Devils met the Blues in the final in 2008, prevailing on penalties.  Of course the teams have a rivalry going in the Premier League as well.  The other English team in the draw, Tottenham, will take on Real Madrid.  Meanwhile, defending champion Inter will play German side Schalke.  Clear favorite Barcelona plays Shakhtar. 

 The draw for the semifinals was also held.  The winner of Spurs/Real will play the winner of Barcelona/Shakhtar, while the Chelsea/ManU winner will take on the Inter/Schalke winner.  Of course, the potential for a Real/Barca semifinal already has some people drooling, but it’s never a great thing to get too caught up in potential matches in a tournament, thanks to those lovely little things called upsets.

The Spurs/Real and Inter/Schalke matches will be held April 5 and 13, while the other two are scheduled for April 6 and 12.  Is it just me or is this scheduling kind of stupid?  The first four teams will have seven days of rest between games, while Chelsea, ManU, Barca and Shakhtar only have five.  Why would you not make it even for all eight teams?  All you would have to do is make the set of dates for the first four April 5 and 12 and the second four April 6 and 13.  Voila, problem solved.  But seriously, does anyone know why the one group ends up with more rest?

April 5
Real Madrid vs. Tottenham
Inter vs. Schalke

April 6
Chelsea vs. Manchester United
Barcelona vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

April 12
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Barcelona
Manchester United vs. Chelsea

April 13
Tottenham vs. Real Madrid
Schalke vs. Inter

Big games in Champions League today

24 Nov

Group A – Tottenham and Inter are tied at the top of the group with seven points. Both will be looking to cement those positions further with wins today.

Group B – Group leader Lyon meets second place Schalke in a crucial game for both squads. Meanwhile, Benfica will look to keep its hopes of advancing alive with a win against Hapoel Tel-Aviv.

Group C – Manchester United only needs a draw against Rangers to advance to the round of 16. However, Rangers will be searching for a win as they look to move into second.

Group D – Second place Copenhagen currently trails Rubin 1-0. A win for Rubin would keep them in contention for advancement. Barcelona should have no problems with last place Panathinaikos.

Rubin vs. Copenhagen
Inter vs. Twente
Schalke vs. Lyon
Valencia vs. Bursaspor
Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs. Benfica
Panathinaikos vs. Barcelona – 5 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Tottenham vs. Werder Bremen – 7 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Rangers vs. Manchester United – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)