September 16, 2014 – Champions League

I’m not even sure who plays for who in the Premier League any more so trying to figure out what the team at Ludogorets Watsifluzy has is impossible.  When it comes to Europe I’m still thinking like it’s the golden days of European football.  Starting when Liverpool were rampant and travelling away to Juventus meant you were likely to lose, back when S.Bucharest could beat the likes of El Tel’s Barcelona on penalties, and AC Milan were the best team in the world.  Even as recently as a few years ago I could tell you the Top 5 Italian teams and the only 3 relevant Spanish Teams…. so that being said the predictions must follow!

Juventus v Malmo
It’s been a while since Juventus were the biggest spenders (on referees’ bonuses) and a while since they were fairly harshly punished… but they appear to be on the mend and should have no hard time taking down Malmo.
2-0

Olympiakos v Athletico Madrid
Once up on a time Greece were the country that had that one good team and that was the end of the discussion.  Then they won the Euro tournament as a nation and we thought things would change.  We’ve been wondering how they did that ever since.
The better team is Madrid and even without Costa it’s hard to rule against them.  Finally, it’s not all Real but I could be wrong…I probably am.
1-2

Liverpool v Ludogorets Razgrad
Rasgrawho are not a team with which I am intimately familiar.. or at all.  Liverpool are a team who this year are showing tendencies to over and under achieve.  I doubt that they will allow a Ludugorwhogor? to win but I’m not going to expect anything too much.  I’m sure Ballotelli will be blogged about again for either doing nothing AND maintaining his cool… or scoring and not maintaining his cool and getting an early shower.
2-0

Real Madrid v FC Basel
FC Basel are always a tough draw and when grown men play against a whimpering, crying Ronaldo they have a chance.  Not sure if they’ve finally accepted the end of Iker or not… either way, a shock that isn’t.
1-2

AS Monaco Bayer v Leverkusen
I remember Monaco with Hoddle and for that reason alone I’m going with them for a score draw.
1-1

Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg
Every year brings the idea that some cold climate team, some Russian team will live up to their huge expectation so it’s reasonable to predict this could be the year.  Each year we also try and make Benfica be the team they used to be – one that could travel in Europe with great success.
Neither will be the case and it will play out to a boring 0-0 draw.

Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal
I guess this is the big game for Arsenal who have to start achieving something in Europe beyond showing up.  Borussia is a key opponent in their group and a 1-1 draw will be a satisfactory return from Germany.  I expect the new boy, Welbeck, to step and make a good showing.
1-1

Galatasaray v Anderlecht
It used to be that going to Galatasaray was mostly about surviving.  Not surviving and getting a result. No, it was about surviving.
Show up, play to 0-0 draw and gtfo of there!
0-0

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