Monday, March 14, 2011

A huge test for Man Utd

Not a bad week-end with 3 out of 5 recommendations winning, and the remaining 2 voided. Real Madrid, Man City and Lille won, while Milan and Bremen drew their matches. As long as we keep away from the losing punts, things are good. Not much exciting things to report over the week-end. In La Liga, Madrid cut Barcelona's lead by 2 points to give a glimmer of hope to its supporters. In England, the Manchester teams won their quarter-final matches to ensure that they will meet in the semi-final. Really interesting match-up indeed. In Italy, leaders Milan confirmed that they were far from being dominant leaders by failing to beat lowly Bari. The Italian league is really sub-par compared to the English and Spanish ones.

It's the Champion League matches determining the final set of quarter-finals that take all of the football attention this week. A huge huge night tomorrow Tuesday awaits Man Utd as they host Marseille. After a drab goalless draw in the first leg, the Red Devils will have to beat the French champions to ensure qualification. With their current injury problems, it won't be easy for Utd and I can't believe that they are almost 1/3 on the exchanges to qualify. No Park, Ferdinand, Fletcher, Anderson. Latest reports suggest that Nani will make it. If he didn't, I just couldn't find a way for Utd to go through. This Marseille team is solid on the road and they emphasized this masterfully by going to win at previously unbeaten Rennes (at home) last week. If they happen to score first, they are good enough to park the bus in front of goal. Man Utd's chances rest massively on Nani, who provides their main threat for scoring goals. If he fails to fire, then Ferguson will have to hope that Valencia can contribute at such a high level on only his second game after such a long layoff. Really, I think the 3/1 current odds for Marseille to qualify represent good value. I can't outright recommend it though because this match can go either way, and there are no sure-fire predictions on this one. The old fox Ferguson will certainly have his players motivated, and maybe a trick or two up his sleeve, but it will have to be an exceptional Man Utd team that produces their best performance of the past weeks, to win this game. As it stands, I think they really have their backs to the wall on this one.

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