Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nou Camp braced for goals

As expected, the Dubai World Cup meeting was a tough read as far as the form and competition were concerned, and it was with great satisfaction to see the predicted lays confirming their inferiority on the day. All the lays proved correct. The American-trained horses could only muster a best-placed fifth; the reason is simple, they are not as good on the synthetic as the Europeans, Australians or Asians. They rock and rule on the dirt, that's it.

While all the big lays were correct, some of the fancies mentioned, did disappoint, particularly Musir and Sepoy. For the latter, it was probably a case where he did not act on the surface. Same for So You Think.

I was also keeping an attentive eye on the Florida Derby where Union Rags, the favourite for the Kentucky Derby, disappointed to a 3rd place finish. Analysts can argue about his difficult trip and the track not being suited to his dash, but truth be told, he failed to give the showing that was expected of him since his last impressive outing. I must say he is no longer the sure type he looked to be a few weeks ago, for the May showdown. He's still a very good horse among the current batch, but it remains to be seen if there is another out there that can trouble him in a few weeks time.

Football-wise, Man Utd are giving a lesson to Mancini and co on how to close the deal. What an amazing turn of events in the past few weeks where the Citizens have seen their lead crumble like a pack of cards. The comments from Mancini and sorry-Vieira lately, show that they are not coping at all with the pressure. It goes to show what a master Alex Ferguson is; he must be laughing his heart out. A genius, he is. This is their title to lose now, and it would be a brave one thinking otherwise.

Tonight is the second leg of the Champions League between Barcelona and Milan. I mentioned prior to the first leg that Barcelona will go through and quite certain they will following their scoreless draw at the San Siro. I believe that Barcelona will out-score Milan, even if the latter are entitled to find the net. Whichever angle I look at it, I cannot see Milan qualifying. They got trounced visiting Arsenal in the previous round. They were completely outmatched by the Spaniards last week although they kept it to a decent 0-0. Sure, they managed a 2-2 last time they visited the Nou Camp during the group stages, but they were again outclassed and only scored the tying goal in injury time on a set-piece. Everything looks in favour of Barcelona tonight, and I recommend them as a Win in 90 minutes.

Win: Barcelona

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