Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A really quick and rushed attempt at a CL Final preview

Today's programming should be fun, if not a little ire-inducing: after all, the two teams fighting for this mighty honour are two of the three teams I hate the most in the world. Manchester United, and Chelsea. [There's no danger of Everton ever reaching a prestigious game like this, really]

On one side, you have a team run by a drunk Scot, hell-bent on infecting the world with Cristiano fever. He's got a deep, talented squad, and he's smug about it.

The Russian, before he became old and evil

On the other side, the blue menace from London, a team owned by an unscrupulous Russian oil merchant who is intent on ruining the transfer structure by paying top dollar for damaged goods.

Lesser of two evils? Is there such a thing in this one?

Putting personal hatred aside for just a moment, there are enough juicy storylines to keep us entertained.

Could this be Drogba's last game for Chelsea? Or, as I indulge in the most ridiculous of weekend gossip, Cristiano Ronaldo's? He'd really love a move to Spain, you know... as would Frank Lampard.

Furthermore, could this be the end of Sir Alex Ferguson? He's won just about everything there is to win, and while his retirement would be a serious shocker, it could happen. After all, he's got enough cash in the bank to inhabit a bar stool for the rest of his days. The temptation is pretty strong, I'd imagine.

It's been less than a fortnight since Man U won the title from right under Chelsea's nose. Avram Grant, passive and morose as he might seem, would love a bit of revenge. Not only would this be Chelsea's first CL win [remember, there was a time when Liverpool would simply knock them out in the semis... alas, that duck is broken], but it would prevent SAF from winning the silverware that's eluded him the longest. They did win it in 1999, but nary a sniff since then. Racking up EPL titles is one thing, but what good does it do when you can't win Europe's biggest prize?

Nothing spices up a big game like an early red card [just ask Richard Dunne]. Today's referee is Lubos Michel, the guy who awarded Luis Garcia's goal in that cagey 2005 semi-final against Liverpool. You know the one: just over the line, Terry and co. protesting vigorously [some things never change], the one that put LFC in the final where they had that comeback you might have seen.

Well, he's the man in charge today, and if the last Chelsea/Man U encounter wasn't violent or contentious enough, I expect nothing less than bloodshed and late tackles from both sides today.

Evra better keep a lid on it this evening.

In true prognosticating spirit, I took a quick poll of UF brethren to see what they think will happen today.

I swear: if it ends up being 1-0, I will murder someone.*

The Fan's Attic:
Since Ronaldo never comes up big in the big matches. I can't go with him for MoM. I think United wins. 3-1. Terry is injured. Drogba flops 14 times only to be outdone by Ronaldo with 16 flops. Tevez scores a brace and is MotM. Ballack scores for Chelsea, and Ferdinand finishes the job. Ferdinand plays out his mind and permanently takes the armband from Terry. Van Der Sar saves a Lampard PK that would have put Chelsea up 2-0 to send him off to Italy.

Precious Roy:
Chelski wins 2-1. Ballack and Malouda for Chelsea, Rooney for Man U.

Chelsea after PKs. 1-1. Tevez and Ballack to score. Ronaldo misses his spot kick. Brave John Terry MotM.

You guys are such optimists. I'm voting for Ronaldo to score in the first half, followed by a very questionable awarded to Chelsea deep into second half injury time. Chelsea then manage to scrape through in penalties. 1-1 (Chels wins on PKs)

Moonshine Mike:
As much as i hate to say it, 1-0 in favor of ManU. I feel dirty now.

Lingering Bursitis:
I will be optimistic in saying that there will be many goals.
3-2 Man U
Man U: Ronaldo, Vidic, Scholes
Chelsea: Drogba 2

So there you have it folks. We've reached the end of the European football season, barring some minor former Soviet bloc countries who are wrapping up their domestic leagues. We have 90 minutes of potentially good football left before the tidal wave of average football at Euro '08 [why yes, of course I'm still bitter that we didn't qualify].

Let's hope we get what we all deserve: some good goals, and one set of players crying openly for the cameras after the final whistle.

*A figurative "someone"


The NY Kid said...

I made a prediction dammit!

2-1 ManUre. Ronaldo and Tevez vs. Malouda. Tevez as MoM.

Lingering Bursitis said...

oops. Forgot that one. Will add in a minute.

Keith said...

barring meteor, I'd like to see 3-0 ManUre.

ü75 said...

Man, I almost had it all. 1-1. Ronaldo penalty miss. Then, BJT had to go and blow it. Tosser.