Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CL Open Thread


Today is the first of two matchdays which are the last of the group stage. Most of us are hoping for a Bordeaux win coupled with Chelsea failing to secure all three points in Group A. Autoglass, of course, is not. If that scenario happens, Chelsea would drop to the UEFA Cup.

Group breakdowns, matches and selected lineups after the jump.

Group A
Chelsea-CFR Cluj (ESPN 2)
Roma-Bordeaux
As stated above, Chelsea need all three points at home to secure passage to the knockout round. Bordeaux will not get an easy game at Roma, however, as Roma could still drop to the UEFA Cup with a loss and Chelsea win or, depending in the result, draw.

Group B
Panathinaikos-Anorthosis
Werder Bremen-Inter Milan
The game to watch is the one between the Greeks and the Cypriots. Contrary to a belief held by some, this is not a tilt with political undertones, as Anorthosis reside in the Greek-backed half of Cyprus. Still, a spirited match will be expected between the two as a place in the knock outs is at stake. Panathinaikos need just a draw, while Anorthosis need the unlikely away win. In the other match, Inter are through, but still need points to secure first place. Werder could still make the UEFA Cup with a convincing win coupled with a Anorthosis loss.

Group C
Barcelona-Shakhtar Donetsk
FC Basle-Sporting Lisbon
Barcelona are through as group winners, while Shakhtar will go through with a win and Sporting loss. Don't count on it. Basle are playing out the string, already eliminated from moving on in Europe.

Group D
Olympique Marseille-Atletico Madrid
PSV Eindhoven-Liverpool
Atletico and Liverpool are vying for first in the group, both on 11 points at this time. Atletico have a single goal advantage. L'OM and PSV are similarly on equal points at the bottom and cannot move on in the competition. L'OM have the decided advantage of a five better goal differential for a UEFA Cup slot, but need to equal PSV's result today to make sure of going through.

From wikipedia: Tiebreak rules in the group stage
1. higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question;
2. superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question;
3. higher number of goals scored away from home in the group matches played among the teams in question;
4. superior goal difference from all group matches played;
5. higher number of goals scored in all group matches played;
6. higher number of coefficient points accumulated by the club in question, as well as its association, over the previous five seasons.
(I think I got it all correct)


Lineups from Sky Sports. Blame them for any mistakes.
Spartak London (4-5-1) Cech. Cole, Terry, Alex, Bosingwa. Kalou, Deco, Obi wan Mikel, Ballack, Cole. Anelka. Subs: Cudicini, Ivanovic, Drogba, Bridge, Ferreira, Belletti, Stoch.
CFR Cluj (4-5-1) You're not going to recognize anyone.

PSV (4-3-3) Isaksson. Culina, Marcellis, Brechet, Salcido. Mendez, Simons, Dzsudzsak. Bakkal, Lazovic, Amrabat. Subs: Cassio, Rodriguez, Koevermans, Pieters, Nijland, Manco, Wuytens.
'Pool (4-5-1) Cavalieri. Arbeloa, Carragher, Dossena, Agger. Babel, Mascherano, Lucas, Riera, N'Gog. Keane. Subs: Reina, Gerrard, Xabi, Banayoun, Spearing, Darby, Kelly.

Early prediction: PSV through to UEFA Cup. Enjoy!

62 comments:

Mike Georger said...

anyone have a pool stream that isnt starting and stopping like nuts?

ü75 said...

Actually, I got in wrong. First tiebreak is head to head goal differential. Adjust your betting accordingly.

Precious Roy said...

You're not going to recognize anyone.

But they have a player named Coolio! Okay phonetically it's 'Coolio.' It's spelled Culio, which I think was also the name of the burn victim screaming Kaiser Soze's name in 'The Usual Suspects.'

JT said...

Nope PR, the guy's name was Arkash Kobash.

JT said...

ps. holy shit that movie was made in 1994! Makes me feel old

Mike Georger said...

No shit? Find me Dave Kujan from Customs.

ü75 said...

Updated tiebreaker, as I see them

Bordeaux draw, Chelsea loss. Both teams on eight points. Chelsea through.

Werder win, Anorthosis draw. BOth teams on seven points. Werder into UEFA Cup.

Shakhtar win, Sporting loss. Both teams on nine points. Sporting through.

Liverpool need to better Atletico's result for today to take first place. PSV need to better L'OM's result to go into the UEFA Cup.

Anything else you need to know, go here

ü75 said...

One final note--Cluj cannot advance to the UEFA Cup. Chelsea should win handily against this half-second-choice Cluj squad.

Precious Roy said...

Wow, make a bad joke and people go all imdb over your ass.

Precious Roy said...

Fuck, how did Cluj not score there?

JT said...

ha ha PR, bad jokes make internet investigators out of us all!

JT said...

PR: just ask yourself, "what would WanderingBear say?"

Mike Georger said...

kill himself?

Mike Georger said...

mascherano forced to change his jersey because its covered in blood?

since when is alcohol advertising banned in holland?

Mike Georger said...

oh man, what if they shot me in the face? riera just got absolutely rocked. good performance from him thus far though.

Precious Roy said...

Along with the more obvious Nasri, Bosingwa, and Zaki, Riera was one of the better moves in the EPL. He's been pretty solid.

Mike Georger said...

Indeed. Though he is at his best when he stays out wide and tries to beat people, lately it seems he has been cutting inside a lot more. He isn't a goal scorer, hes a crosser; I chalk that up to bad coaching.

Plus he looks like he should be tying someone to train tracks in a Bullwinkle cartoon or something.

Mike Georger said...

no fucking way was that onside

Precious Roy said...

I fancy him more of a Hank Azaria on recovery from a meth addiction that wrecked his face a bit.

Mike Georger said...

that was offside. but mascherano should have cleared, what the fuck?

really looking forward to playing barca in the first round. jesus.

Precious Roy said...

Fuck... I swear Ballack wasn't even touched and that 'foul' earned a card. Then from the dead ball, Chelsea score.

There is no justice, but there is plenty of luck.

Mike Georger said...

Each and every PSV player is a massive pussy, this is ridiculous.

Mike Georger said...

Lucas is worthless, so if he could go ahead and punch one of these Dutch polesmokers in the cunt that would be fantastic. It's like there are 10 Ronaldos out there rolling around like they're on fucking fire.

Mike Georger said...

HEY LOOK ITS RYAN BABEL SCORING RAFA

Mike Georger said...

.... and hey look its worthless lucas leiva with the excellent swinger to babel's head

JT said...

nice finish from a nice cross. Seriously, Babel needs to play every week.

Precious Roy said...

He soon will. Only it will be back in Holland.

JT said...

PR: you pot-stirrer, you.

Mike Georger said...

Har de har har har. Believing Soccernet both Babel and Keane are gone in three weeks, which leaves Liverpool with Kuyt an Ngog as their only strikers. Yeah, thats exactly whats going to happen. Whatever, they'll forget about that as soon as they start reporting that Villa going to City as 'news'. Oh wait that happened this morning.

Precious Roy said...

If you want to shoot the messenger you are way off target.

Precious Roy said...

Do all Liverpudlians wake-up and do massive bong hits countered with 11 cups of coffee, or all you all naturally nervous and defensively paranoid?

Mike Georger said...

Yeah it also says he is happy at liverpool. He started today, they have three games in seven days over the Christmas week; I think he is going to be getting quite enough playing time.

Mike Georger said...

I don't drink coffee

Mike Georger said...

BE SELFISH ROBBIE!

Precious Roy said...

He didn't say he was happy. His agent said that he "feels great at Liverpool' which is pretty much what an agent would say after he fails to get his client the move he clearly wants.

I like Babel. I can't understand why Rafa doesn't play him more. But really convince yourself of whatever you like.

Mike Georger said...

"I like Babel. I can't understand why Rafa doesn't play him more. "

Yeah I'm with you 100%, and I'll add I can't understand why he refuses to play him as a striker.

There is just no way in hell they are selling any strikers when Torres can't stay healthy. Maybe Babel moves to Spain this summer, but hes not going anywhere anytime soon.

Precious Roy said...

Woo... CLUJ!. Beauty header.

1-1

Schadenfreude, thy names is nervous fans at the Bridge.

Mike Georger said...

And yes, I do think the media tries to undermine Liverpool.

UHOH CHELSEA

Precious Roy said...

I just think there is a high probability of something if not drastic than notable happening at Anfield in January. It might not be player moves. The most intriguing thing to me right now is the $75M debt that Gillett has that was secured by his interest in LFC.

There is additional debt that has to be covered, extended or refinanced. H&G might have everything under control, but if that were the case, Gillett wouldn't need to be rounding up people to help him purchase his own $75M debt.

Mike Georger said...

Robbie is about to stab a linesman, hes gotten screwed out of successive corners. He is actually playing well, moving good in the box, it appears he still has talent left in that potato skin of a body

JT said...

PR: I will say it's all a huge worry, and that there is a very real chance that things get screwed up to Leeds-esque proportions, but I just don't see it getting that far. It will be rectified somehow just before the whole thing implodes. I don't see them sinking.

Mike Georger said...

Ideally they have to sell it for half of what they paid. So they both get fucked and someone else gets a cut rate deal and can actually afford a stadium. I think the Barcelona style ownership is going to gain a lot of steam pretty soon.

Mike Georger said...

RBS can force a sale correct?

Precious Roy said...

I am the world's biggest proponent* of community-owned sports franchises. And I would applaud such a move for LFC. But I see ZERO chance of that organizing and becoming viable by January 25, the date when most of the shit hits the fan for H&G.


*might not be technically true.

Mike Georger said...

It's supposedly already organized

AND WHAT A GOAL FOR AZARIA

Precious Roy said...

What do you mean by "force a sale."

I'm guessing that if LFC default on loans, then the two banks (Wachovia and RBS) would take possession of the club.

My guess is that they would rather not own the club and have to run it. And would also guess that they have already spoken to people who might be potential buyers so that a transaction could take place shortly thereafter any takeover by the bank.

Shit, Drogba. Fucker.

JT said...

a wonderful goal by Riera. He's a contender for one of our best players so far this season, and wonderfully cheap considering the price of good players these days.

Mike Georger said...

I have not the faintest clue, I just hear it thrown around in this discussion a lot.

Mike Georger said...

The claim on Riera was always that he doesn't score often but when he does it is always a fantastic goal, seems true.

Atletico have one shot the entire game thus far.

Precious Roy said...

How can the community-ownership deal be in place where there isn't even a price for the club. How would they know if they have enough money?

I also imagine that many people who might have pledge to buy a share back in, oh, the summer, might not have that same money lying around right now.

My guess is an 80% chance the H%G stay in charge but with some player sales for cash (1 splashy) and some debt refinancing that keep this speculation of financial doom lingering over the club for another 6 months. A 20% chance the club changes ownership.

Mike Georger said...

Ngog opens his account!

Precious Roy said...

It occurs to me I'm doing a lot of 'guessing.' Maybe I'll just sit and watch what happens and enjoy the sideshow.

Cluj's performance makes me feel far less good about what Arsenal did at Stamford Bridge 10 days ago.

Mike Georger said...

I'm just going on what I've heard in the media about it. Share LFC does seem to be incredibly well organized though.

Mike Georger said...

BTW, that goal set up by a perfect long ball from Keane. Hugely improved performance and even though he hasn't scored I imagine his confidence is boosted.

Precious Roy said...

http://shareliverpoolfc.com/temp/index.php/work

100,000 people. £5000 each (with a £500 'deposit')

Also, according to that page, they only have 40,000 people on board. So at this point they have .04% of the money needed in hand. I don't see that happening by January 25.

Nathaniel said...

Sick goal from Zlatan. Too little too late, though.

Mike Georger said...

Way to step up Atletico! Thanks for the group.

Can you get matched up against group opponents in the first round? If so, I see a rematch on the horizon.

Precious Roy said...

Oops. That should be 4%. Still, long way away.

Mike Georger said...

I wasn't even going to try and see if that math was right, I was told there would be no math.

What would be interesting, and I don't even understand what I'm about to say; but they purchase the 75mil debt of Gillett.

Precious Roy said...

If you buy that debt (and the company holding it says it plans to have a sale complete sometime this month) one of two things happens:

A) Gillett pays the $75M due on January 25th. Then you get $75M for your troubles.

B) Gillett fails to come up with the $75M. You take over his half of LFC.

So because there is some non-zero chance that Gillett doesn't pony up the dough, the expected value of that note is greater than $75, meaning if you buy the note you are going to have to pay more than $75M; and your risk is that you only make $75M when Gillett pays you back.

Your reward for making the bet is that, if he doesn't come up with the money, for something substantially less than the, oh suppose, £300M that half of LFC is worth, you get half of LFC.

I would put the chance of Share LFC buying this debt at approximately 0.

Andrew said...

@PR: thank you for that enlightened comment. I began reading it, but soon the words began sounding like the parents from Peanuts.

Were there any surprises in who advanced to the knockout CL rounds? Jesus, it's the same damn teams every year. At least next year Arsenal won't be there. (Sniffle.) For real, though, isn't it gonna shape up the same way as well? The final eight will end up something like this - depending on the match-ups, of course - Juve, Barca, ManPoo, Liverpool, Bayern, Chelsea, Real/Inter, Gunners. Surprise, surprise.

jjf3 said...

Late notice I know, and only good for people with FSC willing to watch a show I normally don't, but FSC is showing the "Fan Zone" of Everton-Villa, which should be good for 3 or 4 complete and total melt-downs by fans in the about 15 minutes or so...