2011 UEFA Champions League Final eight predictions
Being a big fan of the Champions League, I must make a predictions hub. This year we have great teams in the final eight so it should give us plenty of great football. So let's not lose any more time and start with the first showdown. This year there is one Italian team (Inter), one German team (FC Schalke), two Spanish teams (Real Madrid and Barcelona), three English teams (Tottenham Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester United) and finally one Ukrainian team, Shakthar Donesk
Inter Milan VS FC Schalke
Last time these two met was in 1997, during the UEFA Cup final and FC Schalke had the upper hand. Things are a bit different this time though. The only player left in the Inter squad is Zanetti. Also, Inter's coach is now Leonardo.
Inter Milan's defender, Lucio, is suspended and won't be playing the first leg. The rest of the regular squad of Inter will be available for the game. FC Schalke will have to bet on their forward players Raul and Farfan to give their best because otherwise I don't see how they can have the upper hand in this contest. Eto'o, Sneijder who has three goals so far, Maicon and Milito will have to be on Schalke's radar.
Guarding the nets will be Julio Cesar for Inter Milan and Manuel Neuer for FC Schalke.
My prediction: Inter Milan will advance.
Final results: Game 1: Inter Milan 2 - 5 FC Schalke and Game 2: FC Schalke 2 - 1 Inter Milan
Real Madrid VS Tottenham Spurs
This will be an interesting meeting. Jose Mourinho being the former coach of Chelsea has already a background history of Tottenham with 5 wins and two draws in eight games. Several Real Madrid players also played in former English clubs. Portuguese players Crisiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Carvalho, Xabi Alonso and Jerzy Dudek (but he will probably not play as Iker Casillas will be in nets) all played in the Premiership League.
The defense of Real Madrid is good with Carvalho, Pepe, Marcelo and Sergio Ramos. The only weak point in my opinion in the Real Madrid squad is the midfield. Most of the midfield players are new and chemistry is not always the best. Xabi Alonso usually delivers, along with Ozil. The strongness of Real Madrid resides with the forwards. But due to injuries, Marcelo and Benzema will not play and Cristiano Ronaldo is doubtful but should play.
Tottenham has a different team. Most of their players are from England and some of them are really talented. In defense, Gallas and Gareth Bale are the two pillars on defense. Bale has good pace and can outrun most players and that is the reason why he has four goals in the competition. He often pushed forward and outruns the defense. Newly acquired player Rafael Van der Vaart will have an important role for his team because he already played for Real madrid. Aaron Lennon and Croatian player Modric form the rest of the midfield. As for the forwards, Peter Crouch, Pavlyuchenko and Jermaine Defoe should play up front.
Real Madrid have the upper hand in nets with world class player Casillas. Spurs goalkeeper will be Heurelho Gomes.
Even if both teams have quality players, I believe that Real Madrid will advance. They have a stronger offense and they have a coach who is really determined to win it all.
My prediction: Real Madrid will advance
Final results: Game 1 Real Madrid 4 - 0 Tottenham Spurs and Game 2: Tottenham Spurs 0 - 1 Real Madrid
Chelsea VS Manchester United
Football fans from England would have preferred to see this matchup later in the competition. Knowing one of their teams will leave the competition no matter what is a heartbreaker. Nevertheless, it should be a great matchup.
Both Chelsea and Manchester United have strong teams. Chelsea's defense is strong with Cole, Bosingwa and John Terry. Midfield squad is where I think is the main weakness of Chelsea. Michael Essien and Frank Lampard can deliver and move up the ball with great efficiency. The forwards are very strong with newly acquired Fernando Torres. Didier Drogba will eventually be constant danger in front.
Manchester United has a strong defense with Rio Ferdinand, Evra and Vidic. Midfield is also strong with Nani and his fast pace and Rooney, Berbatov and Javier Hernandez will be the main menace of Manchester United.
Chelsea has, in my opinion, the upper hand in nets with Petr Cech because we saw earlier that Edwin Van der Sar can make some mistakes sometimes.
My prediction: Manchester United will advance
Final Results: Game 1: Chelsea 0 -1 Man U. and Game 2: Man U. 2 - 1 Chelsea
FC Barcelona VS Shakhtar Donetsk
No one thought Shakhtar would make it this far but here they are. The main reason for them to have made it this far is mainly because of Eduardo and Luiz Adriano who both have 4 goals. They managed to get out of their group with Arsenal and Braga and managed to eliminate Roma. But against a side as strong as Barcelona, Shakhtar will not make it through.
With Daniel Alves, Abidal on defense, Xavi and Iniesta holding the midfield and Messi playing with David Villa and Bojan should seal the deal for Barça.
Barcelona also have the upper hand in nets with valdes.
My prediction: Barcelona will advance. (If they don't advance it will be a major shocker).
Final results: Game 1: Barcelona 5 - 1 Shakhtar. and Game 2: Shakhtar 0 - 1 Barcelona