Champions League Preview… Quarter Final Draw

The round of sixteen is officially completely and there are 8 teams who’ve made it to the quarter finals. Surprisingly, as we all know, the English contingent is only 2 teams in the quarters this year – ourselves and Man United. With Liverpool in self decline and Chelsea out-Mourinho’d, we’ve got only half the representatives in this years quarters than this time last year. Only Villarreal, Barcelona, Porto and Bayern Munich managed to get the other four places in the quarter finals, but this year is a completely different story and the CL is a going to be a different affair this year.

So the 8 quarter finalists are…

  1. Arsenal
  2. Man United
  3. Barcelona
  4. Bayern Munich
  5. Inter Milan
  6. CSKA Moscow
  7. Bordeaux
  8. Lyon

If you look carefully, you’ll notice one Russian team, one Italian, one German, one Spanish, but two French and two English and that’s a testimony to the French league that two teams have made it thus far. Lyon especially, as they have indeed knocked out of one the favourites in Real Madrid…

So, the question is who would you rather have in the quarters, semis and final? Of course, the lionesque would say let’s get revenge on United, hit Mourinho for six and then put the pain of Paris 2006 behind us… I, on the other hand, would prefer an easier run in, thank you very much. My preferred choice would be what I would consider to be the easiest route… I’d like the following draw:

Man United vs Barcelona

If these two teams play each other, it will knock one of the favourites, which bodes well for the rest of the hopefuls. I think Barcelona could do one over United and that would leave us a clear path to the final against our previous CL finalists and we’d relish the chance to beat them…

Bayern Munich vs Inter Milan

Bayern continually get to the quarter finals, and their squad is still pretty decent. We’ve not done too well against them in the competition before, and with Inter Milan having achieved a great result against Chelsea, and as a result, I think Bayern will be the more ambitious side. When a team achieves something against the odds, they often get knocked out in the next round…

Lyon vs CSKA Moscow

In a similar vein to Inter beating Chelsea, Lyon beat Real Madrid. On paper, Lyon have a stronger team, but the subconscious around the victory means I have a sneaky suspicion that CSKA will beat their French rivals and become one the first Russian team to make it to the semi’s in recent history.

Arsenal vs Bordeaux

The French team have done well so far, but have had a relatively easy run in – the win against Olympiakos helping through to the quarter finals. They do have talent, especially our target (has he already signed?), Maroune Chamakh, who would be out to impress, but I believe we’ll be way too strong for them and it will be a decent passage through.

So, based on the above, that would see Barcelona, Bayern, CSKA and ourselves through to the semis… of course, Barcelona would take on and most likely beat Bayern, and of course, we’ll dispose of an overachieving CSKA, which would set up a perfect final…

And who said I was in dreamland?

And finally, a quick one regarding the game on Saturday and it looks like Cesc, Rosicky and Alex Song will all return to the squad on Saturday… surely we’ll be too strong for West Ham? Preview tomorrow…

  • goonerman

    glad to have song fabby and rosicky back but gallas being out and not knowing when he will be back is really worrying because sol does a decent cover job but id still rather gallas be in there with vermaelen! hopefully johan should be fit sooner rather than later so he would be a nice back up!!

  • sid

    “Arsenal are a team to consider because of their fantastic build-up play. They are like us at Barca in so many ways. Rather than being from London, they should be from South America. Andrei Arshavin and Cesc Fabregas are touch-players I love to watch.”

    Quote from Messi

  • devday

    Do you think Arsene is covering up a long term injury about Gallas? If he came out and said it straight away, we would have been really worried, but the unknown come back time seems to keep us relatively not worried??

  • fan

    I really hope the draw you set up is true.

  • devday

    @fan, me too… am tempted to put a bet on it!

    We’ll find out tomorrow at 11.30am!

  • goonerman

    @devday- I think he has actually got a calf problem and like wenegr says it is a simple injury which he should of recovered from within a week or two but he cant seem to shake it off! i know i want him back but id rather see him rested for now and let him get back with no more complications becuase id rather him back fit in a few more weeks when tough games come our way again.Also maybe cesc should start on the bench against west ham and be given just the second half becuase do we want to risk him doing something to that stupid hamstring again lol !

    i would probably rahter get lyon or cska in the next round because bordeaux do look suprisingly good and gourcuff and chamakch are a danger but obviously i have a very bad feeling barca or man united are coming our way haha!

    we will see tomorrow and im excited at the moment but when the draw starts i crap myself! and it could be that the last two names in the bowl are man united and arsenal! ! !

  • zizou

    @devday,i hope our dream comes true…my preference order is as follows;
    -bordeaux
    -lyon
    -inter
    -cska
    -barca
    -bayern
    -united

  • Pissed off

    Arsenal vs Bayern
    Barca vs Bordex
    manu vs inter milan
    lyon vs csk moscow

  • Pissed off

    that is my prediction

  • Sam

    I see the French canceling each other out:

    ManU – Bayern
    Barca – Inter
    Lyon – Bordeaux
    Arsenal – CSKA

    @ goonerman – Not that it’s my decision, but I’m of two minds about Cesc for Saturday. I’d love to see him start & bang in many goals to improve our goal difference. I think the better option is for AW not to risk him and bring him on if absolutely necessary.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    My preference:

    Bordeaux
    CSKA
    Lyon
    Bayern
    Inter
    Man U
    Barca

    For some reason I think we will get Lyon.

  • Nick

    I’d like:
    Man U. vs Inter
    Barcelona vs Bayern
    Arsenal vs Bordeaux (or CSKA)
    Lyon vs CSKA (or Bordeaux)

  • Yemi

    The draws are on

  • Sam

    I was right on 2 matches! French meet each other.
    We meet Barca!
    Bring it on!!! We now must beat them a little earlier.
    Go Gunners!

  • Kuka

    I guess to be champion, you have to beat the best

  • Kuka

    Bring on Barca..

  • Kuka

    On paper, United seem to have gotten an OK draw. Luck always seems to be on their side when such draws are made

  • jeffvip

    I love barca… to beat them

  • Yemi

    Time for revenge !!!!

  • Sam

    It’s amazing how ManU get an easy ride on every chance.
    But if we beat Barca, that’s one hell of a sign to everyone.
    The draw means our patch may look like Barca, Inter and ManU in the finals. That means every strong team in the draw!

  • Sam

    EPL remains our best bet for glory.

  • sid

    Fuck it, if we’re going to win this then might as well do it properly

  • sid

    @ sam – i dont think bayern are a team to be taken lightly – id rather take barca then bayern

  • Kuka

    One thing which is for sure is that we need all our players fit. We need a full squad and we need to score goals at the Emirates, ala Porto. Another sure thing……..it will be a great game of football

  • MotheGunner

    I am EXCITEDDDDD…..our backs r up against the wall…but the boys will be up for it!! and we should be too….COME ON YOU GUNNERSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

  • sid

    They wouldn’t have wanted to draw Arsenal either!
    Yes they will be favourites but we have been favourites many a time and lost, it’s all about what happens in the 180 minutes first leg is vital and not to concede too many away goals (none preferably) and take our chances when they present themselves!

  • sid

    I think Barcelona will suit Arsenal. We’ll be the underdogs and that usually suits us; it will be a proper football match (no arseholes like Shawcross in their team) and they will be just as worried about Fabregas, Arshavin, Rosicky, Nasri.

    The biggest downside for me though is that I can’t add van Persie to that list cos that would make it as good as anything in the world.

    Have faith people – we can beat Barcelona if the four players mentioned above stay fit and they play as well as we know they can.

  • kodjo

    Tough draw…but still winnable…i just hope we have the full complement of players by then. Surely…RVP should play some part at least. I have confidence that we can beat barca with a full complement of players…we played virtually the same team few years back minus messi, toure and i think alves.

    I hope wenger takes cue from Inter and attack barca with a flexible 4-3-3 system….i guess theo and eboue on either flank will cos barca to think twice especially on alves’s side of the pitch…cos he cuts in drags players all over the place to make space for messi to attack.

    It will be an intriguing encounter and i say the midfield combination of Cesc, Diaby, Song & Denilson of wenger reverts to a 4-5-1 formation should do the job. I mention Denilson cos it will be a more technical game than a physical one and Denilson really does well in such games. The idea behind the 4-5-1 system will be to control possesion and flood the midfield. Our speed of play will also be ciritcal cos few teams can cope with it.

    In defence i will go for Gallas instead of Sol just because of the technical nature of the game. If we were playing Inter, I’d go for Sol instead of Gallas.

    Trust me the barca coach will have sleepless nights…cos i do not think they want to meet us.

    What do you think folks……

  • zizou

    I am happy that we have avoided bayern and united…Against Barcelona,we can expect a proper football match..And I think we will prove it to the whole world that we are the BEST…The only concern is that we will have to play the second leg at Nou Camp…

  • Peres

    I see a lot of Man Utd fans celebrating and a lot of Arsenal fans unhappy. All i will say is that it really is a dream draw for Arsenal and European football because Arsenal and Barcelona are the two most attack committed teams in Europe. Obviously, Barcelona shade it in terms of quality (Messi is on another planet right now) but a fully fit Arshavin, Nasri and Fabregas will cause the Barcelona defense all sorts of trouble. Our style of football might not work against some harder teams with rough midfielders in the premier league but it is tailor made for the Champions league. I don’t know how the Bayern/Man Utd game will play out because Bayern have one of the most experienced coaches in European football and their squad contains genuine quality (Robben,Ribery,Lahm,Van Bommel, Schweinsteiger). They are also a very physical team and are full of flight. Yes, they kind of fluffed their lines against Fiorentina but it must be said that there was a massive element of surprise in that game and Man Utd will be crazy to underestimate them. Man Utd might shade it because of their pure pace BUT Bayern is a really tough team. The other ties look kind of dull though (all French quarter-final..yech!) Plus Why does everyone suddenly think Barca will beat Arsenal and United will beat Bayern? Anyone who watches Barca will know that when you give them no respect and attack them they are soft in the centre. Fine Arsenal will have to be wary of Barca attack, however i know for sure Barca also struggles against teams that keep the ball like them. They are not used to teams keeping the ball against them and i think if Arsenal play without fear they can beat Barca. Barca are a great side, but like all teams they are beatable and Wenger just have to figure out how to do it. If i were an Arsenal fan, i’ll rather play Barca than an English team, at least you know what to expect, they’ll let you play unlike United, Chelsea or Liverpool, Barca dont have a Fletcher, Essien or a Masch who will disrupt your rhythm, both teams will play and may the best side win.

  • hello

    .
    I agree with sid…

    Our main aim should be not to concede in the first leg at home…

    Preferably win the first leg 1-0, not that that will be easy!!

    I am sure we can get a goal against any team we play and getting one at the Camp Nou after a clean sheet (1-0) at The Emirates will mean they will need at least 3 goals…

  • kodjo

    @ Peres…i share your opinion too

    I remember Hleb doing a great job of nullifying Ronaldinho…who was deemed untouchable then…yet we nullified his threat throughoout the game. I expect theo to do a job on messi. Theo speed is phenomenal and i think anytime messi gets the ball and starts attacking us, theo will run from behind to dispossess him…just like Hleb did.

    It will be that tactical…and i’d say the midfield of nasri, cesc, diaby, song, denilson, eboue, arshavin, rosicky will do a job on barca, depending on the systen wenger chooses to play.

  • http://arsenalandtherandomthoughtsofmylife.blogspot.com/ Debs

    I actually prefer the second leg being away from home. I think it would be a bit easier for us to score an away goal, than to keep a ckean sheet at home during the second leg, if that makes sense!

  • jat85

    Really excited about this tie. Have no fear of Barca whatsoever. This is our chance to prove we’re the best footballing team on the planet. We knocked out the European Champions (AC Milan) in the San Siro 2nd leg in 2008, we’ll do it again in 2010. This is our season, they all keep counting us out of it, but we keep coming back. We shall not be moved.

    BELIEVE!

  • Nick

    I think it’s a bonus for us to have a chance to play a team like Barcelona in the QFs. This way we have the chance to play over 2 games instead of 1. I’d hate to play them in Spain (even though it’s at the Bernabeu) for only 1 game.

    I’m gonna love watching Bayern beat up on Man U.

  • Yemi

    Will henry be able to play against arenal at the emirates ? Do you think he would be able to put in 100% against arsenal? I doubt. There i think he won’t be selected. That is one less worry even though we still have pedro, messi and ibrahimovic. But if we are able to keep messi and dani alves shut, then we can go…..ALLL THE WAY

  • JDD

    so happy we got barca.yes they are the best but if your gonna win a trophy like the champions league your gonna have to beat the best.plus their exactly the type of team we like to play against the game will be open and i think we will beat them yes itl be tough but i just think that everyone is gonna be up for it and we will win by 1 goal or on away goals.i wud play this team against them

    GK-Almunia
    LB-Sagna
    CB-Vermalen
    CB-Campbell
    RB-Clichy
    DM-Song
    CM-Fabregas
    CM-Nasri
    LF-Arshavin
    CF-Bendtner
    RF-Eboue/Rosicky

  • Syah

    When will rvp return? Bring on barca! I think the team with the defense the most focussed that two games will win.