Friday, 16 March 2012

UEFA Champions League and Europa League Round-Up, FA Cup 6th Round + 4 EPL Match Previews:


UEFA Champions League and Europa League Last 16, Second Legs Round Up:


Champions League Last 16, Second Leg Action:

Tuesday:
 
Inter Milan 2 Marseille 1 (Aggregate 2-2, Marseille go through on away goals)
Milito 75'           Brandao 90+2'
Pazzini 90+6'


Bayern Munich 7 Basel 0 (Aggregate 7-1)
Robben 11', 81'
Muller 42'
Gomez 44', 50', 61'


Bayern Munich celebrate their 7-0 thrashing of FC Basel, to move into the Last 8 of the Champions League.
 

Wednesday:

Real Madrid 4 CSKA Moscow 1 (Aggregate 5-1)
'Higuain 26'                      'Tosic 77'
'Ronaldo 55, 90+4'  
'Benzema 70'  
Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate their 5-2 win over CSKA Moscow, putting themselves into the Quarter Finals of the Champions League.



Chelsea 3 Napoli 1 (Aggregate 4-4) (AET 5-4)
This match was played at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea hosted Napoli in a do or die matchup for The Blues if they wanted to qualify for the Last 8 of the CL (after a 3-1 loss in the first leg in Naples).
Striker Didier Drogba opened the scoring after 28 minutes, after midfielder Ramires' cross was headered past the goalkeeper into the net.

Striker Didier Drogba heads Chelsea ahead against Napoli in the 28th minute at Stamford Bridge.

Napoli conceded a silly corner in the 47th minute, in which winger Juan Mata's cross was quickly converted with a powerful header by John Terry to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead on the night, and level the aggregate score.

Defender John Terry doubles Chelsea's lead against Napoli in the 48th minute with a powerful header.


Midfielder Goklan Inler halved Chelsea's advantage with a sweet striker from 30 yards out in the 55th minute.
Frank Lampard made it 3-1 to the hosts after he scored a penalty in the 75th minute to take the match to extra time.
Every player was tired and defender Branislav Ivanovic ended the match with a clinical shot from 12 yards out.
UEFA Champions League Last 8 Draw:

APOEL vs Real Madrid
Benfica vs Chelsea
Marseille vs Bayern Munich
AC Milan vs Barcelona

First leg ties to be played on the 27th/28th of March, second legs on the 3rd/4th of April.





Europa League Action (EPL Teams mainly):

Thursday:

Athletic Bilbao 2 Manchester United 1 (Aggregate 5-3)
Manchester United had to overturn a 1 goal aggregate lead and ensure that Bilbao did not score more than once, to keep their Europa League dreams alive.
Watch highlights here:


Sorry about the foreign commentary...

Manchester City 3 Sporting Lisbon 2 (Aggregate 3-3, Sporting win on away goals)
This match was played at The Ethiad Stadium, as Manchester City hosted Sporting Lisbon in a must-win match if they wanted
to continue in the Europa League.
Sergio Aguero (2) and a Mario Balotelli penalty was not enough for City to qualify for the Last 8 of the Europa League.
Fernandez and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel both scored for the visitors in the first half.



UEFA Europa League Last 8 Draw:
(Just for the record)

AZ vs Valencia
Schalke 4 vs Athletic Bilbao
Sporting Lisbon vs Metalist Kharkiv
Athletico Madrid vs Hannover 96

First legs: 29th of March, second legs on the 5th of April.




FA Cup 6th Round Previews:


Saturday:

Everton vs Sunderland: LIVE at 12:45pm
This match will be played at Goodison Park as Everton look to move into the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time since 2009, against a tough Sunderland side who have been under-rated so far this season and beat Arsenal 2-0 in the Fifth round to get here.
Everton playmaker Steven Pienaar is cup-tied for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Sunderland at Goodison Park.
Central midfielder Darron Gibson is also unlikely to return to action from a knee injury.
Manager David Moyes is expected to rotate his squad after making six changes for the midweek defeat at Liverpool - which included first starts in two months for defender Phil Jagielka and midfielder Jack Rodwell - but today reported "a couple of niggling injuries" to unnamed players.
Striker Nicklas Bendtner is expected to be fit for Sunderland.
The Denmark international left the field on a stretcher with a knee problem during the closing stages of last weekend's 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Liverpool, but has made a rapid recovery.
However, full-back Kieran Richardson is losing his battle to recover from a calf problem in time and Wayne Bridge could continue, while suspended pair Lee Cattermole and Stephane Sessegnon and injured duo Wes Brown (knee) and Titus Bramble (Achilles/calf) remain on the sidelines.


It could have the makings of a replay, or a heated and close match.
Most pundits would expect Everton to prevail in whichever sort of fashion as Sunderland have not beaten them IN ANY COMPETITION since the 22nd of December 2001. 


Tottenham Hotspur vs Bolton Wanderers: LIVE at 17:30pm

This match will come from White Hart Lane as an out-of-form Spurs side host a Bolton side who they will look to as an easy team to get back to winning ways in the race for the Champions League in the EPL.

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is a doubt for tomorrow's match due to a hamstring injury.
Winger Aaron Lennon remains sidelined with a hamstring problem while Ledley King (knee) will have a fitness test today.
Defender William Gallas could make his first appearance since January after recovering from a calf problem, but defender Michael Dawson (ankle), goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes (knee), and midfielder Tom Huddlestone (ankle) are all out.

Midfielder Chris Eagles is a doubt for Bolton. He suffered a hamstring injury last weekend after coming on as substitute in the 2-1 victory over QPR.
England Under-21 striker Marvin Sordell is cup-tied due to his involvement with Watford, but Spanish defender Marcos Alonso is in contention for his first game in three months after coming through two reserves games unscathed.

Spurs will be very surprised if they do not beat Bolton, but do not underestimate The Trotters, who got to the FA Cup semi-final last season.


Sunday:

Chelsea vs Leicester City: LIVE at 14:05pm
This match will be played at Stamford Bridge as Roberto Di Matteo will be looking for his fourth win in a row as a 4-1 win against Napoli on Wednesday, but they host Championship side Leicester who will certainly be under-dogs in the race for a place in the semi-finals.
Di Matteo is confident that defenders John Terry and David Luiz will be fit to play against The Foxes on Sunday.
Blues captain Terry failed to finish Wednesday night's Champions League triumph over Napoli, while centre-back partner Luiz was limping badly afterwards with an ankle injury.
Di Matteo looks set to make changes after many players completed 120 minutes in midweek, while midfielder Raul Meireles is available after suspension.
Former Liverpool defender Paul Konchesky will return for Leicester, after serving a three-match suspension after his was sent off at the start of the month against Coventry.
Fellow defender Matt Mills, midfielder Ben Marshall and strikers Steve Howard and Jeff Schlupp are also pushing for recalls.
Midfielder Danny Drinkwater, back-up goalkeeper Conrad Logan and teenage defender Liam Moore are all cup-tied.

Liverpool vs Stoke City: LIVE at 16:00pm
The most interesting FA Cup match-up this weekend will come from Anfield as Liverpool host Stoke City in a match between two teams who have been having a rivalry lately.

Winger Craig Bellamy could return to the Liverpool squad for Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final against Stoke having missed the midweek Merseyside 3-0 derby victory.
Full-back Glen Johnson is still not match-fit having not played the last three matches while centre-back Daniel Agger remains sidelined with a cracked rib.
Stoke will be without suspended striker Ricardo Fuller.
The Jamaican serves the first of a three-match ban following his sending-off against Chelsea last weekend for a naughty stamp on defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Potters boss Tony Pulis has already confirmed goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen will get his chance in between the sticks after losing the number one spot to Asmir Begovic last month while striker Peter Crouch, rested against Chelsea, will also return.

4 EPL Match Previews:
This is a snippet of Round 30 of this season's EPL.
Manchester United will hope to bounce back (and move 4 points clear of rivals City) from their midweek defeat to Athletic Bilbao by beating Wolves on Sunday.
Fulham will look to extend their good form of late with a win over Swansea City, while Newcastle and Wigan will both be desperate to win to help themselves for Europe and avoiding relegation (respectively) 



Saturday:
 
Fulham vs Swansea City: LIVE at 15:00pm

This match will be played at Craven Cottage as 10th placed Fulham host 11th placed Swansea in an interesting match between two mid-table teams. 
Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell has suffered an injury setback that looks likely to rule him out for a further four weeks.
He was close to a return to first-team action but has had to have another operation on a hernia injury, putting his rehabilitation back and ruling him out of tomorrow's match against Swansea.
Midfielder Aaron Hughes returns to the squad after missing last weekend's match against Aston Villa with a calf complaint, while Zdenek Grygera is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Striker Orlando Sa is out for at least three or four weeks with a hamstring injury.
Swansea have no fresh injury concerns.
Swansea winger Nathan Dyer will be out through a red-card suspension against Stoke City.
Andrea Orlandi is back in training after a hamstring tear, while Kemy Agustien is likely to miss the rest of the season after ankle surgery.

Fulham will be gunning for the win against Swansea, but it will not necessarily be easy..
They need Clint Dempsey and Pavel Pogbrenyak on top form if they want to win tomorrow.

Wigan Athletic vs West Bromwich Albion: LIVE at 15:00pm
This match will be played at DW Stadium as bottom side Wigan host 14th placed West Brom. There are 14 points between the sides.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is waiting on the fitness of striker Hugo Rodallega and midfielder Albert Crusat ahead of tomorrow match against WBA.
Rodallega picked up a knock to his knee during last weekend's 1-1 draw against Norwich while Crusat injured a toe in training.
Goalkeeper Michael Pollitt is estimated to be 10 days away from a return after suffering a shoulder injury and midfielder David Jones is still sidelined with a knee problem.

West Brom centre-back Jonas Olsson is suspended after his sending off against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend.
Defenders Craig Dawson and Gabriel Tamas will want to partner Gareth McAuley in the cenre of the defence. Right-back Billy Jones is also available again after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Striker Peter Odemwingie is unavailable (10% of playing) because of a calf problem. Shane Long, Somen Tchoyi and Simon Cox are all in contention to replace the Nigerian international.
Winger Jerome Thomas has shaken off his recent hamstring injury while midfielder Keith Andrews (knee) should be fit despite missing training during the early part of the week.

West Brom wil look to move comfortably past bottom placed Wigan, even without star player Peter Odemwingie.


Sunday:

Wolves vs Manchester United: LIVE at 13:30pm
This match will be played at Molienuex as under-fire Wolves host 1st placed Manchester United who are serious EPL title contenders, with only 9 matches left to play this season.
Manchester United will hope key striker Wayne Rooney shrugs off the knock he suffered during yesterday's Europa League defeat in Spain in time to face Wolves on Sunday. 
Paul Scholes is set to return in midfield against the home side, whilst defender Phil Jones hopes to shrug off a flu bug.
Wolves caretaker manager Terry Connor has no fresh injury problems.
Midfielder Karl Henry is the only player sidelined and he hopes to return from his hamstring injury.

FACT: Wolves have conceded 9 goals in 3 matches since captain Roger Johnson was dropped by caretaker manager Terry Connor.
Leaky, dangerous choice by Mr. Connor....

Newcastle United vs Norwich City: LIVE at 16:00pm
This match will be played at The Sports Direct Arena as 6th placed Newcastle host 12th placed Norwich.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is worried about the fitness of key duo Cheick Tiote and Danny Simpson ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Norwich.
Midfielder Tiote picked up a hamstring problem on Monday during the 2-1 defeat against Arsenal, while full-back Simpson suffered an adductor strain in the same game.
Apart from that, Newcastle have no new injury concerns, although striker Peter Lovenkrands (thigh) and fellow long-term absentees Leon Best, Sammy Ameobi (both knee), Steven Taylor (Achilles) and Sylvain Marveaux (groin) are ALL still missing.
Norwich expect to have midfielder Jonny Howson available again after an illness.
Defenders Daniel Ayala (hamstring) and Marc Tierney (groin) are still recovering to full match fitness.
Striker James Vaughan (hamstring) is another still not available for first-team selection.
Newcastle will be disappointed if they do not win on Sunday against a high-and-low Norwich side.
Having said this, The Canaries are very un-predictable and can take a result from anywhere...

Demba Ba, Jonas and Papiss Demba Cisse's partnership will be key for the hosts.

 
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