If you love top-quality European soccer, then this is one of those weeks you dream about.
The UEFA Champions League returns to action on Tuesday as 16 teams do battle in home-and-home series to move on to the quarterfinals. In case you forgot (and it has been two months so don't feel bad) the draw for the Round of 16 set up a parade of tough match-ups featuring some contests worthy of being semifinals and finals.
Manchester United travels to Milan to face Inter in the best match-up of the round as Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson renew acquaintances. Tuesday's dance card is filled with great match-ups, including Barcelona-Lyon and AS Roma-Arsenal.
Wednesday doesn't disappoint either, as Chelsea faces former manager Claudio Ranieri and Juventus while Liverpool and Real Madrid square off in a battle of second-place teams holding on to faint domestic title hopes.
Here is a rundown of all of the matches on Tuesday and Wednesday, along with the TV listings for each match:
(All times Eastern)
Manchester United at Inter Milan (2:30pm, ESPN2)
Barcelona at Lyon (2:30pm, ESPN Deportes, 5pm, ESPN Classic)
AS Roma at Arsenal (2pm, Setanta USA)
FC Porto at Atletico Madrid (11pm, Setanta USA)
Juventus at Chelsea (2:30pm, ESPN2)
Liverpool at Real Madrid (2:30pm, Setanta USA and ESPN Deportes, 5pm, ESPN Classic)
Bayern Munich at Sporting Lisbon (9pm, ESPN Deportes, 11pm, Setanta USA)
Panathinaikos at Villarreal (5:45pm, Setanta USA)
What match-up are you looking most forward to? Who do you see winning the brutal Manchester United-Inter clash? Can you see one of the smaller teams left advancing to the quarterfinals?
Share your thoughts on the UEFA Champions League below.
Der Amerikanische Kaiser and Pancho, in spirit I’m with you guys. I’ve been a fan of Donovan’s since he came back from Germany in 2001 to join the Earthquakes. I was excited to see him kicking ass over the winter break. But he’s been pretty mediocre in the BL matches and by most accounts it seems unlikely that Bayern will buy him. It’s by that measure that people will end up judging his latest trip to Germany as a failure, which I agree isn’t entirely fair.
Frankly, he showed a lot of courage to go to Bayern Munich where he has to compete with the likes of Klose and Toni, but the end result is a trip home. He’s a great talent and I’m just bummed that the window on him achieving soccer “greatness” (which requires success at the highest club level) is closing. Then again, there’s still time for him to go to another club in a top league and show his potential.
I’m with Kaiser, Donavon is not a failure but a success. However, he doesn’t fit into the plans at Bayern, that’s all. Bayern has got to be thinking of a replacement for Ribery for next year, and they’ve already lined up their 3rd forward with Olic…but Donavon clearly impressed.
BTW. Is this listing correct? Bayern Munich at Sporting Lisbon (9pm, ESPN Deportes, 11pm, Setanta USA) I don’t find it on my Direct TV! I’m betting money Landon gets trotted out, if only to save Kloses legs for the bundesliga
JB – I do not agree that Donovan was a failure. He clearly impressed Hoenness and Rummenigge at the beginning, enough keep the Poldi flu story running for 3 months. His play during the friendlies, albiet friendlies, were very impressive. I know, I attended two of them here against top 2BL clubs, 1FCK and Mainz. Unfortunately, his luck did not spill over into BL play. Although he played okay, he wasn’t a “failure.” he just didn’t play good enough to impress the top brass in German football. Klinsmann, on the other hand, was impressed, and I would be to if I had to deal with a punk like Poldi.
I want to thank you Ives for this site. It is great for us, soccer lovers from South America living in the US.
Geez, I feel bad for Donovan. It looks like another failed German adventure and I’m afraid that this one will irreparably tarnish his legacy. He’ll be remembered as the guy who wimped out on Europe and then couldn’t make it in Europe when he decided to give it an honest try.
But who knows, McBride got a pretty late start on finding success in Europe and he’ll always be remembered as a legend by Fulham fans. Hopefully, Donovan will similarly find success in a big league (although I’m not optimistic given that pace is perhaps his biggest weapon and he’s not getting any younger).
Pete – Here is the scoop from FCB:
Bottom Line: Donovan has only played in the second half and the “poor results” stem from first half statistics.
Hoenness must not be as smart as everyone thinks he is, maybe Klinsmann knows better. There is talk this week of Voeller taking Honness’s GM job.
As for the game, Kicker rated Donovan at 5.5 out of 6; whereas they rated Poldi at 5 of 6.
I have been to a Bayern training session, a Hoffe session and Gladbach session, and I will tell you that Bayern training is no love affair–it’s a smoker.
Thanks for the link Amerikanischer Kaiser. But where’s the Bayern I used to hate? I almost feel sorry for them. Except for Ribery and Lahm (maybe Altintop and Schweini),they all look like a shadow of themselves. Klinsi’s doing some things wrong, or they simply lack the leadership and of someone like Oliver Kahn or even Effenberg. Massive turnovers and missing sitters. Donovan looked like horse sh#t. Lukas was even worse. Donovan missed like 4 good chances, two of which were 100 Prozentiger(s). They really need Toni!
Can’t wait to watch these games when I get home tomorrow night. It’d be great to see them live, but as much as I love the Champions League, there’s no way I’m skipping Mardi Gras.
I’m looking forward to Madrid-Liverpool. It will be awesome to see Torres back in Madrid again albeit not at the Calderon.But I don’t see him going past Cannavaro. Madrid’s been looking awesome the past few games and Liverpool not exactly. But that’s why you watch ’em. You never know!
Any chance these games are in HD.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool FC is a surebet of 10.98% yielding a profit of $872.00.
This will be a close game; and I can see plenty of goals in both games, Real to win by the odd goal at home then Liverpool to win at Anfield and ultimately go through the tie on goal difference.Real Madrid vs Liverpool FC is a surebet of 10.98% yielding a profit of $872.00.Catch the action and the review at sports arbitrage union.
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid, yes!!! I’m also excited to watch Fergie vs. The Special One. It’ll be narcissism galore!!!
Only one more sleep until the games. Its coincidence that I am teleworking tomorrow.
Chase: yeah, if Barca was playing a top five team, we’d be talking about that. but they drew Lyon. which makes Inter and ManU the best two teams meeting head to head.
and no one said these were the best two teams, only that they are leading the best two leagues in the world.
Footy all day tomorrow! Sah-weet!
Champions League and then,
When will you be giving us some CONCACAF Champions League coverage. The masses in Montreal should be memorable.
Donovan looks solid in this training session; wheras either Poldi is not playing or is a ghost on the pitch.
Wow, the two best teams in the world huh? So you are all just ignoring Barcelona in this argument? I agree it is a great match-up and am going to be screaming for the Special One and Ibra to eject Manure from the competition, but I think Barcelona deserves to at least be in the argument about the best team in the world right now.
Real Madrid faltering Sugarfree? Do you follow La Liga? They have actually been very good recently. They certainly were faltering when the draw was made, but Ramos has them on the rise, though I still think my Reds will defeat them…
Gotta agree with SACK, SugarFreeRB
Sack, you don’t get it do you? Inter/ManU is one of the best matchups in the last 25 years. Both are top of the table in their leagues and Mourinho is hated at Old Trafford. Inter has something to prove in that if they beat United and win Champions League then the Italian league can brag they are best in European football once again. Liverpool is faltering and so is Real Madrid. Just because a match is defensive doesn’t make it a snoozefest.
I am pretty sure Donovan played his last game with Bayern last Saturday. It was a good ride while it lasted…BUT… unfortunately not good enough for the Fuhrung (Rummenigge, Hoenness).
Suffice it to say, Donovan will likely be the 4th Sturmer this Wednesday against Sporting. According to this morning’s Kicker magazine, there is certainly “kontrarares” or contradiction of opinion between Rummenigge and Klinsmann as the furhung and trainer discussed the option of starting Donovan last Saturday. Klinsmann was “overuled.” I think for fear of his job.
Regardless, my hope is for a Bayern vs ManU CL final. Nothing could be finer than watching a team playing with technique and using smart, wise football tactics like reading a Clausewitz book on “strategy” vice an Italian side “diving” or cheating their way to victory and lulling us all to sleep with boring, football.
oh wait, it’s only monday. damn i’m dumb.
nobody linking to a live stream of any of these matches, eh?
I hear Josy will start for Villareal
Chad: I think you can change your second sentence to:
“Man U may not win tomorrow (no defense) but they will get the job done at OT”
Vidic is out with cards, Rafael, Neville and Brown didn’t travel. you want to rely on John O’Shea and Jonny Evans against Ibrahamovic?
Man U vs Inter will be great! Man U may not win tomorrow (away) but they will get the job done at OT.
Liverpool vs RM should be interesting, also, particulary with the form RM has shown lately.
I’m rooting for Villareal to go far ever since they picked up Jozy.
Landon will not start unless Klinsi gets drunk before the start of the match. He won’t start LD in a regular season game so why would he in a Champs Leagu game?
sack: are you kidding? the two teams who have solidified their hold on the top spots in probably the two best leagues in the world meet head to head? and that’s not good for you? will it be high scoring? not a chance. will it be great soccer? best bet for it this round. You’re right that RM and ‘Pool have one thing in common though, they’re both seven points out.
I cant’w wait to see all of these games. I already e-mailed the professors and told them I’m sick as a dog. Damnit I love champions league!!!!
Can’t wait for Madrid v. Liverpool. HALA MADRID.
Definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s matchup between Inter and Man United! These are two of the best teams in the world with some of the best players in the world. It should be a great game and I’m so excited that it’s on tv!
Man U – Inter is the match up of the year in club football. Too bad it is a bit early. Regardless, given their form, league position, talent, and personality, this is the fixture of the year. Thank the gods for the UEFA CL.
Mr Alex: Look at the time.. The time. Special One: Shut UP Mr Alex!
Maybe Landon can get a start and not come on as a sub when Bayern are knocking in crosses. Put him in the Midfield and Run Landon Run
I dont agree with the general sentiment that Manchester and Inter is the prime match up this round.
I mean we have the 2 most succesfull european champions going head to head in a game sure to entertain and have goals scored in Liverpool vs. Real Madrid.
United and Inter is gonna be a snoozer, book it.
Klinnsman isn’t gonna start Donovan, not with ownership breathing down his neck to play Podolski. LD is done, mine as well start packing up and booking a flight back.
The return of the Tinker Man to the Bridge…Forza Juve
I’m still trying to work out how Chelsea-Juve is live on ESPN2 and not Madrid-Liverpool…though I’ve heard that Setanta gets first choice one day and ESPN the other, maybe that explains it. Thankfully, its on ESPNClassic later…
I am married to an Arsenal fan who is close friends with a Roma fan. They keep arguing about who will do worse tomorrow, except not in the “you’re going down” sense, but in the “oh god my team is so hosed” sense.
Mr Alex and the boy Rooney against The Special One…..I can’t wait!!
Donovan starting for Bayern??? I hope so.