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Sho'Case

Viper
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  1. City's CB combination is pivotal to the way they play, particularly in their build up. Pep has proven to be creative, flexible and bold when incorporating tactics for big games - it wouldn't surprise me if he used something different or exceptional like when he played 3 at the back and man marking against Messi, Suarez & Neymar at the Camp Nou. Winning duels vs quality of distribution is one aspect of Pep's selection policy in defence, but it's worth factoring in the style of Premier League teams and the typical pattern of the games Man City have in comparison to that of some of the best teams in Europe and how knockout football can influence those dynamics. The power of the away goal and the narrative/score line going into the 2nd leg plays its part too. For example, look at how Zidane adjusted his starting line up for 2nd leg v PSG by benching Modric and Kroos opting for a distinctly more energetic, mobile and dynamic midfield 4 knowing Madrid had the advantage from the 1st leg and would naturally get the space and opportunities to counter attack. Madrid are under a lot of pressure to win the CL, and although that's not unusual for them, this season has been extremely disappointing in domestic competitions. In some senses they are a wounded animal, however, that doesn't change the fact they've been exposed and damaged by teams on too many occasions this season. Zidane's persistence with Benzema and ongoing rotation with certain key players is arguably going to decide his fate. Liverpool are equipped to beat City over 2 legs, so I think the fine margins and opening goals will determine a lot. Liverpool struggle to break down an organised defensive unit happy to sit deep - Man City will be the opppsite of that and therefore, Liverpool will always be capable of hurting them. I can see Pep playing for control at anfield and then assessing things towards the end knowing his team are always likely to score. He'll be conscious of getting blown away in a short period like before. I coach. Not currently doing any coaching courses though. Do you have any coaching experience?
  2. Difficult to say for various reasons, but I think Barcelona may navigate their way to the final - at which stage I'd expect them to win - despite being far from free flowing, as talented individually, stylistically true to their attacking principles and as dominant as recent Barcelona sides. The fact they have a healthy lead at the top of La Liga gives them licence to rest players, but their advantage isn't so vast that they can afford to switch off in all their remaining league games, which can prove costly - as was the case for Pep's Bayern. Man City have the manager to reach the final, but I'm not convinced their authority to control games and ability to nullify the counter attacking threat of certain teams away from home is at the required level. The Liverpool tie will reveal a lot about their prospects for me. Of course, City are dangerous and can overwhelm teams with their attacking intent. However, it's different when the pressure mounts and the CL provokes complicated situations over a two legged tie. The return of Mendy, Jesus' form and Pep's tactical decision could be the difference. The atmosphere at the Etihad is pretty dead, which won't intimidate visiting foreign teams either. I'm not sure if Man City are ready to land in Europe, which is precisely what Pep keeps eluding to in his press conferences. Madrid are candidates for obvious reasons and they're making slight progress as a team. Their offensive output is much better than earlier in the season, but the 1st leg v PSG exposed their deficiencies and how vulnerable they can be if the opposition want to dictate and be aggressive. The Juventus tie falls either side of the Madrid derby so it'll be a demanding period for them to reach the Semis. Bayern have momentum, enough quality, experience and a trusted formula under Heynckes - they'll push anybody over two legs, but I don't see them winning it without Neuer in goal. So yeah, Iniesta to win the CL and complete a treble in what looks likely to be his last season as a Barcelona player, emulating Xavi.
  3. Sho'Case

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    One touch finish King!
  4. The way Cristiano has built his form and momentum in the 2nd half of the season to ultimately make the difference in the CL was so predictable. Looking more assured and sharp in the box. Still expecting it to not quite be enough in the end, but he's boosting his numbers nicely.
  5. Trust! "We would certainly want to avoid Atletico Madrid," said Wenger.
  6. Inevitability. Can't be playing CL knockout games prioritising defence in both legs - the away goal is too pivotal. The reality is, Man U are nowhere near ready to reach the latter stages anyway, but this way their elimination may force matters to be addressed sooner rather than later. Mourinho can't act like they lost to a giant of CL football or one of the best teams in Europe.
  7. Sho'Case

    Work & Life

    What's the field and role?
  8. Distinct lack of creativity and penetration from Liverpool in the final third, build up play has been too pedestrian and Klopp's not been proactive in addressing that. Underwhelming performance so far.
  9. You've got a point. Van Dijk should have covered the space Lovren vacated to contest for the header with Lukaka though. It's basic that a centre back instantly covers the other in that situation just in case they don't win the duel. Van Dijk should have been thinking "worst case scenario."
  10. SNM. Alexander Arnold got chopped! Ended up skating into a different time zone.
  11. No Pogba. Rashford and Mata start. It'll be interesting to see how much Mata gets on the ball and whether Rashford gets to isolate the full back enough.
  12. Trust. I was explaining this to people during the game that were clutching to the absence of Neymar as to why PSG were losing and never looked like mounting a comeback. Fact is, even with Neymar, the defence and midfield isn't good enough to win the CL and Cavani really isn't that guy. Not to mention Unai Emery being out of his depth. Unless they are ruthless and prepared to make radical changes, I don't see them winning the CL in the next 2 seasons.
  13. Sho'Case

    cfc The Official Chelsea Thread

    Fixed mindset v growth mindset.
  14. He's right. I don't know anybody that would take Sanchez over Hazard.
  15. Makes no sense that Palace finished playing 4-4-2 and repeatedly kept both strikers up on the halfway line while defending. The Man U pressure and pattern of play was suffocating Palace for ages, yet Hodgson didn't sacrifice a striker or change their defensive role. The comeback was inevitable from 2-1, but only because of no tactical changes from Hodgson, or reaction from Palace, to the way Mourinho tried to affect the game in the 2nd half. Hennessey was too deep and shouldn't have been rooted to his line when the ball dropped to Matic. It's difficult to save a shot heading for the corner like that without proactive footwork and being in a position to cut off the angle. A couple of yards or steps makes so much difference in pulling off an acrobatic save.
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