Champions League Fever

Wayne Rooney, will be the man to watch as the striker is in red hot form and has netted 33 times for the Red Devils this season.

Wes Brown and Cristiano Ronaldo lifting the 2008 Champions League Trophy in Moscow

Wes Brown and Cristiano Ronaldo lifting the 2008 Champions League Trophy in Moscow

Tonight Europe’s biggest football competition kicks off the round of the last eight, more commonly known as the quarter final stage. After the last round of games we saw two of football’s biggest names bombing out of the competition, with José Mourinho’s Inter Milan dumping out Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, whilst Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid surprisingly lost out on a place in the last eight to French champions Olympiqué Lyon at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Tonight sees a tie full of History in the form of the competitions dark horses Bayern Munich coming up against last years runners up and the competition favourites Manchester United. Bayern will look for revenge after the 1999 Final, when United miraculously took the tie scoring twice in the last 3 minutes to overcome the German giants 2-1 to be crowned European Champions for only the second time in history.

Wayne Rooney, widely tipped to become the World Footballer of the Year in 2010, will be the man to watch as the striker is in red hot form and has netted 33 times for the Red Devils this season. Frank Ribery will flying the flag for Bayern, whilst Manchester United’s manager Alex Ferguson has publicly declared himself as a big fan of the flying winger and is tipped to make a big money offer for the player over the Summer. Arjen Robben who Ferguson tried to lure to the Club after he left PSV for Chelsea is a major doubt with a calf injury, but will have to be contained if he plays after his late rocket in the last round against Fiorentina sent the German side through after a stunning result away from home in the second leg. It is bound to be an end to end game with both teams adopting an attacking mindset for the tie. Some great head to head duals include Rooney vs Bayern Defence, as Van Gaal the Bayern manager has said to be utilising zonal marking tonight rather than delegating one man to subdue the talents of United’s talismatic striker, Nani vs Lahm, Vidic vs Klosé, Neville vs Ribery, Fletcher vs Van Bommel and Evra vs Robben. The other tie making up the fixtures for tonight will be the French derby between Lyon and Bordeaux.

The pick of the ties has to be Arsenal vs Barcelona on Wednesday night which sees the return of Thiery Henry to his former club and expressed his sadness at the prospect of facing his former manager and mentor Arsené Wenger. This is going to be a great game not to be missed and I just have a small feeling Henry might have a bit more of a say than David Beckham did on his return to Old Trafford in the last round 😉 Watch this space. With Lionel Messi having been labelled untouchable prior to the game, The Gunners are going to have to be at their very best to overcome an extremely strong Barcelona side boosted by the returns of influential midfielder and Euro 2008 Player of the Tournament Xavi, ex Gunners defender Kolo Touré’s younger brother Yaya Touré and ex Manchester United defender Gerard Piqué. Cesc Fabregas remains a major injury doubt after misiing training ahead of the colossal clash along with Barcelona midfielder Iniesta. The other tie on Wednesday night sees Italian giants Inter Milan take on Russian side CSKA Moscow who are the minnows of the last eight.

Both games Kick off at 21.45pm and the pick of the tie for this evening has to be the historic battle between Bayern Munich (4 times winners) and Manchester United (3 times winners) with United winning only one of the previous 7 meetings with the German side.

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