The first leg of the Champions League quaterfinals was filled with lots of excitment, surprise and tension, ensuring that the second leg will no doubt be ten times more exciting. All games turned out too be much closer than most imagined, and all eight remaining teams desire to reach the semis and will come out in full force looking for a win.
The first leg at Emirites Stadium proved to be an exciting one, resulting in a 1-1 draw after goals from Dirk Kuyt of Liverpool and Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor. Liverpool now head to Anfield with an advantage over the Gunners, both because of the immense fan support that will turn out in favor of Liverpool and the away goal scored in the first leg, making it neccesary for Arsenal to score in the return leg. (In the Champions League, away goals can count as two goals to avoid going into extra time if both games result in a tie. For example, if Arsenal and Liverpool finish 0-0 tomorrow, Liverpool will advance because they scored an away goal)
Both sides will miss some important players for the draw, however. Liverpool will be without Daniel Agger, Harry Kewell and Jermaine Pennant while Arsenal will miss Tomas Rosiky. Look for both teams to come out strong and desperate for goals, both coming out heavy on the attack and producing lots of chances
My Prediction: Liverpool wins 2-1. Fernando Torres had an uneventful game in the first leg. Look for that to change.
When to Watch: The game is played live on ESPN 2 at 1:30 PM Central Time. Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth provide excellent analysis (gotta love Tommy) so be sure to catch the game. It's sure to be an exciting one.
Look for Arsenal and Liverpool to come out firing
If you're going to watch any match this week, it's this one. Fenerbahce pulled off a stunning 2-1 upset over the Blues in the first leg in Istanbul last week, and this upcoming matchup at Stamford Bridge is sure to be a magical European Night in the making. Fenerbahce, or the Yellow Canaries as their referred to by their fans, looked to be a team possesed in the first leg, but playing at Stamford Bridge in front of 43,000 angry Englishmen and managing to beat one of the toughest European teams in the process is a whole different task they will face. Zico and his Turkish side have put up a great challenge and proven to many that they're Europe-worthy, but Chelsea will surely come out more focused and determined than they did in the first leg.
A big concern for Chelsea will be their GK situation. Petr Cech underwent surgery for a facial injury he recieved in a collision with another player at practice and is set to miss the next two weeks. Ricardo Carvalho, who missed Chelsea's match over the weekend, is set to make his return
Still doubting Chelsea? If all the above wasn't enough, take into consideration that Chelsea have won the last ten European matches played at home, while Fenerbahce have lost the last seven away matches. Chelsea still have the upper hand, and although they're a goal down, Avram Grant's men can certainly rise up and defeat Fenerbahce.
My Prediction: 2-0 Chelsea. The Blues move on... barely.
When to Watch: Catch the game delay of this match on Tuesday at 4:00 Central Time, or if you have ESPN Desportes, you can also view it (in Spanish. Don't want to disapoint so just in case you don't know...) at 1:30 PM Central.
Stamford Bridge is one of the toughest places to play in England
Be sure to tune in and watch both of these games on Tuesday as both are sure to be excellent matches. Roma vs Manchester United and Schalke vs Barcelona's Previews (Wednesday's games) will be finished tomorrow.