Champions League Quarter Finals – Preview 1

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Lionel Messi Chelsea Champions League
Lionel Messi Chelsea Champions League

The UEFA Champions League returns later tonight with the start of the Quarter Finals and we have the Argentinian players involved!

Some very strong match-ups in the Champions League this round with two English sides facing each other and a repeat of last year’s final. After having knocked out Manchester United, Sevilla turn their attention to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich with the first leg in Andalucia.

Over in Turin, Paulo DYBALA will have a point to prove after having being recently left out of the Argentina team and he’ll try to prove that point tonight when the Serie A leaders play the current champions Real Madrid. It will be a repeat of last year’s final.

In England, Liverpool host Nicolas OTAMENDI and Sergio AGUERO of Manchester City in an all English duel. It’s one of the heavy favorites in City going up against a team that has been flying under the radar in what should be a cracker of a match.

In Spain, it’s the last of the quarter final matches as Lionel MESSI’s FC Barcelona host Diego PEROTTI and Federico FAZIO’s AS Roma. The Argentina captain is rumored to be starting for the Catalan club.

Champions League First Leg Quarter Finals – Tuesday:

Sevilla (Gabriel MERCADO, Ever BANEGA, Guido PIZARRO, Joaquin CORREA, Franco VAZQUEZ) vs. Bayern Munich
Juventus (Paulo DYBALA and Gonzalo HIGUAIN) vs. Real Madrid

Champions League First Leg Quarter Finals – Wednesday:

Liverpool vs. Manchester City (Nicolas OTAMENDI and Sergio AGUERO)
FC Barcelona (Lionel MESSI) vs. AS Roma (Diego PEROTTI and Federico FAZIO)

103 COMMENTS

  1. Can someone convince Sampoali if he’s thinking about Argentina World Cuo Hopes not to include the following players-Higuian,Biglia,Aguero. These three have had their fare share.

    • I believe that both Aguero and Biglia will go to the world cup. Personally, as much as i like Aguero i wouldn’t pick him for the wc simply because most possibly will be unavailable due to injury. To me Aguero is like having a broken down supercar. As a supercar is capable of wining a race but in reality it will never do so simply because it will break down! So what is the meaning of racing with this car?

      If the fellow Argentina fan below is wright about Icardi then one thing only i can say: We are the only ones putting ourselves with our back to the wall! Moreover, if Sampaoli won’t stay at the helm for atleast wc 2022 then we will just maintain the trophyless cycle.

      Lets face the truth here: It is not Brazil, Germany, Spain or whoever the main obstacle between Argentina and the wc trophy but our own selves!

    • Pretty sure Higuain will be left out as the last 2 games proved his role and contribution. And for Biglia and Aquero will be selected and flyover to Russia unless they get injured before WC. Dybala is doubtfull. Sampaoli will not bring Icardi ; maybe there is still a room for J Correa or Martinez.

      Still missing the realiable CDM and CB.

  2. As I went through some online newspaper that says Icardi won’t go to the World Cup. Icardi has already been informed about the situation.Yesterday, I saw the match between Manchester City vs Liverpool where Otamandi made some silly mistakes that allowed Liverpool to score. Like in Spain match, He again made mistakes so Argentine back lines seem vulnerable. They don’t have good backlines like in 2014. Even look at Strikers Higuain, you never know and For Aguero and Dimaria they might get injured anytime in the middle of the tournament?? They already discarded Icardi and Dybala also not sure as of today. Who leads the front beside for Messi and who leads the backline?? Do they call Garay or not, Don’t know??
    It seems complicated for Argentina to proceed further with this players?? I really wanted Argentina and Messi to lift the World Cup Trophy as I have been supporting Argentina since 1998 but It seems it could never happen.
    Anyways, With God everything is possible, let’s leave it to God.

    • Neither of the goals was Otamendi’s mistake yesterday Kompany overrated defender just like every belgian fooballer, where are De Bruyne, Hazard (vs barca)when it counts in the UCL? Nowhere

  3. All the news coming about mascherano is acceptable… But its not the only single problem we have..and more interestingly adding kraneivitter to the roster instead of pizzaro or battaglia is ridiculous.. a zero mobility player…huffff…!!

  4. All the Arg players are having a bad day in CL. Maybe tired and drop of self confidence after the friendly Spain defeat or the opponents are more ready and playing with high spirit. Sampaoli must be getting worried and frustrated with his players selection. Hopefully all be ready,fit and are focusing on WC rather the CL and League title. keep the faith.

  5. 1. Dybala was juventus best player in that game vs real,and juventus lost not because of dybala but because of defensive errors. All the 3 goals juventus conceded was due to defence errors.

    2. Sevilla played really good against Bayern, but like it or not,they(bayern) was really lucky as Sevilla also concede both goals due to defensive errors. Pizarro and j.correa,both,had good games,but it has to be admitted that both of pizarro and correa did not make good decisions at some parts of the game,but other than that their overall game play was good.

    3. Man city lost 3-0 against Liverpool, the quest is,is otamendi a bad cb?

    4. Roma was also defeated by Barcelona.

    5. I’m not a higuan fan,but,he and dybala does have a good connection for juventus upfront.

    6. For me,if sampaoli insist on higuan,than he must play dybala behind higuan,and messi on the right wing,with dimaria on left wing. In a 4 3 3 system with pizarro and biglia the two defence midfield players.

    For those of you who are going to comment or criticise what I have just said,put your feelings aside and talk football. That’s just what I think.

    • Actually I like your idea of partnering Puzarro ‘n Biglia.

      Mercado Ota Fazio Acuna

      Pizarro Biglia

      Pavon Lo celso Dimaria

      L.Messi

      for 4-2-3-1 formation provided that Mercado is always covering the right flank.

      Even for 3-men line defense

      Mercado Otamendi Rojo

      Salvio Pizaro Bigla Acuna

      Lo Celso

      L.Messi Dimaria

      L.Messi

      Still partnering Pizarro and Biglia seems a viable option ‘n much better than with Mascherano provided that Sampa w’d continue to overlok Bataglia or e.perez.

      • • I also agree that acuna is the best option for that left back position. Yes tagliafico is a good player but I think sampaoli are choosing tagliafico over him because of experience he the power,speed and technique acuna brings to the team.

        • for the centre back positions,we all know otamendi is not a leader but he does have good qualities so with garay partnering him is a very good decision.

        • for the right back is that mercado is a good option but I would also take ansaldi as a option for the world cup.

        • it’s going to be though for pavon to get to the world cup because he’s not a Experienced player with all the others competing for a place such as perotti,j. Correa,lanzini,dimaria,dybala and also baring in mind that messi is already in the squad.

        • I also think that these few friendlies that was being played by some new faces and old,is that sampaoli played all those he wanted to,but,just because he played them does not mean they are going to the world,which is normal.

        • Acuna as a LB is a waste, he’s a midfielder by trade and performs best when playing midfield. Yes thanks to his skill and versatility he can play LB and LW but again midfield is where he should be at. Tagliafico is more than capable of making the LB position his own.

          • Ansaldi was injured most of this season and he just started playing again. If he plays his heart out for the next half a dozen games or so he might be considered. To be honest as much as I like Ansaldi he’s a fitness liability just like kun and Maria so I’m not sure how useful he’d be even if he’s on the bench.

    • No higuain dybala in starting spot we need messi aguero partnership.yes otamendi is average and error prone but we don’t have good options there

      • @anuparno

        • my friend if you didn’t watch the match of real vs juventus, then I would suggest that you do and look for yourself the partnering between dybala and higuan.

        • I’m not a higuan fan because of what he brings to the team.

        • I also think that sampaoli know that higuan is a choker and that’s why he also did not use him in those last world cup qualifying games. If some of you can remember,is that sampaoli also criticised higuan early in the year before giving him a chance to prove him self again in the lately played international friendlies.

        • yes aguero is a good number 9 but,what have he been doing for the NT? Nothing in all those chances he gut to prove him self, remember?

        • I believe in aguero he has best understanding with messi and I feel he is top 3 strikers of the world right now his only problem is injury.this time I think he will be fresh and injury free.you will see his proper potential come this world cup

        • If sampaoli manage to play dybala with messi aguero in the starting eleven then I’m fine with it but I don’t think that’s gonna happen

          • Sampaoli have many options, but he must choose those who will plays with the never die,never give up attitude. Those are the kind of players he should be selecting and for me perotti is one of them as well as dybala, one can see that dybala wants to be a part of this world cup squad very badly.

    • Aguero haters? Why? Because some people don’t want to see a wasted spot for Argentina due to injury? Everyone wants a fit Aguero for the wc but this guy is injured almost in half of the importants matches we needed him to say the least so what’s the point?

      Icardi missed a sitter, so what?? Everyone does sometimes but please check Icardi’s goal scoring per attempt ratio and you will find out that he has the highest among Higuain and Aguero.

      Many talk about Dybala but where were juventus’s rest players including Higuain against rm?

    • It wasn’t that easy ,he had to fully stretch his body…but he usually scores from there..even last week he score this kind of a goal.. i think with messi ,lanzini and di maria behind ,icardi should start for us as he will have plenty of chances and his positioning sense is quite good!

    • Sometime we guys are so stupid when we talk about Dybala and Icardy. No guarantee these two guys will bring any great game for NT as they played several games specially Dybala (NT=12 game, 0 result)

  6. Too much Dybala bashing. I see him playing quite ok, not his best day but almost the only Juventus player who tried to break the lines and attempted to create something. The main reason he looked bad is because RM was strong in defense and their midfielders were excellent in pressing and positioning. They dominated Juve tactically and succeed to isolate Dybala from his partners.

    It was quite unfair for Sevilla who need to play against Barca and Bayern in 4 days. They were tired on the 2nd half which is quite normal. I saw a Joaquin Correa really on fire. I hope Dybala and him will be part of the list.

    In my opinion, the ideal partner with Messi in attack is a fast agile winger-forward like Claudio Lopez in the past or Alexis Sanchez. Aguero is becoming too similar to Messi with Guardiola, switching between playmaker and striker position. Higuain show his limits despite his efforts. I don’t remember I have seen Messi played with Icardi-type forward. Maybe just during few months with Ibrahimovic 10 years ago and it was not a great experience. He need someone who can exploit space, dribble, attack on both side, cross and score. To me, Pavon is the man. Joaquin Correa or Lautaro Martinez as his backup. I believe that the pair Messi-Pavon with Di Maria or Lanzini as supplier can be one of the most spectacular attack during this world cup.

  7. Stop with all this franco Vazquez bull crap. He cant play for Argentina bc he chose to play for italy. And give dybala a break he didn’t play that bad u guys just wanted him to score. He had to much pressure on his shoulders

  8. IMO once again we need Sevilla plus Messi aguero dimaria salvio acuna meza lanzini.
    My 23 list

    Aguero. Higuain .J Correa

    messi(lo celso)

    Dimaria ,meza ,lanzini,Banega(Vazquez), bigliA (parades)

    DF: Acuna(tagliafuco),fazio(foyth),otamendi(mercado) salvio(bustos)

    GK Romero, Caballero, Damian martinez

  9. Dear Sampaoli,

    My letter is just a concern of current scenario of ARGENTINA squad

    You hav best player in the world plus so many good players. If Barca plays schit without Messi and can play beautifull game with Messi then Smpaoli’s team can also shine with Messi.

    1- For that you hav to dumb HUGUAIN and BIGLIA. They are not good in pressing and zero pace.

    2- If paulinho can succeed in Barca with the help of Messi and always play schit in midfield. Sampaoli should find paulinho type player for Messi( I mean box to box mid)

    3- Dybala can change a game if played along with Messi. If Messi makes dybala free, then he will surely score unlike headless chiken higuain. Icardi is only good inside box (No pace)
    So Dybala is must instead of Icardi and Higuain

    4- In attack: Meza, Martinez, Perroti, Pavon, J.correa are inexperienced player but must be in bench

    So our attack should be

    MESSI
    DYBALA
    AGUERO
    ICARDI
    (A.CORRREA/PERROTI/PAVON/J.CORREA/MARTINEZ)

    5- OUR MIDFIELD IS JOKE, 3 SPOT IS VACANT

    LO celso (CM,CAM,CDM)
    LANZINI (LW,CAM,RW)
    DIMARIA (LW,RW)
    BANEGA (CM,CAM)
    PIZARRO (CDM)


    (MEZA/LAMELA/ENZOPEREZ/ PABLO /SALVIO/RIGONI)
    (PAREDES/MASCHERANO/AUGUSTO/ BATTAGLIA/PAPU GOMES)

    6- ONLY DEFENCE CAN win WORLD CUP

    Garay
    Acuna
    Mercado
    Otamendi
    Fazio
    Tagliafico

    Bustos/pezella/Salvio/Rojo/Mori

    And if Sampaoli included HIGUAIN AND BIGLIA in World cup squad then we dont need to wait for the games. Argentina will not win World Cup after the squad selection.

    Hope Sampaoli watch Barca games and select good players who will give 100% fight on the pitch rather old guyz like bigla and Huguain always zero for NT and Club

  10. Ouch, yesterday’s CL matches again underlined that with the exception of Messi hardly any Argentine player can face up to the big boys. Isco excelled yesterday as did Müller and a certain player from Portugal.

    Sad but true, our midfield (independent of who plays) pales compared to Isco – Iniesta – Silva – Busquets or Kroos – Özil – Müller – Sané.

    Our frontline stands out, but I fear that won’t be enough.

    • Champions league football is not a right parameter to measure our players world cup will be a complete different tournament and you will see many small teams shocking you.and you will see many players become stars who didn’t perform in cl and many champions league stars fail in WC.there is a difference between club football and national team football.

    • IF CL was the barometer for WC performance then Cristiano Ronaldo would’ve pulled a Maradona 86 performance atleast twice by now!!
      Different teams, different environment and most importantly a different tournament!
      As for the players you just listed, well they’re all mighty talented for sure but Ozil’s been mediocre for quite some time, Sané and Silva were no shows for mancity against Liverpool today while Iniesta, Busquets and Barca wouldn’t be anywhere this season without Lio Messi. Even Muller and mighty Bayern barely scraped past Sevilla, a team that had 2 argentines playing midfield that day.
      Yes you are correct, spain and Germany have better mids than Argentina’s….but midfields are only as strong as their collective and if Sampa gets his head out of his **S and makes the right selection I think Argentina can compete with the best.

      • What you think is otamendi overrated?? He was awful against Spain and mediocre against Nigeria was again mediocre against Liverpool.is he really our best cb?? This series of bad performances make me think maybe sampaoli can try other cb pairing also.garay is absolutely needed and if otamendi keep playing averagely he can consider other options also

        • IMO Nico is world class, but he needs a partner like Garay besides him, a confident GK behind him and a capable midfield that protects him and the defense (atleast partially).

  11. ANYWAY THE STANDARD OF ITALY LEAGUE A IS GRADUALLY DECREASING. DYBALA ‘S PERFORMANCE IN CLUB CAN NOT REFLECT THAT IN NATIONAL TEAM. HE PLAYED SEVERAL MATCH FOR ARGENTINA BUT NO GOAL WITH ONLY ONE ASSIST VS SINGAPORE. HE ONCE AGAIN DISAPPOINT US IN CHAMPION LEAGUE.

    SLOW ,SHORT,NOT SKILLFUL ENOUGH. JUST CAN SHOOT BUT LAST NIGHT HIS FREEKICK IS BELOW STANDARD

  12. ONCE AGAIN ,DYBALA IS OVERRESTMIATED. HE IS SLOW AND WEAK,CAN NOT HOLD THE BALL OR CREAT CHANCE HIMSELF. ALL IN ALL HIS ABILITY IS NOT ENOUGH TO ENTER NATIONAL TEAM.
    JOAQUIN CORREA IS BETTER.TALL ,FAST ,SKILFULL AND PLAY WITH BRAIN

      • Yup that’s how the cookie (and fans) crumbles. For me personally Juve’s loss hasn’t changed my opinion of Dybala, not one bit!! Infact he was the only person on Juve’s side that was trying to make something happen and must be on that plane to Russia and same with Icardi because lets face it, kun will get injured, as will Maria and Pipita will choke! How do I know this? Well because it happened before SEVERAL TIMES! Time to give new talent a chance and not try the same damn thing multiple times expecting different results because that’s the definition of insanity according to a very smart man.

      • German and English league? Bayren is the only competitive team from Germany while serie A has 2 teams in the quarters while England’s 2nd team (man U) got their asses handed to them by a Spain’s distant 5th team so i woudn’t say the premier league is exemplary.

  13. Dybala red card will not be a good report card and will bring negative point to Sampaoli, although his free kick and exploration is good , missing the next game against RM means loosing the opportunity to show his capability to N/T coach. The positive point he will be more mature and grown up by last night game.WC is more challenger than CL. Just forget Higuain ; he will not score against big team and when needed most.

  14. Reports in Argentina suggest this is the world cup squad:
    Romero
    Cabellero
    Guzman

    Tagliafico
    Acuna
    Otamendi
    Fazio
    Garay
    Bustos
    Mercado

    Di Maria
    Mascherano
    Biglia
    Paredes
    Lanzini
    Lo Celso
    Pizzaro

    Messi
    Aguero
    Higuain
    Dybala
    Pavon
    Lautaro Martinez

  15. Anyone tired of this huigain shit? Even f game this guy screw up and never get a goal or create assist. Enough is enough, Sampoali need to drop this guy.

  16. Okay i am seeing a lot of hate about dybala but give me your honest opinion. Will you take him to the world cup, if not who will u take instead of him and dont say someone that has never done good for argentina and has never capped for the Albiceleste. In my opinion i would take him to the world cup bc we can make him the iniesta of team imo

    • People forget that there is only one Messi,even he has off days.,then this is team sports and right Now R Madrid is sweeping teams around so effectively.Most likely Dybala would walk into the teams of Germany,Spain and Brazil which are miles ahead of us and would make any team better but he is not wanted not even in our bench.Ironic

  17. Saw some reports from argentina that sampaoli may not select mascherano for the world-cup because of his last performance.

  18. I had my doubts about Dybala after teh barca game last season. That game was tactical disaster by Barca coach enrique. You don’t play with 3 defenders away from home. My doubts become more clear when he played for Argentina. Forget about goals the guy can’t even get meaningful play going while Acuna was exeling.

    Today, It is a certainity he shouldn’t be in the squad. Him and Higuain would only take up precious space of other players who now how to perform in big games.
    I mean the guy has immense potential but he lacks a footballing brain and focus. Keeps hold of the ball for too long and just doesn’t get things going. He was the same against Madrid last season.

    Juventus fans on other forums are trashing him not because of the red card which the ref was harsh with but his overall play which absolutely produces very little when it matters.

    • Whatever you said is totally true

      But still dybala can change a game if played along with Messi. If Messi makes dybala free, then he will surely score unlike headless chiken higuain

  19. That is Higuain’s problem. He is playing good as an all around player but struggles to score. The thing is that we need scorers or a clinical target man but surprisingly we have one of the most clinical scorers in front of the goal who seems that is not consider for the wc. On the other hand, Dybala’s spot in the wc is in more danger because of a poor cl game while other players’ important misses and chokes in wc and copa finals are overlooked. This is not the way of selecting the most suitable players for a wc.

    As for Barcelona i would like to see them out as soon as possible.

      • That of higuan was not an easy chance,where he hit straight at the goal keeper,not that I’m a higuan fan but I’m just saying.

        Whether you like it or not,higuan pairing with dybala was the most effective for juventus and that my friend is the truth.

    • Add Messi and Busquets to that juventus and take out Huigain, Juventus have beaten RM. I think fit Messi, iniesta and busquets will destroy this RM as kross and modric wont get the ball and Ronaldo wont get that amount of opportunities. Add to that fact that Ronaldo will be thinking Messi is playing against him.

    • To be frank, i hope that barca can be elimininated in champs league as soon as possible such that messi can have more time to rest.

      I hope that it will be a final between real madrid and bayern munich.

  20. Pizarro is the least used Argentinian player since Montella coaching Sevilla. It’s quite fair because Nzonzi is coming back to his best level. In my opinion Nzonzi and Pizarro can coexist, with Pizarro as holding, the French as box to box and Banega as regista. As a supporter of Argentina, I hope Pizarro can have some playing time against Bayern and eventually, beat them.

    Maschereno, Biglia, Rojo and Higuain, nobody will forget what they have done for the NT, especially in 2014. But it’s time to change. There is no miracle, they cannot become good again in 2 months. I think Biglia may be the only one who saves his place but it’s just the choice by default. Ascacibar doesn’t have enough experience in high level and not enough playing time for Pizarro. Kranevitter should be the only player who can compete with Biglia.

    • Battaglia deserves a chance; He will be the best option; Physical, good on the ball and has decent pace; In Champions League he was very good against Barcelona & Juve

      • To me Battaglia is more a box to box type. Among the 8 teams, 2 of them(Liverpool and Juve) play with no DM, quite similar style: 1 deep-lying playmaker(Hendersson and Pjanic) protected by 2 box to box. Matuidi and Milner/Chamberlain were former-winger, along with Khedira and Wijnaldum/Can, powerful players, good for high pressing.

        I think Sampaoli should consider using this system as we don’t have any DM. That’s also how Italy won the world cup in 2006. We can use Lo Celso or Banega as the deep-lying playmaker, Battaglia and Acuna for the box to box role. Eventually call back Enzo Perez as backup. He is an experienced player.

    • Watching Pizarro vs Bayern. He has been largely ineffective so far.
      J. Correa is playing some lovely one touch football. His final ball is letting him down.

  21. I hope Bayern barca city and juventus go through.I hope real Madrid gets knocked out.messi has enough rest now.if he doesn’t play those meaningless laliga games he will be okay.dybala needs big performance both leg .juventus win or loose doesn’t matter dybala has to perform so that sampaoli consider him for 23 man squad

  22. Hopefully Real, Bayern, Liverpool and Roma go through to the semis. And then Roma get knocked out in semis. Give the argentines as much rest as possible.

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