Every week, Footballopod will bring you 3 interesting news from the World Football scene as we give our own perspective on each matter.
An El Clasico thriller awaits Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Semi Finals of the UEFA Champions League. On the other hand, we look at what is in store for teams who are eliminated in the Quarter Finals.
1) Jose Mourinho backs his team selection against Spurs
'''I think I was right when I decided to play with a good team. Tottenham had a couple of chances and of course 4-0 is a good difference but if they scored in the first half with an incredible crowd and a good team it could have be difficult.''
Footballopod’s view: Jose Mourinho may have regretted on his decision to field a strong starting line up against Tottenham Hotspurs despite gaining a four goal lead in the first leg. The suspension of defender Ricardo Carvalho due to a yellow card offence in White Hart Lane could give Barcelona a massive advantage on the offensive. Without the experience and composure of Carvalho in the backline, an eccentric Pepe could prove to be the Achilles heel for the Galacticos as Messi and co would not hesitate to exploit on the ‘careless’ defending from the Portuguese to search for goals in the first leg. To add on that, Real Madrid are hosting the first leg as they are keen to gain a substantial goal advantage to bring to Camp Nou on the return leg. Perhaps the Special One could slot defensive midfielders Sami Khedira or Lassana Diarra into the heart of the defense to maintain their aggression and stability at the back.
2) Bale is adamant that Spurs can take on Arsenal next week
"Defeat is hard to take but we knew before the game it would be a difficult challenge. We have had a great run in the Champions League and are proud of it but, at the end of the night, we lost to the better team. We have every chance of finishing fourth. We're three points off City with a game in hand so there is still a lot to play for and we will be ready for the run-in.''
Footballopod’s view: Tottenham Hotspurs had that bad feeling that they were never going to progress beyond the Quarter Finals having faced a mighty Real Madrid led by Jose Mourinho. Thus, their focus are shifted into the race for a UEFA Champions League berth. However, it could prove to be a daunting task as they need both Man City and Chelsea to drop points in their fixtures and also claim a series of wins to be in an ideal position to achieve their goal. With their strikers failing to convert more goals than midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart, this could be a worrying sign for the Lilywhites as the Dutchman has shown his discontentment over the rotation policy Harry Redknapp is implementing within the team roster. Harry Redknapp needs to find a quick formula to allow Peter Crouch and Jermaine Defoe to find their scoring feet should they want to earn their chance to participation in the UEFA Champions League next season.
3) Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf hopes the Blues can retain Carlo Ancelotti
''Ancelotti won the double last year and although this season he won’t win anything, I don’t think he is completely responsible. You can find some mistakes like playing Torres instead of Drogba in last night’s game, but I think he’s a good coach and I think he’s done well.''
Footballopod’s view: It seems that gaffers are not given enough time to salvage their position in the club when their wealthy owner expects his investment to bear fruits on a regular basis. Despite helping Chelsea to win the English Premiership title last season, Carlo Ancelotti is likely to receive the sack having failed to lead Chelsea to a major trophy this season. The Italian was not able to instill the winning mentality his players had last season. Their striking duo Drogba and Anelka looked poor in front of goal while big signing Fernando Torres remained clueless on how to put the ball past the goalkeeper after 11 games. Their midfield lacked creativity and flair as Frank Lampard was never the same player he was last season having suffered injuries this season. Brazilian Ramires was also unimpressive while Frenchman Florent Malouda could not replicate his outstanding form last season. On the other hand, a stubborn Ancelotti persisted with his static ‘diamond’ formation which never seemed productive. It is time the Italian gaffer has to leave as he vacates his post for someone else who could motivate the current crop of players to attain success next season.