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Soccer Break Monday

March 14, 2011

SOCCER-SPAIN/Good day everyone and welcome to a new week. Following a great weekend of footballing action and with so much at stake over the next few days in Europe, there is plenty to discuss.

Let’s begin with a look at the FA Cup quarter-finals, and please add the weekend of April 16/17 to your diaries as the Manchester derby will make its way to Wembley for the semi-finals while Stoke face Bolton.

There was drama in Spain (see photo), Barcelona’s thriller in Sevilla ending 1-1 to see their La Liga lead cut to five points.

Could Real yet pip them to the title? And will Real’s highly sought after coach Jose Mourinho remain at the club?

This is a huge week for the Madrid side, who play Olympique Lyon for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals. If statistics are your thing, read on here for the low down ahead of the four last 16 second leg ties this week.

Another two clubs badly in need of a last eight spot, are holders Inter Milan and 2010 runners-up Bayern Munich who were drawn together in the last 16. Will Bayern give their coach Louis van Gaal an end to the season to remember after the Dutchman announced last week he would leave at the end of the season?

The news that dominated the weekend was of course the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Sport, in particular football, is doing its best to bring some cheer to the people, in however small a way.

Discuss all these topics and other stories in world soccer on the Reuters Soccer Facebook page. And please feel free to send us recommendations for your pick of the day’s stories.

Picture: Barcelona’s Bojan Krkic kicks the ball past Sevilla’s Martin Caceres during their Spanish first division soccer match at Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville March 13, 2011. REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

Comments

I do think that Inter will be successful tomorrow.

Leonardo will be defensive tomorrow, and wait for Bayern, like Dortmund and schalke did two weeks ago.

Check out for more details here: http://blogambidextrous.blogspot.com/201 1/03/how-inter-can-win-bayern-tomorrow.h tml

Can’t wait for this game already!

and Barcelona, mentioned above, will be the champions!

Posted by zecaluiz | Report as abusive
 

Hi zecaluiz. It will be interesting to see whether the decision to dispense with Van Gaal at the end of the season will affect Bayern in the game. They’ve looked very confident under the Dutchman in European games and they should be favourites given the state of the match, though I agree Inter quite capable of turning it around.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive
 

Very positive thinking Zecaluiz, I hope it rubs off on your team! There is a statistic in Bayern’s favour however. To advance Inter must become only the second team in Champions League knockout phase history to overturn a first leg home defeat with a second leg away win. According to UEFA statistics, the only team to have ever managed that was Ajax Amsterdam during the 1995/96 season, whose coach at the time was current Bayern boss Louis Van Gaal.

Posted by Tom Pilcher | Report as abusive
 

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