If you have the day off tomorrow or are otherwise free, ESPN2 at 3:00 p.m. will be carrying fourteenth place Blackpool (LLDWL) hosting Chelsea (WLDDW) at Bloomfield Road.
As for the Champions League this week, Tuesday’s games hold one probable foregone conclusion and one intriguing possibility.
The foregone conclusion is probably the Shakhtar Donetsk v AS Roma match. Shakhtar scored three goals against Roma in Rome in the first leg, while surrendering two goals. This puts Roma in the position of having to score two goals against Shakhtar in Donetsk while surrendering none. One goal surrendered by Roma will require them to score three against Shakhtar. I just don’t see that happening.
As for the intriguing possibility, there is a way for Arsenal to win against Barcelona, but it is a daunting task: they must score first. That would put Barcelona in the position of having to score two goals while surrendering no additional goals to send the game to penalties and three goals to win outright, again while surrendering no goals. The smart money is probably still on Barcelona, but Arsenal could still pull it off. What will not work is the strategy that José Mourinho employed against Barcelona in the second semifinal last year. Arsenal doesn’t have the talent in defense to commit to catenaccio against a possession team like Barcelona. The one thing that is in Arsenal’s favor is that Carles Puyol is out of this match as he was in the game in London.
For Wednesday’s games, notwithstanding the away goal scored by Schalke, I think Valencia’s recent form has been much better than Schalke’s in their respective leagues and believe that they will win. For Spurs against AC Milan, Spurs does have a slight advantage in their away goal at the San Siro and the return of Gareth Bale. Spurs had a Jekyll and Hyde performance today against Wolverhampton: surrendering goals, fighting back and surrendering a goal at the end of the game to earn a draw instead of a win. Milan, for its part needed Gennaro Gattuso to score his first goal in some three years to beat Juventus. Spurs defense has to come to the fore here and a goal for Spurs would help immensely as well.
There is no live broadcast of the Shakhtar Donetsk v AS Roma game except on the regional Fox Sports Net, which will require you to check your local listings. Fox Soccer Channel has Barcelona hosting Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on Tuesday at 2:30. On Wednesday Fox Soccer Channel has Spurs v Milan at White Hart Lane at 2:30 p.m. At the same time on Fox Soccer Plus, you can catch Schalke v Valencia at the Veltins Arena.