A month from today, the first match of the knockout stage for the 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League will kick off.
Remember? The Champions League? The matches played over the fall?
Yes, it has been awhile, but after a four-month intermission from the tournament, the knockout stage will kick off, and a two-month race for the North American crown will commence.
A lot of speculation has been made about the way CONCACAF paired clubs in the knockout stage. Most of it has been with the fact that every Mexican club has been paired in the quarterfinals in such a way so that one Mexican club is guaranteed to make the finals. Although the chance of two of those teams playing for the final is impossible. To a lesser extent, the same criticism has been drawn to the fact that two MLS teams, Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew, were paired in the quarterfinals.
When you look into it, it's actually the result of a rather surreal coincidence. The reason this happened was because of the groups the Mexican and American clubs won and the groups they were runners-up in.
Funny how it worked out, but it has made for some thrilling quarterfinal fixtures going into February.
Now on to the predictions of each match-up.