UEFA Champions League 2011-12: Last 16 Preview

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UEFA Champions League 2011-12: Last 16 Preview
Focus on the dark spot and imagine what your team can do.....

I wouldn't mind Spurs building the stadium featured in the picture!


Anyway, here I am with another go at the 'Power Ratings' preview of the last 16.

I did it for last year's tournament and enjoyed researching teams other than the usual contenders as well.

The English clubs already haven't had the best start to their Champions League campaign. In fact, that may just be the B/R Understatement Of The Year 2012!!!

The two English teams expected to walk it (Manchester United and Manchester City) have walked OUT with their tails between their legs and the two teams from London expected to be expelled from the tournament (Arsenal and Chelsea) have surprisingly managed to get through to the last-16 when it didn't look as easy as previous years would suggest.

The proverbial jaws of the football-viewing public had all dropped by about 9:45PM on the 7th December 2011 as Manchester United failed to even get a draw from plucky, Swiss high-flyers FC Basel who sent the Red Devils crashing out with a 2-1 victory.

Back in the blue half of Manchester, they did give Bayern Munich a lesson in football, but for now that's the only one they'll be able to give as Napoli 'hollowed out' City's victory with a 0-2 away win against stragglers Villareal. Bayern secured their place in the last-16 before their final game so to heckle City fans a bit more.

Munich may have just been lackluster because they could afford to be like that. Plus there's no subsequent £190m debt!

As a Spurs fan, I can't help but go to bed smirking about the rather short-lived exploits of one particular team here. But for the purposes of neutrality, I shall leave it to you to guess which one!
I'm serious, the pundits hyped them up immediately when they hadn't truly earned the right to such praise or accolades.

The teams have been sorted alphabetically for your convenience. I'll go literally from A-Z (that's AC Milan to Zenit St. Petersburg!) analyzing the chances they have of advancing past their opponents, to the final and winning the trophy. There has already been a surprise or several!

What's to stop some more like that?

Football - It's a funny ol' game!

[Thank you Greavise] ;)

- Although, as a matter of fact, it wasn't him who came up with that observation.

The great sports journalist/writer Norman Giller, a close friend of Greaves, came up with that famous line as a title to one of his books; the former Chelsea and Tottenham legend then took it on as his catchphrase while working as a pundit, and judging by some of the games and gaffes witnessed over the years, rightfully so.

Right, off we go then!...

Oh, and MANY MANY thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org and http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/ for their sources of information which I'm about to use excessively for data.

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