Monday, December 03, 2018

Sporting shorts...

  • So, onto European Soccer and the Champions League – so far the teams who have qualified of the second round are: Ajax, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona*, Bayern München, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Manchester City, Manchester United, Porto*, Real Madrid*, Roma, Schalke. (* denotes as group winner). Other contenders are Inter Milan, Liverpool, Lyon, Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain, Shakhtar Donetsk, Tottenham Hotspur.
  • The third placed team in each group qualifies for the phase of the Europa League currently Benfica, Club Brugge, Valencia will qualify and with a chance to join them are; CSKA Moskva, Crvena zvezda, Galatasaray, Hoffenheim, Lokomotiv Moskva, Viktoria Plzeň.
  • Arsenal had a good win against Spurs this morning – one of the few times in recent memory they’ve managed to win the derby.  I guess that’s what often happens when you are an outsider supporting a team, the love-hate relationships don’t have the same intensity as they would if you live in London. I have a soft spot for Tottenham, possibly because they’re not one of the perennial favourites for the championship.
  • Next week will see the draw completed for the World Cup – and the Matilda’s will possibly find themselves in Pot A, amongst the top seeds for the tournament.  Still on Soccer – the NZ U17 All Whites (Women’s) team became the first NZ team to finish with a media at a World Cup after they beat Canada 2-1 in the play-off for third. Quite an awesome achievement.
  • While I think the Bronco’s have made the right call regarding Wayne Bennett, I hope the SMH article is not true and he wasn’t sacked via voicemail. He certainly deserved better than that, whatever he's decided to do. I have to admit I can't follow the coaching merry-go-round. 
  • The other biggish sports story is the start of the Australia v India Test series in Cricket. I feel it might just be closer than expected with some one unexpected to start, along with Starc (who is my pick for top wicket-taker for the series. Kohli, will be the top run scorer. And I’m predicting a drawn series. But it will be nice to see some cricket take centre stage rather than talk about how Australia play and the ball tampering from earlier in the year

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