Quarterfinals Preview It's been a while TFS. After a season that saw no coppa previews during Season 11, I know many of you went to sleep restless most nights, eagerly waiting for the previews that never came. But now it's time to bring them back!!! Let's jump right into it and see who looks set for a trip to the semis... MiaFLSurf (T-11th in Serie A, 2-2-5; Cup Results: L 0-1 vs. Shakhtar Donetsk, W 3-0 (F) vs. SC Braga, W 3-0 vs. Hannover 96, W 3-0 (F) vs. Swansea City) Friz (1st in Serie B, 8-2-1; Cup Results: W 2-0 vs. Sevilla, D 0-0 vs. Cagliari, W 2-2 (3-0) vs. Sunderland) Is this a promotion playoff preview? Perhaps, but let's not count on that just yet. Surf has gotten off to a rough start this season with Aston Villa, but he does have one thing going for him- plenty of games in hand. And let's also not forget that Surf finished only behind shiftee and Zikry in the Serie A table last season. But right now, Aston Villa isn't the team they are capable of being. A pair of forfeit wins helped get the Villains to this stage of the tournament, and they'll have to prove their worth in this game in order to keep their Coppa hopes alive. On the other side is Southampton, managed by Friz and sitting atop the Serie B table. Southampton has slowly begun to separate themselves from the rest of Serie B this season and have allowed just 0.55 goals per games- by far lowest in all of TFS. Southampton took first place in the Group of Death, but then needed penalties to get past Sunderland in the Round of 16. However, Friz has only reached the Quarterfinals of the Coppa once before, and his team ended up losing that match. The hopes of Serie B are riding on Southampton, and I think they might be able to catch Aston Villa at just the right time. Prediction: Southampton 2-0 shiftee (1st in Serie A, 10-1-0; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Lyon, W 4-0 vs. Sunderland, W 2-0 vs. Atl. Mineiro, W 2-0 vs. Hannover 96) Selvy9 (8th in Serie A, 4-2-7; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Udinese, W 2-0 vs. Catania, W 1-0 vs. Marseille, W 1-1 (6-5) vs. VfB Stuttgart) Between CSKA Moscow and Seattle, we may have our biggest discrepancy in terms of player talent among all teams in TFS. That will certainly give shiftee an immediate advantage, on top of his already impressive form as of late. In 11 Serie A matches this season, CSKA has earned 31 points and appear set to repeat as Serie A champs. They've outscored their opponents 9-0 in the Coppa, and shiftee's history of underperforming in the Coppa is long gone considering his appearance in the Final in each of the past 3 seasons. CSKA is surely on pace to win a TFS double, and it will be up to Seattle to prevent CSKA from a trip to the semis. Seattle has missed having some its dynamic stars such as Dempsey, EJ, and Gspurning, yet the Sounders still find themselves in 8th place in Serie A, sitting safely out of the relegation zone. Seattle has found success with some sturdy defense, as the MLS club allows the 4th-least amount of goals per game in Serie A. Seattle will need that defense in this one, but I still expect CSKA Moscow to continue with their dominating form. Prediction: CKSA Moscow 3-1 Go Devils (T-2nd in Serie B, 4-3-2; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Catania, D 1-1 vs. Udinese, L 0-1 vs. Seattle Sounders, W 2-0 vs. Fulham) Zikry (7th in Serie A, 3-3-2; Cup Results: D 0-0 vs. Southampton, W 2-1 vs. Hamburger SV) Here we have a battle between two longtime TFS vets, but also two managers with far different pasts. Go Devils has had trouble finding success for the majority of his TFS tenure, but this season, he's led Marseille to one of his best seasons yet. Currently sitting in a promotion playoff spot in Serie B, Marseile has taken opponents by storm with stout defending. The French club currently allows just 0.56 goals per game in league play- best in all TFS. That defensive prowess has carried over into cup play against stronger opponents as well, as they've allowed 2 goals in their 3 games against Serie A opponents. Marseille will need to keep that trend going in order to get by Cagliari. Cagliari has gotten off to a slow start in Serie A this season and barely made their way to the Coppa Quarterfinals with just 1 point in group play and a 120th minute goal to get past the Hamburglars. But let's not get too carried away here, as this is the same manager/team combo that finished 1 point away from the Serie A title a season ago. Zikry also tends to turn up his play as the Coppa gets to its later stages, and I'd only expect more of the same this time around. I expect this match to be much closer than it likely would've been a few seasons ago, but there's no doubting that Cagliari is still the favorite in this one. Prediction: Cagliari 2-0 vipermansa (T-3rd in Serie A, 6-2-5; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Aston Villa, W 1-0 vs. Hannover 96, W 4-1 vs. SC Braga, W 3-2 vs. Gremio) juanchoCT14 (2nd in Serie A, 6-3-2; Cup Results: L 0-1 vs. Seattle Sounders, D 1-1 vs. Marseille, W 3-0 vs. Catania, W 2-0 vs. Lyon) After a few down seasons, it appears the old viperman is back and ready win some more silverware. Shakhtar has been winning games by simply scoring goals at will this season, as the club currently has the second most goals scored in Serie A and average over 2 goals per game in the Coppa this season. With plenty of talent up top between Bernard, Taison, Douglas Costa, Alex Teixeira, and Wellington Nem, this team appears to be the perfect match for a manager like viper. But if there's one HUMAN manager capable of stopping the Brazilian blitz, it's likely juancho's Udinese side. Udinese sports the 2nd-best goal differential in Serie A and actually average slightly more goals per game than Shakhtar. Udinese has also played better as the cup has advanced, starting out slow with a loss and a draw before picking up the pace with a pair of clean sheet victories against Catania and Lyon. And making matters even more interesting, the two clubs recently played to a 1-1 draw in league play this matchweek. Both managers have had cup success in the past and the loser will surely walk away disappointed with a Quarterfinals exit, so look for a hard-fought game that will provide some high intensity play in the final few minutes. Prediction: Udinese 2-1 So there's the first few previews. The others will come once the matchups are set. GL to those remaining!