Archived (S3) Coppa Previews

Discussion in 'TSL Cup' started by Broncos218, Nov 12, 2011.

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  1. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    COPPA TRADIZIONE (S3) GROUP STAGE REVIEW

    Here's a quick glance at the group stage results:
    [​IMG]
    (Numbers and stats below include all games except Wolves/Sunderland and Palermo/Genoa)

    With the completion of the group stage, there were some surprising, and sometimes also predictable, results. Each group consisted of at least one team from each Serie, and only Group A finished in order of Serie level, with the A team getting 1st, the two B squads in 2nd and 3rd, and the lone C side in 4th. With the coppa providing a good measure of each Serie level, here's a breakdown on how the leagues fared against each other:

    Serie A: 6 in first, 2 in second, 2 in third, 2 in fourth
    Serie B: 0 in first, 3 in second, 5 in third, 1 in fourth
    Serie C: 2 in first, 3 in second, 1 in third, 4 in fourth

    Serie A vs. Serie B: 8-3-1
    Serie A vs. Serie C: 9-0-5
    Serie B vs. Serie C: 6-1-2

    With 43 games played, surprisingly only 4 games ended in a draw. 4 teams (all Serie A) were able to go 3-0-0 in their group (Aston Villa, Werder Bremen, Spartak Moscow, Athletic Club). On the flipside, 6 teams ended up without a single point (Palmeiras, Celtic, Palermo, Genoa, Olympiakos, Ajax).

    What We Learned:
    1) Between the Serie levels, the higher-rated Serie won the head-to-head matchup.
    2) As voted upon, the "Group of Life" turned out to be just that. shiftee ran away with the group as Spartak Moscow, scoring 16 goals in just 3 games. The rest of the group combined for 4 goals.
    3) Group G was labeled the "Group of Death", yet the clubs finished in a predictable order. Group E turned out to perhaps be the most level, as inconsistent results and low-scoring games kept it interesting until the end.
    4) With the most goals scored in the group stage, it's no surprise that Spartak Moscow also has the leading individual goal scorer. Welliton found the net an astonishing 8 times, 4 more than the second-highest goal scorer.
    5) As it always is with Zikry and Aston Villa, defense, defense, defense. Goalkeeper Shay Given was the only keeper to claim 3 clean sheets.

    Biggest Surprises:
    1) The two Serie A squads that finished fourth. RedAL925 and PSV Eindhoven scored just one goal in 3 winless matches, while IJGator and Ajax finished with 3 losses and no goals.
    2) Group C. Unlike Group A, this group actually finished in reverse order of Serie level, with rschwep and FC Koln taking the group. However, with the withdrawal of Bolton, FC Koln got by on just 3 points and +1 GD over the other 2 Serie A teams in the group. FC Koln was just 1 of 2 non-Serie A teams to win their group, as Sunderland or Wolverhampton will take Group H.

    Short End of the Stick:
    Perhaps the unluckiest person in the group stage was kaptainkracker1 and Fulham. Fulham finished tied for first in Group C with 3 points, yet a -1 GD was enough to eliminate the English side.

    Biggest Upset: Newcastle 3-4 Parma
    DrunkenSoldier and Parma have had a tough time in Serie C so far this season, while BESHIKTAS and Newcastle are battling for promotion to Serie A. With this result, Parma took second in the group, dropping Newcastle from the coppa.

    Thanks for getting these games in, and good luck to all who advanced to the Round of 16. Also, look for the Round of 16 preview to be up later tonight!
     
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  2. Zikry

    Zikry Walk On

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    Awesome job Broncos!
     
  3. RedAL925

    RedAL925 TSL Commissioner

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    Amazing...well done Bronc. And good luck to all those who have advanced!
     
  4. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    At the conclusion of the Coppa Tradizione, there will be some awards given out:

    :trophy: Golden/Silver/Bronze Boot (most goals, with ties broken up by assists and then least games played);

    :trophy: Golden/Silver/Bronze Creator (award I just made up for players w/ the most assists, with ties broken up by least games played and then goals);

    :trophy: Golden/Silver/Bronze Glove (most clean sheets, with ties broken up by GA and then most games played);

    :trophy: Most Proactive User (clearly the most coveted award; user who gets in their games the fastest, i.e. whoever has the lowest average of days it took to get a game in)

    Thought about doing a fair play award, but with so little games, that would most likely just end up as one big tie

    Also, to be considered for any award, your team must have made the Round of 16


    Pre-Round of 16 Awards Watch

    Golden Boot: Welliton (Spartak Moscow) leads the way with 8, 4 ahead of 2nd place. However, don't assume the Brazilian has already clinched the award. If the team falls early in the knockout stages, the door will be open for others. Still in the race at with 4 goals are D. Bent (Aston Villa), E. Heskey (Aston Villa), S. Floccari (Parma), and C. Pizarro (Werder Bremen). 4 more players that qualify for the running have 3 goals.

    Golden Creator: There is currently a 3-way tie sitting atop the assist category. S. Giovinco (Parma), A. McGeady (Spartak Moscow), and Welliton (Spartak Moscow) all have 3 assists. However, many players have 2, and with such low totals and plenty of games remaining, this race is still completely wide open.

    Golden Glove: S. Given (Aston Villa) dominated the group phase, notching 3 clean sheets. 7 other keepers tallied 2 clean sheets, and the teams of all 7 of those keepers remain alive in the Coppa. Yet with Aston Villa's stingy defense, it appears that this award may be Given's to lose.
     
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  5. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    COPPA TRADIZIONE (S3) ROUND OF 16 PREVIEW

    Congrats to everyone who advanced to the Round of 16! To prep everyone on the matchups, here's a preview of the upcoming matches.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Zikry (T-1st in Serie A, 8-1-2; Cup Results: W 6-0 vs. Palmeiras, W 4-0 vs. Santos FC, W 2-0 vs. Udinese)
    DrunkenSoldier (T-7th in Serie C, 2-1-5; Cup Results: W 3-0 vs. Celtic, L 0-2 vs. Werder Bremen, W 4-3 vs. Newcastle)
    Aston Villa has been dominant thus far both in league play and in the cup. Parma surprised Newcastle in the group stage, which was enough to grant them 2nd place in Group B. However, Parma has looked lackluster in Serie C play. With Parma averaging a goal per game in Serie C and Aston Villa claiming the top defense in Serie A, it's hard to imagine Parma having a chance in this game. Look for Darren Bent and Emile Heskey to continue their chase for the Coppa's Golden Shoe award.
    Prediction: Aston Villa 4-0

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    rschwep (1st in Serie C, 9-0-2; Cup Results: W 3-0 vs. Fulham, L 1-3 vs. Schalke 04)
    Frenchie1916 (T-7th in Serie C, 1-4-4; Cup Results: L 0-5 vs. Spartak Moscow, W 1-0 vs. Genoa, W 1-0 vs. Palermo)
    The all-Serie C match! In a 3-way tie for first in Group C, it was FC Koln who came out on top thanks to goal differential. FC Koln held its own against two Serie A sides in the group, and has been tearing through Serie C. Meanwhile, VfB Stuttgart managed two 1-0 wins in the "Group of Life", which was enough to get into the knockout stage. However, the club is struggling in league play, recording just one win in 9 matches. The two sides met on matchday 8 in Serie C, with FC Koln coming out on top 5-0. Expect more of the same in this one as well, with Lukas Podolski leading the way.
    Prediction: FC Koln 4-1

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    snake3249 (T-5th in Serie A, 4-3-4; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Stoke City, W 1-0 vs. PSV Eindhoven, L 1-2 vs. Galatasaray)
    HokieNYC (4th in Serie A, 5-1-4; Cup Results: W 3-2 vs. Hamburger SV, W 2-1 vs. A. Makhachkala, L 0-1 vs. Athletic Club)
    This matchup looks to be very even, with both clubs close in the Serie A table. Rennes managed a key win against PSV in the group stage, but showed some vulnerability in the 1-2 loss to Galatasaray. Everton had some good wins against tough teams in the group stage as well, yet none were dominant. On matchday 6 in Serie A, Rennes defeated Everton 2-1. In arguably the most level matchup of the round, this game could easily go into extra time and even penalties. However, I'm putting my money on Louis Saha and Everton to exact some revenge in a close one.
    Prediction: Everton 1-0

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    juanchoCT14 (T-5th in Serie A, 5-0-5; Cup Results: W 4-0 vs. Olympiakos, D 1-1 vs. Corinthians, W 2-0 vs. Rubin Kazan)
    Superpilky (2nd in Serie C, 7-2-1; Cup Results: L 0-2 vs. Wolverhampton, W 2-0 vs. Ajax, W 1-0 vs. SC Braga)
    Sao Paulo survived the group of death with 2 clean sheets and a 1-1 draw. The club has 5 wins and 5 losses in league play, yet manager Juan is still highly capable of replicating the form that nearly won him the Serie A title a season ago. Sunderland placed second in group H, yet still impressed many. The English club recorded two clean sheets of their own, with both coming against Serie A squads. A loss to Wolverhampton was uninspiring however. Sunderland has looked magnificent in league play with a +20 GD through 10 games, and currently sit in a promotion spot. But while the Black Cats have looked great throughout the season, they have yet to face a side as talented as Sao Paulo. Look for the dynamic duo of Luis Fabiano and Fernandinho to be the difference here.
    Prediction: Sao Paulo 2-0

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Broncos218 (8th in Serie A, 4-1-7; Cup Results: W 2-1 vs. Newcastle, W 2-0 vs. Parma, W 3-0 vs. Celtic)
    Friz (2nd in Serie B, 6-3-2; Cup Results: W 3-2 vs. Santos FC, W 2-0 vs. Palmeiras, L 0-2 vs. Aston Villa)
    Werder Bremen displayed some strong results in the group stage and has been impressive recently on the defenisve side of the ball. But that's only half of the game. The offense still has yet to hit their stride, scoring the second lowest goals per game in Serie A. Udinese finished where they were predicted to in the group stage, only losing to Aston Villa. In league play, the Italian side sits at second in Serie B and will have a strong shot at promotion by season's end. Yet with little left to fight for in the Serie A season, look for Claudio Pizarro and Marko Marin to shine for Werder Bremen as they come out looking sharp.
    Prediction: Werder Bremen 2-1

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    shiftee (T-1st in Serie A, 8-1-2; Cup Results: W 5-0 vs. VfB Stuttgart, W 5-2 vs. Palermo, W 6-0 vs. Genoa)
    bigox1337 (T-10th in Serie A, 3-2-7; Cup Results: L 1-3 vs. Fulham, W 3-1 vs. FC Koln)
    The Moscow Machine just keeps on rolling. Spartak Moscow easily took Group D, and looks just as strong in Serie A competition this season. Welliton already has 8 goals in cup play, and I would expect his name on the score sheet again in this game. FC Schalke 04 split its two group stage games, and the club is currently fighting in the relegation battle in Serie A. Yet when these two sides met in matchday 3, Spartak Moscow barely prevailed, 3-2. These two clubs also play this matchweek in league play, so look for the two teams to become familiar with each other's style. While Schalke is no team to sleep on, do you really think the defending Serie A champs are going to go down easily?
    Prediction: Spartak Moscow 3-1

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Paulitix (12th in Serie A, 2-1-6; Cup Results: W 2-1 vs. A. Makhachkala, W 2-1 vs. Hamburger SV, W 1-0 vs. Everton)
    Geneseo98 (5th in Serie C, 3-1-2; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. PSV Eindhoven, L 0-2 vs. Stoke City, W 2-1 vs. Stade Rennes)
    Despite playing poorly in Serie A play this season, Athletic Club won their group with 9 points. The Spanish club may not be the best club out there, but they have been able to notch some impressive wins in previous seasons and reached Serie A through promotion. Galatasaray came up with two huge wins against Serie A clubs in the group stage, defeating both PSV and Rennes. However, the Turkish club disappointed with a 2-0 loss to Stoke. In Serie C, the club has played decent, but not spectacular. Either team could show up to this match looking great or horrible, leaving this one difficult to predict.
    Prediction: Athletic Club 2-0

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    CxMacx10 (1st in Serie B, 7-1-1; Cup Results: W 2-0 vs. Sunderland, D 1-1 vs. SC Braga, W 1-0 vs. Ajax)
    mustang20241 (3rd in Serie B, 6-2-2; Cup Results: W 2-0 vs. Rubin Kazan, D 1-1 vs. Sao Paulo, W 3-0 vs. Olympiakos)
    Two contenders in Serie B will battle it out in this match. Wolverhampton looked solid in only allowing one goal in the group stage, winning the group with 7 points. On top of that, the team has won 7 of its 9 league matches, putting the squad atop of the Serie B table. But not far behind in 3rd is Corinthians. The Brazilian club lies just two points behind their English foes. Corinthians bit well in the "Group of Death", obtaining 7 points and finishing tied with Sao Paulo for the group lead. The two sides are scheduled to meet in league play, and have already squared off back on Matchday 3, when Wolves came away victorious 3-1. Expect this to be a hard fought battle, with GK Wayne Hennessey being the difference.
    Prediction: Wolverhampton 1-0
     
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  6. BESHIKTAS

    BESHIKTAS Almighty Black Eagles

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    Congrats to DrunkenSoldier , he deserved to win and made it thru. Good job Broncos218, well planned and organized. Can't wait for the next cup :(
     
  7. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    sao paulo/sunderland and wolves/corinthians previews added
     
  8. bigox1337

    bigox1337 Walk On

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    YES! UPSET ALERT~ just a cut and paste, sorry but knocking of the defending champ after the above talk got me excited

    Spartak Moscow vs Shalke 04 (BigOx99)

    Match Facts:

    1 Goals 2

    21 Shots 8

    16 SOT 3

    51% Poss 49%

    20 Tackles 27

    2Fouls 1

    0 :yellowcard:0

    0 :redcard:0

    0 Offside 0

    4 Corners 4

    Match Events:
    11' Jurado assisted by Fuchs
    50' Raul assisted by Farfan
    73' Dzyuba
    :trophy:GK Ralf Fahrmann 9.9
    Despite get 3x the shots, moscow let one slip by them in the Coppa. In what was manager ox's signature win of his serie career, he took the bottom dwelling Schalke team that only made it out of group play by a tiebreaker, had them focused, and knocked out the invincible defending champs in the first round of elimination. Both goals game on headers and all good shot attempts by Schalke seemed to begin with a cross attempt. Late in the match, FC Schalke collapsed into 5-4-1 defense and it almost cost them as Moscow almost put together a couple goals in the final minutes. Great game Shiftee, shame my first win vs you was in a knockout stage. GL the rest of the season and see you next year.
     
  9. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    wow, stunner indeed! But I'm sure I'll still go 7-1 wth my other predictions :)
     
  10. Zikry

    Zikry Walk On

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    the defending champ in league play maybe...everyone knows im the cup king :)
     
  11. bigox1337

    bigox1337 Walk On

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    forgive me zikry, gotta give the cup champ his due
     
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  12. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    COPPA TRADIZIONE (S3) QUARTERFINALS PREVIEW

    Congrats to everyone who advanced to the Quarterfinals! Here are some more previews for you all (I started this before the villa/koln result, which I haven't seen yet)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Zikry (1st in Serie A, 10-2-3; Cup Results: W 6-0 vs. Palmeiras, W 4-0 vs. Santos FC, W 2-0 vs. Udinese, W 4-1 vs. Parma)
    rschwep (1st in Serie C, 10-1-3; Cup Results: W 3-0 vs. Fulham, L 1-3 vs. Schalke 04, W 3-1 vs. VfB Stuttgart)
    Both teams have had some recent rough patches in league play. Aston Villa still leads Serie A, but suffered a meltdown against Werder Bremen. FC Koln leads Serie C, but are just 1-1-1 in their last 3 matches. While Koln played well in the group stage and got by Stuttgart, Aston Villa may just be out of their league in this match. Darren Bent is closing in on the golden shoe award, Emile Heskey is just a goal behind him, and Shay Given has only allowed 1 goal in Coppa play. Don't be surprised to see Lukas Podolski make a strong case for Koln, but do you really think the only TFL Cup champ is going to go down easily (yes, jinx intended :) )? Aston Villa is simply too strong and Koln has yet to see a side like this.
    Prediction: Aston Villa 3-1

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    snake3249 (T-6th in Serie A, 6-4-4; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Stoke City, W 1-0 vs. PSV Eindhoven, L 1-2 vs. Galatasaray, W 2-1 vs. Everton)
    juanchoCT14 (T-4th in Serie A, 8-1-6; Cup Results: W 4-0 vs. Olympiakos, D 1-1 vs. Corinthians, W 2-0 vs. Rubin Kazan, W 2-0 vs. Sunderland)
    In this match, we have two similar Serie A teams. Sao Paulo has 25 points in league play, as opposed to 22 for Rennes. Yet Sao Paulo also has the benefit of playing one more game. Sao Paulo has a +3 goal differential, and Rennes currently sports a +2 GD. In addition to that, both clubs have relatively similar GF/GA, with each averaging just under 2 goals per game. In Coppa play, each side won their respective group, yet failed to completely run the table. The similarities could go on and on, but one thing that Stade Rennes lacks is the threat of Luis Fabiano. Add in GK Rogerio Ceni, and Rennes will be forced to play better than when these two first met on Matchday 10, when Sao Paulo came away victorious 2-1. I see plenty of goals in this one, but more for the Brazilians.
    Prediction: Sao Paulo 3-1

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Broncos218 (8th in Serie A, 5-1-10; Cup Results: W 2-1 vs. Newcastle, W 2-0 vs. Parma, W 3-0 vs. Celtic, W 0-0 (3-0 PEN) vs. Udinese)
    bigox1337 (10th in Serie A, 3-3-9; Cup Results: L 1-3 vs. Fulham, W 3-1 vs. FC Koln, W 2-1 vs. Saprtak Moscow)
    Two Serie A sides will battle it out in this match. Both sides have struggled in league play and both remain in the relegation picture. But when it comes to cup play, both sides have played at a higher level. GK Tim Wiese showed why it is tough to get by Bremen in just one game. Against Udinese, not only did the keeper record a clean sheet for 120 minutes, but he went on to continue his great display of goalkeeping, saving all 3 penalty attempts in the shootout. But don't doubt that FC Schalke 04 has the ability to put one in the net. Schalke stunned Spartak Moscow in the previous round, pulling a 2-1 upset win. The sides have played twice in league play- splitting 1-1 on Matchday 1, and Schalke coming out victorious 2-1 on Matchday 13. As for this one, I like the way Schalke has played in this one. Look for them to slip one past Wiese before pitching a clean sheet of their own.
    Prediction: FC Schalke 04 1-0

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Paulitix (12th in Serie A, 3-1-6; Cup Results: W 2-1 vs. A. Makhachkala, W 2-1 vs. Hamburger SV, W 1-0 vs. Everton, W 2-1 vs. Galatasaray)
    CxMacx10 (1st in Serie B, 10-2-1; Cup Results: W 2-0 vs. Sunderland, D 1-1 vs. SC Braga, W 1-0 vs. Ajax, W 3-2 vs. Corinthians)
    In this match, we have the bottom-feeders of Serie A taking on the giants of Serie B. However, let's not forget Paulitix reached Serie A by defeating some the teams that the Wolves play today. While those in Serie B may be 'Chasing the Wolves,' Athletic Club has been putting in some matches against the best of the best. Athletic has put in some positive results recently, but let's focus on Wolverhampton for a second. Kevin Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake have been tearing up both league and cup play, and I doubt that will cease anytime soon. GK Wayne Hennessey leads Serie B in clean seets, and added 2 more in the group stage. And while Serie B may be a step below Serie A, the English club has looked nothing short of spectacular, winning 10 of 13. Expect the Wolves to look great in this one as well, with Athletic Club's performance being more of the wild card. But in the end, I'll be expecting the Spaniards to be running from these hounds.
    Prediction: Wolverhampton 2-1
     
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  13. Zikry

    Zikry Walk On

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    Great job Broncos! I love reading these
     
  14. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    Pre-Quarterfinals Awards Watch

    Golden Boot: And just like that, the race for the Golden Boot is open again. Welliton (Spartak Moscow) was running away with the award, and still leads the cup with 8 goals. But after the club's loss in the Round of 16, don't expect the Brazilian to continue his stranglehold on the award. Teammates D. Bent (Aston Villa) and E. Heskey (Aston Villa) have 6 and 5 goals respectively, so look for the pair to make a push for the top spot. S. Floccari (Parma) also has 5, but his side is now out the Coppa, only leaving him with a chance at the Bronze Boot. C. Pizarro (Werder Bremen) sits back at 4.

    Golden Creator: S. Giovinco (Parma) moved into the lead with an assist in the Round of 16. He now has 4 assists in the Coppa. A. McGeady (Spartak Moscow), and Welliton (Spartak Moscow) each have 3, but the teammates will not have another chance to up their standing. 18 players have 2 assists, with 9 of those still active in the Coppa.

    Golden Glove: With a clean sheet in the previous round, T. Wiese (Werder Bremen) has moved up into a tie with S. Given (Aston Villa). Each keeper has 3 clean sheets in 4 matches. Many keepers have 2 clean sheets, with Rogerio Ceni (Sao Paulo), C. Gordon (Sunderland), B. Costil (Stade Rennes), and W. Hennessey (Wolverhampton) all leading their teams into the Coppa Quarterinals (pending the Sao Paulo/Sunderland match).
     
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  15. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    updated with Stade Rennes/Sao Paulo preview
     
  16. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    Pre-Semifinals & Final Awards Watch
    (This will be the final award watch update)

    Golden Boot: As of now, we have a tie atop the race for the Golden Boot. If the Coppa were to end today, Welliton (Spartak Moscow) would be the winner, having scored 8 goals. E. Heskey (Aston Villa) also has 8 goals, but when it comes down to tiebreakers, Welliton has 3 assists to Heskey's 0. Heskey's hat-trick in the quarterfinals against Parma put him in prime position to grab this award, and with 1 or 2 games left, he is clearly the front-runner to win the Golden Boot. D. Bent (Aston Villa) isn't far behind at 6 and could easily win the award with a strong showing down the stretch. Fernandinho (Sao Paulo), Luis Fabiano (Sao Paulo), and C. Pizarro (Werder Bremen) all have 5, putting them in position for a late push or at least a shot at the Silver or Bronze Boots. K. Doyle (Wolverhampton) and S. Ebanks-Blake (Wolverhampton) each have 4 for their English side and have an outside shot to win some awards as well.

    Golden Creator: Still sitting alone at the top of the assist leaderboard with 4 is S. Giovinco (Parma). A. McGeady (Spartak Moscow), and Welliton (Spartak Moscow) are tied at 3, and would hold the tiebreaker over C. N'Zogbia (Aston Villa), who also has 3. However, since Aston Villa is still alive, that also makes N'Zogbia a major contender for winning the Golden Creator award. Of the teams remaining, Aston Villa (4 players), Sao Paulo (2), and Wolverhampton (1) all have players with 2 assists. With the leading total still low, it is possible for this award to see a major shakeup in the few remaining games.

    Golden Glove: With only 3 games left on tap, this award is easily the closest. The top 4 in the clean sheets category all come from the 4 teams that remain alive in the Coppa. It also goes to show that each team has relied heavily on their goalkeeping to reach the Semifinal stage. While the Golden Glove will go to the keeper with the most clean sheets, there will undoubtedly be a tie somewhere among the Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels. The tiebreaker will go to the goalie with the least total amount of goals allowed, and most games played will act as the following tiebreaker. With this in mind, the current standings are: S. Given (Aston Villa) [4 CS, 1 GA], Rogerio Ceni (Sao Paulo) [3 CS, 2 GA], T. Wiese (Werder Bremen) [3 CS, 2 GA], and W. Hennessey (Wolverhampton) [3 CS, 3 GA]. How well these keepers protect the net in the remaining games will decide this award.
     
  17. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    COPPA TRADIZIONE (S3) SEMIFINALS PREVIEW

    4 teams remain, and we have some good matchups lined up. Strong defense has been a key so far, as the teams remaining have combined to allow just 8 goals in 20 games. But don't count out their offenses... they've also combined for 50 goals scored in those 20 games. Furthermore, of all the teams remaining, But without further ado, let's dive into the SEMIFINALS PREVIEW...

    [​IMG] ASTON VILLA

    SAO PAULO [​IMG]

    Zikry ~ Aston Villa
    2nd in Serie A, 11-2-3
    Cup Results (Group): W 6-0 vs. Palmeiras, W 4-0 vs. Santos FC, W 2-0 vs. Udinese
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 4-1 vs. Parma, W 3-0 vs. FC Koln

    juanchoCT14 ~ Sao Paulo
    4th in Serie A, 9-1-7
    Cup Results (Group): W 4-0 vs. Olympiakos, D 1-1 vs. Corinthians, W 2-0 vs. Rubin Kazan
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 2-0 vs. Sunderland, W 3-1 vs. Stade Rennes

    Aston Villa, fighting for the Serie A title, have their eyes on an unprecedented double. Add in the fact that Manager Zikry won the Season 1 TFL Cup and reached the finals in Season 2 (with the final going unplayed), and that means no one has ever defeated his team in cup play. Aston's Villa Darren Bent and Emile Heskey combine for a torrid tandem up front, having scored 6 and 8 goals respectively thus far in the Coppa. Both players are up for the Golden Boot, and while they wreck havoc on the opponent's defense, they have Shay Given backing them up in net. Given has surrendered just 1 goal in the Coppa so far, and the Aston Villa defense deserves just as much credit. So what's the catch? Their cup run has matched them up with 3 Serie C sides and 2 B clubs. And before we get too carried away, let's check out the other side in this match. Manager Juancho came close to a Serie A title in season 2 with Everton, and now sits at 4th in the tables with Sao Paulo. In comparison to Aston Villa, Sao Paulo's Coppa run has been against tougher sides. Sao Paulo was drawn into the 'Group of Death,' but prevailed with a group-leading 7 points. They then downed Sunderland and Rennes, winning each by 2 goals. And while Villa touts their talented tandem up front, no one can discount Luis Fabiano, the most talanted player in this matchup. Add in the leading goal-scorer of Serie A in Fernandinho, and this match begins to look equal. One last fact to add in here- these two sides have met twice this year. Villa won 2-1 on Matchday 2, and Matchday 12's matchup ended in a 3-3 draw.

    Difference Maker: [​IMG]
    Rhodolfo, Sao Paulo. The young Brazilian defender is arguably Sao Paulo's best, and at CB, his play against Bent and Heskey could very well decide this match. Sao Paulo's backline is weak overall, which may put Rhodolfo in some compromising positions at times. If he displays lockdown defense, Sao Paulo may just come away with a surprise victory.

    Prediction: Aston Villa may not look as invincible in this one, but I think they have another trip to a cup final up their sleeves while displaying top-notch defense.
    Aston Villa 2-0





    WERDER BREMEN [​IMG]

    [​IMG] WOLVERHAMPTON

    Broncos218 ~ Werder Bremen
    8th in Serie A, 6-3-10
    Cup Results (Group): W 2-1 vs. Newcastle, W 2-0 vs. Parma, W 3-0 vs. Celtic
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 0-0 (3-0 PEN) vs. Udinese, W 3-1 vs. FC Schalke 04

    CxMacx10 ~ Wolverhampton
    1st in Serie B, 10-2-1
    Cup Results (Group): W 2-0 vs. Sunderland, D 1-1 vs. SC Braga, W 1-0 vs. Ajax
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 3-2 vs. Corinthians, W 2-0 vs. Athletic Club

    First up, we have Werder Bremen. After winning the Season 1 Serie A title, Coach Bronc has been in free fall. Bremen were battling relegation early on, and only recently have begun to feel safe. But in the Coppa, they have lived up to their potential. The German club sweep their group, advanced in a triller past Udinese, and then took down FC Schalke 04. The offense has had their ups and downs, and with Coach Bronc changing up his lineups and formations, Werder Bremen has finally begun to show some progression. GK Tim Wiese has led the defense, especially in cup play. Wiese has allowed only 2 goals in the Coppa, and his peak performance came in a 120 minute shutout over Udinese, capped off by denying 3 consecutive PKs. But for Bremen to survive the semis, they'll need the forwards up front to give Wiese some breathing room. Piazrro, Arnautovic, and Marin lead the attack for Werder, and if just one of them can catch fire, Wolverhampton could be in trouble. However, if Kevin Doyle or Sylvan Ebanks-Blake continue their form, Wiese may have no chance to keep Bremen in this match. The two strikers have 12 goals apiece in all competition this year, which will force the Bremen defense to keep tabs on both. In league play, Serie B continues to 'Chase the Wolves,' and the English side currently needs just 4 points in their final 3 matches to clinch automatic promotion. Wolves won 2 of their 3 group stage matches in the Coppa, yet the club's offense looked lackluster. The knockout round saw more goals, and the club looks to be playing at a high level overall. Perhaps the scariest stat Wolverhampton can sport- 30 GF to 9 GA in 13 league matches.

    Difference Maker: [​IMG]
    Marko Marin, Werder Bremen. Marin, currently deployed in a attacking midfielder role, leads his team in assists with 7 in all competition this year. Considering the offensive inconsistency from Bremen, his play up top could determine whether or not the German side comes away empty-handed from this match. If the German international can play some potent passes and throw off defenders with his skilled dribbling, Wolverhampton's defenders may be in need of some ice for their ankles.

    Prediction: If Wolverhampton can break Wiese once, and I wouldn't doubt that Doyle and Ebanks-Blake can't do just that, the floodgates may open.
    Wolverhampton 3-1
     
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  18. Zikry

    Zikry Walk On

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    Awesome job Broncos.
     
  19. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    So who will win the Coppa Tradizione Final? Will it be Aston Villa and Zikry, or Werder Bremen and Broncos218? Make your pick, and feel free to post a predicted score and anything else of note.
     
  20. RedAL925

    RedAL925 TSL Commissioner

    Joined:
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    This is a ridiculously even matchup. On the one hand you have the immovable tour de force that is Zikry and Aston Villa. On the other hand there is arguably the hottest team in the Serie A in Broncos218 and Werder Bremen.

    I could just as easily flip a coin than pick a winner, but my gut says go with the hot hand. 2-1 Werder Bremen in extra time.

    Good luck to you both!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
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  21. Friz

    Friz Walk On

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    I played both of you in the tournament...losing to Aston Villa in the group and taking a scoreless game to a shootout against Werder Bremen. Based solely on that my prediction is going to Aston Villa. 2-0, also based solely on my games against each team
     
  22. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
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    With the Coppa Tradizione over, here are the awards:

    Golden Boot: Welliton, 8 goals (Spartak Moscow) shiftee
    Silver Boot: E. Heskey, 8 goals (Aston Villa) Zikry
    Bronze Boot: C. Pizarro, 7 goals (Werder Bremen) Broncos218

    Golden Creator: S. Giovinco, 4 assists (Parma) DrunkenSoldier
    Silver Creator: Welliton, 3 assists (Spartak Moscow) shiftee
    Bronze Creator: A. McGeady, 3 assists (Spartak Moscow) shiftee

    Golden Glove: S. Given, 5 clean sheets (Aston Villa) Zikry
    Silver Glove: T. Wiese, 4 clean sheets (Werder Bremen) Broncos218
    Bronze Glove: Rogerio Ceni, 3 clean sheets (Sao Paulo) juanchoCT14

    Most Proactive User: Friz (Udinese)

    Congrats to all the award winners.
     
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