Archived (S4) Coppa Previews

Discussion in 'TSL Cup' started by Broncos218, Feb 10, 2012.

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  1. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    Group Stage Roundup

    With the group stage now complete with ALL games played (well done!), here's the final group tables:
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    Lots of interesting results with a bunch of very close groups. Many groups came down to the final game. But first, let's see how each Serie did against each other to see who earned some bragging rights:

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

    Serie A vs. Serie B: 10-2-2
    Serie A vs. Serie C: 9-4-1
    Serie B vs. Serie C: 5-3-4

    Feels good to be up in Serie A :). Pretty close though between Serie B & C. Same placements within the groups and close W-L. Also, this season saw 9 draws, including at least one in each group. This is up from just 4 a season ago, and made for a more interesting race toward the end.

    The Dreaded 4 Points
    5 and you're in, 3 and you're out. 4? Good luck! 8 teams finished with 4 points, and half of them advanced. To make matters even worse, 3 of those who were eliminated with 4 points (Celtic, FC Koln, Parma) suffered heartbreakers by missing out on advancement by simply having 1 worse GD than their 2nd-place counterparts.

    Key Takeaways
    1) Zikry showed in Group A why he is the TFL Tourney King. Even with some matches against hot teams, Aston Villa won all 3 matches without allowing a goal.
    2) The Group of Death (Group B) turned out to be just that. With the top two teams from Serie A, the 4th-placed Serie B squad, and a stout Serie C side that will likely be promoted, the highest and lowest goal differential was only +2 and -2. In the end, it was Udinese and Santos FC that were the odd ones out.
    3) While Aston Villa and Spartak Moscow are often regulars at the top of the goals scored category, it was Everton who surprisingly came away with the most goals (13). Yet even with all those goals, the English club could only manage a 4-4 draw against Olympiakos to finish with 7 points.
    4) Of the clubs without any points, perhaps the most surprising was Serie B's Hamburger SV. Recently promoted from Serie C, the German club lost each of its matches by a score of 4-1, as defensive play plagued the side from the get go.
    5) The Group of Life (Group H) finished with PSV Eindhoven on top, but Serie C side Derby County surprised with a 2nd-place finish. With other Serie C clubs pushing for the league's title, Derby County has remained mostly under the radar and remains as a viable threat in the tournament.

    Most Surprising Club
    Fiorentina and hokie79. With strong defensive play, the Serie C club was able to win the Group of Death over some stiff competition, including the top two teams in the most recent Serie A table. GK A. Boruc pulled off 2 clean sheets, and A. Gilardino scored just enough to earn the Viola first place. Despite a tough match next against Wolverhampton, the Italians may be Serie C's best remaining hope.

    Biggest Matchday 3 Group-Changers
    Udinese 1-2 Santos FC
    Udinese's loss in Matchday 3 to Santos FC was unexpected to say the least. Heading into the final match, Serie A-leading Udinese needed a win against Santos FC, who had nothing to play for except their pride. Udinese crumbled under the pressure after jumping out to an early lead, and their Coppa chances were squashed in the end.

    Derby County 1-1 SC Braga
    Despite SC Braga's Serie A struggles, now was their time to regroup and take on the Coppa. However, drawing 1-1 all but assured their ticket home. After Derby County scored a first half goal, SC Braga was unable to overcome the deficit. With the draw, SC Braga finished in 3rd place in Group H, a point behind Derby County.

    Celtic 0-4 Aston Villa
    After riding high with recent success in Serie C and a solid draw against Wolverhampton, Celtic went into free fall against Aston Villa. The 4 goals were just enough to knock Celtic out of the Coppa, and one pundit even criticized Celtic's manager, BigSmooth33, noting the game as a "wake up call" (... RedAL925)


    bunch of great games and looking forward to the knockout stage. Congrats to all who advanced, and be on the lookout for a Round of 16 preview.
     
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  2. BigSmooth33

    BigSmooth33 Walk On

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    :mad:
     
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  3. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    Round of 16 Preview

    With the Round of 16 now open, we have some big matchups on hand. Of the 8 games, 4 pit two teams from the draw's Pot 1 against each other (Top 8 finish last season in Serie A). Here's a preview of the matches for this round.

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    Zikry (T-5th in Serie A, 3-2-4; Cup Results: W 5-0 vs. Flamengo (Genoa), W 2-0 vs. Wolverhampton, W 4-0 vs. Celtic)
    Broncos218 (2nd in Serie A, 5-4-2; Cup Results: W 2-0 vs. Santos FC, L 2-3 vs. Udinese, D 2-2 vs. Fiorentina)
    In perhaps the round's most anticipated matchup, we have have last season's finalists with Aston Villa and Werder Bremen. Despite strong play in Group A, Aston Villa has underperformed early on in the Serie A season and currently has more losses than wins. However, Agbonlahor and Bent are becoming a formidable duo up front. Werder Bremen snuck into the Round of 16 with some help, and has had some encouraging results thus far in Serie A. The two managers have split 8 career matches, but Werder Bremen has the momentum, winning the last 3.
    Prediction: Werder Bremen 2-1 (why do I feel like I just jinxed myself?)

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    mustang20241 (T-5th in Serie A, 3-2-2; Cup Results: W 4-1 vs. Stoke City, W 1-0 vs. VfB Stuttgart, W 2-0 vs. Fulham)
    StevenRhysCann (8th in Serie B, 1-3-2; Cup Results: W 4-2 vs. A. Makhachkala, D 4-4 vs. Everton, W 2-0 vs. Bolton)
    After awakening from his hibernation, mustang has led Corinthians to some strong results, including a sweep of Group C. The Corinthians attackers seem to be playing great recently, working well with each other and creating an array of potent goal scorers. Meanwhile, Olympiakos has gotten off to a rough start in Serie B, winning only 1 of the club's first 6 matches. Considering the hot and cold of the the two teams, it would be hard to bet against the Brazilians. To have a chance, Olympiakos will at least need Djebbour to continue his Coppa goal-scoring form.
    Prediction: Corinthians 2-0

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    bigox1337 (T-10th in Serie A, 2-3-7; Cup Results: W 2-0 vs. Sao Paulo, W 4-3 vs. FC Koln, W 2-1 vs. Athletic Club)
    vipermansa (2nd in Serie C, 9-0-3; Cup Results: L 1-3 vs. Spartak Moscow, W 4-3 vs. Newcastle, W 3-1 vs. Galatasaray)
    With new management, Blackburn has been fighting relegation in Serie A. However, the club was able to string together some impressive wins in their group, grabbing all 9 points. Montpellier is scoring at an astonishing goal rate thus far in Serie C, yet the club's defense has been its achilles' heel at times. Montpellier may be able to score a lot of goals, but don't underestimate Blackburn's own offensive talent. And despite Montpellier's prowess in Serie C, the club still has yet to prove itself against top-tier competition.
    Prediction: Blackburn 4-3

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    Cimmy24 (3rd in Serie B, 6-2-1; Cup Results: W 4-1 vs. Hamburger SV, W 2-1 vs. Ajax, W 2-0 vs. Parma)
    Yak61 (4th in Serie C, 6-0-5; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Palermo, D 1-1 vs. PSV Eindhoven, D 1-1 vs. SC Braga)
    Rubin Kazan started the season on a roll and only recently lost their first Serie B match. Tack on 3 wins in the group stage, and Kazan has 9 wins in 12 matches this season. Obafemi Martins is looking solid in attack and is becoming difficult to stop. Derby County has been fairly level throughout all competition this season and appear to be a club poised for future success. But will forward Steve Davies be able to lead The Rams against... whatever it is that is depicted in Rubin Kazan's logo? Maybe next season.
    Prediction: Rubin Kazan 4-1

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    hokie79 (3rd in Serie C, 8-2-1; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Udinese, W 1-0 vs. Santos FC, D 2-2 vs. Werder Bremen)
    CxMacx10 (1st in Serie B, 9-2-1; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. Celtic, L 0-2 vs. Aston Villa, W 2-0 vs. Genoa)
    Interesting matchup here between Fiorentina, who won out the Group of Death, and Wolverhampton, one of last season's semifinalists. Both clubs have been performing well in league play, with each only losing 1 match thus far. Fiorentina is known for its strong defensive play headed up by GK A. Boruc, but Wolverhampton's offense (32 goals in 12 league games) doesn't look to be drying up anytime soon. This match could go just about any direction, but if the Wolves score early, the pressure will be on Fiorentina to mount a comeback.
    Prediction: Wolverhampton 2-1

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    HokieNYC (T-5th in Serie A, 2-5-2; Cup Results: W 5-0 vs. Bolton, D 4-4 vs. Olympiakos, W 4-1 vs. A. Makhachkala)
    kaptainkracker1 (T-8th in Serie A, 3-1-5; Cup Results: W 2-1 vs. VfB Stuttgart, W 3-1 vs. Stoke City, L 0-2 vs. Corinthians)
    Following a strong performance last season, it appears as if Everton is now attempting to break the draws record. With 5 draws in 9 league games for Everton, plus another in group play, this match may be headed to extra time. Fulham has not done anything spectacular this season, but they haven't looked completely awful either. On matchday 9 when these two sides met, Fulham took the 2-1 victory. But with Cahill and Drenthe carrying Everton, a little revenge may be on the way.
    Prediction: Everton 1-0

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    shiftee (4th in Serie A, 4-4-0; Cup Results: W 3-1 vs. Montpellier, W 4-0 vs. Galatasaray, W 5-1 vs. Newcastle)
    juanchoCT14 (T-8th in Serie A, 2-4-1; Cup Results: L 0-2 vs. Blackburn, W 6-0 vs. Athletic Club, D 0-0 vs. FC Koln)
    Two-time defending Serie A champion Spartak Moscow remains the only unbeaten team in the Serie. In addition to that, the club leads Serie A in both goals scored per game and goals allowed per game. While Moscow has been unable to reach a cup final in three seasons, now may be the club's best shot at a Serie league and cup double. Sao Paulo has shown that they can compete with the best of them when they're hot, but the club may need a little extra to knock out Spartak. While Sao Paulo will have the best player on the pitch with Luis Fabiano, there is no denying that Welliton leads the race for this season's Serie MVP and may have a Coppa Golden Boot in his future. Don't be surprised if Sao Paulo pulls off the upset, but they'll need their A++ game for that.
    Prediction: Spartak Moscow 3-1

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    RedAL925 (3rd in Serie A, 4-6-3; Cup Results: W 2-0 vs. SC Braga, D 1-1 vs. Derby County, W 1-0 vs. Palermo)
    IJGator (T-10th in Serie A, 2-3-4; Cup Results: D 2-2 vs. Parma, L 1-2 vs. Rubin Kazan, W 4-1 vs. Hamburger SV)
    In this all-Dutch duel, PSV will host Ajax. PSV has had its share of ups and downs already this season, and much like Everton, seem set on breaking the record for most number of draws. The club got through a rather easy group, but it will be interesting to see who will lead the club between the sticks. GK A. Isaksson has 2 clean sheets during the Coppa, but GK P. Tyton has been performing well in Serie A matches. Ajax forward El Hamadoui will need to break whoever starts for PSV, and he clearly has the ability to do so. However, these two sides know each other well and have a long history against each other, dating back to Season 1. In their two games this season, the clubs have split the matches, resulting in 3 points apiece. But considering that PSV just recently defeated Ajax 4-0 on Matchday 12, it may not matter who PSV throws out onto the pitch.
    Prediction: PSV Eindhoven 2-0
     
  4. RedAL925

    RedAL925 TSL Commissioner

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    Of all possible opponents, IJGator makes me nervous every time we play. Never know what's going to happen.
     
  5. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    Awards Watch

    At the conclusion of the Coppa Tradizione, the following awards will be 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 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 (user who gets in their games the fastest, i.e. whoever has the lowest average of days it took to get a game in)

    To be considered for any award, your team must have made the Round of 16. There will be 3 writeups- before the Round of 16, before the quarters, and before the semis. So to start out, here's a look at the award races with the group stage complete.


    Pre-Round of 16 Awards Watch

    Golden Boot: In an exact repeat of last season's Coppa Tradizione, Welliton (Spartak Moscow) leads the Golden Boot race with 8 goals. Despite getting bounced in the Round of 16 a year ago, Wellition still won the Golden Boot with 8. Will it be enough this year? The two closest to him are R. Djebbour (Olympiakos) and O. Martins (Rubin Kazan), with 6 and 5 goals respectively. A plethora of contenders sit back at 4 goals, including G. Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), D. Bent (Aston Villa), T. Cahill (Everton), R. Drenthe (Everton), A. Gilardino (Fiorentina), and J. Utaka (Montpellier)

    Golden Creator: English clubs appear to be passing the ball well up front, as D. Bent (Aston Villa) and R. Drenthe (Everton) lead the way with 4 assists each. 5 more players have 3 assists, with 4 of those also coming from English clubs. But until someone breaks away from the pack, a darkhorse could easily win the award.

    Golden Glove: Only one keeper had 3 clean sheets during the group stage, and it is none other than last season's Golden Glove winner, S. Given (Aston Villa). However, with a rematch of last season's Final on tap for Villa, the award is far from secure. A. Brouc (Fiorentina) and A. Isaksson (PSV Eindhoven) each have 2 clean sheets.
     
  6. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    Quarterfinals Preview

    Some surprises from the Round of 16... Last year, 7 of the 8 group winners beat the runner-ups (with the only upset being FC Schalke downing Spartak Moscow). This year, after 7 matches played, it's actually the runner-ups with the 4-3 lead. Serie A still dominates the number of teams remaining (5/8), but even Serie C is still alive with 2 of their own. So now... PREVIEW TIME!!!!

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    Zikry (7th in Serie A, 4-2-4; Cup Results: W 5-0 vs. Flamengo (Genoa), W 2-0 vs. Wolverhampton, W 4-0 vs. Celtic, W 3-0 vs. Werder Bremen)
    mustang20241 (6th in Serie A, 4-3-3; Cup Results: W 4-1 vs. Stoke City, W 1-0 vs. VfB Stuttgart, W 2-0 vs. Fulham, W 3-1 vs. Olympiakos)
    Something appears to be in the air once again at Villa Park, as cup-king Aston Villa knocked off defending Coppa champion Werder Bremen with ease in the Round of 16. The club has also begun to turn the tide in Serie play recently, and all indications are that the Villains may be on track for yet another Cup run. But in their way now is Corinthians. Corinthians actually sits above Aston Villa in Serie A, and both clubs have identical GF/GA (14 to 15) after 10 games played (...slackers!). In league play, the two sides had their first match postponed and their second just opened up this week. Now with 3 games on tap between the two of them, this game could boil down to whoever is able to adapt to the other's gameplay the best. Yet after some grinding games, I'll be expecting Corinthians to say that the Villains are who they thought they were, but they let them off the hook. Just don't crown them yet though.
    Prediction: Aston Villa 3-1

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    vipermansa (2nd in Serie C, 11-0-3; Cup Results: L 1-3 vs. Spartak Moscow, W 4-3 vs. Newcastle, W 3-1 vs. Galatasaray, W 2-1 vs. Blackburn)
    Yak61 (6th in Serie C, 6-0-6; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Palermo, D 1-1 vs. PSV Eindhoven, D 1-1 vs. SC Braga, W 3-2 vs. Rubin Kazan)
    Perhaps the most interesting match of the round is between the two remaining Serie C sides. Montpellier showed they deserve respect following a win over Serie A side Blackburn, but Derby County turned in the shocker last round. After Rubin Kazan had torn through Serie B to start the year, as well securing 9 points in the group stage, the Russians were a virtual lock to advance. Instead, the club from the Championship is now a step closer to a championship of their own. But before we get too wrapped up in the Cindarella story, let's not forget Montpellier's dominance in Serie C. The club may be in the bottom Serie league now, but the Frenchies are already knocking on Serie A's door. The club continues to attack at ease, and that fact is evident when you see these clubs results against one another this season- Montpellier 5-2 and Montpellier 6-2. I'm not expecting this one to get to 7-2, but I can't imagine a collapse from the French side either.
    Prediction: Montpellier 5-3

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    CxMacx10 (1st in Serie B, 9-3-1; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. Celtic, L 0-2 vs. Aston Villa, W 2-0 vs. Genoa, W 1-0 vs. Fiorentina)
    HokieNYC (T-9th in Serie A, 2-5-4; Cup Results: W 5-0 vs. Bolton, D 4-4 vs. Olympiakos, W 4-1 vs. A. Makhachkala, W 2-1 vs. Fulham)
    Both sides have had cup runs in the past, but only one can continue on this time. After the Wolves managed to get into the knockout round based on GD, the club needed a 90th minute thriller to knock out Fiorentina. Yet despite looking shaky in the Coppa, the club continues to thrive in Serie B. However, in order to get by Everton, Wolves GK Wayne Hennessey may need another clean sheet. Despite scoring at will in the Coppa, Everton still looks hungry for more goals. Tim Cahill has played well thus far, but Royston Drenthe has been the impact player of the tourney to this point. With 4 goals and a Coppa-leading 5 assists, Drenthe's performance has carried Everton's impressive play. Don't be surprised if the Wolverhampton defense is able to keep Drenthe & co. at bay, but a couple mishaps may be too much to overcome against a Serie A defense.
    Prediction: Everton 2-1

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    juanchoCT14 (4th in Serie A, 6-4-2; Cup Results: L 0-2 vs. Blackburn, W 6-0 vs. Athletic Club, D 0-0 vs. FC Koln, W 3-0 F vs. Spartak Moscow)
    IJGator (T-6th in Serie A, 4-3-6; Cup Results: D 2-2 vs. Parma, L 1-2 vs. Rubin Kazan, W 4-1 vs. Hamburger SV, W 2-1 vs. PSV Eindhoven)
    With just one win, Sao Paulo has backed their way into the quarterfinals. The Brazilian side went 1-1-1 in group play before following that up with a forfeit advance. However, despite Coppa struggles, the club has been thriving recently in Serie A play. Sao Paulo currently sits in 4th place, but the club's points per match is currently 1.83, second in Serie A. Ajax took down Dutch rival PSV in the Round of 16, and despite a losing record in Serie A, they always seem to be a nuisance to more overpowering sides. Unfortunately for Ajax, they are averaging less than a goal a game in Serie A. In order to defeat Sao Paulo, Ajax will need to score early and often. In the club's lone league match, Sao Paulo took a 2-1 victory. With a trip to the semis on the line, Sao Paulo should be donning their recent top form in this one.
    Prediction: Sao Paulo 2-0
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  7. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    Pre-Quarterfinals Awards Watch

    Golden Boot: On top, Welliton (Spartak Moscow) still has a comfortable lead in the Golden Boot race, as his 8 goals is still 2 more than anyone else. R. Djebbour (Olympiakos) has 6, but now that his club has been eliminated, he can only manage to win silver or bronze. But pushing strong toward the top is D. Bent (Aston Villa). Bent scored twice in the Round of 16, and now with 6 in the Coppa, sits in prime position to grab the award away from Welliton. Bent and Welliton are the only two main competitors left, as G. Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Liedson (Corinthians), T. Cahill (Everton), R. Drenthe (Everton), and J. Utaka (Montpellier) are back a ways with 4 goals each.

    Golden Creator: With an assist in the Round of 16, R. Drenthe (Everton) now leads this race with 5 assists to his name. D. Bent (Aston Villa) is second here as well, as he claims 4 assists so far. L. Osman (Everton) and L. Saha (Everton) each have 3, and it is beginning to look as if manager HokieNYC is living a double life as Everton guru by day and Suns guard Steve Nash by night. Don't count out A. McGeady (Spartak Moscow) either, who also has 3 assists.

    Golden Glove: S. Given (Aston Villa) has all but locked up the Golden Glove award. With 4 clean sheets in 4 games, a brick wall might as well be built in front of the net at Villa Park. The race for the Silver Glove is alive and well though, with W. Hennessey (Wolverhampton) and 3 other goalkeepers, each who have already been eliminated, sporting 2 clean sheets apiece.
     
  8. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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  9. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

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    Semifinals Preview

    Look familiar? 3 of the 4 teams in the this season's semifinals were here last year. Unfortunately the lone outsider is writing this preview :(. But among the 3 regulars is a Serie C startup looking to spoil the fun. Who's got the edge this time around? Let's find out...

    [​IMG] ASTON VILLA

    MONTPELLIER [​IMG]

    Zikry ~ Aston Villa
    T-4th in Serie A, 8-4-8
    Cup Results (Group): W 5-0 vs. Flamengo (Genoa), W 2-0 vs. Wolverhampton, W 4-0 vs. Celtic
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 3-0 vs. Werder Bremen, W 3-1 vs. Corinthians

    vipermansa ~ Montpellier
    1st in Serie C, 13-0-3
    Cup Results (Group): L 1-3 vs. Spartak Moscow, W 4-3 vs. Newcastle, W 3-1 vs. Galatasaray
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 2-1 vs. Blackburn, W 6-1 vs. Derby County

    It has been no secret that Aston Villa simply does not look the same this season. Until now that is. After spending much of the season buried deep in the Serie A table, a string of wins has vaulted the club up into a tie for 4th place. And while they may have been playing below par in Serie A, the "Cup King" has been thrashing teams thus far in the Coppa. In the group stage, Aston tore apart Group A without surrendering a goal and defeating fellow semifinalist Wolverhampton 2-0. Then in the knockout stage, Villa threw aside defending Coppa champ Werder Bremen and threw Serie A side Corinthians to the curb. Last season's Serie A MVP Darren Bent has continued to carry Aston Villa this season, scoring 17 goals in Serie A so far with another 7 in the Coppa. Villa may need to score early and often to keep pace in this match, but then again, Shay Given has been a one-man wrecking crew in defending the net recently. After winning the Coppa's Golden Glove a season ago, Given appears to be on pace to double his collection. Given will need to be in top form though, as Montpellier has been walking all over Serie C. The first-place club is averaging just under 4 goals per game in league play. John Utaka and Souleymane Camara have been no match for their foes, but that may no longer be the case in this match. But while Montpellier may be able to score at will, the club's defense will be the determinant to the game's result. Despite playing weak opposition, GK Geoffrey Jourdren has only 4 clean sheets in 16 league matches, well behind the pace of other promotion-ready Serie C clubs. Put Jourdren on the pitch against Darren Bent and friends, and Villa's offense may strike 4 goals themselves! This game has the potential to go just about any direction and could easily be 5-4 or 1-0.

    Difference Maker: [​IMG]
    CB Mapou Yanga-M'Biwa, Montpellier. The 22-year old will need to protect GK Geoffrey Jourdren at all costs. The Montpellier defense has been relatively sheltered in facing Serie C foes this season and will be up against a potent offense this time around. Yanga-M'Biwa leads the backline for the French club, and while the other three defenders aren't bad either, the young center-back will be looked to for a strong showing.

    Prediction: Aston Villa looks hungry to get back to the Final, and I don't think anyone will stop them.
    Aston Villa 4-2


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    WOLVERHAMPTON [​IMG]

    [​IMG] SAO PAULO

    CxMacx10 ~ Wolverhampton
    2nd in Serie B, 9-3-1
    Cup Results (Group): D 1-1 vs. Celtic, L 0-2 vs. Aston Villa, W 2-0 vs. Genoa
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 1-0 vs. Fiorentina, W 1-1 (4-2 PEN) vs. Everton

    juanchoCT14 ~ Sao Paulo
    T-4th in Serie A, 8-4-2
    Cup Results (Group): L 0-2 vs. Blackburn, W 6-0 vs. Athletic Club, D 0-0 vs. FC Koln
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 3-0 F vs. Spartak Moscow, W 3-0 vs. Ajax

    In this match, we have a tale of two semifinalists who both dropped out of last season's Coppa in this very round. Wolverhampton is having another great season down in Serie B, but will the club ever live up to its potential and earn a promotion or win silverware? The Wolves fell 3-1 last year to Werder Bremen with a trip to the Final on the line, and the club will be looking to make amends on a missed opportunity. However, just to get to this round, they have had some close encounters. Finishing in second in Group A behind Aston Villa, Wolverhampton advanced only because the club had 1 higher GD than third-place Celtic. Then in the knockout stage, the club slid past Fiorentina 1-0 before downing Everton in a penalty shootout. Wolverhampton only have 5 goals in 5 Coppa matches, but on the other hand, they've only allowed 4. Similarly, they have carried themselves with strong D in league play, allowing just 0.85 goals per game. But who better to put a ***** in the armor (edited by your friends at ESPN) than the club avergaing the second most goals per game in Serie A (2.07)? Luis Fabiano's best friend appears to be the back of the net these days, as the Brazilian star has an amazing 23 goals in 18 matches in this season across all competition. Luis Fabiano will be needed again in this one as the Brazilian club looks to avenge the 1-0 own-goal heartbreaker in last season's semifinal to Aston Villa. But don't forget the impact that Rogerio Ceni's strong play has had in the Coppa thus far. While all the goalie talk tends to surround Aston Villa's Shay Given, Rogerio Ceni has creeped up the stat sheet with 3 clean sheets of his own in the Coppa. With only 2 goals allowed, perhaps the only thing that will get past him is another own goal.

    Difference Maker: [​IMG]
    CAM Lucas, Sao Paulo. The young Brazilian's playmaking ability has already earned him 10 international caps by age 19. Lucas leads Serie A with 9 assists and will need to again provide for the club's forwards in order to break apart the Wolverhampton defense. Look for the speedster to do more than simply impress the scouts in this one.

    Prediction: Wolverhampton may be tough to break down, but the club still has its weaknesses. With Sao Paulo impressing in Serie A, it would be hard to go against them.
    Sao Paulo 1-0
     
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  10. Zikry

    Zikry Walk On

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
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    I have NO idea why I don't perform as well in the league as I do in the cup competition. Oh well, hopefully I can make it 4/4 in getting to the Final but Montpellier have been ripping up opponents so far! Should be a good one.
     
  11. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,819
    Now that the Coppa Tradizione has come to a close, time to dish out some awards!

    Golden Boot: D. Bent, 9 goals (Aston Villa) Zikry *NEW COPPA RECORD*
    Silver Boot: Welliton, 8 goals (Spartak Moscow) shiftee
    Bronze Boot: S. Camara, 7 goals (Montpellier) vipermansa

    Golden Creator: D. Bent, 6 assists (Aston Villa) Zikry *NEW COPPA RECORD*
    Silver Creator: R. Drenthe, 5 assists (Everton) HokieNYC
    Bronze Creator: G. Agbonlahor, 5 assists (Aston Villa) Zikry

    Golden Glove: S. Given, 4 clean sheets (Aston Villa) Zikry
    Silver Glove: Rogerio Ceni, 3 clean sheets (Sao Paulo) juanchoCT14
    Bronze Glove: A. Boruc, 2 clean sheets (Fiorentina) hokie79
    Bronze Glove: A. Isaksson, 2 clean sheets (PSV Eindhoven) RedAL925

    Most Proactive User: hokie79 (Fiorentina)

    A sweep for Aston Villa! And two Bronze Gloves were awarded since the two GKs could not be broken up by tiebreakers. Congrats to all the award winners.
     
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