Archived (S6) Coppa Previews

Discussion in 'TSL Cup' started by Broncos218, Jun 29, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,819
    [​IMG]
    Group Stage Roundup

    The group stage of this season's Coppa Tradizione has come to a close. Here's how things turned out:
    [​IMG]

    First, let's do a Serie-by-Serie breakdown to see how each league performed:

    Serie A: 6 in first, 1 in second, 3 in third, 1 in fourth
    Serie B: 2 in first, 5 in second, 1 in third, 2 in fourth (Inside Serie B recap from heznfire can be found here)
    Serie C: 0 in first, 2 in second, 4 in third, 4 in fourth

    Serie A vs. Serie B: 6-2-5
    Serie A vs. Serie C: 9-3-1
    Serie B vs. Serie C: 7-2-3

    Serie B played outstanding, matching Serie A with 7 teams advancing and nearly downing the top-tier league head-to-head. The gap between the two Serie leagues appeared to be closing last year, and now Serie B is on the verge of outperforming Serie A in a future Coppa. Serie C lagged behind in third, but managed to send 2 teams through. Groups B, D, and the shorthanded H finished in A-B-C order.

    Key Takeaways
    1) The vaunted "Group of Death," otherwise known as Group A, lived up to its hype. The two Serie A clubs finished in third and fourth, while former Serie A vet kaptainkracker1 and Dinamo Moscow took the group with 3 hard-earned wins.
    2) The Moscow Machine, aka shiftee and CSKA Moscow, continued their group stage dominance. shiftee is the only manager to have won his group each season, and did so with authority in scoring 12 goals. He is now 12-0-0 in group play in 4 Coppa seasons, yet has never made it to the Quarterfinals.
    3) hokie79 is still the little brother to HokieNYC. Despite both finishing with 6 points, and Fulham even upsetting Sunderland, it was Fulham who finished third and Sunderland in first. Looks like hokie79 will have to put this shirt back on.
    4) kaptainkracker1 wasn't the only former Serie A veteran to win his group. snake3249 lead Sao Paulo to the top of Group F with 3 victories. The Brazilian club's 10 goals was second-most in the group stage, with Luis Fabiano leading all players with 6 goals.
    5) Despite getting placed into the "Group of Life" in Group G, Broncos218 and Werder Bremen didn't get by easy. The slumping club had two 1-goal wins and a draw to win the group, while redwings8831 and LA Galaxy had their hopes dashed in a final day thrashing against Santos FC and Roger.
    6) With 4 Serie A teams failing to advance, the top league matches their high from the Season 3 Coppa. And with 7 teams advancing from Serie B, the mid-level league shattered their previous high of just 4 from a season ago.
    7) Thankfully, with Friz and Spartak Moscow being forced to miss the knockout stage and therefore this season's Coppa entirely, the rest of us only have to deal with 2 remaining Moscow clubs. Exactly what kind of training are you guys putting your players through up there?

    Lady Byng Trophy
    In hockey, the Lady Byng trophy is given to the player who shows the best sportsmanship. When hokie79 laid down after going up 4 against danwin and Athletic Club on the final matchday, hokie79 stuck to his sportsmanship ideals rather than attempting to score once more. Despite the relaxed rules regarding scorelines in the Coppa, Fulham was so set on only winning by 4 that it cost the club a trip to the knockout stage. So as compensation, Fulham will have to have to settle for the Lady Byng Trophy.

    Biggest Matchday 3 Group-Changers
    Stade Rennes 2-0 PSV Eindhoven
    With Serie C's Stade Rennes and Isaac Oyer facing off against RedAL925, a PSV Eindhoven win was expected and would have led the Serie A side to the next stage. But wait, it's the Group of Death! No result comes easy, and Stade Rennes proved their worth in this match. Goals in the 70th and 80th minutes was all Stade Rennes needed, as the French club finished in second with 4 points, 1 ahead of PSV Eindhoven.

    B. M'gladbach 3-0 TSG Hoffenheim
    In the shortened Group H, a Matchday 1 draw between B. M'gladbach and Bologna meant rschwep and @BigSmooth would have their fate in the group determined by goal differential, assuming they each would win their second match. With both clubs wanting to face the Group G runner-up, the 3 goals from B. M'gladbach in the final matchday was one more than Bologna could manage against newcomer LAC27 and TSG Hoffenheim.

    Everton 2-0 VfB Stuttgart
    Entering the match, Everton and Geneseo98 had 3 points, while Frenchie1916 and VfB Stuttgart had 2. The German club needed a victory, but a goal in the 7th minute for Everton set the tone early on. VfB Stuttgart were unable to recover, and now find themselves with more time for golf.



    That's it for this season's Coppa group stage roundup. Be on the lookout for the Round of 16 preview, which will be released closer to the round's opening date (July 11th).
     
    • Like Like x 12
  2. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,819
    [​IMG]
    Awards Watch

    With the group stage complete, time for the 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 per game 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 begin, here's where we stand following the group stage:


    Pre-Round of 16 Awards Watch

    Golden Boot: In past seasons, we have often seen players from a number of Moscow teams topping the Golden Boot race early on. But this year, it's Luis Fabiano (Sao Paulo) leading the way with 6 goals. But don't look too far down to find some of CSKA's players. In second place with 5 goals is S. Doumbia (CSKA Moscow), while K. Honda (CSKA Moscow) is tied for third with 4 goals. Three other players alive for the Golden Boot have 4 goals, namely S. Giovinco (Parma), Lima (SC Braga), and S. Sessegnon (Sunderland). 6 players alive for the award currently have 3 goals.

    Golden Creator: We gotta have someone from Moscow leading a category somewhere, right? With 4 assists, K. Honda (CSKA Moscow) leads all players. Teammate S. Doumbia (CSKA Moscow), has 3, as the two forwards tore apart Group D. Down south, a trio of Brazilians have been creating goals left and right, as Ronaldinho (Flamengo), Ganso (Santos FC), and Fernandinho (Sao Paulo) all have 3 assists. Two others also have three assists- A. Samedov (Dinamo Moscow) and F. Campbell (Sunderland).

    Golden Glove: The Golden Glove race was pretty uneventful last season. Only two keepers even had multiple clean sheets. But this year, we already have 3 goalies with 2 clean sheets. M. Schwarzer (Fulham) is one of those three, but cannot win the award since his team failed to advance. That leaves us with T. Howard (Everton) and T. Wiese (Werder Bremen) leading the clean sheet category with 2. Both goalies have shown weaknesses though, as Howard allowed 4 goals against Ajax, and Wiese let 2 pass by against LA Galaxy. Numerous other keepers have 1 clean sheet, and if any of them can secure another in the Round of 16, they could take over the Golden Glove race.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,819
    [​IMG]
    Round of 16 Preview

    PREVIEW, PREVIEW, PREVIEW, PREVIEW, PREVIEW!!!!!!!!!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    kaptainkracker1 (T-1st in Serie B, 7-1-2; Cup Results: W 2-1 vs. Stade Rennes, W 1-0 vs. PSV Eindhoven, W 4-2 vs. Montpellier)
    IJGator (12th in Serie A, 0-2-9; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. Flamengo, W 3-2 vs. Rubin Kazan, L 1-2 vs. VfL Wolfsburg)
    Dinamo Moscow sits tied for Serie B lead and ripped apart the Group of Death with 3 consecutive wins. And don't expect the club's hot streak anytime soon. The club has shown fine form with its balanced play. On the other side, we have Corinthians. The Brazilian club earn promotion back to Serie A this season, but failed to register a win in the first half of the season. While Corinthians did grab a victory in Coppa group play against Rubin Kazan, it's tough to see them righting the ship against a loaded Moscow team.
    Prediction: Dinamo Moscow 3-0

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Zikry (2nd in Serie A, 7-3-1; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. VfB Stuttgart, W 4-1 vs. Everton, W 1-0 vs. Olympiakos)
    UcanHateMeNow (8th in Serie B, 3-0-7; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. Cagliari, W 3-1 vs. Palermo, L 2-3 vs. CSKA Moscow)
    Match already played.
    Ajax 2-0 SC Braga

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    HokieNYC (6th in Serie A, 4-4-3; Cup Results: L 0-1 vs. Fulham, W 3-0 vs. Athletic Club, W 3-1 vs. Parma)
    BESHIKTAS (4th in Serie B, 5-0-5; Cup Results: L 1-5 vs. Sao Paulo, W 4-0 vs. West Ham, D 1-1 vs. Stoke City)
    Sunderland has put in a solid first half of a season in Serie A. The club has been holding opponents to just one goal per game. In the group stage, Sunderland had a small slip-up against rival Fulham, but secured comfortable wins in the other two matches to move on. QPR will look to surprise Sunderland in this all-English battle, as they have turned around from a poor start to the season. Once concerned about the relegation battle and getting demolished against Sao Paulo in the group stage, QPR went back to the drawing board to get back on track. Sunderland will be favored to win, but QPR will come out focused and determined for more.
    Prediction: QPR 1-0

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Broncos218 (10th Serie A, 2-2-7; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Santos FC, D 2-2 vs. LA Galaxy, W 1-0 vs. Aston Villa)
    BigSmooth33 (7th in Serie B, 2-5-3; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. B. M'gladbach, W 2-0 vs. TSG Hoffenheim)
    Match already played.
    Werder Bremen 4-0 Bologna

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    CxMacx10 (4th in Serie A, 6-3-2; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. Corinthians, W 3-1 vs. VfL Wolfsburg, W 4-1 vs. Rubin Kazan)
    Isaac Oyer (T-4th in Serie C, 4-3-3; Cup Results: L 1-2 vs. Dinamo Moscow, D 3-3 vs. Montpellier, W 2-0 vs. PSV Eindhoven)
    Flamengo is on the rise and starting to hit on all cylinders. The club is shooting up the Serie A table and looks poised for yet another Coppa run. The club has loads of talent up front, but its the defense that manager Mac will be watching closely. Stade Rennes surprised us all by advancing out of the Group of Death over two Serie A squads, but it appears as if the club's beginner's luck is starting to run dry. The club sits 5 points back from a promotion spot in Serie C despite its strong defense. Unfortunately, that may not even hold up in this matchup.
    Prediction: Flamengo 4-0

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    shiftee (5th in Serie A, 6-2-3; Cup Results: W 5-0 vs. Palermo, W 4-1 vs. Cagliari, W 3-2 vs. SC Braga)
    Geneseo98 (7th in Serie C, 3-2-5; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Olympiakos, L 1-4 vs. Ajax, W 2-0 vs. VfB Stuttgart)
    Match already played.
    CSKA Moscow 5-1 Everton

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    snake3249 (3rd in Serie B, 5-2-3; Cup Results: W 5-1 vs. QPR, W 2-0 vs. Stoke City, W 3-1 vs. West Brom)
    heznfire (1st in Serie B, 6-4-0; Cup Results: W 2-1 vs. Athletic Club, W 3-0 vs. Fulham, L 1-3 vs. Sunderland)
    Perhaps the most intriguing matchup is this one. With both teams currently sitting in promotion spots in Serie B, neither side expects to lose. Sao Paulo was one of the standout clubs of the group stage, earning 9 points behind Luis Fabiano's Coppa high 6 goals. Meanwhile, Parma earned second place in their own group, only losing out on the top spot due to goal differential. Sao Paulo has the Serie A experience and that big-match readiness may be helpful here. But in two matches this season, the clubs drew 1-1 and 2-2. 90 minutes may not be enough to separate these two, but someone's gotta come out on top.
    Prediction: Sao Paulo 2-1

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    rschwep (7th in Serie A, 4-3-4; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. Bologna, W 3-0 vs. TSG Hoffenheim)
    Roger (T-9th in Serie B, 1-4-5; Cup Results: L 0-1 vs. Werder Bremen, D 2-2 vs. Aston Villa, W 4-0 vs. LA Galaxy)
    Borussia Monchengladbach may not be quite as successful as FC Koln was a season ago, but they should not be taken lightly either. Their manager has been successful season after season, and they are now set up to not face a Serie A team in the Coppa until at least the semifinals. The pressure to string together some wins is on and a positive result here is necessary for the season to be considered a success. But don't forget that guy they call Neymar. Santos is managed by a Serie vet who doesn't go down easy. Despite a poor season in Serie B that includes just 1 win, the club has still shown its potential- such as the 4-0 drubbing over the Galaxy to advance to this stage. This one will be closer than you think.
    Prediction: B. M'gladbach 1-0
     
    • Like Like x 10
  4. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,819
    Pre-Quarterfinals Awards Watch

    Golden Boot: Luis Fabiano (Sao Paulo) remains atop the Golden Boot race with 7 goals, but he now has company at the top. S. Doumbia (CSKA Moscow) notched a brace in the Round of 16 to up his total to 7 as well. K. Honda (CSKA Moscow) also had a brace of his own, putting his total at 6 goals. With only a few games left in the Coppa, these three goal scorers appear poised to take the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Boot awards. 9 players have 4 goals, 4 of which remain alive in the tournament. But unless one of the four can come out with a huge day in the Quarterfinals, the top three may only distance themselves more.

    Golden Creator: After sitting all alone with 4 assists last week, K. Honda (CSKA Moscow) was sitting pretty atop the assists leaderboard. But after some other playmakers assisted some more goals, we now have a 4-way tie at the top. Honda's teammate S. Doumbia (CSKA Moscow) is one of the other three players with 4 assists, with A. Samedov (Dinamo Moscow) and F. Campbell (Sunderland) being the other two. However, 6 players still active have 3 assists, making this category a complete toss up at the moment. This round of matches could allow for someone to break away from the pack.

    Golden Glove: With a clean sheet in the Round of 16, T. Wiese (Werder Bremen) leads the way with 3 clean sheets. 5 goalies have 2 clean sheets, with 3 of those still active in the Coppa- K. Vermeer (Ajax), A. Shunin (Dinamo Moscow), and Rogerio Ceni (Sao Paulo). In total, there were 4 clean sheets in the Round of 16, all by the 4 keepers previously mentioned. Vermeer and Shunin will be facing off against each other in the Quarterfinals in what could be an intense defensive battle.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,819
    [​IMG]
    Quarterfinals Preview

    The long awaited quarterfinals preview is finally here! 4 of you won't like it tho...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    kaptainkracker1 (1st in Serie B, 8-3-2; Cup Results: W 2-1 vs. Stade Rennes, W 1-0 vs. PSV Eindhoven, W 4-2 vs. Montpellier, W 2-0 vs. Corinthians)
    Zikry (2nd in Serie A, 10-3-2; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. VfB Stuttgart, W 4-1 vs. Everton, W 1-0 vs. Olympiakos, W 2-0 vs. SC Braga)
    In one of the most intriguing matchups of the round, we have on-fire and 2nd place in Serie A Ajax up against Serie A vet and current Serie B leader Dinamo Moscow. Dinamo survived the Group of Death, while the "Coppa King" in Ajax is never an easy defeat. But if Ajax is to go down, Dinamo Moscow is the team with the experience and talent needed to topple the Dutch side. Voronin and Kuranyi lead the Dinamo attack, with the two strikers combing to create a potent attack. As for Ajax, Lukoki gives the club light speed on the edge to help set up de Jong for deadly shots. But in this match, offense is not the focal point. Instead, both clubs are defined by their defense. Dinamo has allowed a Serie B-low 9 goals, and Ajax a Serie A-low of 8 goals. With both teams allowing less than 0.7 goals per game, a single goal in this match will change the match significantly. Vermeer, Ajax's GK, will need to be in top form in net, as well as Dinamo's GK Shunin. This will be a tough one to split, but I'm not removing the crown just yet.
    Prediction: Ajax 2-0

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    BESHIKTAS (4th in Serie B, 7-0-7; Cup Results: L 1-5 vs. Sao Paulo, W 4-0 vs. West Ham, D 1-1 vs. Stoke City, W 3-1 vs. Sunderland)
    Broncos218 (T-9th Serie A, 4-2-8; Cup Results: W 1-0 vs. Santos FC, D 2-2 vs. LA Galaxy, W 1-0 vs. Aston Villa, W 4-0 Bologna)
    When QPR won the Round of 16, Werder Bremen could not have been luckier. QPR was not only the lone group runner-up to win last round, but Werder Bremen certainly did not want any part of Sunderland. Coach Bronc has yet to defeat HokieNYC in 7 Serie matches, while BESHIKTAS has yet to take down Bronc in 2 previous Coppa matches or in 20+ friendlies between the two sides. And don't forget last season's meeting in the Quarterfinals between the two, where Bremen won 5-1. So will this finally be the breakthrough moment for QPR? QPR's Jekyll & Hyde season has them at 7-0-7, showing they can equally dangerous and disappointing. QPR certainly will be looking for top form in this match, as anything less could leave them wishing for more. D. Cisse has led the team in scoring in both Serie B and the Coppa, while Zamora and Taarabt also provide valuable attacking options. GK Kenny is third in Serie B in clean sheets, and will need another standout performance here. But while QPR may be the underdog, Werder Bremen hasn't exactly been dominant either. The club looked to turn the corner with a pair of 4-0 wins against Bologna and Stoke City, but again appear lost after a long layoff. Marko Arnautovic originally looked brilliant up top alongside Pizarro, but is that change enough to boost Bremen back to the top? Perhaps for this round.
    Prediction: Werder Bremen 2-1

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    CxMacx10 (4th in Serie A, 9-3-4; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. Corinthians, W 3-1 vs. VfL Wolfsburg, W 4-1 vs. Rubin Kazan, W 4-1 vs. Stade Rennes)
    shiftee (5th in Serie A, 8-2-4; Cup Results: W 5-0 vs. Palermo, W 4-1 vs. Cagliari, W 3-2 vs. SC Braga, W 5-1 vs. Everton)
    Two quality Serie A sides will be facing off in this match, although the two have had quite drastic Coppa results in the past. Flamengo has reached the semifinals every season of the Coppa Tradizione, while CSKA Moscow will be playing in their first ever Quarterfinals. In Serie A this season, Flamengo tops CSKA by just 4 points, although CSKA has 2 games in hand, leaving the gap in points per game between the two clubs at a miniscule 0.02. Perhaps the main difference between the two this season is their style of play. Flamengo has some talent in attack, most notably Ronaldinho. But the Brazilian club focuses more on the defensive side of the game, allowing less than 1 goal per game. The club may not be loaded with talent in the back, but with the coach's focus remaining on that aspect of the game, GK Felipe will need his defense in full form since stopping Doumbia and Honda is no easy task. The two attackers are in the top 3 scoring in both Serie A and the Coppa. They also complement each other well, as both are tied for the Coppa lead in assists. But with CSKA focused on the attack, will GK Akinfeev be able to handle breakdowns in his club's defensive line? Neither club will be satisfied with merely a trip to the Quarterfinals, which may lead to a scrappy, intense finish should the game remain close at the end. And that might just well be the case, as the two split the season series in Serie A, each winning a match 2-1.
    Prediction: Flamengo 2-1

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    snake3249 (3rd in Serie B, 7-2-4; Cup Results: W 5-1 vs. QPR, W 2-0 vs. Stoke City, W 3-1 vs. West Brom, W 2-0 vs. Parma)
    rschwep (6th in Serie A, 6-5-6; Cup Results: D 1-1 vs. Bologna, W 3-0 vs. TSG Hoffenheim, W 5-3 vs. Santos FC)
    If there's one team who has quietly been dominating this season's Coppa, it'd be Sao Paulo. The Serie B club swept its group and shutout Parma in the Round of 16. Luis Fabiano is tied for the Coppa lead in goals and Rogerio Ceni has stifled opposing strikers. In 4 games thus far in the Coppa, Sao Paulo has a +10 GD and has won every game by at least 2 goals. But the club isn't invincible, as they are barely clinging on to the final promotion spot in Serie B. And despite all their Coppa prowess thus far, the club has yet to face a side like Borussia Monchengladbach. The German club has had a steady Serie A season and took first in the shortened Group H. They needed extra time to down Santos FC, but ultimately came away with 5 goals in the win. I. de Camargo will be the main attacker that Sao Paulo will need to focus on, although stifling Marco Reus may be just as effective. Sao Paulo will likely need more than just Luis Fabiano to win this one, as Fernandinho or Lucas will need to come up big. However, it may simply just not be enough in this match.
    Prediction: B. M'gladbach 3-2


    Now get these games in! Only a few days left
     
    • Like Like x 4
  6. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,819
    Pre-Semifinals Awards Watch

    Final edition of this season's Award Watch:

    Golden Boot: Luis Fabiano (Sao Paulo) scored twice on PK's to advance his club by a score of 2-0 in the Quarterfinals. So with that, his total is now at 9 and the Golden Boot is virtually his already. The tandem of S. Doumbia (CSKA Moscow) and K. Honda (CSKA Moscow) each have 7 goals, but the Russian club has now been eliminated from the Coppa. The two attackers are also tied in assists, which leaves them tied for the Silver Boot. Ronaldinho (Flamengo) and Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen) each found the net in the previous round, giving them both 5 goals. A few goals in the final two stages may earn them some silverware, but it won't be easy.

    Golden Creator: Currently, 5 players sit atop the leaderboard with 4 assists each. But when bringing tiebreakers into the situation, F. Campbell (Sunderland) would currently be the Golden Creator award winner. Behind him, S. Doumbia (CSKA Moscow) and K. Honda (CSKA Moscow) would split the Silver Creator award, much like the Silver Boot. This leaves A. Samedov (Dinamo Moscow) on the outside looking in despite his 4 assists. As for the 5th player with 4 assists? That'd be none other than speed demon J. Lukoki (Ajax). Lukoki, after his next match, would be last in the 5-man tiebreaker. But with 1-2 games left for his club, another assist could launch him to the top of the assist leaderboard and into pole position for the Golden Creator award. It really will be all or nothing for Lukoki.

    Golden Glove: Another clean sheet for T. Wiese (Werder Bremen) ups his total to 4 in 5 matches. Wiese has allowed just 2 goals thus far. But also with only 2 goals allowed, but only 3 clean sheets, is Rogerio Ceni (Sao Paulo). However, with the competiton becoming more difficult, it may be a tough task for Rogerio Ceni to match Wiese'e 4th clean sheet. K. Vermeer (Ajax) would currently take the Bronze Glove award with 2 clean sheets, as he leads the 3-man tiebreaker for those with 2 clean sheets. However, his performance in the final few rounds could bump him up or out of the award race. Should Vermeer fall out, A. Shunin (Dinamo Moscow) would likely take his place for the Bronze Glove.
     
  7. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,819
    [​IMG]
    Semifinals Preview

    Once again, the semifinals have a familiar look. CxMacx10 is playing in his 4th consecutive Coppa semifinal, while this will mark the 3rd time for both Zikry and Broncos218, the only previous Coppa champions. snake3249 is the newcomer to the quartet, but with juanchoCT14 having led Sao Paulo to two previous Coppa semis, it's no surprise to see the Brazilian team back here under a new manager. But at the end of the day, 2 clubs are going to have to go home disappointed. Who will prevail? Let's figure this out...

    [​IMG] AJAX

    WERDER BREMEN [​IMG]

    Zikry ~ Ajax
    2nd in Serie A, 13-4-3
    Cup Results (Group): D 1-1 vs. VfB Stuttgart, W 4-1 vs. Everton, W 1-0 vs. Olympiakos
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 2-0 vs. SC Braga, W 2-1 vs. Dinamo Moscow

    Broncos218 ~ Werder Bremen
    9th in Serie A, 5-4-11
    Cup Results (Group): W 1-0 vs. Santos FC, D 2-2 vs. LA Galaxy, W 1-0 vs. Aston Villa
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 4-0 vs. Bologna, W 4-0 vs. QPR

    In a battle of old foes, Zikry will host Broncos218 in the first semifinal. The two managers have met twice before in the Coppa, with Zikry knocking out Bronc in the Round of 16 back in Season 4, and Bronc getting the upper hand in the Season 3 Final. And with the two being the lone managers to take the Coppa crown, both know what's at stake here in the Semfinals. Despite their past history, Ajax comes into this match as the clear favorite. After finishing out the Serie A season with some wins, the Ducth club now holds a 1-point lead over Spartak Moscow. Perhaps a move from Aston Villa to Ajax was all manager Zikry needed. Season 5 was the first time he hadn't reached a cup final, but now he looks stronger than ever at the helm of Ajax. Jody Lukoki has been the sparkplug for Ajax, leading the club in both goals and assists in the Coppa. His speed down the right side is rare, and Ajax has been taking advantage of all opposition with it. Add in de Jong, Sulejmani, and Eriksen, and suddenly Ajax looks impossible to stop. But despite their potent offense, Ajax is holding Serie A opponents to just 0.70 goals a game, creating a juggernaut of a team. That may be too tough to overcome for a downtrodden Bremen side. After dazzling the league with 19 goals last season, Claudio Pizarro has been a shadow of his former self this season. Manager Bronc added Arnautovic to the lineup to pair alongside Pizarro, but the change hasn't been enough to get Bremen back to its trophy-winning form. Goals have been hard to come by for the German club, as they only average 0.95 goals per game in Serie A this season. But don't discount their two 4-0 victories in the knockout stage either. The Werder Bremen of old may make a return appearance this game, but is it too little too late? Ajax did win both season matchups between the two sides, and did so without even allowing a goal (1-0, 3-0). But with the focus squarely on this match, will they crumble under pressure or embrace the spotlight once more?

    Difference Maker: [​IMG]
    LB Lukas Schmitz, Werder Bremen. With Ajax constantly hungry for goals, right-winger Jody Lukoki often is tasked with with starting and finishing the attack. Schmitz must be in position to at least slow down Lukoki while other defenders will need to protect the passing lanes. Should Schmitz venture too far up at times, a quick counter-attack could spell disaster for Werder Bremen.

    Prediction: Ajax is simply too hot and on a roll for yet another Coppa Final appearance. Even at top form, Werder Bremen might not stand a chance.
    Ajax 3-1


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​


    FLAMENGO [​IMG]

    [​IMG] SAO PAULO

    CxMacx10 ~ Flamengo
    5th in Serie A, 10-3-4
    Cup Results (Group): D 1-1 vs. Corinthians, W 3-1 vs. VfL Wolfsburg, W 4-1 vs. Rubin Kazan
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 4-1 vs. Stade Rennes, W 3-1 vs. CSKA Moscow

    snake3249 ~ Sao Paulo
    2nd in Serie B, 9-2-4
    Cup Results (Group): W 5-1 vs. QPR, W 2-0 vs. Stoke City, W 3-1 vs. West Brom
    Cup Results (Knockout): W 2-0 vs. Parma, W 2-0 vs. B. M'gladbach

    4 Coppa's and 4 semifinal appearances for Manager Mac. Doesn't matter if it's Wolverhampton or Flamengo, Mac knows how to get here and what it takes for deep Coppa runs. But despite 3 previous appearances, Mac has made the finals only once, and ending up losing. So with the switch to Flamengo this season, there's certainly some unfinished business that needs to be settled. Flamengo was pegged as the pre-season favorite in Serie A, but a slow start derailed those chances. Since then though, Flamengo has made winning a routine. The club could still skyocket to 3rd in the table before the season reaches its end, and with 4 multiple-goal wins in the Coppa, Flamengo appears driven for more. Ronaldinho and Vagner Love lead the way for Flamengo in this all-Brazilian semifinal, with Deivid adding to the strength of the club's attacking setup. Manager Mac has always sported a strong D, but Flamengo's defense isn't quite on par with the other elite steel curtains out there. The talent level on the backline could use improving, and Felipe has yet to claim a clean sheet in 5 Coppa matches. And if Flamengo's defense is to ever collapse, now appears certain to be that time. Luis Fabiano has been scoring goals at will for Sao Paulo, while Fernandinho, Jadson, and Lucas have no problem in helping the striker add to his tally. Luis Fabiano has already tied the Coppa record with 9 goals, and reaching double digits could happen minutes into this match. But when it comes to defense, Sao Paulo is a mirror image of Flamengo's backline. Sao Paulo is led by Rhodolfo at center back and Rogerio Ceni in net, but both are capable of mistakes. Manager Snake is much more offensive-oriented than Mac, so will his focus on offense compromise his defensive stance? Well if the knockout stage has anything to say about Sao Paulo's defense, a pair of 2-0 wins certainly looks nice.

    Difference Maker: [​IMG]
    ST Deivid, Flamengo. In a match with a multitude of talented attackers, it is easy to overlook Deivid. Even when just looking at Flamengo's attacking set, Ronaldinho and Vagner Love are clearly the big names that draw the attention. But with 4 goals already in the Coppa, Deivid's impact could vault a 2-man tandem into a 3-man force. Should he be in top form, Sao Paulo may be too overwhelmed defensively.

    Prediction: With the two having never played each other in Serie competiton, a strong opening by either side could dictate the rest of the match. However, I don't see Flamengo falling short in the semis again.
    Flamengo 3-2
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,819
    This season's Coppa is over, leaving us with some awards to dish out:

    Golden Boot: Luis Fabiano, 11 goals (Sao Paulo) snake3249 *NEW COPPA RECORD*
    Silver Boot: S. Doumbia, 7 goals (CSKA Moscow) shiftee
    Silver Boot: K. Honda, 7 goals (CSKA Moscow) shiftee

    Golden Creator: J. Lukoki, 5 assists (Ajax) Zikry
    Golden Creator: Fernandinho, 5 assists (Sao Paulo) snake3249
    Bronze Creator: F. Campbell, 4 assists (Sunderland) HokieNYC

    Golden Glove: T. Wiese, 4 clean sheets (Werder Bremen) Broncos218
    Silver Glove: Rogerio Ceni, 3 clean sheets (Sao Paulo) snake3249
    Bronze Glove: K. Vermeer, 2 clean sheet (Ajax) Zikry

    Most Proactive User: Roger (Santos FC)

    With a tie for the Silver Boot, there will be no Bronze Boot handed out. There was also a tie for the Golden Creator, which eliminates the Silver Creator award. Congrats to the award winners!
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Broncos218

    Broncos218 Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,819
    Forgot to count Sao Paulo's assists from the final, so the awards have now been updated, with 2 Golden Creator awards being dealt out
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page