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Sports Burst - Champions League Mercy

World spared Champions League Madrid derby final and Barca’s desperate battle

By Tim Stannard

 

1)  Derby double date in Champions League

It’s a philosophical conundrum alright.

Is it better to have Real Madrid and Atletico perform their notoriously lackluster Champions League derby-day stylings over two legs in the semifinals or get it out the way and allow a slightly more effervescent final for once without the pair clogging things up for 120 minutes?

UEFA have pitched in on Friday with their magic balls by opting for the former with the two Madrid clubs set for a double date in the Champions League final four with the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu next Tuesday, which might just favor the Rojiblancos. Or not. Who knows? But our Tancredi Palmeiri will tell us on the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT on the XTRA tonight.  

The other clash sees the official People’s Favorite Monaco taking on Juventus, a kill-joy team built to stamp out the French team’s tax haven, fancy football ways, if ever there was one. That clash will take place on Wednesday 3rd May with the first leg in Monaco.

 

2) Man Utd’s Celta challenge – with or without Zlatan

A busy day for UEFA before breaking for a rewarding brunch with the Europa League semifinals being drawn. Manchester United took a step closer to winning the final – and a Champions League spot – by drawing Celta Vigo.

Whether or not Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be participating remains to be seen as Manchester United are still waiting on news of what could be a severe knee injury suffered during Thursday’s win against Anderlecht. “Not good” was the verdict from Jose Mourinho after the event. The second match-up is a very tasty affair indeed between Ajax and Lyon.

 

3) Barca lawyer-up in Neymar case

All this talk about the Champions League probably has Barcelona fans feeling a little left out, so time to drop in on the Catalan club on the desperate measures being taken not to lose Sunday’s Clasico and probably the league title with it.

Neymar is currently serving a three-match suspension due to some naughty behavior against Malaga a couple of weeks ago. An initial appeal against the ban imposed by the Spanish FA was squashed on Thursday, and that sees Barcelona taking the case to a higher power – Court of Arbitration for Sport. Anything to avoid having to play Paco Alcacer it seems.

Remember to tune into a double-header of Clasico action with the XTRA from 7PM ET / 4PM PT followed straight after by the Locker Room. It should be a blast.

 

4) Suspect charged with Borussia Dortmund bombing

In news to further add to the case that the internet and Twitter is a hotbed of unfettered nonsense, cod theories over terrorism involvement in the bombing of the Borussia Dortmund team coach look to have been quashed.

An arrest was made on Friday of a 28-year-old German-Russian national suspected of setting off the bomb in a scheme to bring down Borussia Dortmund’s share price and profit due to a stock market deal. The suspect has since been charged.

 

5) Seagulls looking for champions crown against Canaries

As ever on Friday, there is a ton of fun to be had on beIN SPORTS.

MotoGP and MotoAmerica riders will be going through their paces – literally – in Austin for their respective GPs.

Brighton could be crowned champions of the Championship with a win over Norwich City, just days after securing promotion – that game is live on beIN SPORTS from 2:45PM ET / 11:45AM PT.

Sevilla will be looking to get over yet more speculation over the future of manager, Jorge Sampaoli, with a win over the Tony Adams Family of Granada on CONNECT from 3PM ET / 12PM PT. And in France, Marseille still harbor hopes of a Europa League qualifying spot in Ligue Un but will need a win at Nancy. Action starts on CONNECT from 2:30PM ET / 11:30PM PT. All goals, highlights and news on the XTRA.

 

WHAT IS SPORTS BURST?

The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. SB is a daily trawl and troll through the morning's sports news to bring you fact-nuggets to make you both smile and swear. Hopefully at the same time.