Sports Burst – Excitement Overload in Champions League

Reuters

Destinies in the balance in Madrid and an Olympic White-wash

 

by Tim Stannard

 

1) 198 stories collide in RM v PSG epic encounter

The day has finally arrived.

The Champions League clash between Real Madrid and PSG has given Sports Burst an official narrative overload. The only resolution is to deploy an emergency expulsion of storylines, not seen since Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had yachts parked next to each other in an Ibiza harbor a few years back. 

So here goes. Stand back. 

Will Neymar's $250 million transfer fee be worth it? Will PSG spending nearly half a billion dollars be seen as squandered with a defeat to Real Madrid? Is Unai Emery up to the job of making PSG one of Europe's greats? Are PSG all that, or just being made to look good by weaker opposition in Ligue Un? Is PSG's midfield underwhelming? Will Angel di Maria play against a team that ditched him?

Are Real Madrid washed up or just resting before the real business of the season gets going? Is Coach Zizou on his last legs as Madrid manager, being shown up as a figure who just got lucky? What will the club do for the next four months if they get knocked out? Is Cristiano Ronaldo getting his season together at just the right time? Is Karim Benzema any good? Is Gareth Bale any good? Can Real Madrid's leaky defense withstand Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe? And what will it all mean if months of build-up ends in a goalless draw?

Find out the answers to all those questions on the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT, your daily home for the beautiful game. 

 

2) Liverpool relishing chance of Champions League knock-out

After Harry Kane and Spurs proved on Tuesday night that the striker and club are indeed up to the job having broken down Juve's defense in a dramatic 2-2 draw in Turin, another Premier League side has the opportunity to silence a few doubters. 

That team is Liverpool, an outfit who has an admirably excellent attack lead by Mo Salah, but has a wobbling back-four that is taking on Porto's impressive offense in Portugal on Wednesday. “A nice hill we have to go over,” beamed the ever cheerful Jurgen Klopp whose Liverpool side are in the knock-out stages of the Champions League for the first time in nine years. Simply having the chance of being eliminated is a wonderful opportunity for the Anfield club.

Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT to see which teams fall into the winners and losers brackets from our Dre Cordero.

 

3) Lacazette out of action in Arsenal’s last chance of success

Arsenal’s Europa League chances have been dealt quite a blow – normally that is not the most exciting of sentences - but winning the tournament is probably the only chance the Gunners have of qualifying for the Champions League next year and disappointing hugely. Alexandre Lacazette is set to be missing for the next six weeks with the French forward undergoing surgery on Tuesday.

Lacazette is not having the best of months really considering that his starting spot in the Arsenal line-up has now been taken by the incoming and shinier Pierre-Emerick Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Remember that beIN SPORTS has you covered in Canada on Thursday with three back-to-back Europa League clashes starting with Astana hosting Sporting CP. Christian Pulisic’s Borussia Dortmund then takes on Atalanta followed by Lyon hosting Villarreal. The action starts at 11AM ET / 8AM PT.

 

4) Snowboarding White-wash at Winter Olympics  

So, there's hope for the old-timers after all. After 17-year-old Chloe 'hangry' Kim won the day at the Winter Olympics on Tuesday, Wednesday saw Shaun White win the halfpipe gold. 

In doing so, the 31-year-old White made history by becoming the first snowboarder to win three Olympic titles - 2006, 2010 and now 2018. "I was so overwhelmed by happiness," claimed the veteran Olympic legend before declaring that he had to take a nap, and slamming youngsters for being on that 'Snap-app' thing all the time.

Life is not so grand for the skiers whose events are being postponed due to high winds. Amongst that group are Mikaela Shiffrin, whose races are going to be squeezed into a tight weekend window. 

 

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. Sports Burst 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.