By Tim Stannard
Barca looks to avoid being rubbish in Lyon's Champions League den
If either two things happen on Tuesday in the lovely French city of Lyon then Barcelona will making another yet another early exit from the Champions League. In fact, even earlier that last year's quarterfinal departure against Roma.
Should Barca play vaguely close to how it has been doing in La Liga of late - looking at you, Valladolid performance - then Lyon will only need to field seven teenagers, Pro Piacenza-style to prevail.
That's especially the case if Lyon themselves repeat the kind of efforts in the group stages of the competition that outwitted Manchester City. The French side both defeated and drew against Pep Guardiola's men.
Ernesto Valverde was asked on Monday ahead of the Last 16, first leg clash if Barcelona would be taking another typically defensive approach to avoid such a scenario and the shocked Spanish boss admitted that he was "surprised" by the question - "I do not have a lot to say. We'll see tomorrow."
Ok then. Let's move along.
Klopp warns against notion of Bayern not being any good any more
No such, 'nothing-to-say-problems' with the eternally effulgent and effervescent Jurgen Klopp who was in fine form on Monday ahead of the visit of Bayern Munich.
And that's despite potentially missing three centerbacks for the Anfield clash either through injury (Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren) or suspension (Virjil Van Dijk).
"Our crowd is able to push it from 100 to 120, 30 or 40 per cent." 💫 pic.twitter.com/rvf1JggXV5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 18, 2019
However, Klopp was wisely wary of Bayern Munich, a team that is considered to be not-all-that any more after a stuttering campaign in the Bundesliga. "They are still a force, nothing else," warned Klopp who overcame Bayern to win the league title while he was in charge at Borussia Dortmund.
Indeed, FC Hollywood might even have a spring in its collective step having seen Dortmund stumble once again on Monday to open up the title race back in Germany.
Join the Sports Burst live show - and have your chance to opine - at 12PM ET / 9AM PT where our Gabrielle Amado and George D Metellus will make their wild Champions League predictions. Just head to the beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page.
A Sarri saga coming to an end at Chelsea after Manchester United loss
Staying in England and the situation is looking increasingly bleak for Chelsea boss, Maurizio Sarri if the morning after sizzling sports pages are any guide.
A lame 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United on Monday sees Chelsea's Italian boss fired before the end of this Sports Burst sentence being read or at least in a week's time after the inevitably disastrous League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday.
Zola and Zidane now joint 2/1 favs to be the next permanent Chelsea boss.— Paddy Power (@paddypower) February 19, 2019
Full betting: tp://pdy.pr/92OFfx pic.twitter.com/v7ZZwe7sYd
Heck, there is even time to squeeze in being knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday to speed matters along.
Aside from the poor results of late, the deciding factor might be the Chelsea fans who very much turned against Sarri in Stamford Bridge yesterday on pretty much everything from his team selection, tactics, substitutions and tracksuit choice.
It looks like being a Sarri end to a coach predicted to turn Chelsea from plodding Premier League also-rans to attack-centric superstars.