by Tim Stannard
So nearly Neymar returning to the Camp Nou in Barcelona’s Champions League quarterfinal draw
Sure, the world has gotten itself into a bit of a tizz about the Barcelona v Manchester United double-header in the Champions League quarterfinals that were drawn on Friday. But it could have been a whole lot better in an alternate reality where Sports Burst prefers to exist.
Had PSG done pulled a PSG (again) by throwing a 2-0 advantage at home against United in the previous round, then the world would have had the huge sauce-machine of Neymar (if fit) returning to the Camp Nou for what would have been a most curious reaction to say the least. Curious meaning, an awful lot of rude names and booing in the direction of the traitress Brazilian.
But it’s not to be. Instead, it’s United taking on a Barcelona side that handed the English outfit its dignity on a plate in the 2011 final. So that’s still pretty tasty as far as games go.
Should United prevail then the team that will be standing in the La Liga side’s path to a first final appearance since 2015 will be either Liverpool or Porto with the semifinal brackets being drawn already. So that’s Liverpool then.
The other half of the draw has an all-English affair with Manchester City having the chance to pull a Spurs against Tottenham while Cristiano Ronaldo will need to lead Juventus past Ajax.
The Europa League draw for the quarterfinals was also done this morning and there are admittedly a couple of tasty ties with Napoli facing Arsenal and a local derby between Villarreal and Valencia. Eintracht Frankfurt will face Benfica and Chelsea takes on Slavia Prague in the other two games.
The Locker Room will be all over the Champions League draw to ponder and predict the outcomes. Join Kay Murray and the gang at 7:30PM ET / 4:30PM PT.
Zizou hints at Marcelo and Isco coming in from the cold
Deja-vu all over again for Coach Zizou with the manager’s first pre-match conference in his second spell as Real Madrid manager.
However, the questions were of a fairly similar ilk thrown at Santiago Solari during his short tenure on the Bernabeu bench. Isco, Marcelo and Gareth Bale.
In fact, it was only the second question before the matter of the previously-exiled Isco arose. But Zidane did get the chance to report that “the three training sessions we had were very good.”
From that point, the news looks like being good for both Isco and Marcelo with Zizou revealing that both could play on Saturday in the Bernabeu against Celta Vigo. Even Gareth Bale, but probably because Vinicius is out injured at the moment.
As for who will start in goal on Saturday and the topic of whether Keylor Navas will be number one again…Zizou is playing ‘wait and see’ on that one.
Sports Burst live on our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page is underway at 12PM ET / 9AM ETwith a full breakdown of the Champions League and Europa League draw and Real Madrid predictions with our Gabrielle Amado and Kevin Egan.
A Lille treat from Ligue Un and a frenzied Friday match-up for Fenerbahce
Before kicking off with Friday's tasty treats, Sports Burst is offering a firm handshake to Sporting KC who overcame Panama side, CA Independiente on Thursday night to make it to the Concacaf Champions League semifinals where the team will face Monterrey.
Nicolas Pépé: 1️⃣7️⃣ Ligue1 goals so far in 2018/19, 1️⃣0️⃣ games left to play. pic.twitter.com/3cF6wpmoj5— LOSC Lille EN (@LOSC_EN) March 14, 2019
Right, to Friday and it is Action City on beIN SPORTS. There is a tremendous double-header of Ligue Un action with the wonderfully watchable Lille hosting a resurgent Monaco. That gets underway on beIN SPORTS CONNECT at 3:45PM ET / 12:45PM PT and is preceded by Nice hosting Toulouse.
La Liga is offering up a clash between Real Sociedad and Levante that is live on beIN SPORTS at 3:50PM ET / 12:50PM PT. Over in the Turkish Super Lig, a grizzled battle against relegation for Fenerbahce continues with a home tie against Sivasspor - also live on beIN SPORTS at 1:30PM ET / 10:30AM PT.
The best action from all those games and clashes in Serie A and the Bundesliga will be on the XTRA with Kevin Egan at 7PM ET / 4PM PT.