Real Madrid is in good form with Zinedine Zidane exploring a dynamic formation that only Real Madrid is able to implement with the maturity of most his players. The immediate switch from 3-5-2 and 4-4-2 once is a difficult task in itself, but for a team to accommodate several switches during the same game is extraordinary, not to mention the ability to change the system to 4-3-3 with one substitute if needed. Nacho joined Zidane in the conference on Monday, so we can surmise that he will replace Sergio Ramos for the first leg tie against Liverpool.
‘Pool and Klopp are also in good form, and Diogo Jota is likewise expected to start since he attended the UCL press conference. With the congested schedule of matches until the end of the season, it is unknown if they will be focusing on the Premier League or the Champions League or just diplomatically think about one game at a time. Both teams kept clean sheets over the weekend.
Manchester City boss and Rodrigo took to the mic yesterday while Emre Can joined his interim coach Terzic to answer media questions on behalf of the black and yellow. The Germans are starting this match in a similar fashion to the round of 16. a string of poor performances and results ended with a 2-1 loss to Frankfurt this Saturday and they will hope this brings them luck against Pep Guardiola’s men.
The EPL leaders should not be worried about all the hype for this match; a 20 year old Haaland must be unsettled with all the major clubs showing interest. For Haaland to record his name on the records of this match will be enough proof for any critic to believe the Norwegian is fixture proof and is worth the talk!
A repeat of the 2020 final is one day away with two major changes: Bayern Munich missing point-of-attack Robert Lewandowski, and PSG is playing with a No.9 in Moise Kean. While I consider Thiago Alcentara was the man of the match in that final by controlling the rhythm during the 90 minutes, Bayern midfielders Joshua Kimmich and Goretzka have been powerful this season. There are reports in German media that Gnabry’s performance spearheading the German national team attack in the World Cup qualification ties earns him a starting spot as Bayern’s No.9. In the other camp, Neymar and Mbappe must be extra motivated to avenge last season’s loss in the final. It is hard to see both of them staying in Paris if Bayern manages to knock them out once again.
Chelsea is causing trouble for fantasy players. At first, it was Thomas Tuchel’s continuous random (for us) shuffles in his starting line-ups. Now it is the West Brom aftermath causing tension. Rudiger was reportedly kicked out of training the next day and is not confirmed as a starter. To make matters worse, reporters and sports critics are expecting Tuchel to switch things up with the full backs, benching Marcos Alonco and Reece James to field Hudson-Odoi and Chilwell instead. It also seems like a good opportunity for Kepa to play, and since Kante was confirmed injured by Tuchel for the match, the only fixed spots seem to go to Jorginho and Kovacic. Porto should not be able to cause any trouble to wounded Chelsea with their two best performers, Oliveira and Mehdi Taremi, suspended in the first leg.
If you missed it, it is worth going back to check on NMA’s UCL Matchday 9 Preview. My fellow author and UCL expert Prakhar has also given us his insights on MD9 players picks, and Chris shared his plan for tackling the tricky upcoming MD-9.
Crazy Monday - Injury/suspension/participation Updates
Another round of updates! Keep and eye on @NMA_Blog on Twitter for any updates during the day!
Matchday 8 Suspension List: Oliveira and Taremi (Porto), Parades (PSG)
- Liverpool: Gomez, Matip, Henderson, Kelleher, Origi and Van Djik are out.
‘Our team is built for these kind of games’— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 5, 2021
Read the transcript from the boss' pre-match press conference...#RMALIV | #UCL
- Dortmund: Key players Sancho and Witsel are out for the Germans. Moukoko and Zagadou are also injured.
Emre Can:— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) April 5, 2021
"Tomorrow is a good opportunity to show a strong reaction from Saturday." pic.twitter.com/wTy7g4StST
- Porto: Only Mbaye is injured for Porto.
- Chelsea: Kante is confirmed our of the traveling squad while Polisic is doubful after he was pulled out of Saturday’s match with an injury concern.
- PSG: Bernat is joined by Verratti and Florenzi due to positive COVID-19 test results; Danilo, Icardi and Kurzawa are doubtful.
- Bayern: Douglas Cost and Tolisso are joined by Lewandowski to miss the big match against PSG.
- Real Madrid: Carvajal is joined by Sergio Ramos to miss the match while Eden Hazard and Valverde are doubtful.
Keep an eye on the comments section for press conference reports and any other status updates before today’s deadline. Good luck to everyone!
How’s your team faring? Do you have any tactical questions? And which matches do you plan / wish to watch as a fan? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!