Fridays in Football: April 6

Hello and welcome to Fridays in Football where we, Charlie Snyder and Jaden Rapaport, will discuss hot topics in soccer around the world.

Zlatan+Ibtrahimovic+scored+two+goals+in+the+final+20+minutes+of+LA+Galaxy%27s+stunning+comeback+over+crosstown+rivals+LAFC+Saturday+March+31.

Clarion photo USA TODAY Sports Images

Zlatan Ibtrahimovic scored two goals in the final 20 minutes of LA Galaxy’s stunning comeback over crosstown rivals LAFC Saturday March 31.

UEFA Champions League: Quarter Finals Leg 1

Juventus (ITA) vs Real Madrid (ESP) 0-3 agg.

Charlie’s Predictions

It will be a walk in the park for Real Madrid with what seems to be an insurmountable lead. With a suspended Dybala, three away goals, and some Ronaldo magic, I do not see how the Madridistas let this one go. 2-5 agg.

 

Jaden’s Predictions

Despite losing their captain Sergio Ramos to yellow card accumulation, I don’t think Juventus can break though and it will finish similar scoreless, similar to Barcelona vs Juventus in the quarterfinals last year. 3-0 agg.

Sevilla (ESP) vs Bayern Munich (GER) 1-2 agg.

Charlie’s Predictions

Once again, this tie is already be done and dusted. Bayern are heating up at the right time and are strong contenders to win the whole competition. It was not a completely dominant performance in Seville, but the teams that still win even when the don’t play well are the ones who win trophies. 1-4 agg.

Jaden’s Predictions

Bayern proved they can already beat Sevilla, and they did it away. Now that they are back on home soil, it should be easy for them to grab an easy 3-0 win to make it 5-1 agg.


Liverpool vs Manchester City: 3-0 agg.

Charlie’s Predictions

Being a Liverpool fan, it is hard to hide my bias and excitement towards what is the best Liverpool team in my lifetime, yet I still have scars of the same fixture during the league in what was a 5-0 thrashing against the Reds from the same opposition. As nervous as I am, I think Liverpool will just about squeak through to the next round. 3-2 agg.

 

Jaden’s Predictions

I think that Man City will come out hot and score two goals in the first half. However, early in the second half, a Mo Salah curler from the edge of the box will give Liverpool the elusive away goal and forcing Man City to score 3 goals to win instead of 1 to tie 4-2 agg.

 

Barcelona vs AS Roma 4-1 agg.

Charlie’s Predictions

Roma never really stood a chance against the Catalan side, who seem more balanced with the loss of Neymar. Real Madrid have been dominating this competition in recent years, but now Barcelona have something to prove, and this year they just might do it. 6-1 agg.

 

Jaden’s Predictions

I think that Roma will get an early goal but then they will be overwhelmed by Suarez, Messi, and Dembele and will lose 3-1 on the night and 7-2 agg.

 

UEFA Europa League: Quarter Finals Leg 1

Lazio (ITA) vs Red Bull Salzburg (AUT) 4-2 agg.

Atletico Madrid (ESP) vs Sporting CP (POR) 2-0 agg.

Red Bull Leipzig (GER) vs Marseille (FRA) 1-1 agg.

Arsenal (ENG) vs CSKA Moscow (RUS) 4-1 agg.

 

CONCACAF Champions League: Semi Finals Leg 1

CD Guadalajara (MEX) vs New York Red Bulls (USA) 1-0 agg.

Toronto FC (CAN) vs CF America (MEX) 3-1 agg.

 

First Month In MLS: This month has been a showcase of the future of MLS. No longer will MLS be a retirement league with a new era coming in the form of young South Americans. Newcomers LAFC are the perfect example bringing in youth and young talent with the signing of players like Diego Rossi, a Uruguayan, who is MLS’s youngest ever DP at only 19, and already 3 goals and 4 assists in just three games. Another example is Columbus’s Milton Valenzuela, a 20-year-old Argentine, who is the also the first fullback DP. Valenzuela began his MLS career with 1 goal and 1 assist in 5 games, and is part of a Crew team that is second in the Supporters Shield standings.

After one month NYCFC lead the pack, and are one of only two MLS teams who are undefeated, showing how competitive the league really is. Sitting at the bottom are MLS Cup finalists Seattle Sounders, who have failed to claim a point from their opening three games. The Portland Timbers sit third off bottom, with two points from four, however the stats are a bit deceiving for the Portlandians having only played away games while Providence Park gets a little remodeling.

In terms of player accolades, Kansas City midfielder Felipe Gutierrez, another South American Designated Player, surprisingly leads the scoring charts. The Feilhaber replacement has a stunning five goals in five games, leading the likes of Josef Martinez, Dominique Badji, and Gyasi Zardes, who all trail by a goal (All of the following are forwards mind you). Diego Rossi leads the league in assists, with 4 in his first three of the season.

 

El Trafico: The Los Angeles derby marked the city’s arrival to Zlatan. The Galaxy were 3 goals down only 48 minutes in, after an LAFC team led by a man of the match (up to the 71st minute) performance by Carlos Vela, who had two world class goals.  After a Lletget goal pulling the deficit down to two, the moment the whole world had been waiting for happened. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was introduced with roughly 20 minutes to save his team and maintain his record of scoring or assisting in all of his debuts. Ibrahimovic had an immediate impact drawing three players in creating enough space for Boateng to create an inch-perfect cross for Pontius to head in. One goal down. Zlatan was just beginning, on the 77th minute, Zlatan showed that his talent was as huge as his ego with a stunning half-volley from outside the box causing cheers from the whole stadium. Tied up, Ibrahimovic was not done there. In stoppage time, Ashley Cole whipped the ball in allowing the Lion to complete the comeback. Coming from three goals down, Ibra almost single-handedly won the game. LAFC were the first victim of Zlatan’s quest to conquer America.

 

PSG Win League Cup

Despite having been knocked out of the Champions League. PSG’s quest for the domestic treble is still alive and well. They beat rivals Monaco 3-0, in the League cup Final, they are ahead of Monaco, who are also current runners up of the French first division with seven games left. Lastly, PSG play Caen in the Coupe de France Semifinals on April 18.

 

Bayern to Win Bundesliga for 6th Consecutive Time: With six matches to play, German Giants Bayern Munich see themselves 17 points clear atop the Bundesliga table, going into this week’s fixture away at Augsburg. As long as Bayern don’t lose OR second place Schalke don’t win, the Bundesliga title will be headed back to Munich for a sixth straight time.

 

Games of the Week:

Manchester Derby: (Saturday, 9:30 a.m.) With both these clubs having played 31 league matches, Manchester City leads second place Manchester United by 16 points. This means that if City were to win at home, it would put them 19 points ahead of their cross-town rivals with six games left to play, thus securing the Premier League title. Even though City has already beaten the Red Devils at Old Trafford this season, United didn’t have to play this week in Europe, as they were eliminated by Sevilla in the previous round.

Jaden’s Picks Manchester City 3-0 Manchester United

Charlie’s Picks Manchester City 1-1 Manchester United

 

Madrid Derby: (Sunday, 7:15 a.m.) This Sunday, the two Madrid sides collide in La Liga. With both these teams really out of contention to win the league, yet safely in position to qualify for next year’s Champions League, this is really a match for pride and second place in Spain as Atletico lead Real by 4 points with eight games to play. Additionally, both teams’ main focus is Europe right now with Real Madrid in the Champions League Quarterfinal and Atletico in the last eight of the Europa League.

Jaden’s Picks Real Madrid 2-0 Atletico Madrid

Charlie’s Picks Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid

Atlanta vs LAFC: (Saturday, 2:00 p.m.) After the collapse in El Trafico, LAFC’s resilience will be tested as they travel to Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This will be the battle of the young South American attackers as it will feature Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron for Atlanta as well as Diego Rossi for LAFC.

Jaden’s Picks Atlanta 1-1 LAFC

Charlie’s Picks Atlanta 2-3 LAFC

 

Other Notable Fixtures:

(MLS) LA Galaxy vs Sporting KC Sunday, 6:00 p.m.

Jaden’s Picks LA Galaxy 3-1 Sporting KC

Charlie’s Picks LA Galaxy 0-0 Sporting KC

(Premier League) Chelsea vs West Ham Sunday, 8:30 a.m.

Jaden’s Picks Chelsea 4-0 West Ham

Charlie’s Picks Chelsea 3-1 West Ham

(Bundesliga) RB Leipzig vs Bayer Leverkusen Monday, 11:30 a.m.

Jaden’s Picks RB Leipzig 2-3 Bayer Leverkusen

Charlie’s Picks RB Leipzig 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen

(EFL Championship) Cardiff City vs Wolves Friday, 11:45 a.m.

Jaden’s Picks  Cardiff City 3-0 Wolves

Charlie’s Picks Cardiff City 1-2 Wolves

(Premier League) Everton vs Liverpool Saturday, 4:30 a.m.

Jaden’s Picks Everton 1-1 Liverpool

Charlie’s Picks Everton 0-2 Liverpool