Apr 17, 2012, 7:45 AM EDT
Yes, most eyes will be on Munich, and we can’t blame you. When two bottles come off the top shelf, you want to see what’s poured. Just know that there’s a lot of happening elsewhere in the soccer world. By the time you read this, Asian Champions League will have kicked off in Australia, South Korea and Japan, while the final round of two Copa Libertadores groups will be your night cap.
Nobody can watch them all, but hopefully they’ll stay on your radar. Here is your Tuesday Field of Play:
UEFA Champions League
- Bayern Munich (Germany) vs. Real Madrid (Spain), 2:45 p.m. ET
Real Madrid’s played 10 Champions League games, winning nine and tying the other, but as Sid Lowe pointed out on this week’s Football Weekly, they’re yet to face a team from Europe’s top four leagues. It’s a peculiar implication – that they have somehow gone untested – given how many times we’ve seen Real Madrid matched against Barcelona. While they have yet to pass one of those tests, they’ve shown enough to make them the clear favorites. Bayern need to take advantage of their home leg.
- Deportivo Quito (Ecuador) vs. Chivas (Mexico), 7:15 p.m. ET
- Vélez Sarsfield (Argentina) vs. Defensor Sporting (Uruguay), 7:15 p.m. ET
- Bolívar (Bolivia) vs. Universidad Catolica (Chile), 9:30 p.m. ET
- Junior (Colombia) vs. Unión Española (Chile), 9:30 p.m. ET
Group 7 plays the first set, with Vélez (group winners) and Guadalajara (last place) playing for nothing. Chivas is expected to lose at Deportivo, leaving Defensor Sporting in the unenviable position of having to win at Vélez to retain second place.
In the late kickoffs, unless there’s a lopsided result, the match in Bolivia’s the only one that matters. If Catolica wins, they jump Bolívar and go through in second place. Else, the Bolivian side advances with Union Española.
Asian Champions League
- Brisbane Roar (Australia) vs. Ulsan (South Korea), 5:30 a.m. ET
- Joenbuk Motors (South Korea) vs. Buriram United (Thailand), 6:00 a.m. ET
- Tokyo (Japan) vs. Beijing Guoan (China), 6:30 am. ET
- Guangzhou Evergrande (China) vs. Kashiwa Reysol (Japan), 7:30 a.m. ET
- Persepolis (Iran) vs. Al Gharafa (Qatar), 8:30 a.m. ET
- Bani Yas (UAE) vs. Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia), 11:05 a.m. ET
- Al Arabi (Qatar) vs. Pakhtakor (Uzbekistan), 12:00 p.m. ET
- Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia) vs. Al Shabab (UAE), 1:50 p.m. ET
Joenbuk Motors pulled a mild surprise last round, rebounding from their horrid group stage start to hand Buriran their tournament’s first. Their group, which includes that day’s headline act (Guangzou-Kashiwa) remains wide open, as does Group F (Tokyo, Ulsan, Beijing, Brisbane), where the last two rounds of matches have ended in draws.
In the western groups, Al-Ittihad will look to stay perfect. If they do, they’ll clinch a knockout round spot and give Pakhtakor a chance to seize second place. Likewise, Perspolis is through with a win, while an Al Hilal-Al Shabab winner would maintain the slim hope of winning Group D.
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