Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Paris in the Springtime

Well, tomorrow is the big match. How can a fan not be excited about a match between the teams that play the two best players in the world: Ronadinho and Thierry Henry. Add that to the fact that this is Arsenal's first trip to the Champion's League final and I become ecstatic. And yes, I took all day tomorrow off to enable my, uhm, celebrations.

The matchup has been dissected, resected, dissected again all over the place. So I won't get too much into that. Arsenal go into tomorrow's final as an underdog--there's no doubt of that--but I don't think this will be the automatic victory that many Barcelona supporters think it may be.

Of course neutralizing Ronaldinho and Eto'o will be difficult, but that's what they said about Ronaldo, Nedved, and Riquelme, and they are all sitting at home tomorrow. A team doesn't play over 900 minutes in a competition without allowing a goal just on pure luck alone. Tomorrow, Gilberto will be the key to hold off Ronaldinho when he begins his drift to the center. On the other end of the pitch, Barcelona's improperly maligned (by some) defense will be tasked with stopping Thierry Henry and the flanking runs by Hleb and Reyes. Its important to remember that their defense hasn't let many goals in either.

There are the keys to the match. If you want a long lunch and live in Atlanta, join me at the Brewhouse tomorrow at 2:30 to see what I think will be some very entertaining, attacking football. For the local look on Barcelona, I'm sure Braves and Birds [Ed. Note: And Barcelona?] will have something to say. Care to make a friendly blog-wager Michael?

Prediction guaranteed to be wrong or your money back: 3-2 to the Arse. Go Gunners!

NP: "Do You Remember the First Time?" - Pulp

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