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Fantasy Liga Txampion
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Discussion Starter #1
It´s tomorrow, Valverde´s list:

Gk: Aranzubia, Pampín

Defenders: Iraola, Casas, Murillo, Prieto, Karanka, Del Horno.

Midfielders: Gurpegi, Orbaiz, Tiko, Yeste, Jonan.

Attackers: Ezquerro, Etxeberria, Urzaiz, Azkorra, Arriaga.

Injured: Lafuente, Javi González, Lacruz, Oskar Vales.

Out for technical decission: Solabarrieta, Bordas, Angulo, Felipe, Guerrero.


A must win, everyone is winning all the home games in this group so we have to do the same and try to get something from Liege. It seems that the goal difference will be important so if we can win by a difference it will be better, of course first we have to secure the victory, it would be stupid to loose the game for this. Also winning 4-3 is better than 1-0 for example, cause in case of tie, the global goal-average counts. But what matters is to win no matter how, that´s the important thing.

I´m positive, we look very well home and Steaua isn´t the best team in the world (better teams have eaten San Mamés´ grass:cool: ) so as long as we aren´t over-confident (that´s Valverde´s job) I think we can get 3 points from this. The fans support will be very important, as always in San Mamés, I´m sure there will be a good atmosphere, even after Lamikiz´s "cacicada" with the sponsor thing.:groan:

If everyone is ok and everything is normal we should be playing what has been the regular lineup, although I wouldn´t be too surprised if Valverde gives Yeste a rest, he looks tired, still I think he´ll play this:

........................Aranzubia

Iraola..........Murillo.........L.Prieto........Del Horno

..................Gurpegi.......Orbaiz

Etxeberria.............Yeste............Ezquerro

..........................Urzaiz


Orbaiz, Ezquerro, Urzaiz and most of all Iraola are on a great form so they should lead the team to the victory.:cool:

Steaua´s list:
Hamutovsky, Tudor, Ogarau, Balan, Radoi, Ghionea, Baciu, Nesu, Pitu, Munteanu, Falemi, Lovin, Bustina, Dica, Neaga, Cristea, Cioiciu, Dinita.

Is this Munteanu the good one? he must be old..

UEFA PREVIEW
http://www.uefa.com/competitions/UEFACup/news/Kind=1/newsId=263356.html
 

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Yes, he is the veteran Munteanu (almost 120 games with Romania). "Oldie but Goldie" he´s the brain of this Steaua although he lost part of his speed and stamina logically.

I see that Iraola plays as right back, how is he defending? This guy seemed good attacking but I´m not sure defending...
Athletic have a powerful attack, they mix technic, strong and fast players. I have my hopes (for Steaua) in your defence anyways.

Steaua have several important players out and we just need one point. It´s hard but I think that Steaua can get something if they are dangerous in counter-attacks. Neaga and especially Dinita are very fast forwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In the end anything can happen but you give me good news saying Steaua will play on the counter-attack, we usually don´t suffer against these teams. As examples Trabzonspor which came to San Mamés as counter experts or this weekend´s Racing which are the specialists in spanish league.

Our defense has more problems against tank-style strikers, both Prieto and Murillo are fast, well Murillo isn´t too fast but he is tactically intelligent, while they suffer more in the air, especially Murillo. If we would be playing Kara(n)kol:D that would be another story but fortunately looks like he won´t play today.

Iraola is good defensively, not the best defender in the world but he does his job, he´s very intelligent and plays with concentration, he´s probably worse defender than Del Horno but does better because of this. Actually, he played as right back for the B team but when Valverde decided to bring him to the first team he used him as offensive winger in his first season so he could get the physicall strenght and Primera rythm. So it was already planned as we comented here last season, he can play in both positions. He´s doing very well as right back, he does his job in defense and then in attack he has more chances because he comes as surprise, Urzaiz is making profit of his great assists.
 

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But Steaua has the tank strikers (Oprita and Ciocoiu) out, so Zenga is forced to use little and fast forwards.

I think Athletic is clear favourite but they use to be a good team for the Romanian players, I remember goals of Hagi, Ilie, Craioveanu, Dumitrescu...vs them :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
1-0 Etxeberria (45´) great goal.

Pufff what a strange game, I passed from being mad for not scoring more goals (we had millions of chances) to want the finish as soon as possible, I don´t know what happened but there were some minutes in the second half (about 15) were our players simply dissapeared and they had some good chances, thank god Aranzubia was there.

First of all let´s congratulate Steaua for their qualification. Second, Athletic was clearly superior during most of the game, and when I say clearly I mean clearly, the first half could have easily ended with 3 bakalaos, but in the end we only scored 1, and in the last minute. I remember 2 chances for Ezquerro (So clear!) but they were too easy for him:groan: (remember he only scores beautiful goals):eek: I have to say in one of them their goalie did a great save. Etxeberria, Yeste, Iraola.... several chances but only one goal; Fault in the midfield taken by Iraola, Urzaiz assists Etxebe with the head (what a classic) and PUM! what a goal, unstoppable, and I say unstoppable because if not their goalie would have stopped it, what a goalie, he was Steaua´s best player without doubt, made some great saves.

After the most difficult thing was done in the last minute of the first half we all thought more goals would come in the second. And we had a lot of chances to score, the first 20 minutes of the second half were class of football by Athletic, but sometimes we didn´t take the right decissions, and others we faced a brilliant goalie. I clearly remember a center by Etxebe headed by Urzaiz in one of his classic unstoppable goals that was saved (I still don´t know how):eek: by their goalie. Not much after that chance Athletic dissappeared from the field and Steaua had some good chances, well saved by Aranzubia who was perfect. Athletic ended the game attacking but without much conviction, thinking in Sevilla probably.

About Steaua, the impression I got is that they have a great goalie.:D Then, I think they have fast gifted players but they lack a bit of power in the last meters, it´s as if they played with midfielders in attacking positions, imagine a team with 3 or 4 Ezquerros in the attack. Their defense isn´t bad, but the wingbacks suffered a lot today, although all the teams suffer against our wings, curious thing is they didn´t use the right wing, it was a constant attack through the left. But they missed some players, probably they noticed that, and it´s shown Zenga has done a good work with this team, they have limitations but I like their style, they were well applauded by San Mamés when the game ended.

Player review:

Aranzubia (9) - Not much work but very hard, very well because after being so many minutes without touching the ball, the goalies tend to suffer against sudden attacks as the Steaua´s ones in the second half.

Iraola (9) - He defends well and it´s a joy to watch him attacking. His understanding with Etxeberria is perfect and I enjoy as a kid watching what they invent on the right wing, fantastic Andoni.

Del Horno (6) - He contributed to the attack less than expected in an open game as today´s, a couple of good centers, and he comitted a mistake that could have costed us a goal in their only attack through the right. A bit of bench wouldn´t be bad for Asier.

Murillo (8) - Fantastic in defense, didn´t let their attackers do anything, although I watched a hand in the last minutes, it could have been penalty!

L.Prieto (7) - Correct as always.

Orbaiz (5) - His worst game of the season, seemed to be out, didn´t contribute in attack and his brain was missed when Steaua had the chances to calm things, hope it´s only a bad game. I think both Munteanu and Pablo eclipsed themselves.

Gurpegi (8) - Orbaiz dissappeared and Carlos emerged, very well in defense and attack.

Etxeberria (8) - Fantastic goal and he outplayed their left back but for some reason he always took the wrong decision in the last pass.

Yeste (7) - Slow but with class to play the ball, he gave 1/2 a goal to Ezquerro in a free kick but Santi...

Ezquerro (5) - One of those games when you want to kill him, still he´s in good shape and helps defending.

Urzaiz (9) - Won every single air ball, almost scores and gave a fantastic assist to Etxebe, he´s on a great form. Steaua defenders could only stop him with faults although the ref didn´t see most of them, one of those games Isma arrives home with 2 or 3 defenders still hanging from his neck.:D

Tiko (4) - He´s completely out of form, I don´t believe Guerrero can´t do more than him.

Azkorra (-) - Only had time to pressure their defense.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Athletic 6 pts +1
Steaua 6 pts +1
Besiktas 4 pts +1
Standard 4 pts -1
Parma 3 pts -2

What a chance we missed to qualify, with one more goal it would´ve been done.:( Now we have to get 1 point in Liege, if we loose there we have to wait for Besiktas and Parma to tie, or a Parma victory by less than 2 goals (if we only loose by 1).

On the other hand if we win we end 1st. If we tie we can also end first if Parma and Besiktas tie, let´s be positive.:cool:
 

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About Steaua, I must say that they did an honourable game, not brilliant but enough at the end. Taking in consideration that they had some important players out (due to injuries and suspensions), that they played in San Mames (Athletic is almost invincible there) and that a great part of the players haven´t European experience yet, I´m satisfied with the image and the result, but they should have scored in one of the chances in the second half...we can´t miss these things in the next round.

Athletic was superior and deserved the victory, they will qualify for sure.
 

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Plus, Steaua has played 3 important games in 6 days! That´s too much...

Txupa you are right, it was clear that the wing backs would suffer vs Athletic, especially the young Nesu (left-back) with Etxebe and Iraola, but he doesn´t use to be a starter in the team and I think it´s normal.

Maybe Steaua missed especially Dumitru in this game, cause he´s a player who could provide the forwards with good passes from the right flank. And Oprita, the best finisher this season in the team.

I have a feeling that Athletic and Besiktas will qualify in the last day.
 

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Saw the match on Eurosport in summary after the match, and I can agree with your notes for the players Txupa.

Actually qualification shouldn't be a problem, Liège is really crap, but surprisingly they're performing well in our group, opposite to what they're doing in the Jupiler League :s.
 
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