Friday, March 14, 2008

UEFA Cup Draw: Quarterfinals Ready

Sporting Lisbon's 1-0 win over Bolton yesterday capped off the round of 16 and eliminated the remaining English team from the UEFA Cup. Tottenham has been eliminated on Wednesday by PSV and Everton by Fiorentina--both by penalty kicks (why can't the English make a PK when it counts?).

This morning, the quarterfinal draw rendered some spicy matchups, namely Sporting-Rangers and PSV-Fiorentina. Rangers lead the Scottish Premier League, while Sporting is still alive in the Portuguese Cup and is looking to return to the UEFA Cup final as it did in 2005. PSV, meanwhile, leads in the Netherlands while Fiorentina is fighting for a Champions League spot in Italy.

Favorites Bayern Munich take on Getafe, which upended Benfica. Bayern leads in Germany, while Getafe is middle of the table. Coached by former Danish star Michael Laudrup, Getafe has a bunch of Real Madrid loans on its roster and could be a challenge for Bayern.

The final matchup pits Bayer Leverkeusen and Zenit St. Petersburg. Bayer is fourth in Germany nine points behind Bayern. Of note here: Should Bayer and Bayern win, you'd have an all-German semifinal and guarantee one spot in the final for the Bundesliga.

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