CL Qualifying Round 3

The return legs of the CL qualifiers from 2 weeks ago are tonight and tomorrow. The pick of the litter tonight is Dinamo Bucharest (1) v Lazio (1) as the Romanian champs hope to use their away goal to go on and upset Lazio from Serie A. Remarkably, if Bucharest holds on tonight against Lazio and their bitter rivals Steaua Bucharest advance tomorrow night, then Romania will have 2 teams in the Group Stages. Don’t know much about Dinamo, but Steaua was in the CL last season, and has made good runs in the UEFA Cup the past 2 seasons as well (3rd place finishers in CL Group phase are entered into UEFA Cup draw).

Liverpool should finish the job against Frenchies Toulouse tonight at Anfield. LP will be without defender Jamie Carragher who broke a rib in their 2-0 win at Sunderland on Saturday. Steven Gerrard will not suit up due to his broken toe. Sincerely hope Rafa continues to rest the franchise this weekend against lightweights Derby. Free transfer Andriy Voronin continues to impress as he scored and set-up Momo Sissoko’s 1st LP goal. The power of the Ukrainian pony-tail is alive and well. TTL would link to the Sissoko goal but the Premier League is inexplicably suing YouTube for copyright infringement.

LP will pay tribute to Rhys Jones as they’ll play Everton’s theme song “Johnny Todd” at Anfield before the traditional “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” There is some deep soul-searching taking place in England at the moment as several violent acts involving young people have wracked the nation.

Also, the AEK Athens v Sevilla is postponed due to the death of 22 year-old Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta who collapsed during the game against Getafe on Saturday. Puerta came up through the club’s youth system and has been an integral part of Sevilla’s past 2 impressive seasons. He collapsed on the pitch, was able to walk off it but then suffered a massive heart attack in the dressing room. Simply tragic.

To be perfectly fair, looking into the above 2 items has dampened the enthusiasm for writing this post. Enjoy the games, as sometimes sports is the best remedy for life’s ills.

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