Champions League quarterfinals 2016: Schedule

The Round of 16 of the 2015-16 Champions League is over and eight teams have advanced to the next round. The quarterfinals are played April 5-6 and 12-13. Below you can see the draw for the first round. We have some heavy favourites in the form of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. Also, French Paris Saint Germain and German Bayern Munich are favored by the odds. If we are to find a suitable surprise or two in the quarterfinals it might be Atletico and/or Manchester City; Atletico are having a good season in La Liga and know their opponents well. Paris SG is one of the teams under the top-tier teams and does not have the same stability as the other favourites. Another bet might be to play Wolfsburg against Real Madrid. Real have had a troublesome season in La Liga and reports are saying they have some internal strives.

Will Zlatan Ibrahimovic ever win the Champions League?

The Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is 34-years old and have won many league titles in Europe: Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France. However, he has never won a Champions League. This year might be his last chance for winning it. Rumors place him in the Premier League next year, but with Zlatan, you never know. Paris SG should be able to fend of Manchester City in the quarterfinals but in the semifinal, the greatest teams of Europe await. These are the teams you have to beat, preferable more than once, in order to win the Champions League. If we look at the 2015-16 season, it is hard to see any team match Barcelona though; Messi, Neymar and Suarez individually would be a threat in any teams offensive line-up, and Barcelona have three of them! In fact, Barcelona can probably win the Champions League even if one of them have a bad day!

April 5:

Wolfsburg vs Real Madrid
Bayern Munich vs Benfica

April 6:

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid
Paris SG vs Manchester City

April 12:

Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona
Manchester City vs Paris SG

April 13:

Real Madrid vs Wolfsburg
Benfica vs Bayern Munich

Champions League 2015-16: Paris SG 2-1 Chelsea

Paris SG

In the Champions League 2015-16 Round of 16, French capital team Paris St-Germains were drawn against British Chelsea. PSG is having a good season, with a clear lead in Ligue 1, while Chelsea is struggling in Premier League. Before the first match of the playoffs, which were played in Paris, PSG had some internal fuzz going on, when Serge Aurier decided to insult his team mates in social media. The question was how this would affect tonight’s game?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the first goal

The phase of the game increased as time passed in the first half. Paris SG had the most of the ball possession while Chelsea created some dangers in the offensive penalty area. German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp made a remarkable save worth a Youtube-video, on a header from Chelsea’s Diego Costa. Instead, it was PSG who could score the first goal, through Swedish star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic scored on a free kick. The wall bounced on a defender and surprised Thibaut Courtois in the goal. The Swedish commentaries made two interesting questions afterwards: why do the defenders in the wall move, when their mission is to stand still and block the shot, and why do they goalkeeper throw himself in one direction when he knows there is a chance the ball might hit something on the way and change direction?

PSG’s one goal advantage did not last though. John Obi Mikel could score the equalized when the clock showed 45+1. A psychological and important goal for Chelsea. 1-1 before the second half. A result we all recognize from the double meetings between the team from the last years Champions League playoffs.

However, Edinson Cavani had other plans than letting history repeat itself. With about 15 minutes remaining of the match, he distinctively shot 2-1 for Paris SG which also became the end result. A very important goal before the return meeting on Stamford Bridge, Wednesday, March 9.

Other results from the Champions League 2016 Round of 16

Benfica 1-0 Zenit St. Petersburg
AA Gent 2-3 Wolfsburg
Roma 0-2 Real Madrid
Dynamo Kiev 1-3 Manchester City
Arsenal 0-2 Barcelona
Juventus 2-2 Bayern Munich

The old lady has awakened

English football

In this post, we check the status of Europe’s biggest football leagues: Spanish La Liga, English Premier League, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1 and German Bundesliga.

La Liga

In La Liga, we find last year’s champions Barcelona at the top. Their main rivals, Real Madrid is at third place, having sacked coach Rafael Benitez, replacing him with former French superstar Zinedine Zidane. The main focus in media has been on the two giants and El Clásico, however, at second place in La Liga Atlético Madrid has sneaked up, just 1 point behind Barcelona after 20 matches played.

Barcelona 48p
Atlético Madrid 47p
Real Madrid 43p

Premier League

This season’s biggest surprise, Leicester is still at the top of Premier League. Manchester City and Arsenal are trailing three points behind. The English league is one of the most exciting and tight national football leagues this season. Chelsea were favourites before the season started. We placed our earnings on Arsenal which is still a good bet. However, the Gunners also have the Champions League playoffs to worry about were they are put up the toughest opposition ever in the Round of 16: Last year’s winners Barcelona FC.

Leicester 47p
Manchester City 44p
Arsenal 44p

Serie A

As we wrote in the title: The old lady has awakened! Hopelessly trailing after the first months, last year’s Serie A champions Juventus are now at second place, just 2 points behind Lazio. Inter is chasing at third place. Juventus are also put up against tough opposition in the Champions League: They will face German giants Bayern Munich in the Round of 16. Our guess is that they will top Serie A but be eliminated from Champions League before March 2016 is over.

Napoli 44p
Juventus 42p
Inter 40p

Ligue 1

Ligue 1 is pretty much decided. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paris SG is dominating at the top with 19 wins and 3 draws. However, this season is not about the national titles for PSG: They are aiming to advance in the Champions League where they are once again put against Chelsea in the play offs.

Paris SG 60p
Nice 36p
Monaco 36p


Bayern Munich is Germany’s answer to Paris SG. Everyone is expecting them to win the national titles but the fans demand more: They want another Champions League title. Last time they lifted the trophy was in 2013. In Bundesliga, Bayern have 16 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. Dortmund is at second place and the team from the capital, Hertha Berlin, is having a good season and can be found at the third place.

Bayern Munich 49p
Dortmund 41p
Hertha Berlin 33p

Champions League 2016: Round of 16

live stream football

The group stage of Champions League is finished and the round of 16 drawn. As usual, the play offs are held in the format of two matches. The first round is played February 16-17 and 23-24. The second round is played March 8-9 and 15-16. We have some interesting matches to look forward to. Last season’s champions, Barcelona, will once again face Arsenal. Paris SG and Chelsea meet once again. Chelsea just gave their coach Jose Mourinho the boot. He is replaced by Guus Hiddink. This is the third year in a row that Chelsea and Paris SG are drawn against each other in the Champions League playoffs. Two years ago, Chelsea beat PSG in the quarterfinals. Last season, PSG eliminated Chelsea in the round of 16 thanks to more goals scored away. The old Lady, Juventus, who were in the final last year, will have to find a way to pass Bayern Munich.

Round of 16, Champions League 2016:

KAA Gent – VfL Wolfsburg
AS Roma – Real Madrid
Paris SG – Chelsea
Arsenal – FC Barcelona
Juventus – Bayern Munich
PSV Eindhoven – Atlético Madrid
Benfica – Zenit St Petersburg
Dynamo Kiev – Manchester City

Odds, teams to advance

As usual, the German and Spanish teams are favourites. However, we would like to pose a warning for PSV Eindhoven who made an excellent group phase, eliminating Manchester United from group B. Chelsea won their group even though they have had a tough season in the Premier League so far, with reports of internal conflicts. Maybe the Champions League can unite them towards a shared objective somehow? Paris SG have the odds on their side but are far from obvious favourites. Looking at how all teams have performed during the 2015-16 season two teams have to be regarded as heavy contesters for the overall win in Champions League: Barcelona and Bayern Munich. After a slow start, Barcelona is now at the top of La Liga, easily winning the first El Clásico of the year. Before the season, everyone expected Bayern Munich to win all german titles and they have a great advantage in the already decided Bundesliga. They have also played their best game in Champions League, especially when they defeated Arsenal 5-1.

Euro 2016: groups, schedule and predictions


The 2016 UEFA European Championships in France are decided June 10 – July 10. In this post you will find the group draw with comments, match schedule and odds + predictions. The two best placed teams from every group together with the four best third placed teams goes through to the playoffs.


Group A:


Comment: Home Nation France received a favorable draw. They will win the group and bring Switzerland with them to the playoffs!

Group B:


Comment: We are looking forward watching the derby between England and Wales. Perhaps two British teams are heading for the playoffs?

Group C:

Northern Ireland

Comment: World Cup 2014 winners Germany will win group C and Poland grabs the second place.

Group D:

Czech Republic

Comment: Spain failed in the World Cup 2014 and their dynasty was roughed in its edges. In the Euro 2016 they will probably do better. However, group D is a tight history with four good teams. Any team from this group can reach the playoffs.

Group E:


Comment: Sweden got a quite ok draw. The toughest teams like Spain and Germany were avoided from seeding group one. However, Italy from seeding group two will be a hard nut to crack for coach Erik Hamrén. We still remember Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal against Italy in the 2004 Euro. 2-2 against Belgium and the spaghettis are out? 🙂

Group F:


Comment: In group F we look forward to following Lars Lagerbäck and Iceland. Some would write Cristian Ronaldo’s Portugal as favourites here, but we will raise a warning for both Iceland and Austria.


June 10 – June 22: Group stage

June 25 – 27: Round of 16
June 30 – July 3: Quarterfinals
July 6 – 7: Semifinals
July 10: Final

Betting tips:

  • As we mentioned above, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on Austria. It was no coincidence that they won their qualifying group with a large margin.
  • Many great nations (England, Spain, Holland) has not reached normal capacity the last two years. It opens for other teams. Especially in the group “of death” D.
  • More nations are starting to get championship experience. Switzerland and Belgium among others.

State of Euro football, December 2015

English football

As usual, in the beginning of each month we check the status of the biggest football leagues of Europe: German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, French Ligue 1, English Premier League and Italian Serie A. Some of you might wonder why we don’t write about the Swedish league (Allsvenskan). The reason for this is that the quality of the league is somewhat low and the best Swedish players are playing in the European Leagues. For example, our superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic is playing in Paris Saint Germain in the French league. Also, the Swedish league is not played at the same time as the other leagues. Allsvenskan ended about a month ago with Norrköping as champions. At Chicken Swedes, we do follow Swedish teams and player in Europe. The last two years we have had the pleasure of reporting from Malmö FF’s matches in Champions League. Anyway, below are reports from the domestic leagues of Europe:


Nothing new here, really. As in our reports from October and November, Bayern Munich is in a clear lead at 40 points, followed by Dortmund at 32 points. For Bayern, this season is all about Champions League. Together with Barcelona, they are the team that have impressed most on us, especially when they defeated Arsenal 5-1. They will continue to defeat the opposition in Bundesliga and the question is not if, but with how many points they will win the league.

La Liga

Barcelona has the grip of the top position in La Liga after defeating Real Madrid in the first El Clásico of the season. With one match lesser played, they are at a comfortable 3 point lead before Real. Atlético Madrid is chasing one point behind their Madrid rivals.

Ligue 1

The French league is pretty much already decided with Paris SG at the top with a 15 point lead before Angers. As with Bayern Munich, the fans are expecting progress in Champions League this year.

Premier League

Premier League is a more open history this season. Before the season started, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea was favourites but have had a miserable season so far. Instead, Leicester(!) is at the top after 15 rounds of play. However, only 3 points differ between team 1 and 4 (Leicester, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United) and the league is a nail biter so far.

Serie A

Similar to Premier League, 4 points differ between the top four teams: Napoli, Inter, Fiorentina and Roma. Also, Juventus has awakened and is chasing the top four, one point behind.

The next report comes in 2016. Then we have a new year and the teams will have to focus on both the Round of 16 in Champions League as well as winning their weekly matches in the national leagues. A football season is a marathon and the teams that can endure the longest will win. Stay tuned as we continue to report from the best football leagues in the world.

Champions League 2015-16: Barcelona 6-1 Roma


In the first meeting between the two teams in Champions League 2015-16, Roma and Barcelona played 1-1 in Italy. Before the second match, Barcelona was at the top of group E at 10 points before Roma at 5 points. Barcelona were strengthened by their victory in this weekend’s El Clásico. Roma have had their up and downs this season, with a great offense, but questionable defensive play. A tied game would mean that Barcelona would win the group. A win for Roma would give the Italians a theoretical chance to win group E.

Messi, Suárez, Neymar

Lionel Messi, who has been suffering from a knee injury this season, played for Barcelona from the start. He was into the action immediately with a couple of scoring chances the first 10 minutes. Barcelona got the ball behind Roma’s defenses time after time. After 15 minutes of play, Daniel Alves could serve Luis Suárez for 1-0. Roma kept playing with a high defensive line and no defenses at the sides. In fact, they looked uninterested in defending at all. Two minutes after the first goal, Lionel Messi scored the second. After some beautiful plays he made no mistake, increasing Barcelona’s lead to 2-0. After 35 minutes of play Barcelona had a ball possession advantage of 73%-27%. Roma kept playing defensively sloppy, without aggressiveness on the midfield. Shortly before the break, Suárez scores his second goal of the game with a nice shot. Two goals tonight, two goals in El Clásico and five goals in five matches is his current record. His suspension from the national team is over so he can once again play for Uruguay.

Most of Barcelona’s offense was created through the three superstars Messi, Suárez and Neymar. They kept playing the ball in the second half. Roma got a good chance in the beginning of the second half but Marc-André ter Stegen made the save. A couple of minutes later, Messi served Gerard Piqué for 4-0. Lionel Messi also did his second goal of the match in the 59th minute. The goal was another result of the cooperation between the three amigos. However, Neymar still had no goal. He sure had his chances in the second half. His best chance was at a penalty shot in the 75th minute. Wojciech Szczęsny saved though, but another Brazilian player, Adriano Correia, scored on the rebound, making it 6-0.

Roma also got a penalty, in the 81st minute, but Edin Dzeko failed to convert on it. He got a comfort goal in the last kick of the game though, making the final score 6-1 in favor of Barcelona who are now at the lead in La Liga and is ready for round of 16 in Champions League.

Other results:

Bate Borisov 1-1 Leverkusen
Arsenal 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb
Bayern Munich 4-0 Olympiakos
Porto 0-2 Dynamo Kiev
Tel Aviv 0-4 Chelsea
FC Zenit 2-0 Valencia
Lyon 1-2 Gent

Barcelona crushed Real Madrid in the first El Clásico of 2015-16

El Clasico

The first El Clásico between Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona of the 2015-16 season was played at the Santiago Stadium in Madrid. Fly Emirates against Qatar Airways on the jerseys. The King’s team from the Capital against the separatists from Catalonia. Real had not lost a league match at home in over a year. The last time they lost was over 22 rounds ago, in the derby against Altletico. Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi started on the bench, being injured for 2 months.Barcelona, ​​however, had the upper hand in the league as they led by 27 points against Real Madrid’s 24. Real lost points due to a loss against Sevilla recently. 170 countries and 600 million viewers watched the El Clásico. If two teams have the same number of points in La Liga, internal matches are decisive which makes these derbys extra important.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring

Real Madrid started strongly but quickly fell back when Barcelona’s players began to roll the ball between each other. It soon became clear that Real does not perform very well without the ball. They are not used to defending and became an unorganized, long and wide team.Both teams had some decent chances early on but it was Barcelona who got the lead after 10 minutes when Luis Suárez scored. Barcelona dominated the game more and more. After 25 minutes they had an advantage in ball possession of 60% to 40%. Real Madrid managed to get some half-chance after tangling in Barcelona’s penalty area, but instead it was Neymar Jr. who could score 0-2 for Barcelona in the 39th minute. Neymar was also close to serve Suárez for 0-3 in the second overtime minute in the first half, but Real Madrid could go into halftime with “only” two goals disadvantage.

White handkerchiefs

The audience at Santiago waved their white handkerchiefs. It is a gesture taken from bullfighting when the audience is dissatisfied with the matador or the bull. In the second half, Real Madrid managed to get a couple of early chances on goal but without success. Barcelona were the stronger team tonight. In the 53rd minute Iniesta passed Neymar that heeled the ball back. Iniesta made the goal of the game with a hard shot in the top corner. 0-3, thank you and good night Madrid. Barcelona also had several chances to score 0-4. After about 55 minutes Lionel Messi entered the pitch. Real Madrid made a few changes, hoping to start a more efficient offensive. Messi initially looked a little sluggish, but eventually raised his game in his 31st El Clásico. After a period of positioning in the match Barcelona’s high pressure continued. They were a synched team the whole match. Their goalkeeper Claudio Bravo did some excellent saves, including a close encounter with Cristiano Ronaldo. In the 74th minute Luis Suárez could score his second goal of the evening. He was allowed to stand unchallenged in Real’s penalty box, feinted and shot 0-4. After this game 6 points differed between the teams in La Liga and the question is if Barcelona decided the league tonight. The match ended with a red card for Real Madrid and a 0-4 victory for Catalonia and Barcelona.

The Next El Clasico played in Barcelona Sunday, April 3, 2016.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic retired Denmark

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The battle between nordic rivals Sweden and Denmark in the Euro 2016 qualifiers playoffs was judged to be a tough fight beforehand. Much of the talk in media was about Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic and if he still had what it takes to be the decisive force in important matches. After two matches were played, Zlatan had done three goals.


Zlatan retired Denmark

Time for retirement, a Danish newspaper wrote beforehand. “I retired the entire Danish team”, Zlatan answered after the playoffs were over. Sweden qualified to the 2016 European Championships in France next summer. In the first match at home, Sweden were dominating the field for a long time. After 50 minutes of play, they had a 2-0 lead after goals by Emil Forsberg and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (penalty shot). Denmark came back though and scored the important 1-2 away goal.

In the return meeting, Denmark had an overall 60-40 advantage in ball possession the entire match, but failed to create much in their offense. Sweden at the other hand, had Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Denmark failed to convert on 7 attempts, Sweden just needed 1, on a corner. Zlatan broke free from his defender and scored 1-0 with an elegant wrister. 2-0 came in the second half. It was a free kick of superior quality and perfection. Zlatan one again silenced the opposition and Sweden get to enjoy another warm summer with a football championship.

24 teams in the 2016 European Championships

In the other playoffs, Ukraine eliminated Slovenia, Ireland Bosnia-Hercegovina and Hungary Norway. That gives us the following teams in the 2016 European Championships:

France (host)
Northern Ireland
Czech Republic

The group draw will take place in France, December 12. We will return with a full report of the groups with odds and predictions.

Euro 2016 playoffs: Sweden got the odd goal win against Denmark

The first leg of the playoffs for Euro 2016 in France has been played. The Nordic battle between Sweden and Denmark was played at Friends Arena, Stockholm. The players wore black armbands in order to honor the victims of the cowardly terror attacks in Paris last night. Both teams started the match in a good phase and we got to see some offensive football. After 15 minutes of play, Denmark had 63% ball possession against Sweden’s 37% but they never created any clear scoring chances. Instead, Sweden got a number of good shots. Marcus Berg missed three attempts the first 30 minutes. The ball possession evened out as the first half progressed. Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost gave Sweden the go ahead goal after a quick counter-attack, but just missed the net.

Forsberg scored the first goal

Slightly before the first half ended, Emil Forsberg scored 1-0 Sweden after some nice plays by Jimmy Durmaz and Mikael Lustig. The first half ended with a free kick by Ibrahimovic that Kasper Smeichel, son of former Danish goalkeeper Peter Smeichel, managed to save.

Sweden got a dream start of the second half. After a few minutes of play Emil Forsberg were one again a part of the action. This time he got tripped in the penalty area and the referees decision was a penalty kick. Ibrahimovic made no mistake from the penalty spot and the score was 2-0 Sweden after about 50 minutes of play. However, now Denmark began to play with higher pressure. Sweden lost their offensive play and had to focus on defense. In fact, the larger part of the second half was dominated by Denmark. In the 80th minutes Nicolai Jörgensen scored 1-2 after a corner kick. That might be a very important goal for Denmark. If they win by 1-0 in the second leg, November 17th at Parken, Copenhagen, they will advance to the 2016 European Championships in France. This battle is still open for grabs…

Results, playoffs Euro 2016

Norway 0-1 Hungary
Ukraine 2-0 Slovenia
Ireland 1-1 Bosnia-Hercegovina
Sweden 2-1 Denmark

A tough result for Norway who was to go down to Hungary and score two goals. Ukraine should be able to qualify to the Euro 2016 while the other two games are as open as they get…