Welcome back! The CM9798 Cup got underway last weekend, and we gave away our first prize in midweek. You could say it’s hotting up, but I won’t as it’s October and it’s actually starting to get a bit chilly. Temperatures aside, I’ve got two more quarter finals for you. But first, a look at the tournament so far
Yes, I updated Mark’s Twitter name. Please keep your names people, I’m very lazy. Anyway, let’s get on with it.
PSG vs Juventus
Before PSG were owned by a nation, they had a smattering of superstars that made them a difficult proposition on CM9798. The random draw saw @StackingtonCMFC be paired with the French giants – Stacko will be bringing you a blog on his custom tactic in the near future, but here’s his vision for this game
Sadly there are no quotes from Stacko at this point in time, but if I get them I will edit them in later. Here’s the squad:
In the black and white corner, which is a thing, is long time supporter of the blog @riddley82. Juventus are a strong side from back to front and went from losing Champions League finalists in 1997 to losing Champions League finalists in 1998. Still, I’m sure Ross can work with that…
Ross, you must fancy your chances having been given Juventus?
I’m very happy with Zidane, er I mean Juventus. Defence is very strong and as long as my attack can poach the odd goal we are up there with the favourites.
Talk us through your wildcard picks – opposite ends of the spectrum I think!
Worns from Germany fits nicely into my three at the back formation. He was a legend on the game. Then I picked Shearer – Super Al scores goals and I need a hit man for Del Boy and ZZ to feed off. Plus with the host being a Geordie I’m hoping for some brownie points. Yeah?
We’ll see. Who’s going to win it?
Man Utd are my favourites, they are strong in all departments. But saying that, Barcelona are just as good.
It should be pointed out that any players who started with an in-game injury had their name altered to free them of their injury hell. In Ross’ case, that meant Al Shearer was a great pick…
This was on the final ‘done’ before the game too! PSG were more or less at full strength, formation and all, whilst Inzaghi for a reprieve for Ross.
PSG were dealt an immediate blow as Marco Simone departed on a stretcher 5 minutes in. Things went from bad to worse as on 37 minutes Del Piero opened the scoring after Davids put him in behind the defence. Thus commenced the great Italian shape, defending and time wasting like their lives depended on it.
A goalkeeper in inspired form, despite Paul Le Guen running the game from the sweeper role (sweeping the entire pitch) the French side couldn’t find a way through, so it was Ross who advanced to the semi finals…
…somehow. Peruzzi is one of the best goalkeepers in the game and it really showed. Stacko ended up playing this formation trying to find an equaliser
Afterwards, Stacko said: “So many chances but it wasn’t to be. I am a Juventus fan for the semis!”
Meanwhile Ross couldn’t quite believe what had happened. “Wow, how Italian was my team? Unlucky, Stacko”
As the pair embraced in a cuddle that lasted a little too long in length, I headed off to Germany for the remaining quarter final.
Borussia Dortmund vs Manchester United
Dortmund are an odd side. They’re the reigning European Champions but they’re a bit average. It’s not helped that in the original game they had Paulo Sousa, but he moved to Inter by the time the game was patched and Dortmund were weakened by his absence. Still, @winkveron (Dan, to you and I) has two wildcards to try and improve them, so what’s to worry about?
Look at the date! The game hadn’t even shown me the home screen and Ricken is…stricken. But what does the manager think?
Dan, are you looking forward to working with Dortmund?
I’m happy enough with Dortmund although feel that their squad, on paper at least, doesn’t look like defending European champions.
How did you decide to use your two wildcards?
I immediately identified the need to strengthen up front and in net, so was delighted to get Barthez and Ronaldo, my first picks in each position. I’ve got a very experienced team and although it’s perhaps light on youth, hopefully will be enough for a short tournament format.
Name me a winner…
I’d say Barcelona or Juventus are favourites.
Sure, Ricken is a big loss, but how about this?
@TomReedwriting would have to manage without the future England captain on his quest to topple the European champions. The wildcards were already in the bank by this point too…
Talk us through your transfers Tom, there’s a lot of young talent at Man Utd but what have you done for the here and now?
Bakayoko speaks for himself as a legend of the game and a complete powerhouse. The bloke is a monster of CM 97/98 instantly improving any team so I’m going with the ‘blast the opponents’ out the park route with a strong forward line and just hope on the rest.
My other wild card is a sore point with Alfonso, another Champ Man legend being injured for the 1st game with a stubbed toe of all injuries. I never managed to sign him when I played before and I hope I get through and his visit to a toe specialist pays off.
If Man Utd aren’t the favourites – who are?
I’ll go PSG as I know what a strong team they have with the likes of Patrice Loko, Paul Le Guen, Jerome Leroy and Rai.
As Tom mentioned, Alfonso was only bloody injured…
So neither team was at full strength but there was still an awful lot of talent in the 22 fielded. Dan opted for the popular 5-3-2 attacking whilst Tom stuck with tried and tested 4-4-2, with Terry Cooke the main beneficiary of Beckham’s injury.
Standby for an absolutely mad first half…
Forgive the picture quality on this one, it’s a long story. Anyway, I guess the real talking point here was Barthez was only booked for conceding the pen. We were in for a belter of a second half
Nope. Nothing happened. Dortmund controlled the second half and Schmeichel actually kept Tom in it at times.
Was this a shock? It’s hard to say, take Beckham and Alfonso out of any team and it will make a difference. But it was Dortmund’s day.
A very happy Dan said, “Shut up shop second half #Mourinho”. There is some debate about whether the word hashtag was actually uttered.
Tom took the defeat in good grace, adding “I’m selling Alfonso on a free if anyone wants him, the sick note”
Our semi-final lineup is in place
Join me next week to find out who will be competing in our grand final. Keep an eye on Twitter during the week as we are giving away France 98 Monopoly!
The CM9798 Cup is sponsored by Classic11.com