USA did enhanced bettors/DRT’ers proud with a 0-0 at halftime only to win 3-0 full time. German ladies lacked a bit of vorsprung durch technik as the Dane Dames held on for a 2nd consecutive 0-0. Ze Germans are wracking up draws now, and this sequence must end soon so watch out for that. I did mention the unreliability of women’s football so stakes must be lower than usual.

Juve were a step too far for the Bhoys and recorded another clean sheet as the research pointed out, and PSG did what was necessary to ensure qualification without the magic of Ibra and with Brainy Beckham on the bench.

Deep joy. It’s the Europa League, like solving a rubiks cube blindfolded.

5pm – Anzhi Makhachkala v Newcastle – 1.68 home – 1st leg and usual rules apply. Home side seek to keep away side from scoring. Away side will take a 0-1 , even a 2-1 as long as they get an away goal.

3 score draws in last 4 for Anzhi. Their last defeat was away to Young Boys. Here’s their recent home form. WWWWDWWWWWWWWWDWWDW – superb stuff in all competitions. They have beaten the likes of Liverpool and Udinese at home of late.

General rule of thumb in EL is that Anzhi win at home and lose or draw away. WWWWWWW in 2012/2013 in the EL at home, conceding only 1 goal.

Recent defeats v Reading, Swansea and Spurs for Newcastle. Away form has been dire for hawaythemanpetlass’s with wins only against Villa and Metalist . Newcastle have reasonable form in the EL but let’s look at 2012 form as there is a marked gap to previous form. DWDWWDDLDW – that loss was away at Bordeaux. We must also factor in team changes post transfer window which should see a more potent Newcastle up front , despite the absence of sheep man, BAAAAAA.

Newcastle have struggled away in the EL , DDDLW – sole win was a 0-1 v Metalist care of a penalty.

I would have to say advantage Anzhi surely with that home form which is imperious. Anzhi have conceded only 1 in 2012/2013 EL home matches , all wins.  The Geordie defence will rarely meet a forward of the calibre of Samuel Et’oo that often either. Newcastle play Stoke on the 10th. A shuffled pack perhaps in this less than ideal competition?

6pm – Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea – 2.12 away – knee jerk reaction is that Chelsea are big at 2.12.Tough to evaluate Romanian domestic form so I shan’t bother, suffice to say domestically at home, it’s WWLWWWWWWWWWWWWLWWW – draws a rare recent occurence. 12 of those wins saw clean sheets.

2-0 win at home to Ajax latest in the EL is a decent result. BUT they are suspect, as seen in the 1-5 mauling at the hands of Stuttgart. That might be a template as regards what an on song Chelsea can do this evening, although 2.12 for Chelsea might hide within it a thinking that Rafa will shuffle the pack?

Again we have an avoidance of the draw when Steaua are at home in the EL. WWLLWWWLW – defeats v Twente and Spartak Trnava and that mauling by Stuttgart. Wins have come largely to nil against Europe’s lesser lights.

Only 2 chelsea defeats in 14 in a 3-2 v Newcastle and v City. Last 4 Chelsea wins have been to nil.

DDDLWLW away from home of late. Wins v Sparta Prague and Boro hardly earth shattering formlines!

Not much EL form to go on as there is a massive gap to earlier years so we only have 0-1 away win v Sparta and 1-1 at home to Sparta. I guess a 0-1 would be what a defensive coach such as Rafa would play for today.. Like Anzhi, Steaua have a strong home record and tend to avoid draws. Their Europa League form is a little suspect as regards the strengths of the teams they have beaten.

An imponderable for me, team news vital  How much of a distraction is an FA Cup match with Man Utd on the 10th March?

805pm – Benfica v Bordeaux – 1.58 home- Benfica domestically are unbeaten this season and have scored in all matches. Their only recent defeats were against Barcelona and Spartak Moscow.

Since March 2012 only Barca and Chelsea have beaten Benfica at home.

Only Liverpool and Sporting Braga have beaten Benfica lately in the EL. 2009 to date at home, it’s WWWWWDWWWWWW. In those last 6 wins, both teams scored.

Bordeaux a bit ropey of late LDLWLDL overall.

No win in last 4 aways.

2012 Europa form DWWLDWWWDW . Away from home, it’s DLDWD – scoring and conceding in last 4 matches.

Benfica’s unbeaten sequence domestically must course confidence through their veins. They have tended to concede in recent wins at home, which brings the overs into play.

805pm – Tottenham v Inter – 1.77 home – Spurs are flying high domestically while Inter are crashing this season, despite a gutsy 2-3 win v Catania after being 2 goals down.

Inter’s away form in the league has been dire. In the Europa League, they have only lost to Hajduk Split and Rubin Kazan . Beaten Cluj and Partizan latest and Spurs are considerably sharper than those 2.

WWWWLW in Europa away but again opponents suspect when compared with Spurs.

All wins scoring 3/2

Spurs recent form is well known so let’s look at EL form. DDDWDWWD last 4 draws away draws.

DWWW at home, 0-0 v Lazio, scored and conceded in wins v Maribor, Panathanaikos and Lyon.

I watched the Inter match v Catania and they were terrible at times. The scoring of 3 is down more to Catania’s defense than any Inter attacking threat. IF OH ARSE is going to pick a strong side, then Inter are vulnerable. We must though bow to the fact they have scored 2 or 3 in all recent away wins in the EL , and only Rubin KAzan stopped them scoring.