UEFA cup semi final – Second leg: Werder Bremen vs. Espanyol

You would be forgiven if you thought that playing this match was a mere formality. Espanyol pulled off one of the most surprising victories of the season (or the last couple of seasons!) with a three nil home win in the first leg. So, everything is wrapped up. Or is it? Werder Bremen still have their chances of winning the Bundesliga, although they did lose away to struggling Bielefeld at the weekend. Good news for Bielefeld, who pulled themselves out of the relegation zone. You have to feel sorry for Bremen. They were leading their domestic competition for quite a few weeks (ten in fact), and playing in the Champions league. Now though, they are in danger of being unceremoniously kicked out of the UEFA cup by (let’s be honest) an inferior team, and losing a place in next year’s Champions league. Werder Bremen don’t deserve such a destiny though, having the squad that they do. Brazilian international Diego has been having a solid first season in Germany, although it is unlikely that he will be there next season as Real Madrid have expressed their interest in him. Star player Klose hasn’t had much to shout about recently. He is having all sorts of problems at the scoring end, and he could well be another to exit the club at the season’s end.
For Espanyol, their problem could be in thinking everything has already been done. A three nil advantage is a huge advantage in any competition, but if they go there too relaxed we might well see another upset. Both play makers Ivan de la Peña and Jonatas Domingos are still out with injuries and won’t make it on time, and added to that Moisés Hurtado and Walter Pandiani can’t play because of suspensions.
I am going to put my money on a home win for this game, but not by enough to allow Werder Bremen get to the final in Glasgow. I can see Espanyol sitting back and soaking up the pressure like they did at the weekend against Sevilla, but could get a late goal to finish off the qualifier and book their place in the final.
Prediction: home win (2-1)

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