Weblog: The football punter
French could pay for thinking it's all over
PRESUMPTUOUS lot, the French.
They reckon all they've got to do is block a motorway or two with a handful of combine harvesters and a tractor and the government will cave in on anything.
Or they just have a good old riot in Paris, and the next thing you know the retirement age has tumbled to 37.
Maybe that explains Laurent Blanc's approach to Paris St Germain's clash with Bayer Leverkusen.
He's presumed the tie is over after the 4-0 rout in Germany in the first leg, so he's going to leave out Marco Verratti, Blaise Matuidi and may even give Zlatan Ibrahimovic a well-earned blow.
Whatever happened to the "it's only half-time" cliche that managers are contractually obliged to say at this point of a two-legger.
I'm sure the French have got a word for Blanc's approach. We certainly have – you'd have to excuse my French if I wrote it – and I hope for his sake he doesn't come a cropper.
Actually, in fairness to him, Leverkusen boss Sami Hyypia is also likely to rest players - he obviously doesn't buy into this "it's only half-time" idea, either. His lot are doomed no matter how long is left in the tie, and he knows it.
Upshot? A non-event and I might do the Germans on the handicap.
As for Man City, I just can't give them a prayer in the Nou Camp. They were second best and second rate when they met at the Etihad and there's no reason to think there's going to be any obvious improvement.
On the grounds that Barca are slightly better than Wigan, I'll do the Barca/Barca half-time/full-time.