Nerdsplosion podcast Episode 16: Gina Carano gets the axe

0:00- Intro
0:34- Lucasfilm fires Gina Carano
6:04- Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey cast in HBO’s The Last of Us series
12:05- Horimiya episodes 1 & 2 discussion
21:04- Dr. Stone: Stone Wars Episode 1 Discussion
31:19- Higurashi: When They Cry-GOU Episode 9 discussion
40:44- WandaVision Episode 6 discussion
1:01:20- Outro

You can check out the podcast through the link below!

2020-21 Champions League preview: Barcelona vs PSG

Christmas day has arrived for football fans everywhere as the UEFA Champions League knockout round kicks off on Tuesday. The round of 16 looks to provide high drama as the Champions League returns to the two-match aggregate series to determine who advances to the next round.

Along with Liverpool battling RB Leipzig, the round of 16 will kick off with the 2020 UCL runner-ups in Paris Saint-Germain battling FC Barcelona in the round of 16 for the first time since their legendary meeting in 2017 where Barcelona overcame a 4-0 deficit in the first leg to defeat PSG 6-1 in the second leg and win on aggregate 6-5 in the greatest UCL comeback of all time.

Four years later, Barcelona have fallen on hard times. Legend Lionel Messi has feuded with leadership and the board and will most likely leave the club this summer. Barcelona sits third in the La Liga table despite leading the league in goals scored with 49. Messi leads the way with 15 goals and Antoine Griezmann has led a more vital role in the attack, notching six goals. In the group stage, Barcelona and Juventus split their meetings while dominating the rest of the group, losing the goal differential battle to finish second in Group G.

PSG once again comes into the round of 16 with injury concerns to their superstar, Neymar, who will be out through his sister’s birthday for the seventh year in a row. Due to inconsistencies from their superstars and fatigue from their run to the Champions League Final last season where they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich, PSG has struggled to retain their dominance over Ligue 1, trailing Lille OSC by one point in the standings. The leader has been young superstar Kylian Mbappe, who looks to take over as the world’s best player when Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi lose their stardom, who has 16 goals and six assists this season. Striker Moise Kean has been a gem for PSG as they acquired him form Everton last fall, scoring 10 goals to alleviate the absence of Neymar. In the group stage, PSG won the tiebreaker with Leipzig on goal differential to win Group H.

With Neymar out, the pressure will be on the likes of Mbappe, Kean, Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi to pick up the scoring load for PSG. I believe they will find their rhythm against a Barcelona backline that has struggled this season. Messi will be spectacular but he won’t be able to carry the scoring enough to outlast PSG.

Aggregate prediction: PSG 5 Barcelona 3

2020-21 Champions League preview: Liverpool vs RB Leipzig

The knockout round of the UEFA Champions League is finally here after a two-month wait! For the site going forward, I will write a preview for each two-match series in each round leading up to the Champions League Final on May, 29 in Istanbul.

To start off, the defending Premier League champions Liverpool square off with RB Leipzig, the club who made it to the UCL semifinals back in August, losing 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain.

Liverpool has fallen from the top of the mountain in the Premier League, especially during 2021. Ever since centre-back Virgil Van Dijk tore his ACL in the Merseyside Derby back in October, Liverpool has not been the same since they have had to shuffle around their backline and midfield to make up for the loss. The front line has also struggled to score, a flaw emphasized in their 1-0 losses at home to Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion. Losses to Manchester City and Leicester City have dropped the defending champions to sixth place in the Premier League, putting them in danger of missing the Champions League altogether next season. Liverpool will look to go back to their success in the group stage as they won Group D with 13 points that included a 5-0 win over Atalanta. With playmakers such as Diogo Jota and Naby Keita still out for Liverpool, the front three of Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will need to pick up the slack after struggling to begin 2021.

They will face RB Leipzig, a club who has thrived despite losing superstar striker Timo Werner to the Premier League. Back in August, Leipzig defeated Atletico Madrid 2-1 without Werner to advance to their first ever UCL semifinals. This season, Leipzig currently sits second in the Bundesliga table behind the current UCL champions in Bayern Munich. They have done so with a stout defense, conceding the fewest goals in Bundesliga play with 18. Centre-back Dayot Upamecano anchors the backline, earning himself a spot on Bayern’s formidable squad after the conclusion of this season. While there is no true go-to scorer for Leipzig this season, Angelino, Marcel Sabitzer, Emil Forsberg, Christopher Nkunku and Yussuf Poulsen have each scored four goals this season, giving Leipzig a plethora of options to score. In the UCL group stage, they lost the first-place tiebreaker with PSG on goal differential, finishing second place with 12 points.

These two matches will come down to whether Liverpool can crack through the backline of Leipzig and give their thin defense some support. Last season, Liverpool was eliminated after a defensive masterclass from Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 4-2 in extra time. This season, Liverpool will suffer the same fate as Leipzig’s defense will shut down the attack of Liverpool and goals from Forsberg and Nkunku will send Liverpool packing in the round of 16.

Aggregate prediction: RB Leipzig 3 Liverpool 1

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