Friday, April 03, 2009
Aston Villa's trip to Old Trafford headlines the weekend's proceedings as the Red Devils look to end their two-game losing streak. Elsewhere, Chelsea go see Shearer and Newcastle, Fulham host Liverpool, Arsenal welcome Manchester City, Everton welcome Wigan, West Ham welcome Sunderland, West Brom welcome Stoke, Hull host Portsmouth, Boro go to Bolton and Blackburn host Spurs...
Nick Webster's Predictions
Bolivia 6 - 1 Argentina
There's no clever intro to this article, because the scoreline speaks for itself. If his side had lost like this to Brazil, Diego Maradona would have been humiliated, but at least the idea of Brazil, at some point in their history, putting six past such illustrious opponents isn't completely unthinkable. Bolivia on the other hand were a side who'd only beaten Argentina five times before Wednesday night, losing 22 of their 29 encounters prior to this week.
This was the week in which Toon legend Alan Shearer finally decided to ride to the rescue of Newcastle United, Diego Maradona went from "perfection" to being "stabbed in the heart" and fan power forced Christian Vieri to quit Serie A.
Inter are anxiously awaiting news on Adriano who seems to have skipped his orders to return on time...
Dood! Get up! You missed your flight!!
Rangers have stripped Barry Ferguson of the captaincy and dropped the midfielder and keeper Allan McGregor after breaching Scotland discipline.
Rangers manager Walter Smith said he decided to take action after V-signs made by the players while sitting on the bench against Iceland on Wednesday.
The Bundesliga returns following the international break for the World Cup qualifiers, and players will be returning from all over the globe. The race for the title is still as open as ever with three clubs within a point of leaders Hertha Berlin. Goal.com previews all the weekend action in Germany.
Friday 3rd April (all times local)
20:30 Arminia Bielefeld – Schalke
Saturday 4th April
15:30 VfL Wolfsburg – Bayern Munich
15:30 VfL Bochum – VfB Stuttgart
15:30 Hertha Berlin– Borussia Dortmund
15:30 Eintracht Frankfurt – Energie Cottbus
15:30 Hamburg – 1899 Hoffenheim
Sunday 5th April
17:00 1.FC Koeln – Bayer Leverkusen
17:00 Werder Bremen – Hannover
17:00 Karlsruhe – Bor. Moenchengladbach
The sight of English clubs meeting in the knock-out stages of the Champions League now seems uncomfortably common with Chelsea's imminent meeting with Liverpool bringing back memories of some torpid footballing occasions. Yet as recently as 2004 a meeting between a pair of Premier League clubs was a thrilling novelty.
Arsenal vs. Chelsea: April 6, 2004 saw the tie arrive at Highbury with most expecting the Gunners to progress to the last four.
I was there and saw all three goals go in right in front of me. I'm still recovering from that night...-Sanford
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Fox plans expanded coverage of the European Champions League next season, with matches appearing on Fox Sports Net and FX in addition to the Fox Soccer Channel.
FSC, which reaches 34 million households, plans to launch HD telecasts at the end of this year.
While ESPN announcers called the games from its studios in Bristol, Conn., FSC may take the international English audio feeds provided by UEFA.
Italy and Ireland drew 1-1 in a controversial World Cup clash in Bari. Carlo Garganese analyzes last night’s action, and has some harsh words for the Azzurri coach…
Winger Albert Riera struck a late winner for European champions Spain who came from behind to win 2-1 in Turkey and maintain their 100% record in 2010 World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday. Spain made it six wins from six in Group Five and can almost certainly start planning for next year's finals in South Africa.
Slovakia win in Prague prompts some underpants dancing...
England: Difficult night but Three Lions emerge winners
Germany: Pacesetting status confirmed
Ireland: Robbie Keane rescues point in Bari
France: Ribery on target yet again
Northern Ireland: Feeney keeps dream alive
Italy: Champions still top of group after draw
Scotland: Hard-fought victory
Czech Republic: Shocked on home soil by Slovakia
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but that does not explain why Liverpool have started to act like Manchester United and the defending champions have appeared to copy their closest challengers in the last three weeks.
When it comes to the U.S. attack, it has long been thought that Brian Ching was merely keeping the forward position warm for Jozy Altidore, especially given manager Bob Bradley's tendency to play with a single striker. But based on Wednesday's 3-0 dismantling of Trinidad & Tobago, one that featured an Altidore hat trick, it's clear that the Americans' offense functions a heck of lot better when both players are in the lineup.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
It's going on eight years for Mrs. SSN and me -- perhaps we should renew our vows...
Europe's fight for 13 World Cup places hots up on Wednesday with seven months to go before the end of qualifying for South Africa 2010.
Nine group winners and four runners up from a two-leg play-off slot into place at the momentous, 32-nation football jamboree from June 11 to July 11 next year, the first finals to be held in Africa.
Racing Club goalkeeper Pablo Migliore acted as if nothing unusual had happened during a recent morning training session.
“We understand that the supporters are angry,” he said. “We ask them to support us because we need to be together to get out of this situation.
Venezuela tightened South American qualifying for the 2010 World Cup with a 2-0 victory over Colombia on Tuesday night.
Josh Kennedy and Harry Kewell scored second-half goals to put Australia on the cusp of securing a World Cup spot with a 2-0 win over Uzbekistan on Wednesday.
The United States vs.
Trinidad and Tobago
World Cup 2010 qualifying, CONCACAF final round
7:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, April 1
Where: LP Field;
TV: ESPN 2 and Galavision
Ives: U.S. looks to restore order against Soca Warriors
Rogers: U.S. looks to rebound from El Salvador debacle
Rangers pair Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor will stay part of Scotland's squad for the World Cup qualifier against Iceland after apologising for a breach of discipline.
It is understood the Rangers duo were involved in a drinking session at Scotland's Loch Lomond base after they returned from Saturday's 3-0 defeat by Holland in Amsterdam.
Scene of the session...
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Brazil dropped to fourth in the 10-team group—the lowest position in which they can qualify directly for the 2010 finals in South Africa—after drawing 1-1 away to Ecuador on Sunday.
Brian Clough thought team selection was easy, but our expert panel of Alan Hansen, Alan Smith and Henry Winter spent many hours picking a best-ever Clough XI – one that would have been feared throughout Europe.
Fabio Capello has called Gabriel Agbonlahor into the England squad after Darren Bent limped out of training at London Colney.
I know some people care about England, hence the post. But I feel more like this guy...
After becoming the last team to qualify for Germany four years ago, Australia could become the first through to 2010 World Cup if they win their Asian qualifier against lowly Uzbekistan on Wednesday.
The Chivas USA left back is brought in to reinforce a suddenly vulnerable back line. Also, goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was released back to his club.
Struggling for form. Struggling for fitness. Struggling to score the goals that brought a Champions League winner's medal, the European footballer of the year award and big-money moves to AC Milan and Chelsea.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Twenty years ago, Arsenal travelled to Liverpool - six weeks after Hillsborough - for a title decider that few thought they could win. Ninety impossibly dramatic minutes later, they had repaired the reputation of football.
Argentina 4 - 0 Venezuela
No problems for Diego
Mexico 2 - 0 Costa Rica
Sven's reign continues...for now
Holland 3 - 0 Scotland
Dutch Masters a cut above
Lithuania 0 - 1 France
Ribery's stunning strike saves Les Blues
Montenegro 0 - 2 Italy
Wales 0 - 2 Finland
Wales' world in tatters
Togo 1 - 0 Cameroon
Adebayor nets winner for minnows
Ecuador 1 - 1 Brazil
Lackluster Brazil held in Quito
Northern Ireland 3 - 2 Poland
Boruc Blunder, Evans Masterclass
Portugal 0 - 0 Sweden
No way through for Portugal
At least 22 football supporters have died at a World Cup qualifying match in the Ivory Coast, according to state officials. Reports suggest that a wall collapsed as a number of fans, possibly without tickets, crushed into the Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium in Abidjan shortly before Ivory Coast were due to play Malawi. Desire Tagro, Ivory Coast's minister of the interior, said that 22 people were killed and more than 130 were injured.
Staring at a two-goal deficit with less than 15 minutes to play, the U.S showed plenty of resolve in salvaging a 2-2 tie courtesy of late goals by substitute Jozy Altidore and Frankie Hejduk. And while there are some compelling reasons to hail the Americans' Great Escape, getting one point in El Salvador isn't anything to crow about, and it's plenty troubling that the U.S. needed such a miracle to begin with.
Winners & Losers