Friday, April 03, 2009

England: Premier League Weekend Previews & Predictions

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...

Preview I

Preview II

Lawro's Predictions

Nick Webster's Predictions

A Look Back: Bolivia 6 - 1 Argentina

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.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

Inter Milan go to Udinese, Juventus host Chievo Verona, AC Milan host Lecce, Roma host Bologna, Fiorentina go to Atalanta...


Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

Leaders Barcelona go to Valladolid, Real Madrid go to Malaga, Villarreal go to Almeria...


The Week That Was: Messiah back in Toon, Vieri quits football

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.

Poor Bobo...

Inter Striker Adriano Goes Missing Again - Report

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!!

Ferguson Axed as Rangers Captain

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.

Oozing class...

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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. 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

Friday MLS Forecast: Week Three

Columbus' 4-1 loss in Salt Lake on Thursday night opens up the top spot in the MLS rankings.'s Kyle McCarthy tries to figure out who might lay claim to the top spot with a victory this weekend.

That's a big "system"...

Sven Sacked by Mexico

Eriksson, who is now expected to try and engineer a return to an English Premier League club, was not bitter about his dismissal and instead wished the team luck in their remaining qualifying games.

On That Day: "Tinkerman" has his day in the sun

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

Hot-headed Wayne Rooney

His on-field misdemeanors in pictures


Fox Plans Expanded Champions League TV Coverage

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.

Buh Bye...

Calcio Debate: Italy v Ireland – The Referee Was Terrible, But Lippi Was Worse

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…


No article. Just a photograph. Just because...

2010 World Cup Qualifying: Sven in trouble again

Carlos Costly scored two goals and Carlos Pavon added another as Honduras tore apart a weak Mexico side 3-1 in Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula on Wednesday night.

2010 World Cup Qualifying: Argentina Slaughtered in La Paz

Bolivia 6 - 1 Argentina

Bolivia goals a stab in the heart

Player Ratings

2010 World Cup Qualifying: Spain leave it late, England win again

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...

Europe Wrap

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

Norman Hubbard: Title Rivals in Role Reversal

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.

Altidore shines as U.S. dismantles Trinidad & Tobago

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.


Player Ratings

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Your Chance to be Match of the Day

Let's hear it for Valencia, the cash-strapped Spanish side currently plumbing such hellish depths of penury that their marketing department has hit upon the ingenious wheeze of throwing open the doors of the Estadio Mestalla to fans for communions and weddings in a bid to generate some much-needed income to cover their outgoings.

It's going on eight years for Mrs. SSN and me -- perhaps we should renew our vows...

South America World Cup Qualifying Previews

Bolivia vs. Argentina

Brazil vs. Peru

The Other Countries

Koreas Collide in Politically-Charged Match

The two Koreas meet in Seoul Wednesday in a crunch World Cup qualifier as tensions between the countries mount ahead of a planned rocket launch by the communist North.

Update: The South Won

Ahhhh, Nationalism...

Europe's Fight for World Cup Places Hots Up

'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.

Some Previews:

Italy vs. Ireland
Warm welcome for Trap but Lippi feals the heat
Paolo Bandini: Ireland must be wary of rising star Pazzini

Turkey vs. Spain

Holland vs. Macedonia

France vs. Lithuania

England vs. Ukraine
Kevin McCarra: Ukraine will punich any lapses

Scotland vs. Iceland
Caldwell calls on Scotland to get physical

Berhalter Leaving 1860 Munich for MLS

Former United States defender Gregg Berhalter is returning home to play in Major League Soccer after spending 15 years in Europe.

Leaving this behind...

Violence Still Engrained in Argentine Game

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.

2010 World Cup Qualifying: Tuesday Results

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.

2010 World Cup Qualifying: United States vs. Trinidad & Tobago

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;
Nashville, Tennessee

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

Scotland duo apologise after breach of discipline

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...

Alan Shearer Return to Newcastle

Former captain becomes club's fourth manager of the season

Ashley plays his final card

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brazil’s difficulties will continue, says Dunga

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.

Fashion difficulties???

The All-Time Clough XI

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.

Gabriel Agbonlahor called into England squad after Darren Bent injury

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...

Jonathan Wilson in Eastern Europe

A philosophical Anatoliy Tymoshchuk will pose a major threat to England in their World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.

The brains of Ukraine who quotes Shakespeare.

Last could become first for Australia as they press for World Cup qualification

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.

Calcio Debate: Who Is Italy's Weakest Link?'s Sulmaan Ahmad decides who from the Montenegro match should get the chop ahead of the game with Ireland...

Bornstein Added To US Roster For Trinidad Game in Nashville

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.

Steve Davis: MLS Weekend Review

Sweeping up after the MLS weekend party, here are a few things I found lying around:

Fox Wins U.S. TV rights to Champions League

Fox Soccer Channel beat out ESPN for right to the European Champions League starting next season, adding the top club event to a lineup that already includes the English Premier League and Italy's Serie A.

The Rise and Fall of Shevchenko

Andriy Shevchenko, one of the great names of European football in the last decade, is struggling.

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.

Eduardo Alvarez in Spain

Del Bosque taking his chance again.

The View From Spain

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Night Football Was Reborn

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.

Monday MLS Breakdown: Trend Spotting's Kyle McCarthy uses his Monday MLS Breakdown to spot a few trends through the opening two weeks of the MLS season.

Tim Vickery in South America

Messi emerges from Maradona's shadow

2010 World Cup Qualifying Reports

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

Comfortable win

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

Supporters die at Ivory Coast World Cup qualifier after crush

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.

El Salvador 2 - 2 U.S.A.: U.S. Barely Escapes With Draw

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