Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Phil Ball, USA vs. Canada, EPL Midweek Action, Podcast, ACN, Super Mario

Tuesday. Time to check in with our favorite scribes in select nations around the globe. At the top of the list is Phil Ball. The Englishman who's been in Spain for eons reports this week on La Copa del Rey and the action in the Second Division. It's a nice break from the usual Messi/Ronaldo-dominated fare. Also in Spain is Sid Lowe. El Sid takes time to delve into the issues facing Deportivo de La Coruña and Valencia. Again, it's not all Barcelona and Real Madrid, folks.

Across the Mediterranean in Italy, we've got Paolo Bandini on the case. Today's entry looks at Juventus and their gaffer Conte and the controversy surrounding The Old Lady's draw against Genoa. Paolo also looks at all the rest of the action in Italy's top flight.

Conte = Angry
Let's bounce to Brazil. Tim Vickery is down in the South American behemoth trying to make sense of it all. The hot topic today is the Fabricio Coloccini Affair and why there is little hope of buying big names back from Europe.

The Bundesliga is back, baby. Those lucky enough to ply their trade in Germany's top league get a nice, long winter break. It's finally over, and Raphael Honigstein is ready to bring us up to speed. He starts with a club from one of our favorite cities: Hamburg.

Meanwhile, in The Republic of Texas, the United States Men's Team is preparing to face our neighbors from the Great White North. It's the final prep for Klinmann's men before World Cup Qualifying begins. Jeff Carlisle has a preview. You can check out the match tonight on ESPN2 at 9pm EST.
Mario's headed back to Italy...
Today is January 29. That means the Transfer Window is about to slam its ass shut. Here's The Mill and here's your Plus One. It looks like Balotelli is headed back to Italy and everyone is wondering who Pep will bring to Bayern once he starts to make moves. And Didier Drogba has left China and landed in Turkey. Is Brek Shea going to Stoke?

One deal that is done is Lewis Holtby from Schalke to Spurs. The Independent's German Football Expert Kit Holden looks at what Tottenham fans can expect.

Bloody hell. There's even more footie on the telly today. Yes, midweek action in the EPL. Today we've got Aston Villa vs. Newcastle, QPR vs. Manchester City, Stoke vs. Wigan, and Sunderland vs. Swansea. Here's a little preview that includes tomorrow's matches. Likewise your Team News. We'll wait until tomorrow for predictions.

Jonathan Wilson is in South Africa for the African Cup of Nations. He sends this report on Mali. They've made the Final Eight and that should bring at least a bit of hope to a nation in crisis. Wilson also filed this report on Cape Verde. The tiny nation is the Cinderella story of the tournament thus far.

Want to see a Manchester United fan peeing on Mario Balotelli's car? Here.

And...we've got The Podcast to enjoy. Today it's this: In an especially argumentative edition of Football Weekly, James Richardson is joined by two former lawyers – Barney Ronay and Daniel Harris – and professional ne'er do well Barry Glendenning. The panel get stuck into a raucous weekend in the fourth round of the FA Cup, where Oldham outplayed Liverpool, Luton embarrassed Norwich, MK Dons spanked QPR, Tottenham tumbled to Leeds, Chelsea salvaged a draw at Brentford, and Millwall didn't beat Aston Villa by more than the odd goal in three. Plus, there's Sid Lowe in Spain with a Barcelona and Real Madrid-free round up from La Liga, and discussions about Ray Parlour's punditry, reverse nominative determinism, and errant pets.

We'll finish with poor Paul Scholes. Seems he wanted to warm his car up and someone stole it. Oh well.



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