Friday, November 22, 2013

Clubs Are Back, More Ronny, MLS, Merseyside Derby, Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich, Verona Derby, Lawro vs. The National

And what a week is was! The Internationals that mattered were surprisingly entertaining but everyone at SSN Headquarters is ready for club football to return. More than ready, really. OK, so we've got the shakes. Withdrawal ain't easy, folks. Before we look at what's on the docket, we'll look back one last time at the big story of the week...

We spoke at length about Ronaldo yesterday with SSN's Man in Lisbon, Pedro Santos. Pedro had this to say: "There's a lot of Portuguese people that doesn't like him. But, I never saw such communion since last night. The Blatter thing, and the hate around him, is making us supporting him. And, after so many years underachieving in the national team, he's really making the difference now. Finally we have the player that United and Madrid have." So, there you have it. A concise summary of where Ronny's countrymen & women are in terms of their relationship with their nation's biggest star. Here's the complete video of Blatter being his usual asshole self.

As we know, The Zlatan won't be going to the World Cup this year. The Joy of Six this week is Football Greats Who Never Made The World Cup.

This does not look like a boat, Qatar...
Weekend action! Not only do we celebrate the end of the international break, but we celebrate with some fine fixtures. Let's start in Germany where Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich. There are all sorts of juicy subplots revolving around the clash of German giants. The main talking point is Mario Götze's return to his old ground. Marcus Christenson brings us up to speed. Not to be outdone, Raphael Honigstein has a piece.

Back in England, the Merseyside Derby takes center stage (this will be the 221st time Everton and Liverpool have met) at Goodison Park tomorrow morning (7:45am EST on NBCSN). Here are some stats about the rivalry. There are some solid matches elsewhere in the realm as Manchester City host Tottenham, Arsenal host Southampton (1st vs. 3rd), and West Ham welcome Chelsea. Here's your lot for all the Premier League fun:

You notice we posted Merson's predictions even though he said this prior to United's match against Arsenal: I can't see Arsenal losing this game and if you ask even the staunchest Manchester United fan then I think they would say they'd be worried. If you've watched Arsenal and Man United this season then you'd have to say that...If Stoke can rip through Man United for 45 minutes then what can Arsenal do? I'm tipping a 3-1 away win and I honestly think that's the easiest call I'm making this week. Ouch!!

In Serie A, it's been eleven years since the last Verona Derby. That's one of five things to watch in Italy this week. And here's a more complete preview.

In Spain, Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid looking to pounce on wounded Barcelona. Lionel Messi, Dani Alves, Victor Valdés, Cesc Fàbregas, Xavi and Jordi Alba are all out of Saturday's game against Granada (or questionable).

USA! The second legs of the MLS Conference finals go down tomorrow and Sunday. In the West, you've got Real Salt Lake leading Portland 4-2. In the East, it's all even between Sporting KC and Dynamo at 0-0.

Back to Southampton. Here's your headline: From absurd to third: The rise of Southampton

More on The Class of '92: Nobody felt safe peeing at the training ground because Scholes would hit them with a ball from miles away!

On Wednesday we noted that a French TV presenter promised to do the weather in the nude if France managed to overturn their deficit against Ukraine. She made good on her promise. Technically. Booooo!

We'll finish today in Qatar where working are being treated like shit and people think one of the stadiums for the World Cup looks like an enormous vagina.



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