Friday, March 20, 2015

Champions League Draw, El Clásico, Liverpool vs. Manchester United, Manchester City Overhaul, 2022 World Cup

Daniel De Rossi hears it from the Roma faithful after the loss to Fiorentina...

There goes another one, SSN Peeps! It flew into oblivion on the back of some great mid-week matches. It's now time to prep for the weekend, and that means...El Clásico! As always, it's of great import, with both Real and Barca battling for the Primera Liga crown and only one point separating the two sides. Before we roll into previews, however, let's take a second and check out the results from the Europa League. Everton were humbled by Dinamo Kiev, Fiorentina embarrassed Roma, Wolfsburg beat Inter, and Sevilla defeated Villarreal. Here is a Review of all of the action from last night, along with the Final Eight Draw.

Ooof. We almost forgot. The Champions League Final Eight Draw was this morning, and it begs the question, how many red cards will there be in the Atlético/Real tie? Check it:

OK! Let's move on to all of that Clásico hoopla. Perhaps the best place to begin is with the U.S. television información: It's Sunday at 4:00 p.m. EDT on beIN Sports USA. Now, then...

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: El Clásico Tactical Preview
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: El Clásico's Greatest Moments

Just so you know, there are other matches in Spain's top division this weekend. Here's a Preview. Likewise in Serie A. Do it.

Word on the street is Manchester City are looking to replace a LOT of dead weight, and soon. This will be their first year without a trophy in a decade. Jamie Jackson takes a look at how the squad will change in an attempt to take it to the next level and actually be competitive in Europe. A lot of people are saying they may freefall and fight for a top-four spot. First up as they try to turn things around are West Brom at home. Here's all your Premier League Prep:

Liverpool vs. Manchester United: Key Battles

So, David Ospina has quietly taken over the Number One spot at Arsenal. Here's an interview with the Colombian keeper.

And's official...the 2022 World Cup will take place in November and December and the final will be on December 18. Bloody Hell. SPECTRE just gets better and better...



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Barcelona Oust City, Juventus Advance, Europa League, Barney Ronay on Arsenal, Pereira Wants A Threesome

And there you have it. For the second time in three seasons, no English clubs in the Final Eight of the Champions League. Ouch! As you might expect, they're freaking out in the UK over the current ineptitude of English sides in Europe. Barcelona beat Manchester City 1 - 0 at Camp Nou, but it could have been much more. City were so, so poor, yet again. In the night's other game, Carlos Tevez led Juventus to an easy win over Borussia Dortmund. Let's hit the fallout, beginning a quick wrap, followed by a report from El Sid, who was at Camp Nou to witness a Messi Masterclass...

Barcelona 1-0 Manchester City (agg 3-1): Sid Lowe at Camp Nou
Barcelona 1-0 Manchester City (agg 3-1): Andy West at Camp Nou
Barcelona 1-0 Manchester City (agg 3-1): Five Talking Points
Graham Hunter: Messi Stands Apart

Dortmund 0-3 Juventus (agg 1-5): Three Thoughts

Oh, dear. Now this: Manchester United youngster Andreas Pereira offered a student £10,000 for a threesome with him and Old Trafford team-mate Paddy McNair, it was reported on Thursday.

Is this what 19-year-olds do?
Well, well, well. Someone is optimistic about Arsenal, and it turns out it's none other than Barney Ronay. Do, tell, good sir, why there is hope.

The matches just don't stop. You know that. If not, you better recognize. Today it's the Europa League. Here's what to watch, including Fiorentina vs. Roma, Inter vs. Wolfsburg, and Dynamo Kyiv vs. Everton. Of course, the debate continues. Is this competition bad for clubs?

Hey! That's all right. We'll see you tomorrow with weekend previews and more!!



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Monaco & Atlético Madrid Advance, Barcelona vs. Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund vs. Juventus, Ronny to MLS?

"Come on, lads. There's no way Arsenal come back and win this. Let's go make another shitty record."

Is it Hump Day already? Holy Cow. Let's get to it. As expected, Arsenal made a go of it, but came up just short. Groundhog Day, anyone? Yes, their naivety in the First Leg was simply too much to overcome. In the other match, Atlético Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen went to penalties before the Spanish side advanced. Here's the fallout!

Monaco 0-2 Arsenal (3-3; Monaco Advance): Daniel Taylor at the Stade Louis II
Monaco 0-2 Arsenal (3-3; Monaco Advance): Henry Winter at the Stade Louis II
Monaco 0-2 Arsenal (3-3; Monaco Advance): Alistair Magowan at the Stade Louis II
Monaco 0-2 Arsenal (3-3; Monaco Advance): Five Talking Points
Adam Bate: Typical Arsenal
Atlético Madrid 1 - 0 B. Leverkusen (Atlético Advance): Jonathan Smith at the Vicente Calderón
Atlético Madrid 1 - 0 B. Leverkusen (Atlético Advance): Zach Woosley's Report

Don't get too comfortable, now. There are a couple more matches on the menu this afternoon, and both have the potential to be excellent. Check it:

Barcelona vs. Manchester City: Preview
Barcelona vs. Manchester City: Preview II
Barcelona vs. Manchester City: Preview III Pellegrini is Doomed
Borussia Dortmund vs. Juventus: Preview
Borussia Dortmund vs. Juventus: Preview II

We mentioned the pitch invasion following the Reading FA Cup win yesterday. There was some racism, as well. Here's more on the Madejeski Madness. Speaking of racism, Les Ferdinand is speaking of racism.

And if our country didn't have enough problems already, Ronny wants to come here in 2018.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Liverpool Edge Swansea, Sampdoria Rock Roma, Fiorentina Top Milan, Scribes, Champions League, Dick in at Sunderland, Reading Advance, Another Pitch Invasion

Good times in Reading...

Good Morning! Liverpool got, how shall we put this...a bit lucky yesterday and won at Swansea 1 - 0. The Next Gerrard scored off a deflection to set the stage for Sunday's clash with Manchester United. Juicy. Here are Three Thoughts from the match, as well as a Report, provided by Stuart James, who was at the Liberty Stadium. So the Premier League Table looks like this. It's quite tight once you drop below Chelsea. Should Liverpool defeat Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday, things will get nutty.

Similarly in Serie A, once you drop below Juventus, you've got Roma, Lazio, Napoli, Fiorentina, and Sampdoria all within five points and competing for two Champions League spots. Shit's this tight thanks to last night's results.

Back to England, where the semi-finals of the FA Cup are now almost set. Reading ousted Bradford 3 - 0 to book their date with Arsenal. And it'll be either Blackburn or Liverpool against Villa in the other one. Oh, there was a pitch invasion at the conclusion of the Reading/Bradford match, don't you know?

Scribes! Time to go around the world with our favorite writers and see what is up. 

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Huub Stevens and Stuttgart stick to double-negative path in Bundesliga

Where? Brazil. Who? Tim Vickery. What? External shock could re-shape the calendar

Where? Spain. Who? Graham Hunter. What? Simeone should consider his Atletico Madrid future

Where? Germany. Who? Nick Bidwell. What? The good, the bad and the ugly in Berlin

Stade Louis II: Monaco

Sunderland? Guy Poyet is out. Dick Advocaat is in.

As with most weeks, Gabriele Marcotti has some musings. This week, Gab is gabbing about...Tired Chelsea, Ibrahimovic's rant, Van Gaal's discovery, Bale-Ronaldo, more. Enjoy.

Let's get to today's Champions League activity. Arsenal have a mountain to climb in Monaco (3:45 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports 1), while Atlético Madrid try to overturn a 0 - 1 deficit at the Vicente Calderón against Bayer Leverkusen (3:45 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports 2). Here are your previews.

Monaco vs. Arsenal: Preview
Monaco vs. Arsenal: Preview II
Monaco vs. Arsenal: Preview III
Picture Special: Wenger Returns to Monaco
Atlético Madrid vs. Bayer Leverkusen: Preview
Atlético Madrid vs. Bayer Leverkusen: Preview II
Atlético Madrid vs. Bayer Leverkusen: Preview III

You asked for them. Now you've got 'em. Deal with it!  Major League Soccer POWER Rankings !!!

That's rather solid for a Tuesday, right? Keep it tite!



Monday, March 16, 2015

More Fun With The Zlatan as PSG Lose, Burnley Beat City, United Trample Tottenham, Southampton Hold Chelsea, Bayern & Barcelona Cruise, Napoli Lose, Poyet Sacked, Monday Night Football

Gus is gone...

Hey Yo! Another fabulous weekend of footie is in the books, and another quote from The Zlatan is in the headlines. And The French are none too pleased. "F--ing wake up -- we're not playing in the amateurs. Wake up! I have never seen that in 15 years in my career, such a referee in this s--- country. [You] don't even deserve PSG to be in this country." As you might imagine, xenophobic bigot Marine Le Pen wants The Zlatan out of France. Overreact much! Fools.

As expected, Sunderland gave the old, "You're Fired, " to Gus Poyet today. One win in 12 matches was enough for the Black Cat Brass to cut the Uruguayan loose. Best of luck to Gus.

Right. Back to the action on the pitch. Here's your lot from the Premier League!

Arsenal 3 - 0 West Ham: Barney Ronay at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 3 - 0 West Ham: Three Quick Observations
Burnley 1 - 0 Manchester City: Paul Wilson at Turf Moor
Chelsea 1 - 1 Southampton: Dominic Fifield at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 1 - 1 Southampton: Three Thoughts
Manchester United 3 - 0 Tottenham: Phil McNulty at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Tottenham: Three Quick Thoughts

La Liga is getting really hot, and we like it. Messi grabbed (yet) another double, Valencia are up to the third, El Clásico is on the horizon, and Gareth finally scored again (Ronny wasn't terribly excited about it). Here's a look back at the weekend action in Spain, along with a Review. More tomorrow with Scribes.

Serie A? Not so hot. Juventus have got the title wrapped up and the also-rans (Napoli, Inter) keep flubbing their lines. Here's a Review. More tomorrow with Scribes.

The top Stateside league is underway and there was a full slate of matches over the weekend. Here's a review of all of that. Apparently, NYCFCYCFC played their first home match at Yankee Stadium and David Villa played quite well. So, great. Also, here are Five Things We Learned over the MLS weekend.

Monday Night Football! There are a couple matches of note today. Fiorentina host struggling Milan, Liverpool look to continue their surge down in Swansea, and Roma host Sampdoria.

Woop! We out!