Update: Maurice Edu, comes off the bench in the 26th minute, scores the winning goal for Rangers in the Old Firm clash at Ibrox Sunday in the 90th minute. That’s a huge goal for Edu, 1-0 Rangers.
Even more excellent match-ups as Sunday gets going.
• Number one on the docket. Brad Guzan and Brad Friedel go for the hardware at Wembley against Manchester United. Rumors abound that Wayne Rooney might watch this one from the bench. Wow….wasn’t getting knocked out of the FA Cup by Leeds enough for Sir Alex…now he’s risking the Carling. Are we really expecting Dimitar Berbatov….or even Michael Owen to step in and carry the load up top?
The one rabbit in Ferguson’s hat…Antonio Valencia has been pummeling the competition lately. He should stay in here.
Here’s some commentary from our roundtable on this one:
Richard, EPL Talk:
Villa’s taken four points from United and has the defense to neutralize Rooney. It’s unclear United can find goals on Rooney’s off days (see, Saturday, Goodison). Villa has the strength on the flanks to match United, potentially using Downing or Young to pin Valencia.
O’Neill switched to Friedel in the last round of the FA Cup. I think O’Neill does the same here. Penalty kicks? Friedel versus whomever gets Ben Foster’s iPod.
You can catch this one on ESPN360 by the way.
• The last top squad for Landon Donovan and Landy, Tim and crew go White Hart Lane to beat-up on ‘Arry’s Rednapps.
More roundtable commentary:
Riley, Die Hipster Brewing:
Spurs/Everton! Everton are on fire and Spurs figured out that benching Crouchy results in less long-ball and these things called ‘goals’ from a suddenly happy Pavlyuchenko. My dream (and Fantasy Premier League) scenario: 4-3 Spurs. Defoe and Modric each with two (assisting each other of course) and Donovan has a hat-trick. Is that too much to ask?
A few other notes from this one:
» David Bentley is playing so well in Aaron Lennon’s absence that talk about his getting a look-see on Capello’s side is growing
» Don’t forget to check out Luka Modric, back from injury and starting to meet the expectations and praise lavished on him in 2008.
• The famous Old Firm game goes down at Ibrox on Sunday. It’s the only game on the Sunday SPL schedule and Mo Edu and DaMarcus Beasley will likely be participants.
• Got some free time Sunday? See if you can catch the Bayern Munich match-up with Hamburg. You already know about Arjen Robben who will be terrrorizing Bob Bradley’s side on Wednesday and Mark Van Bommel of Bayern Munich, but do you know about Hamburg defender Joris Mathijsen and the man featured in the clip below? Ankle-breaker Eljero Elia, who will likely start-up top for the Dutchmen.
♦ While the soccer world will be buzzing about Ryan Shawcross’s ill-timed, but hardly malicious tackle that left Aaron Ramsey with a potentially career-threatening injury, isn’t it time that the FA take a closer look at Michael Ballack’s antics. Not even half the player he once was, Ballack is continually berating the refs, issuing cheap shots (last year on Patrice Evra, yesterday on Carlos Tevez) and today hoping to punch the ball in the goal blatantly with his hand.
Ballack is a dirty and, yes, malicious player and Chelsea and EPL are worse for it.
♦ Our community raved about Stu Holden’s performance for Bolton against Wolves Saturday. Well, not just ours. Here’s a sampling of board comments from the Bolton faithful:
» “For me, the outstanding player today was Holden. His vision and passing was bloody brilliant. He outshone Wilshere and Lee in my book.”
» “One bloke sat behind me was referring to Holden when he uttered ” That lad is too good for our team!” I had to have a sly chuckle to myself.”
♦ Wow England’s defense Is…A…Mess. Beyond the Bridge-Terry festivities, Bridge has dropped the squad from his priorities and John Terry tiptoes up to Tevez before the 1st goal yesterday and nearly ushers it in. Rio Ferdinand is shelved and Micah Richards looked overweight, ambivalent, and clumsy yesterday. Now Ashley Cole is contemplating retirement? Yowsers.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce suggests Kieran Richardson be considered for the England left back spot. Bad idea; I would rather put Peter Crouch back there if I’m Capello.