FIFA International Date Spotlighting

Some players and subplots you might want to pay attention to Wednesday:

The hair's good...what about the defense though?

• Washing away the sour exit of World Cup 2010….

The powerhouse match-up of Brazil-France gives the two teams another chance to another step away from their forgetful and regretful World Cup exits.

Brazil will run out new Chelsea man David Luiz partnered with Thiago Silva (Oguchi Onyewu’s pre-injury foil at AC Milan) and hope to infuse youth at the backbone while not missing a step.

The young tandem will be tested by two absentees from the France’s South African side in Samir Nasri and Karim Benzema.

• Scotland on the up-and-up?

Even with Darren Fletcher and West Brom’s Graham Dorrans out, Scotland boasts an EPL-quality laden squad heading into their clash with Northern Ireland tomorrow.

In the back eight, names such as Blackpool’s Charlie Adam, Tottenham’s Alan Hutton and Liverpool’s Danny Wilson will feature.

Up top? Former Ranger frontman Kenny Miller gets the armband and is off to a sizzling start at Jozy Altidore’s Bursaspor with two goals in his first three games.

• Thiago Motta (Italy)

Yes, the man lining up at the catalyst in the midfield for an Azurri team that recently boasted such pure Italian last names as Gattuso and Pirlo is…in fact…a native of Brazil.

That makes the fact that on-fire Giuseppi Rossi is an American nearly an afterthought.

Italy take on the German machine in another immovable object clash.

• The Guus Hiddink Invitational

Turkey takes on South Korea in a battle of two speedy sides and two sides that Guus Hiddink has once called “mine.”

Hiddink of course is in the employ of Turkey and it was Hiddink’s run with South Korea in 2002, laying waste to Italy and Spain until they slammed into Germany.

Hamit Altintop for Turkey, a TSG fave.

• Who we playing?

In typical CAF fashion, South Africa now plays Kenya tomorrow after claiming at alternate times over the past month that opponents Zambia and Burkina Faso were done deals.

More coming…

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15 responses to this post.

  1. Everytime I see Thiago Motta’s name I keep thinking “Thad Motta” the coach of Ohio State baseketball. And how it’s funny that there’s two people in the sports world with very similar names.

    You’ve gotta watch alotta sports to be able to draw international soccer to college basketball.

    Need a life…

    Reply

  2. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/09 at 6:26 AM

    FYI – Oxlade-Chamberlain was substitute in the U21 game [one-nil loss], yesterday vs Italy.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/09 at 7:17 AM

      And not to be a killjoy, but I think Samir Nasri is injured – read something about him being doubtful for the CL match vs. Barcelona next week, so wouldn’t have thought he’d be match fit today.

      Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/02/09 at 8:02 AM

      Yeah, think Nasri’s injured.

      The u-21 game was pretty boring, but Albrighton and McEachran are exciting talents. The thing I worry about–for England’s sake, you understand–is the placement of McEachran. The coach had him playing out in the left wing. For Chelsea, he’s a holding midfielder–perhaps a little bit of a deep-lying playmaker. But with the u21 game, McEachran would at times drift centrally and become a classic #10, and he was most threatening then. It’s a similar story with Wilshere–for Arsenal he’s a box-to-box linking midfielder; Capello apparently wants to play him just in front of the front four. Free the #10, England! Free the #10!

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/09 at 9:12 AM

        I think Wilshere has too much offensive talent and is too reckless to be an out-an-out holding mid. He does occupy that berth with Arsenal, but he’s usually a little further forward than Diaby [or Song]. His decision making, especially when to venture forward is getting better and better [if you can remember when he played for the 'League Cup team']. Also, he’s got pretty good vision and can definitely see a run / spot a pass. When Fabregas does eventually leave, I can see Wilshere being his replacement.

        Where did you see the England Italy game – I couldn’t find it? Sort of hard for me to have an opinion on McEachran because I’ve only seen him as a late sub for Chelsea…

        Reply

  3. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/09 at 7:27 AM

    I was watching the ROI vs. Wales match report on Sky Sports New last night, and I saw [Aston Villa's] Clark in an ROI shirt! I was shocked as I definitely expected him to feature for England, as he captained the youth sides. Apparently he switched allegiances recently [he has an Irish Mum]. I have been keeping an eye on him since I read about him in 442’s “The Boy’s A Bit Special” [a feature that talks about up-and-coming (English?)players].

    I hate FIFA Article 18.1a!!

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/02/09 at 8:07 AM

      Yeah, I liked Ciaran Clark a lot when he played for Villa. It’s kind of a mysterious change since it’s not as if England has a superabundance of young centerbacks playing in the Premier League–Clark might have even gotten his chance for England today, for all we know.

      Anyway, poaching is the way of the world. Thankfully the U.S. has gotten quite a bit better at it, though the balance of trade is tilted towards “rest of the world” unless and until we poach a player the equivalent of Neven Subotic. (I think it’s kind of mysterious U.S. fans obsess over Rossi–Subotic is, IMHO, more damaging.)

      Reply

  4. [...] FIFA International Date Spotlighting The Shin Guardian The powerhouse match-up of Brazil -France gives the two teams another chance to another step away from their forgetful and regretful World Cup exits. … The rest is here: FIFA International Date Spotlighting – The Shin Guardian [...]

    Reply

  5. Posted by crow on 2011/02/09 at 1:21 PM

    Eric Licahj to Leeds!

    Reply

    • Posted by scweeb on 2011/02/09 at 7:14 PM

      Hmm i like that he will be getting allot of playing time! Hopefully he will come back to first team action when this month is done

      Reply

  6. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/02/10 at 6:58 AM

    First 60 mins of Arg-Por was very enjoyable to watch. It seems like Por was more balanced than in the WC squad or maybe just Ronaldo playing a tad less selfishly. And that Messi guy seems to be turning into a nice player…

    Reply

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