Touch, touch, touch, and touch. If Uruguay does well at the World Cup there is a good chance I'll play this song on repeat and dance for 36 hours straight. Normally Jim Stanley does the Weekend Preview but I've decided to give it a crack.
(all times Eastern)
7:45 am - Stoke City vs. Wigan Athletic
Before you immediately X the screen and get annoyed that you've doubly wasted your time reading this blog, just remember that this game is on Espn. So out of principle, since we all want Espn to buy more Premier League games, you should tune in. Not to mention that getting up to watch soccer is the most pleasant of alarm clocks. You can snooze a little during half-time or have breakfast. Soccer this early in the morning is a good thing, even if it is only between two squads that are frisky at best.
10:00 am - Bolton vs. Manchester City
The Citeh is on a tear as of late and this match is on Fox Soccer Channel. In case our reader didn't know, Veetle.com is a nice place to watch any games currently showing on FSC or GolTV if you don't get those channels at home. And so far as I know I haven't downloaded any viruses or had my identity stolen yet. Manchester City is a permanent fixture on my watch-list this year if they don't conflict with the other TLOCA teams because they are one of two teams in my opinion that can break up the big four (pictured*). The other team was Hull City at the beginning of the season but now is more reasonably Tottenham if only for their propensity to explode offensively.
12:30 pm - Manchester United vs. Aston Villa FSC (note the 30 minute lunch break)
As much as I want to hype this contest to be a close one I can't bring myself to do it. United will be playing at Old Trafford having won its last 5 meaningful games and Aston Villa, who choke harder than Latrelle Sprewell, have tied or lost 7 of their last 10 games. Only one of those came against the big four, Chelsea. This one will end 3 nil and by the 80th minute you'll realize suddenly it's been an extremely one-sided contest and a typical United win. BOOOO. Whatever, its still the U, and therefore you must watch.
2:30 pm - Bari vs. Juventus FSC
No, the bitterness hasn't subsided yet. This year the inevitable Juventus crash out of the Champions League was a bit more sour than usual simply because this year's team was a better team than last year, and much more suited for the CL. All of this in spite of the fact that it was clear they didnt' have it, whatever it is that makes a team's impending failures tremendously obvious. Think Hleb and Flamini leaving with no reasonable replacements at Arsenal. So, in summary, David Trezeguet should be starting and that's why you should watch.
9:00 am - Atalanta vs. Inter
This is a highly comical match-up we, as followers, are privy to twice a year because Atalanta and Inter have the exact same uniforms. Thus, if you're hung over just enough you might go the whole first half wondering when Inter signed Robert Acquafresca and why he's starting over Samuel Eto'o. To be frank, the only reason I watch Inter nowadays is because I hate Jose Mourinho and I want to understand why Inter, with their mostly uninspiring squad achieves any success at all. I don't get it and it's almost as if every time I watch them play I get further and further from the answer.
11:00 am - Liverpool vs. Arsenal FSC
If you had forgotten, Arshavin scored four goals against this team in what was the most disappointing yet insignificant draw in Arsenal history. I expect a win and even though Torres will be back and will surely score a hat-trick, we should still win 5-3. This game is unfortunately somewhat irrelevant since the season will be decided for Arsenal come January 27th, when they play, in order, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. I am not looking forward to that.
Enjoy the weekend.
*From left to right; David Lloyd (Britain), Vittorio Orlando (Italy), George Clemenceau (France) and Woody Wilson (USA). The beauty of this photo, also coined, "The Big Four," is that Arsenal is clearly Clemenceau, Man Utd Woodrow, Chelsea Lloyd, though those two can be interchanged, and Vittorio, Liverpool, is trying to stay relevant even then. I think we know how this story ends. I feel like I've written this before...
Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.