Friday, November 5, 2010

Must see matches of the weekend

We've got a few derbies of note coming up. Midweek European hangovers will surely be in effect, taking the bite out of a number of clubs over the weekend (put ALL your money on Bolton to defeat Tottenham). Most people may see this weekend as simply a layover before the colossal tussle between Manchester United and Manchester City on Wednesday.

But don't sell it short! There is plenty of action you cannot miss over the next two days so let's get right into it starting with Liverpool and Chelsea.

Since Chelsea beat Liverpool in the 2009 Champions League Quarterfinals 7-5 on aggregate, both clubs have moved in completely different directions. Liverpool are lucky to currently sit mid-table after occupying relegation spots for much of the season, while Chelsea continue to march on atop the league. The past seven encounters have produced 24 goals. Liverpool need this one more, but Chelsea are much too good. Prediction: 3-1 Chelsea

This is quite possibly one of the most lopsided derbies on the planet. Atletico last defeated their crosstown rival way back on October 30, 1999. Since returning to La Liga in 2003, they have played Real Madrid 17 times recording eleven defeats and six draws. Not to mention the fact that Mourinho has not lost a home league match since February 23, 2002 when Beira Mar beat Porto in his sixth game in charge. Still, there is absolutely no love lost between the clubs and for the first time in a very long time, Atletico have a European trophy to boast. For what it's worth, Madrid have played NOBODY to date in the league - every opponent sitting in the bottom half of the table. Rival journalists already prepared themselves with a foosball competition. Prediction: 2-1 Real Madrid

LAZIO VS ROMA - Derby della Capitale (Sunday, 9:00am FSC)
Speaking of no love lost, these two Roman clubs HATE each other. Francesco Totti, suspended for the match, has already began the pre-match "tough talk" claiming Roma will lose. Lazio currently sit top of the league and will remain there no matter what happens as they enjoy a four point lead over Inter. They will attempt to avenge a winless campaign against their crosstown rivals last season. Prediction: 2-2 

PARIS ST GERMAIN VS MARSEILLES - Le Classique (Sunday, 3:00pm FSC Plus)
How hardcore is this derby? Away fans have been banned from traveling for both meetings this season, after violence has ravaged previous encounters. Marseilles has defeated their fierce rival the past four matches, but both clubs are moving their way towards the top of the table this season.

CARDIFF VS SWANSEA - (Sunday, 12:30pm - tape delay FSC Plus)
It is being dubbed the biggest south Wales derby in history - so much for lowered expectations. But why not?! Gareth Bale has put Wales on the map, Cardiff top the English Championship at the moment, and Swansea sit third. Both clubs have never sat so high in the table simultaneously for one of these clashes, as they attempt to move to England top flight together for the first time in history.

BARCELONA B VS VILLARREAL B - (Saturday, 1:00pm)
On first look, you may be wondering why I would mention a reserve team match between scrubs? Not the case folks. Spain allows B teams to compete in the main football system. These two sit in Spain's second division - and Barcelona actually hold 4th position which would qualify them for promotion playoffs. Not surprisingly, A and B teams cannot compete in the same league so the B squads simply play for pride and experience. A win could move Barcelona as high as 2nd.

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