Tuesday, February 19, 2008

UEFA Champions League 20/2/2008 - Fenerbahce vs Sevilla

Sevilla has continued to scrap through most of their season despite having their manager Juande Ramos leave for Tottenham Hotspur, and tonight in this live commentary and play by play soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Fenerbahce and Sevilla, they will try to aim for more of the same. In general, they continue to do well, although not challenging much on any front, but having done so much to get this far in the competition, Sevilla will do their best not to throw their chances away. However, they face a tough away game in the heat of Turkey with Fenerbahce a tough side to break down at home, as with any Turkish teams, and their fans well known for making their stadium a living hell for any visiting opposition. Just ask other teams who have broken down in the heat of the moment and incredibly lost to Turkish teams when they shouldn't have. Not that Turkish teams aren't no good, but some of these teams which have lost were obviously better. On paper.

Frederic Kanoute the star striker of Sevilla before he leaves for Spurs at the end of the season, aim to leave his mark on the club and becoming a legend, by scoring the goals to bring his club through in this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League soccer match between Fenerbahce and Sevilla. However, this is the first season he is playing in this competition, and although top scoring as usual for Sevilla with 4 goals, he has not displayed his red hot league form on this stage as yet. Fans certainly expect more from him and he should not disappoint, but probably only in the return leg at home. It is a hard match to call again but the home ground advantage of Fenerbahce in this live commentary, live streaming and TV telecast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League last 16 should see them have a slight advantage over Sevilla and perhaps cause a minor upset, although with the attacking flair of the Spanish side, anything can happen.

UEFA Champions League 20/2/2008 - Lyon vs Manchester United

The signs are ominous and it looks like Manchester United might go on to win the Champions League this season, starting from tonight's live commentary and play by play UEFA Champions League soccer match between Lyon and English Premier League champions Manchester United. After comprehensively outplaying and demolishing title challengers Arsenal in the FA Cup over the weekend, Manchester United looks back on song from their terrible outing against neighbours Manchester City over a week ago. And this was all achieved without their star winger Ronaldo, although he might have been left out simply because of his track record against top teams - that of utter failure. Just rest him during those matches and play him against the weak teams, and Manchester United should be able to wrap up every competition they play in - you really can see how smart Alex Ferguson becomes year after year as he gets closer to senility.

Lyon themselves have a few jewels in their caps in preparation for this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League soccer match against Manchester United. First of all, they will play at home, with Manchester United showing vulnerability at times in away games. Secondly, Lyon have two players that Manchester United wants to buy, and you can be sure they will play at their very best tonight in this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League to impress Alex Ferguson and perhaps convince Manchester United to spend 100 million quid on each of them before Lyon decides to let them go. Now we all know Lyon is really a selling club and they can continue to do well in the French Ligue 1 simply because they sell their players for millions and buy quality replacements at cheap and then groom them to be sold for even more millions. The real miracle is that they can hire Perrin ex Portsmouth manager who almost relegated the club, and still dominate the French Ligue 1 although this season they have had it harder with Perrin showing his deficiencies at times.

All said and done, it is unlikely Manchester United will lose in this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League soccer match against Lyon, and should walk away with nothing worse than a draw. Ronaldo will be determined to show the world that he can play at the top level against top clubs and perhaps he might think Lyon is a top club and do well when in fact they are perhaps top of the second rung in Europe that's all. They've never made it further than the quarter finals of the Champions League so what else can they be? There should be much action as usual in this live commentary, live streaming and TV telecast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Lyon and Manchester United since the latter loves to attack with dazzling wingplay from Ronaldo and the disrespectful Nani so get ready for some goals.

UEFA Champions League 20/2/2008 - Celtic vs Barcelona

In what promises to be a bloody live commentary and play by play UEFA Champions League soccer match between Celtic and Barcelona as we bring you live streaming of the game, it could very well be a red filled night for Celtic to remember, for all the wrong reasons. Barcelona, the footballing aristocrats from Spain, arrive with a swagger at Parkhead, after slashing the lead of Real Madrid in the Spanish Primera Liga to just 5 points over the weekend, and with some confidence restored. Prima donna star Ronaldinho also scored and that bodes well, with other Barcelona stars like Samuel Eto and Lionel Messi also looking to hit their stride again after what has generally been a disappointing season and a half recently. Lionel Messi, in particular, will look to rip right into the heart of Celtic as he aims to be the top scorer in this competition, and we do see him scoring a few more in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Celtic and Barcelona.

A reason why Barcelona should do well is because the first letter of their name comes before that of Celtic's, so that's enough reason to believe they are at least one step ahead of the game. However, what should really prove to be the weapon in their arsenal in tonight's live commentary and TV telecast UEFA Champions League soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, is that they simply have better talent and attacking flair on the pitch lined up against Celtic. No offense to Celtic, as they are a talented side themselves, with hard work and a tough side to break down being their strengths, but while they have qualified for the Champions League this round, they have generally looked out of their depth in Europe and just managed to scrape through to face Barcelona in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Celtic and Barcelona at Parkhead.

It would be nice for a Scottish club to continue progress through to the next round of the Champions League, but that hardly looks like happening especially in tonight's live commentary and TV telecast UEFA Champions League clash between Barcelona and Celtic. Celtic are an honest side, but they are not as popular in Europe and beating Barcelona might be a fairytale and a good media story, but nobody would pay to watch Celtic in the final against say, Fenerbahce. We're not saying that something funny would happen to guarantee that doesn't happen, but for Celtic to make it through, it will need a gargantuan effort from them tonight in this live commentary, live streaming and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League clash between Celtic and Barcelona.

UEFA Champions League 20/2/2008 - Arsenal vs AC Milan

Brace yourselves now football fans, for the clash of the round in the UEFA Champions League today. It's Arsenal up against AC Milan in this live commentary and play by play soccer match at the Emirates Stadium, where the young and vibrant upstarts from North London aim to put one over the aging aristocrats from Italy AC Milan. Arsene Wenger will once again pit his wits against the very best in the business (even though he easily ranks as the top two club managers ever in the history of the modern game) in his AC Milan counterpart but the real battle will be on the pitch as the world awaits to see if the young Gunners, with all their verve and attacking style, can overcome years of experience and shrewdness in the Italian team, who have done this countless times, especially in the last two years as they continuously depended on a whole host of aging stars, who have just as well continuously defied the laws of nature by soldiering on and excelling despite their aging legs.

All the right noises are coming out of Arsenal ahead of this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League soccer match against AC Milan, with Arsene Wenger assuring fans and media alike that his players were really just horsing around in the FA Cup against Manchester United on Sunday and they had long since recovered from both the physical and mental exertions, ready to face the Italian giants who happen to be current Champions League champions. Cesc Fabregas, the no longer precocious Spanish midfielder of Arsenal, has also issued a rallying cry to his teammates ahead of the clash, calling for unity, determination and self belief in toppling their deadly foes in this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Arsenal and AC Milan. Arsenal should have their top striker Adebayour back for this match as he was rested over the weekend, which indicated Arsene Wenger's degree of interest in that competition while Manchester United fans were rubbing their hands in glee.

This match would be a hard call as both teams are actually quite equally matched although with very different abilities as will be seen in this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League soccer match between AC Milan and Arsenal. One team is young and fast and with lots of attacking flair, while the other is rather old but with really shrewd footballing brains both on and off the field and no lack of talent and quality in all parts of the field. What might happen though is a lot of goals instead of a cautious game, if Arsenal can manage to lure AC Milan out of their defensive shells as Italian sides will also be Italian sides and look to stifle their opposition at every opportunity. So our expectations are really against the grain and hope to see many goals, with perhaps a narrow victory for Arsenal although it would most likely end in a draw in this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Arsenal and AC Milan.

Monday, February 18, 2008

UEFA Champions League 19/2/2008 - Schalke vs Porto

This live commentary and play by play soccer match in the UEFA Champions League sees a German team Schalke hosting a team from Portugal, Porto, desperate to make up for a poor season after doing well last season and qualifying for this competition. Porto themselves are heading in the opposite direction and continue to do well in their own league even though it is not a very interesting one, what with some of their best players like Ronaldo and Nani now plying their trade in the English Premier League and earning big money instead of the spare change they would have gotten instead playing at home. They will be facing a Schalke team that has continued to display nerves like butter after having failed to win the Bundesliga title last season with two games remaining and in pole position, and over the weekend they again lost their nerves to lose at home to Wolfsburg, with star striker Kevin Kuranyi the main culprit for a string of missed chances.

Porto will go all out in this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League soccer match against Schalke despite playing away, as they are better known for their attacking flair and have fond memories of the ground they will be playing tonight, having won the Champions League with their then manager Mourinho there. And with Schalke playing the game of soccer like a game of hot potatoes, it will not surprise many if Porto attacked at will in this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. The result might still be hard to call given that these are two very volatile and unpredictable sides but you might expect many goals and the number of goals to easily go over the total in this live commentary and live streaming and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League soccer match, as both teams will surge forward and try to expose as many weaknesses in the opposition as much and as often as possible.

UEFA Champions League 19/2/2008 - Olympiakos vs Chelsea

In truth, this live commentary and play by play soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Olympiakos and Chelsea should see the Greek side give the English Premier League side a tough fight before ultimately succumbing to the powerful and suffocating play that has so characterised Chelsea during Mourinho's term as manager and has continued with Avram Grant taking over despite a little more freedom of expression by the Chelsea players as Grant tries to please the chairman by playing slightly more attractive soccer. But for the most part, that has failed as Grant knows that results will come if you keep it tight and do not fix what was not broken. The only worry Chelsea has now at this stage of the competition is how to bring back the old stars and still not break their momentum. It appears that that has continued from the weekend during the FA Cup match against Huddersfield as Chelsea failed to impress despite playing a team many divisions below them and if not for Liverpool, they might have suffered an upset themselves but luckily the spotlight was not on them and they pulled through, ironically with two goals by Frank Lampard.

Greek side Olympiakos might spring a few surprises themselves in this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League clash against Chelsea, as they are playing at home and Greek fans are known to be vociferous and passionate supporters. Furthermore their national side has won a European international championship in recent years unlike the English national team which is pretty much useless despite being filled with supposed world class players and soccer stars. You might even be surprised at how many of these England internationals do not even know how to control a soccer ball properly, can't trap and most of them try to learn dribbling even before they know what the instep is. Greek players are purportedly better but their club sides are usually underdogs and traditionally do not go far in European competitions, such as this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League against Chelsea. In fact you might be hard pressed to find a soccer fan who might know any Olympiakos player of note.

That would not prevent Olympiakos from doing their best tonight in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Olympiakos and Chelsea and in fact, I smell a possible upset brewing in that the home side might be able to snatch a draw or even a narrow win over Chelsea before succumbing ultimately at Stamford Bridge in two weeks' time. That has always been the case for Greek sides as they are fearless at home but meow like a little pussycat when playing at someone's home ground instead. Why soccer players cannot perform consistently enough at every stadium except for the top level players I cannot understand except the only explanation that I can offer is that these average players are just average and mentally like pussycats. They'd rather play with their own balls at home than to be real men and show who's boss in other stadiums. Be prepared for an exciting and pulsating UEFA Champions League live commentary, live streaming and TV telecast soccer match between Olympiakos and Chelsea tonight.

UEFA Champions League 19/2/2008 - Liverpool vs Inter Milan

In the first of four UEFA Champions League live commentary and play by play soccer match that are featuring English Premier League clubs, Liverpool face off at Anfield with Inter Milan in what could ultimately prove to be Rafael Benitez's last match in charge. In fact, Benitez should long have gone from Liverpool if he was a smart man, and if Liverpool fans were themselves clever enough to recognise that this stubborn manager only knew how to handle Europe, but did not have a clue as to what to do in the English Premier League despite having had at least three years to experiment with and in the process, pissing away the Anfield club's money, then they wouldn't have a club now sinking into debt and perhaps relegation next season after failing to qualify for the Champions League next season by missing out on fourth spot this term. The American owners, despite undermining Benitez in public, aren't even the real problems, as they bankrolled Benitez's flops so they had all the right in the world to do what they wanted to the manager. Don't even start to argue that the players did fine - Babel scores but unimportant goals, he couldn't even get past Barnsley most of the match. Skrtel was found out by a bunch of rubbish collectors and teachers. Benayoun is terribly inconsistent. Kuyt is nothing but a hardworking grafter. Torres is useless if he keeps sitting on the bench. Pennant is a headless chicken. And there's more where that came from.

Surprisingly, this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Liverpool and Inter Milan at Anfield might actually provide an upset in the form of Liverpool going through to the next round. Liverpool have done well whenever they have been underdogs, and that's the legend of the club. Inter Milan has had it easy throughout the season in the Italian Serie A, and have not impressed considerably in the earlier rounds of the Champions League. This live commentary and TV telecast UEFA Champions League soccer match might actually show up a few of Inter Milan's flaws in that they lose concentration at times every match and have not had to go beyond first gear in most league matches so far, which would be in contrast to a match like this when they would need to be at their best throughout. Benitez has also, to his credit, shone on the European stage, but honestly, that is not enough for Liverpool. What Liverpool needs is a league title after almost two decades without one. And the horrible truth is that if Benitez manages to go and win the Champions League title, it might just cover up the cracks and lead to a even worser future for the club.

Again, this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Liverpool and Inter Milan is a hard one to call under the circumstances as Liverpool would be desperate to do well since this is their last chance of a trophy this season although not a realistic one given the quality of the opposition left in the competition and if Manchester United does not get knocked out, then there is simply no way Liverpool can overcome that hurdle. Inter Milan has a better team and form but they have not been sufficiently challenged in the past two years and remember they actually struggled last season in this tournament. The most logical way this live commentary and TV telecast UEFA Champions League soccer match between Liverpool and Inter Milan will go is that of a low scoring draw, but do not be shocked if many goals result from a desperate team, on the right end or not.

UEFA Champions League 19/2/2008 - Roma vs Real Madrid

There has been much talk before this live commentary and play by play soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Roma and Real Madrid of two teams with contrasting recent fortunes in their respective leagues of the Italian Serie A and Spanish Primera Liga, and how the away team of Real Madrid has the upper hand (or foot) going into this game due to their better form. Despite losing over the weekend to a mediocre side, Real Madrid has been lauded for their ability to bounce back from bad defeats with impressive wins such as the 7-0 thumping of Valladolid just two weeks ago, and their star players have all been speaking with confidence before this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League soccer match, claiming the club now plays with great spirit and work ethic and that is why they will get a positive result from it, compared to the time when the Real Madrid Galacticos often flopped despite a string of star names to grace the field.

It would be a grave mistake by the Real Madrid team if they choose to underestimate Italy's Roma in this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League between Roma and Real Madrid at Rome. Roma has been going through a recent bad patch, losing ground in the Italian Serie A title race (even though they never really had much of a chance to begin with due to Inter Milan's absolute dominance in the past two season by taking advantage of Juventus' and AC Milan's punishment from the fallout of the match fixing scandal), and over the weekend suffering another away reverse against Juventus when they lost by 1-0 to the Zebras. Add to that the form of their playmaker extroardinaire and visionary midfielder Francesco Totti hass been called into question but the poor guy is suffering from ankle and back injuries and those are incredibly debilitating so give an old man a break. However, dismiss the men from Rome at your own peril, for this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Champions League clash between Roma and Real Madrid offers the perfect platform and chance for them to put their troubles behind and unlike Liverpool, they have much better players and talent to overcome such an obstacle.

This is a terribly hard match to call, as with most Champions League matches at this stage, due to the quality of teams left in the competition and also because many upsets have happened in this competition. This live commentary and TV telecast UEFA Champions League soccer match therefore offers a great chance for soccer fans to sit back and just enjoy the action to be offered as well as the high quality soccer play that would be available on the pitch. If you really can't keep away from some action for this match, perhaps a draw or even an upset win for Roma might be on the cards, as I highly suspect Real Madrid's away form or overall form in the Champions League, where they have not been mighty impressive this season. So it's better to just have a comfortable night on the couch and watch Roma and Real Madrid battle it out in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the UEFA Champions League then to throw your money down the drain. But if Roma does win, you know where you heard it first.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

English FA Cup 17/2/2008 - Preston vs Portsmouth

There should basically be no question of an upset in this live commentary and play by play English FA Cup match between Preston and Portsmouth, as Preston has basically been struggling for any semblance of form anywhere despite making a surprising trip to the last 32 of the English FA Cup, while Portsmouth continues to impress many with Harry Redknapp creating a well-oiled footballing machine that could easily be top of the rest in the English Premier League, with a great mix of British tenacity, European shrewdness and African flair. Not to mention Redknapp is one helluva humourous guy with amazing quotes and no lack of footballing ingenuity. He has continued to put a few over more illustrious football managers such as Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Benitez does not count since he is very much a chump and one of the worst managers ever due to being over the top stubborn despite the facts that are laid bare in front of him.

Portsmouth should have an easy trip for this live commentary and radio broadcast English FA Cup soccer match against Preston as they are playing well, and as long as Redknapp does not decide to field some reserves, then Preston has no chance in hell. Despite selling their top striker in Benjani to Manchester City, Portsmouth has signed on two great replacements in Milan Baros and Jermaine Defoe although the latter will be cup tied but it should not make too much of a difference with Kanu in waiting and Muntari back from the African Nations Cup. Reliable defender Sylvain Distin will also be back for this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match in the English FA Cup against Preston as Portsmouth will be keen to avoid the embarrassment that Liverpool felt yesterday, while establishing the Premier League's brand.

This should easily be an easy win for Portsmouth in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the English FA Cup between Preston and Portsmouth. In fact, Portsmouth should score 2 to 3 goals without so much as a canter and take advantage of a reeling Preston who has been so used to Championship success of promotion playoffs but this season has seen them sink further and further down the depths and they might easily be relegated if they do not concentrate on their league form. So expect a few goals and no surprises in this live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup soccer match as Portsmouth players will enjoy racking up a few more goals for their season tally and bid Preston farewell in the English FA Cup competition.

English FA Cup 17/2/2008 - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough

Fresh from firing Bryan Robson as manager, Sheffield United will be keen to put their troubles behind in this live commentary and play by play soccer match in the English FA Cup against more illustrious rivals Middlesbrough from the English Premier League, and in the process, achieve a memorable victory and FA Cup upset similar to that of Liverpool's screw up against Barnsley, although not quite on the same scale. However, with Kevin Blackwell on board, it might not be that easy as the guy is new on the job and might not know his team well enough, and he has had a history of stirring up trouble when the chips are down. Sheffield United players are also not terribly good and with the recent poor form, you would not expect them to achieve much against a well drilled Middlesbrough side.

Now Middlesbrough has surprised many, including myself, and could continue with their decent form in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match against Sheffield United in the English FA Cup. After taking over at Middlesbrough, Gareth Southgate did not show much difference from previous managers such as McClaren and Robson, who spent a lot on players but always produced dour football which ended up nowhere. However, Southgate has slowly developed his own style and system and introduced some flair into the side, although a player like Downing who has been chased by Tottenham Hotspur for god knows why since he runs around like a headless chicken after beating his man. Middlesbrough's improvement has been evident in recent matches and it should again be evident in this live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup soccer match in the last 32 against Sheffield United.

Although an upset could be on the cards for Sheffield United in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the English FA Cup due to all the setups available such as a new manager, poor form and a basic poor team, Middlesbrough should prove too good for them as they are becoming something like the Bolton of old - hard to beat and break down, but better in the sense that there is at least still some style moving forward as Southgate tries to create his own managerial system. That said, the best option to take in this live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup soccer match between Sheffield United and Middlesbrough could be the one for a low number of goals as both teams are not known to score many goals, and Middlesbrough is mighty defensive overall.

Spanish Primera Liga 16/2/2008 - Zaragoza vs Barcelona

Apart from having names that sound alike in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the Spanish Primera Liga, Zaragoza and Barcelona have very little else in common although the latter might soon join the ranks of also rans if they do not play better in the run up to the last few games of the season. Barcelona have continued to struggle and despite getting slightly better results now than the early half of the season, they are still trailing Real Madrid by a massive margin which going by Real Madrid's current form, might be difficult or near impossible to close the gap. Barcelona's star players, other than Messi, have played badly and are nowhere near to rediscovering their form of two seasons ago. The worst of the lot is fat and prima donna Ronaldinho who is a shadow of his former self and still has the cheek to keep grinning. In truth, Barcelona should have sold him to Chelsea when they had the chance and depended on the new Ronaldinho which is Messi who is young and has a better attitude, with no lack of talent and skill.

Zaragoza will struggle to keep pace with Barcelona in this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match in the Spanish Primera Liga though, as they do not have enough quality nor talent to trouble the Catalan club much. The only hope they have is to catch Barcelona on another one of their increasing number of off days and perhaps it might drive the nail deeper into Frank Rijkaard's coffin who looks decidedly clueless as to what to do to improve the club's situation. It has been a season and a half since Barcelona started to play like crap, so perhaps they might finally wake up and prove to the world how talented they really are in this live commentary and radio broadcast Spanish Primera Liga soccer match between Zaragoza and Barcelona.

Scottish Premier League 16/2/2008 - Celtic vs Hearts

Celtic is desperate to do well in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in this weekend's Scottish Premier League and look to try to win against Hearts at Parkhead as they are trailing Rangers and dropping further from the title race with some dodgy performances this season, even if they continue to be solid and the nearest challenger to Rangers' emerging dominance of the domestic game. Gordon Strachan has been found out to be an average manager once pitted against better soccer managers such as Walter Smith. From his days at Coventry, Strachan has only been blessed with decent budgets at each club he has gone to and therefore gotten enough decent players to scrap through. He also inherited a good team from Martin O'Neil at Celtic and displayed his shrewd mind by not fixing what was not broke and thus able to continue dominating the Scottish Premier League for a number of years.

However, with this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match at Parkhard in the Scottish Premier League between Celtic and Hearts, Gordon Strachan is slowly realising that players do age and with age, the ability to continue performing at the highest level would diminish. While this live commentary and radio broadcast Scottish Premier League soccer match between Celtic and Hearts should see another win for Celtic, it might not come as easily as it would have been in the past seasons. Most teams are now attacking Celtic with gusto and at times have managed to capitalise on a creaking Celtic team. It might be more of the same tonight although Celtic should still be able to squeeze out a valuable win to keep pace with Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

Spanish Primera Liga 16/2/2008 - Real Betis vs Real Madrid

This Spanish Primer Liga live commentary and play by play soccer match between home team Real Betis and away side and league leader Real Madrid could actually be a walkover for leaders Real Madrid given their sudden return to form and non stop scoring abilities that has continued since the start of the season. In fact, Bernd Schuster has managed to get the Real Madrid players to play flowing attacking soccer again yet with enough defensive discipline to hold their own and make their goals count, unlike Fabio Capello who concentrated mostly on defence. Raul continues his rehabilitation by scoring goals almost at will and forming a deadly partnership with Ruud Van Nistelrooy who seems to have tamed his wilder side from his days at Manchester United and you hardly hear of any prima donna attitude from the Dutchman these days.

Real Betis are no pushovers but they certainly will not provide much resistance to Real Madrid in this live commentary and radio broadcast Spanish Primera Liga soccer match. In fact, the best they could possibly hope for with Real Madrid in red hot form would be a draw, but they would need to stop the marauding Real forwards and creative midfield where any one of their players can score and create at will. With this live commentary and TV telecast Spanish Primera Liga match expected to produce fast exchanges and goal to goal end to end action, it should not be a surprise that this soccer match between Real Betis and Real Madrid should easily go over the total.

Italian Serie A 16/2/2008 - Juventus vs Roma

This top of the table live commentary and play by play soccer match clash will see Juventus trying to close the gap between themselves and Roma by securing a win and boost their own chances of an automatic Champions League slot by finishing the Italian Serie A season in second place. It would also be a great achievement by a Juventus team that bounced back immediately from their relegation to Italian Serie B almost a year and a half ago due to match fixing. Claudio Ranieri has done well with the resources given to him since taking over from Deschamps as manager and has molded a team that mixes grit and determination well with flair and attacking football. There is actually not much talk about Ranieri's tinkerman approach that he made famous in England perhaps he has mellowed after so many years in the wilderness since leaving Chelsea.

Juventus will be trying to take the game to Roma in this live commentary and radio broadcast Italian Serie A soccer game but Roma has proved to be a strong defensive unit despite being known more favourably for their attractive slick passing game, marshalled well by their playmaker Francesco Totti. The evergreen Totti continues to prosper in the league despite having failed in his career to impress at international level. Roma are way behind Inter Milan in the chase for the Italian Serie A title but they have to concentrate on strengthening their position in second place as Juventus are nipping at their heels and this live commentary and TV telecast soccer game between the two teams will see some fascinating battles as Del Piero, Nedved and Trezeguet will look to break down Roma's defence led by Panucci. In fact, this might be a high scoring draw with Juventus holding the slight edge since they would be determined to prove they're back and roaring in the Italian Serie A.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dutch Eredivisie 15/2/2008 - Ajax vs Sparta Rotterdam Highlights

It's business as usual back in the Dutch Eredivisie for Ajax Amsterdam as they powered their way to another crushing win, this time over Sparta Rotterdam. By putting 6 goals past their opponents on Friday, it continued to show just how unbalanced the Dutch Eredivisie really is and why Dutch teams might not have another European champion in the Champions League until they can somehow improve the standard of the other teams in the league. Not to say that they aren't good at all in Europe but the competition has to be tougher week in week out as you know that competition breeds quality in the long run. However, it is enjoyable for fans of attacking football with a lot of goals because that is generally what you get in the Dutch Eredivisie. So enjoy these highlights as we rundown the match.

English FA Cup 16/2/2008 - Manchester United vs Arsenal

This is the English FA Cup live commentary and play by play soccer match that everyone has been waiting for and salivating over - Manchester United against Arsenal at Old Trafford. The talk has been of this game dealing a psychological blow to whichever team that lost, going into the final hurdle of the last few games in the English Premiership. If that were the case, I have to say that Arsenal might have to go home with their tails in between their legs. They are missing a whole boatload of players for this game and that might include Adebayour. If that were to happen, even with their goal scoring midfielders in Fabregas and Hleb, you know they would be busy guarding Rooney and Ronaldo. That leaves Bendtner to play upfront although it might be Wenger's mind games to put Adebayour's availability in doubt for this game.

Koule Toure and Eboue will be back from the African Nations Cup for this live commentary and radio broadcast English FA Cup soccer match between Arsenal and Manchester United and that should help to solidify their backline against Manchester United's pacy strikeforce. However the question is if they can score at Old Trafford, given the solid partnership between Ferdinand and Vidic at the back. They might have to take advantage of any slip ups in concentration from Ferdinand and then defend well against a Ronaldo determined to show that he can perform at the critical matches instead of just being a flat track bully. What most soccer 'experts' and media couch potatoes wanna be soccer managers actually do not realise is that as long as you beat all the mediocre and average teams, losing one or two games against your top opponents will still win you the title. That has happened to Manchester United many times during their title winning seasons and they will show it again in this live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup soccer match against Arsenal. They do have a good track record against the Big Four, but they have consistently beaten the other sides and that establishes their huge advantage over the rest of the Big Four who regularly struggles against supposedly inferior opponents.

Due to the massive number of key injuries and playing away and Wenger not really too enamoured with the FA Cup, this live commentary and radio broadcast English FA Cup soccer match should see Manchester United roll to a comfortable win over arch rivals Arsenal. With Rooney back in the team, Manchester United will not lose as they have shown this season. Ferguson will also be eager to gain a psychological advantage over Arsenal in this live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup soccer game and you know what he is playing at since Manchester United have largely been silent prior to this game while the young Gunners have been shooting their mouths off with Fabregas saying they are the better team this season. That should end up on the walls of the Manchester United dressing room before the game.

English FA Cup 16/2/2008 - Chelsea vs Huddersfield

This English FA Cup live commentary and play by play soccer match will provide a fascinating look into the priorities of Chelsea especially since they might only realistically be able to win the two domestic cup competitions this season as their only trophies and that starts tonight in earnest against Huddersfield. Chelsea have performed admirably over the Christmas and holiday period despite having almost the entire team out at one point or another due to injury or international duty at the African Nations Cup. The perplexing thing is that once these players have been returning over the last week or two, Chelsea's performance has slipped, even with their biggest star players returning. In fact, they have performed better and soldiered well with their fringe squad players. Even those that had previously underperformed such as German World Cup star Michael Ballack, had played well and scored a few important goals. But with Frank Lampard back they seemed to struggle last weekend. Didier Drogba should be back tonight although he might be rested by Avram for the Champions League but frankly if you have seen his play in the African Nations Cup, you know he has made a bad move by rushing back from injury as he played way below par.

No one would reckon that Huddersfield has any chance in this live commentary and radio broadcast English FA Cup soccer match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. However, Chelsea has been the victim of huge major upsets before in this competition so nothing can be ruled out. It will also depend on what kind of team Avram puts out but so far it seems that he does not believe in a rotation policy (which makes him a better manager than Rafael Benitez) and has generally fielded his best team in each and every game. The only problem Chelsea might have in this live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup match and that Huddersfield might be able to exploit would be if Lampard and Ballack plays together again. They have always failed to click and Lampard should really leave the playmaker role to Ballack as the latter, though German, actually has better vision and technique than Lampard.

An emphatic win for Chelsea lies in wait and without doubt for them in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the English FA Cup the oldest knockout cup competition in the world. Unless they get 4 players sent off or Huddersfield actually builds a wall in front of their goal, it is hard to see anything beyond a four or five goal thrashing for Huddersfield at Stamford Bridge. Drogba might want to lay rest his African Nations Cup nightmare and with Jole Cole still humming to the tune of Muhammad Ali's fly like a butterfly sting like a bee, this live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup soccer match should be a walkover for Chelsea against Huddersfield.

English FA Cup 16/2/2008 - Coventry vs West Bromwich Albion

This English FA Cup live commentary and play by play soccer match between Championship rivals Coventry and West Brom have all the hallmarks of an English Premier League clash despite both teams sunk without a trace in the sewers of English football. With enough players from both sides to make up a team of a who's who of ex-English Premier League footballers who failed to make the grade, this has the makings of a typical Bolton vs Fulham clash on a normal weekend. Still, most of these players would either be out injured or suspended for this clash, with perhaps the only highlight being the possible debut of the great South Korean international Kim Do-heon who might prosper in West Brom's midfield since South Koreans are better at being good honest grafters instead of providing any real cutting edge. After all, having revealed their secret in the World Cup as having taken ginseng to push them to the semi finals, did anyone actually think that most of these players would continue to do well outside of Seoul?

It might be far fetched to say that anyone might be interested in this live commentary and radio broadcast English FA Cup soccer match between Coventry and West Brom because both teams have not done anything of note in the past decade other than one of them avoiding relegation from the English Premier League despite having been bottom at Christmas for one season, before actually avoiding a repeat of that miracle in their subsequent season. Of course, much of the credit and responsibility must fall on the shoulders of Bryan Robson who continues to show he was a great player but a downright failure as a manager after having been asked to leave Sheffield United earlier in the week. That should not take anything away from this spectacle of a live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup match between his ex-club West Brom and Coventry though.

This might be hard to call but West Brom should have enough to snatch this live commentary and radio broadcast English FA Cup tie. They have the players with slightly better flair and ability, but they are playing away at Coventry and that might work against them, especially in a one-off knockout FA Cup game. Coventry will definitely play with more spirit and determination by virtue of being at home but they still have to do it on the field and on paper they do look vulnerable and open to being booted out of the competition by the end of this game.

English FA Cup 16/2/2008 - Cardiff vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

This might be an enthralling live commentary and play by play English FA Cup match between Cardiff and Wolves not because there might be a possible upset, but because Dave Jones, manager of Cardiff, will today face his old club Wolverhampton Wanders or Wolves as they are more widely known. As many of you may be aware, Dave Jones experienced a terrible time many years back for a crime he swore he was not guilty of and has since slowly paid his dues and rehabilitated through football. Dave Jones was also the man who was successful in leading Wolves to the English Premier League in 2003, although he followed them back down in the following season. But from just that alone, it should be enough for Wolves fans to remember him fondly and recognise that where many others have failed, Dave Jones had at least served with distinction during his time managing the club.

Wolves on the other hand continue to try to aim for promotion year after year to the English Premier League but fail to put up a team strong enough for such a purpose of winning this live commentary and radio broadcast English FA Cup soccer match against Cardiff. They have also not done well in the Cup competitions and they are lucky that Liverpool legend and God Robbie Fowler would not be able to play for Cardiff in this round due to a hip injury that has plagued him for quite some time. They might have suffered from a double Liverpool knockout blow with both Liverpool natives Dave Jones and Robbie Fowler combining for this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match in the FA Cup. Despite this, Wolves does have a talented team with enough African flair to attack their way to promotion and better results but true to African enigma, they are also extremely prone to inconsistency and as a result the team has not done as well as they could have.

This live commentary and radio broadcast match in the English FA Cup should see a titanic struggle between two equally matched teams in Cardiff and Wolves. It would be incredibly hard to call as both teams have about the same ability and standards, and this often results in stalemate. What we can hope for is that this live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup match will provide endless thrills and attacking football despite a possible stalemate, with Cardiff and Wolves engaging in end to end football and no shortage of goals for a global audience. This might be a better way to market the game to the rest of the world than playing that silly 39th game outside of England.

English FA Cup 16/2/2008 - Liverpool vs Barnsley

The media is smelling a great big upset in this live commentary and play by play English FA Cup soccer match between giants Liverpool and minnows Barnsley. Why would they think so? Mainly because of the crisis that continues unabated at Anfield, and now they have a sudden defensive headache as well. Sami Hyppia is not entirely fit from an injury, Martin Skrtel has been dealt an injury blow as well after seemingly having slowly clawed his way back from an embarrassing outing against Havant and Waterlooville, and Daniel Agger is still nowhere to be seen as injury setback after setback continues to dog the young Danish player of the year. On top of that, Rafael Benitez is proving to be a poor manager by insisting that he will stick to his rotational policy and will rest Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres for this game. Obviously he has great belief in his reserves but it also shows that he isn't interested in the FA Cup and still thinks he has a great chance in the Champions League against Inter Milan. Of course he does, since Inter Milan has actually struggled against quality opponents in Europe this season but then again that's against quality opponents.

Barnsley are all fired up and raring to go in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the English FA Cup against Liverpool as they are buying into the hype and determined to create a huge upset here. However, the strength in depth that is obvious at Liverpool is not present at Barnsley as they have had to draft in a loan player from West Brom to feature in their goal. Luke Steele will debut for Barnsley in this game and he is a young inexperienced goalkeeper at this competitive level and it remains to be seen if he would shine at Anfield or crumble due to nerves in this pulsating live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup soccer match between Liverpool and his team Barnsley. However the stats have shown that on Barnsley's last trip to Anfield in the English Premier League nearly a decade ago, they actually scored an incredible win over Liverpool.

Despite the knives out in full force waiting for Benitez to fall flat on his face in this live commentary and radio broadcast English FA Cup soccer match between his club Liverpool and underdog Barnsley, Liverpool does have decent backups in store, even if they are not quite up to the mark overall for their title ambitions. On top of that, Liverpool will play at home at Anfield and they have their vociferous, if somewhat naive, home crowd to roar them on to another stay of execution win for Benitez. If newspaper reports are to be believed, Liverpool will experience their second new ownership in less than a year by the end of this or next month. If that happens, this live commentary and TV telecast English FA Cup match between Liverpool and Barnsley might very well be Rafael Benitez's swansong in the oldest knockout soccer cup competition in the world.

English FA Cup 16/2/2008 - Bristol Rovers vs Southampton

Honestly, I am shocked that there is this live commentary and play by play soccer match of this FA Cup match between Bristol Rovers and Southampton because there might not be enough people interested to watch this other than the fans from both teams. Most people would even struggle to name a player from either of these two teams. Okay, maybe they might know Theo Walcott who was previously from Southampton or even Peter Crouch but both players are also struggling in their present teams and not getting a look in unless injuries or suspensions have torn Arsenal and Liverpool apart. That said, perhaps the English FA is trying its best to market their game to the world by featuring teams other than the Big Four since now they probably cannot bring the English Premier League out to the naive fans in Asia and the United States.

That said, this live commentary and radio broadcast FA Cup soccer match between Bristol Rovers and Southampton will help to kick off this weekend of knockout matches and quite honestly, Bristol Rovers should have an upper hand in this game mainly due to the fact that they are playing at home and Southampton has always been prey to cup upsets although they are no longer in the top tier of English football so even if they had lost to Havant and Waterlooville it would not have been that much of an upset. They do have an ex-Liverpool player in their ranks in Gregory Vignal who was even once on the verge of a France callup but is now sunk in the lower depths of England and will not even feature in this live commentary and TV telecast FA Cup soccer match for his team Southampton against Bristol Rovers due to injury.

It is strange that the so-called experts are predicting a win for Southampton in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the English FA Cup against Bristol Rovers as I frankly see a blowout in this one. Southampton will struggle on that horrible pitch that Bristol Rovers has as they are more used to playing on a decent one like at St Mary's even though they are no longer in the EPL they do have a nice stadium. This live commentary and TV telecast FA Cup match between Bristol Rovers and Southampton will see an upset of sorts as the favourites would not get a result from this and perhaps that's why you will get to watch it globally.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

UEFA Cup 14/2/2008 - Aberdeen vs Bayern Munich Highlights

Scottish Premier League club Aberdeen acquitted themselves well in the UEFA Cup last 32 on Thursday when they held German giants Bayern Munich to a 2-2 draw and could well have won the game themselves if not for a lack of experience and naivety, and of course, an incompetent referee. Watch the match highlights and you would realise that they more than made up the numbers and while Aberdeen's hopes of making the next round has dimmed considerably given the two away goals they conceded, if they played with the same amount of passion and pride in the return leg at Munich, they would have just as much chance of scoring an upset win over Bayern Munich. Bayern Munich is not the old formidable opponent of old, and it would be great for Scottish football if Aberdeen continued to progress in the UEFA Cup. Enjoy these highlights.

Romario Bullies His Way To Reinstatement

Romario, the legendary Brazilian striker who was a living embodiment of the lost art of a prima donna striker who actually delivers, threatened and bullied his way to a successful reinstatement of his playing status after initially banned for 120 days due to failing a drug test after a Brazilian league match playing for his current club Vasco de Gama. Brazil's Superior Tribunal of Sports Justice acquitted him of the charges despite tests showing that he had used a drug which belonged to a category of anabolic steroid masking agents. Romario had argued that the drug was contained in an anti-balding medication that he was using and that the substance itself was not a steroid. Before the hearing, Romario had threatened to retire from soccer and walk away from the sport that he so loved. What is so ridiculous about this verdict is that whether the substance Romario had taken had direct performance enhancing ability or not, the rules clearly state that it was not allowed within the sport and so the right penalty was meted out. Now you will have players who will use these masking agents and then argue the precedence that this case has set. If this was not Romario and just some other unknown player, you would be sure that the guilty verdict would remain.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ronaldo's Career Is Over

Or close to it, as the Brazilian ruptured his tendon in the left knee, which is now an identical problem he suffered to his right knee almost nine years ago. Ronaldo was carried off the pitch in tears and that shows you that I am just about right in my assessment. Ronaldo knows it, I know it, and the whole world knows it as well that this striker who was once Europe and the world's most feared striker, has gone down the bin chute and will no longer play another competitive game, given his ongoing health and fitness issues.

In fact, it would do him a lot of good if Ronaldo retires now. He might not find himself able to walk come 10 years later if he tries to make another comeback. He might lose his legs the next time something serious happens on the pitch.

UEFA Cup 13/2/2008 - Brann vs Everton Highlights

So it turned out that Everton more than rose up to the challenge and easily dispatched Brann away in their UEFA Cup soccer match last night and these match highlights would show how comfortable the English Premier League team were despite playing away and without much of a strikeforce despite having Yakubu back and they still needed a young substitute Achinebe to score a second to confirm their (sure) passage into the next round which is the last 16 of the UEFA Cup. The good times are rolling for the men in blue of Liverpool and it would surely rub the salt in if Liverpool proceeds to be booted out of the Champions League after their encounter with Inter Milan, with many saying that Benitez would himself be booted out of Anfield if that happens. Why wait till then? Benitez should have been gone long ago. That said, enjoy these match highlights of Brann vs Everton in the UEFA Cup.

UEFA Cup 13/2/2008 - Glasgow Rangers vs Panathinaikos

Honestly, despite Scottish teams' perennial failure in European competition in modern times, this should be a straightforward live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Cup soccer match for Glasgow Rangers against Greek side Panathinaikos. While admittedly, Greek sides are quite shrewd and can often produce shocking results against the big names, you can count on the fierce and partisan home fans in Glasgow to roar Rangers to a good result. Rangers has shown great form this season in Europe, only missing out tragically due to late reverses in their last two games. Walter Smith has come back to the club and guided Rangers back to respectability after recent seasons in which they floundered in Celtic's shadows. This season, they have been leaving hated rivals Celtic trailing in their dust and exposing Gordon Strachan's limited managerial abilities. However, it has been a long break since their last European activity so the danger is that they might have lost considerable momentum coming into this match.

Panathinaikos would also be desperate to achieve results in this live commentary and TV telecast UEFA Cup match against Rangers, as they have not managed to maintain previous seasons' European form and go from strength to strength. They would definitely find it tough in the hostile environment that is Glasgow Rangers although European teams are quite well known for blocking everything out in away games and concentrating on their tactics. One worry for Rangers in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the UEFA Cup would be that they play too much like a Scottish team instead of concentrating on their strengths. While Scottish clubs can be even more forceful and gung ho than English clubs, sometimes they play too much with their hearts and not enough of their brains. Hopefully with Walter Smith's experience at international level, he would be able to get Rangers to play smart and achieve a confidence boosting win in this UEFA Cup match against Panathinaikos.

UEFA Cup 13/2/2008 - Slavia Prague vs Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur's recent revival will continue to be under scrutiny and the spotlight in this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Cup soccer match against Slavia Prague. Slavia Prague should provide stiff opposition and a different type of team that Tottenham Hotspur are used to facing in the English Premier League, but one thing in favour of Spurs would be their manager Juande Ramos, who has shown with Sevilla that he is a class act in Europe by steering them to successive UEFA Cup triumphs in recent seasons. In fact, Juande Ramos has solidified his reputation by turning Tottenham's season around and leading them to the Carling Cup final while in recent games have shown better defensive solidarity at the back while continuing to flourish in attack, with Berbatov especially impressing and displaying his importance to the team.

Despite this, Tottenham Hotspur should not get too ahead of themselves and must be wary of their opponents Slavia Prague in this UEFA Cup live commentary and TV telecast soccer game. It is certain that Juande Ramos will not abandon his strategy of playing attacking football to win games but he is certainly smarter and a better manager than Kevin Keegan and builds from a sound defence before unleashing his forward line on opponents. You can be sure he would demand that Spurs go for a win and not concede any goals. In fact, Juande Ramos might be the next big thing after Alex Ferguson, although he has shown a penchant for looking to sign players from his old club Sevilla. If he can guide Tottenham Hotspur to an impressive win against Slavia Prague in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer game in the UEFA Cup, then you never know, Manchester United might actually try to snap him up as their manager to replace Alex Ferguson in the near future, instead of Carlos Queiroz who had already failed spectacularly at Real Madrid.

UEFA Cup 13/2/2008 - Bolton vs Atletico Madrid

This live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Cup soccer match between Bolton and Atletico Madrid will provide a real and stiff test for Gary Megson as a manager and determine if the Bolton fans will finally accept him. When Megson was appointed in place of Sammy Lee, most fans immediately objected to it and were very sure that Bolton would continue to slide with his appointment. However, since then, Gary Megson has done a decent job of making Bolton hard to beat again and in fact they look pretty much like their old selves from back in the past under Sam Allardyce. For the most part, Megson has been flattering to deceive. By recalling most of the players under Sam Allardyce back into the team such as Nolan, he practically has the same team, and deployed the same tactics. So it isn't really that Gary Megson is a good manager, he's just not trying to fix something that ain't broke. Bolton should do just enough to secure safety in the English Premier League.

However, they are facing a decent Spanish side in Atletico Madrid in this live commentary and TV telecast UEFA Cup soccer match, and even though Atletico is not exactly setting their own Spanish Primera Liga on fire, they do have the typical European players who might not have the greatest talents, but are canny enough to outfox many British sides. The one thing going for Bolton would be that they are playing at home, and their vociferous fans will cheer them on to put one over their Spanish rivals. Under such circumstances, you could say that Atletico Madrid might just crack and buckle in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the UEFA Cup, thereby giving Gary Megson a significant achievement in his managerial career and allow him to continue to hoodwink the Bolton management and even perhaps their fans. I'll stick my neck out and say Bolton might actually nick this, although the return leg should be sufficient for Atletico Madrid to turn it around.

UEFA Cup 13/2/2008 - Brann vs Everton

Everton comes into this live commentary and radio broadcast UEFA Cup soccer match between Brann and Everton on the back of a run of good results in their own domestic league the English Premier League, and riding high in fourth spot with the Champions League slot in sight. Everton has even stayed ahead of tough competition from the other chasing English clubs including arch rival Liverpool, Aston Villa and Manchester City. Not only are they doing well domestically, their performances in Europe this season have been exemplary, dominating previous group and knockout stages. Coming into this game against Norwegian side Brann, their main concern would be whether star striker Yakubu would be fielded, after having angered manager David Moyes by not returning back from the African Nations Cup on time, thereby disrespecting his teammates, according to Moyes. Yakubu was then fined and banned from the team for one game, but the question is whether Moyes would continue to leave him out of the game with his other strikers misfiring.

Brann will attempt to cause an upset in this live commentary and TV telecast UEFA Cup game at home against Everton. It is primarily because they would be playing in front of their small but passionate home crowd that will give Brann confidence that they can knock Everton off their lofty perch. Not many soccer fans around the world, except for their own Norwegian fans, would know much about Brann but they are typical of all Norwegian sides - tough and resolute in the face of difficulty. Everton might experience problems trying to score against such opponents, as shown in their other live commentary and radio broadcast soccer games against Brann and other similar teams in the English Premier League. Therefore, it might be hard to call this game, but while Everton should be favourites to sneak a win away on a counter attack strategy which they are actually quite good at, Brann are equally capable of stealing a win themselves against their illustrious opponent but we shall see what will unfold in this game.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Real Madrid Legend Di Stefano To Be Honoured By Real Madrid

Alfredo di Stefano, the legendary Real Madrid striker who terrorised clubs all over Europe and the world years ago when football was more about skills and dribbling instead of fast paced athleticism, will be honoured by Spanish Primera Liga club Real Madrid with a large statue to be placed in front of the club's training ground. While it is a nice touch by the club, you would imagine Real Madrid would choose a better place for the club's honorary president's statue than the training ground where no one gets to see it except the team and fans who have nothing better to do than to watch players like Raul and Van Nistelrooy stretching their bodies under the hot sun.

English Coca Cola Championship 12/2/2008 - Queens Park Rangers vs Barnsley Highlights

Queens Park Rangers against Barnsley in the Coca Cola Championship isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea but thank heavens these are only match highlights so you can avoid watching the other portions of the game which would all be boring dribble. This time, it isn't Gavin Peacock that is scoring for the QPR, but Gavin Mahon - not exactly of the same quality but it doesn't matter to the home team as long as he scores enough for them to keep winning and beat Barnsley. You'd be hard pressed to remember the last time Barnsely was in the English Premier League but at least that was one time better than Queens Park Rangers who have never made it back up ever since they dropped from the old First Division. Enjoy these match highlights of Queens Park Rangers vs Barnsley.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Whatever Happened To Denilson?

Denilson was once touted as the young bright hope of Brazilian soccer, and even compared to the great Pele. Blessed with quick feet and a dribbling style that resembled many Brazilian legends that had gone before him, Denilson was a hot property in Europe before landing in Spain. Once there, he suffered the same plight that befell many other young Brazilian players before him that came with the 'next Pele' nametag. Unfortunately he could not get off his butt to work harder and quickly sank to oblivion, with hardly any impact in Spain and you wouldn't even know he had left for America, where the silly Americans love to splurge on faded European or world soccer stars in order to spice up their horrible soccer league the MLS. Having a format that resembled other American sports was ridiculous enough, but filling your teams with old and unfit soccer players in the twilight of their careers was even worse. Anyway, Denilson has now been cut from Dallas FC whom he signed for last year, leaving with only one goal in his name. Either the MLS became real good, or Denilson was real bad. Luckily for him, Palmeiras decided to take a chance on him and bring him back to Brazil, but reduced the risk by giving him a pay as you play contract. Compared to David Beckham, this guy's still young at 30, and this is utter humiliation.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

EPL 11/2/2008 - Arsenal vs Blackburn Rovers

There is much talk about Arsenal having mouting injury problems for this live commentary and play by play English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates Stadium and how Arsene Wenger is struggling to put up a full team and that he might have to ask Koulo Toure to play 2 games in 3 days with a 7 hour flight sandwiched in between. The soccer media are also baying for Arsenal's blood and they smell an upset on the cards as Blackburn Rovers have come close to beating Arsenal twice this season in the EPL and League Cup as they held the North London league leaders to draws in both games after 90 minutes. Arsenal faces a bad defensive crisis as even Philip Senderos is injured and he might have to put in young Justin Hoyte although I see no problem in that since Hoyte has acquitted himself well for the most part whenever he plays, and Gilberto Silva might also have to be drafted in as Hoyte's central defensive partner. But Silva has played there before and done decently well so where the problem is, I do not know.

Much less has been made about Blackburn Rovers own injuries and midfield problems for this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the English Premier League against Arsenal. They are also facing many missing players and their midfield is especially bad as guys like Stephen Reid have relapsed again and are doubtful for this match. Without a midfield, how much can a Blackburn Rovers team cope with Arsenal's still present midfield force of Cesc Fabregas and Flamini? There has also been much attention on the return of Arsenal old boy David Bentley as he seeks to put one over his former club with Blackburn Rovers, after being elevated to the England first team and a rising star. Arsene Wenger has been asked if he regrets letting Bentley go but what could he have done at that time as Bentley did not exactly impress enough as yet and he wanted regular first team football so you had to let the lad go to improve and develop his game if he did not want to wait. It worked out well for everyone although in the future if UEFA forces all teams to have a quota of local players, Arsenal might rue letting Bentley go.

However, this live commentary and TV telecast English Premier League game between Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers would be one of the hardest to call as both sides facing injuries and player crisis due to that. The slight edge still belongs to Arsenal not because they are playing at home but because they will be motivated to put more distance between them and Manchester United after the latter flopped badly at home against Manchester City, and also because Arsenal has capable substitutes for the injured and missing players while Blackburn Rovers might struggle with their players out. Therefore, expect a scrappy win for Arsenal over Blackburn Rovers in this live commentary and radio broadcast English Premier League soccer match at the Emirates Stadium and while the season might still be early, the omens are looking good for the young Arsenal team for the EPL title as Manchester United seem to suffer from a temporary lapse in form.

Spanish Primera Liga 10/2/2008 - Real Madrid vs Valladolid Highlights

There should be no doubts amongst most, unless you were a Barcelona fan, that after watching these match highlights, Real Madrid will go on to win the Spanish Primera Liga title. In an impressive 7-0 trouncing of Real Valladolid at home on Sunday, Real Madrid finally put to rest their recent form against the smaller teams when they struggled to gather any points. This time however, they showed who the best team in the Spanish Primera Liga was and that's Real Madrid. Raul scored again and continues his revitalisation and Liverpool might rue the day when they failed to be persistent in their attempts to sign a great goalscorer like Raul. Meanwhile, enjoy the match highlights of Real Madrid's 7-0 win over Valladolid in the Spanish Primera Liga.

African Nations Cup 9/2/2008 - Third Place Play Off Ghana vs Ivory Coast Match Highlights

In a repeat nightmare from their semi final, overwhelming tournament favourites Ivory Coast lost to host nation Ghana by a whopping 4-2 scoreline in the African Nations Cup third place play off and after having gone ahead earlier in the match. Too often we have seen such results happen in soccer as the big favourites impressed in the tournament before crashing out at the critical stage, and then going downhill from then on. Didier Drogba so often the big talker and captain of Ivory Coast, was not able to do his job well and score goals for the team. Koulo Toure would have been better off staying at Arsenal as he showed again his frailities on the big stage. But take no credit away from Ghana as they rose above themselves to bring the third place reward to their fans but at the end of the day they would still have been disappointed by not having won the African Nations Cup. Watch the match highlights and look out for the great equaliser and second goal from Ghana.

African Nations Cup 10/2/2008 - Egypt vs Cameroon

This enthralling African Nations Cup live commentary and TV telecast soccer match between current champions Egypt and revivalist Cameroon would be an interesting duel between two nations from Africa that play with contrasting styles. While Egypt has more of a European slant to its game due to many of its players plying their trade in Europe, Cameroon has long been the favourite African team of many football fans all over the world, as they have not forgotten the amazing exploits of Roger Milla and the Cameroon Lions in the World Cup. In fact, both teams come from rank underdogs for this tournament and have done superbly to reach the final after having been written off by many so called soccer experts but not your very own Soccer Rag who felt that Egypt might spring a few surprises along the way. They have done so by trouncing the overwhelming favourites Ivory Coast which featured some great soccer superstars such as Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou but still flopped.

Cameroon on the other hand have even gone further as they started the tournament with a crushing 4-2 defeat at the hands of their opponents in the African Nations Cup final today, Egypt. They would hope to avoid the same result in this live commentary and radio broadcast African Nations Cup final soccer match today between Cameroon and Egypt, but they would need to bring their A game in order to beat a disciplined and talent Egyptian team, and also overcome some key injuries and suspensions. However, their wily coach sees a great hope and future for the team, but only if Cameroon avoids the indiscipline and temperamental problems that dog so many African players in the history of soccer.

That said, the smart money would be on Egypt to claim a successive African Nations Cup title in this live commentary and TV telecast game between Cameroon and Egypt. However, the Indomitable Lions of Africa might have a few more tricks up their sleeves and do not be shocked if they do upset Egypt and claim their third title in history. While Cameroon might not have any recognisable star like Roger Milla in their team at the moment, they have great team unity and spirit and are more than deserved challengers for the crown. We shall see what happens after this live commentary and radio broadcast African Nations Cup final between Cameroon and Egypt.

Scottish Premier League 9/2/2008 - Rangers vs Falkirk Highlights

The great Scottish team Rangers have stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to 12 games after overcoming Falkirk at Ibrox last night. Kris Boyd and ex Evertonian Steven Naismith scored the vital goals that pulled them further away from Celtic and the Scottish Premier League might just end up in Ibrox this season after almost total dominance from Celtic in the past decade. But with Walter Smith's return and Gordon Strachan having been found out as a manager, Rangers have slowly clawed their way back to the top of the league. Enjoy these match highlights.

Italian Serie A 10/2/2008 - AC Milan vs Siena

This Italian Serie A live commentary and play by play soccer match between AC Milan and Siena will see AC Milan trying to cope with life without new teenage sensation Pato who was seriously injured last week and also Kaka who met with an injury although it was not serious but will keep him out of this game. It also comes at a time when AC Milan was just starting to experience a good run of form as they attacked their way to a string of victories, much a result of inspired transfer in Pato and also the resulting three pronged attack of Kaka, Ronaldo and Pato. However, this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match between AC Milan and Siena will see a true test for the Italian aristocrats as they struggle to make any headway in Serie A this season and seem to be suffering from a huge Champions League hangover from last season.

Filippo Inzaghi will be back from injury in place of Pato for this live commentary and radio broadcast Italian Serie A match again Siena, but he is no Pato and Ronaldo and his other team mates would need to step up by providing incisive passes and good crosses for Inzaghi to thrive on and score a few goals. It is amazing that the pint sized but deadly Inzaghi is still plying his trade at the top echelon of Italian soccer but it could be expected too since he bases his game more on tricking the offside trap and being at the right place at the right time. It is also a great testament to his professional attitude and hard work to continue performing at the highest level while his brother and other peers are no longer around.

This live commentary and TV telecast soccer game in the Italian Serie A between AC Milan and Siena should see another win for the home team, but just nearly, as Siena would provide stiff opposition and would seek to test the aging Milan backline and doubtful strikeforce. Leaving the famous stadium with a great result from upsetting the European Champions would also be an amazing result for Siena.

EPL 10/2/2008 - Chelsea vs Liverpool

There has been much less focus on this live commentary and play by play English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge compared to previous seasons and encounters due to the fact that Liverpool has now been rubber stamped as an also ran and a club deep in crisis, while Chelsea continue to challenge for the EPL title by grinding out wins but the truth is that while Avram Grant has the charisma to squeeze his way into the manager's seat and a string of wins from his players, he does not have the tactical acumen to overcome Chelsea's major rivals in Manchester United and Arsenal. However, he does belong to the growing club of managers who have shown Rafael Benitez how to actually win in the EPL without the need for rotation and still having a squad strong enough to keep going over the course of a long season.

Liverpool continues to lurch from one disaster to another and despite a morale boosting win over Sunderland last week, it did not paper over the cracks that have been existent in this team and Rafael Benitez's management style for a long time. This live commentary and radio broadcast English Premier League game between Chelsea and Liverpool will continue to show what an ineffective motivator Benitez is - tactics can only get you that far. If your team suffers from a confidence crisis you need to be able to motivate and encourage them, like how Ferguson, Moyes, Wenger, Mourinho or even Grant does. Unfortunately, Benitez has continued to show he is unable to catch hold of his players' attention at crucial times and bring the best out of them. If he really feels that these players deserve the kind of money that Liverpool has paid out for them, then he should be able to unearth the talent from them to be consistently displayed for Liverpool's benefit, such as in this live commentary and TV telecast game that would be crucial to their hopes of securing that fourth Champions League slot.

It is highly likely that Chelsea would once again scrape to another win over Liverpool in this live commentary and radio broadcast English Premier League soccer match. While Chelsea are not crowd pleasers and certainly nothing pretty to watch despite Avram's claim that he would change Mourinho's style of play, they are still extremely effective and should easily remain in third and perhaps usurp second place if Arsenal flops in the run up to the end of the season. Liverpool unfortunately suffer from bad American ownership, bad players and a failing manager. While Benitez is favoured by many fans due to his dedication and for his efforts in winning the Champions League, he does not have the ability to deliver the English Premier League crown to Liverpool now, in the near future, nor ever in the distant. This would once again be evident in this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match in the EPL between Chelsea and Liverpool tonight.

EPL 10/2/2008 - Manchester United vs Manchester City

This live commentary and play by play English Premier League soccer match today between Manchester United and Manchester City has hogged all the limelight and headlines across many sports pages today would be all about this game as it commemorates the tragic day of the air disaster that wiped out the legendary Manchester United Busby Babes. A really sad day in sports history and there has been much focus and worry on Manchester City fans spoiling the day by not keeping the minute's silence that would have to be observed prior to kickoff. It is a sad fact of life that many soccer fans are not really fans and just hidden hooligans and always determined to cause trouble. Even if you are a passionate fan of derby rival Manchester City, you should still respect the other team, its fans, and the club's history. Especially over an incident as sad and horrifying as the Busby Babes unfortunate accident. My advice as the Soccer Rag, would be to be a smart soccer fan and show some respect to the dead. After that, out sing and out cheer the Manchester United fans, because you know most of them would be on prawn sandwiches.

Unfortunately, as Manchester City fans, you would also need to enjoy cheering your team on in this live commentary and radio broadcast EPL match against Manchester United, because that would be about the only fun you would have tonight. There is a reason for Manchester United being favoured so highly for the game, and it is because they know that Manchester United would trounce the Mancurians in blue. The first meeting in which Manchester City carved out a fluke win was during early days when Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez had not forged an understanding, and even then, they absolutely ripped Dunne and Micah Richards apart. Tonight would see more of the same from Manchester United as, despite missing Rooney the Bully, they would still have Ronaldo and Tevez and the former would want to put behind his international choke job in midweek with Portugal, while the latter would want to continue putting on his circus act of a Mighty Mouse. To understand the extent of Ferguson's concern about the difficulty of winning this live commentary and TV telecast English Premier League soccer game against Manchester City, he is not even worried about having to field a new young striker at 17 years old from the start.

Manchester City would be facing a heavy defeat in this live commentary and radio broadcast soccer match in the English Premier League against Manchester United, as they face an inspired Red Devils who would be hoping to provide some relief for the grieving Busby Babes families and fans. Sven has been known to be a diplomatic and patrionising European gentleman from his days as England manager, and he will continue to do so today by providing Manchester United to an easy and comfortable result against his team, since Manchester City are not really playing for anything this season except pride and a UEFA Cup slot. Do not even think about the Champions League, Manchester City fans, for your team would be ripped apart if they qualify and should spend more effort ensuring Premier League survival in this live commentary and TV telecast EPL game against Manchester United.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Spanish Primera Liga - Sevilla vs Barcelona Match Highlights

While my editorial team works on the match highlights for this match of the week in the Spanish Primera Liga between Sevilla and Barcelona, I just want to report on how the game went first. After a result which could mean the end of Barcelona's title challenge, Barcelona was unlucky not to have snatched maximum points at the end of the game. Despite going a goal behind in the first half when Sevilla's impressive Capel scored from a narrow angle, Barcelona managed to equalise through Xabi off a defence splitting pass from Messi. Soon after, Keita was sent off by the referee and Sevilla struggled to hold off Barcelona's marauding forwards, although they could have snatched it themselves at the death off a fine run from Capel. Unfortunately the shot went narrowly wide. All in all, despite getting a deserved draw, it was not enough for Barcelona to close too much of the gap between them and Real Madrid and it could see Real Madrid pulling further away after their game on Sunday.

Friday, February 8, 2008

EPL 9/2/2008 - Sunderland vs Wigan

Be honest now. Who would pay money to watch this live commentary and play by play English Premier League soccer match between Sunderland and Wigan? In fact, who would even want to consider it in the first place, unless they wanted to enjoy a nice nap under open skies in the midst of other bored fans? Both Sunderland and Wigan are more suitable for the English Championship and are reasons why the English Premier League is quite boring on many occassions unless you get to watch Arsenal or Manchester United play. They should trim the number of teams down in the EPL to avoid having to accept more mediocre teams into the league and thereby lowering its quality. Imagine if your city outside England were given this match Sunderland vs Wigan for the extra match to be played globally, who in the right mind would pay a few hundred dollars in their own currency to watch an Emile Heskey or Kieran Richards? The highlight would actually be seeing Sunderland manager Roy Keane strut around in his overcoat.

Despite this, this live commentary and radio broadcast EPL soccer match should see Sunderland squeak to another precious three points as they are playing at home in front of their own fans and also due to the fact that Wigan is suffering from quite a number of critical injuries. Roy Keane has a few injuries to cope with as well as he attempts to come up with a team strong enough to win this live commentary and TV telecast English Premier League game against Wigan, but he has less worries compared to Wigan manager Steve Bruce, and playing in front of the Sunderland fans should provide enough stimulus to be roared on to victory. The problem is that Sunderland does not have any creative force in midfield and their strikers are impotent. Roy Keane also buys too many players who are good enough for the English Championship but not the EPL. Perhaps he has already started to look ahead to next season of life outside the EPL.

This live commentary and radio broadcast English Premier League match between Sunderland and Wigan would end in a draw 9 times out of 10. But I am willing to stick my neck out this time to predict a Sunderland win, as they overcome tough conditions and even tougher times to collect another three points in their false hopes of staying in the EPL. Wigan on the other hand might still have chance, although they are not pretty to watch and are downright boring. However, they're stronger defensively, but this match might have come too soon for the injuries they have all of which are to key players. So expect a scrappy Sunderland win over Wigan in this live commentary and TV telecast soccer game in the English Premier League.

EPL 9/2/2008 - Middlesbrough vs Fulham

Gareth Southgate has signalled Middlesbrough's intentions to be a growing English Premier League force before this live commentary and play by play soccer match between Middlesbrough and Fulham by claiming that their signing of Brazilian hotshot (in the Dutch League) shows just how much ambition they have. However, Afonso Alves comes to the club on the back of a huge transfer record fee and still not fit enough to play. What a waste of money if you ask me. Also, he is 27 years old so that is an expensive investment. If he does well for Middlesbrough, Afonso Alves will be the first to ask for a transfer away and you can be sure for that to happen. But other club news has generally been good for Middlesbrough as they seem to cope well with Jonathan Woodgate's loss and Downing stays at the club as no club came for him, shows you just how good he is really. He did not even get to play for England and too much has been made of how good a crosser of the ball and winger he is. He has never impressed me and has never been consistent enough to deserve being labelled a talent.

Fulham on the other hand shocked everyone by securing a win last week in their live commentary and radio broadcast English Premier League match and they might be able to pull off another upset this weekend against Middlesbrough. Roy Hodgson has been reading this site a lot and it shows as he has rallied his team to prove me wrong by playing well and securing a win. However, sad to say, it is unlikely to continue as Murphy's Law guarantees you a win in 10 defeats and this is what Fulham enjoyed last week but the next time it happens could be after another 10 losses starting with this live commentary and TV telecast English Premier League soccer match against Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough is also a better and more organised team than Fulham with a sound backline, and Fulham has no great attacking talent or wily striker to break that down. On top of that, Fulham depends on old and faded players such as Jari Litmanen while Middlesbrough gets younger experienced players like Afonso, even though he would not be playing tonight.

This could be easier than predicting that Derby loses every weekend, as Middlesbrough should romp to a resounding victory in this live commentary and radio broadcast English Premier League soccer match against Fulham. Fulham are heading straight down with Derby into the English Championship where they belong, and nothing Roy Hodgson does would be able to stop that. Three easy points and perhaps one or two goals for Middlesbrough in this live commentary and TV telecast soccer match against Fulham, and nothing for Fulham as they will head back home with empty boots.

EPL 9/2/2008 - Everton vs Reading

You can now rule Everton out of the running for the fourth Champions League slot as they are facing a crisis ahead of this live commentary and play by play English Premier League soccer match between themselves Everton and Reading. Everton star striker Ayegbeni Yakubu and the only one who knows how to put the ball in the net at the moment for the team, reported back to the club late after his African Nations Cup exploits and manager David Moyes has decided to fine him, drop him and punish him. In fact, David Moyes is prepared to sell him as he demands total respect and dedication to the team and feels that Yakubu is a threat to the unity and team spirit that he has built so carefully in the club. The problem for Everton and Moyes is that no one else at the club knows how to score. Andrew Johnson is fast and speedy and that's about it. He does not know how to score and you can see now his time at Crystal Palace was a flash in the pan. Your team can be as solid and hard to break down as much as you want, but if you cannot score, you won't get many points and one goal against you can do enough damage every game.

Reading are facing similar problems but at the other end of the goal. They simply do not know how to stop conceding goals and that could be a disaster in this live commentary and TV telecast soccer game against Everton because it would mean they might concede a few goals to an impotent team like Everton. That is utter humiliation and Reading is desperate to avoid it. However, as witnessed in earlier live commentary and radio broadcast EPL soccer matches, Reading do not seem to learn from their mistakes and continue to leak goals at the wrong times, dropping many points due to this. Manager Steve Coppell is not helped by a few players going to the African Nations Cup for Cameroon and also a lengthening injury list. It all seems just a jinxed season for Reading and it might need a miracle now for them to avoid relegation.

Despite their scoring woes, Everton are a defensively sound team and they should take all three points in this live commentary and radio broadcast English Premier League soccer match against Premiership rivals Reading. However, do not totally discount Reading for going down without a fight. They can likely create an upset in this live commentary and TV telecast EPL match, but it is just as unlikely and unless Steve Coppell can pull something out of his hat, be prepared for an easy two or three goal win for Everton, all coming from their defenders of course. Andrew Johnson might be humiliated after this soccer match.