Monday, March 31, 2008

4/1/2008 UEFA Champions League - AS Roma vs Manchester United

Will Ronaldo and Manchester United go on to achieve greatness in this live online broadcast commentary UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match between AS Roma and Manchester United by scoring many goals and winning the competition, or will they face a Roman burial against a team which they have had much success against in the past year? With so many people comparing him to the legendary George Best and Denis Law due to his achievements this season, it is not difficult to see why the possibility of Manchester United winning the Double of the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League is very high. Even Alex Ferguson is purring with excitement over managing one of the brightest, if not the brightest, football talents he has ever had the privilege of doing so in his long and esteemed career at the pinnacle of the world's most popular sport. It is also not unwise to say that without Ronaldo this season, Manchester United might not be where they are now, despite the team having also done well with a great team ethic. But can they overcome Roma for the second time over two legs in as many seasons?

Things look grim for the Italian side in this live online broadcast commentary and live online TV UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match between AS Roma and Manchester United, as their best player and gifted midfielder Francesco Totti injured himself on Saturday against Cagliari and will not play a part in this game. While there might be a last minute assessment of the Italian's fitness prior to the game, it is unlikely that Totti will feature and that spells disaster for Luciano Spalletti's side and gameplan. Of course, Roma has won on many occasions without their captain, but it would have provided additional benefits and certainly an added dimension to their attacking play had he been available. Unfortunately, they will have to come up with a new strategy to not only contain Manchester United but also to break down a stubborn defence marshalled by the likes of Vidic and Ferdinand, without a playmaker as critical as Totti. The Roma lineup might actually show up with a gaping hole in the middle for this live online broadcast commentary and live online TV UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match between AS Roma and Manchester United without Totti's name but his supporting cast are still quite capable of springing a surprise and possible upset of the English champions. An exciting match is in store for all of us football fans.

4/1/2008 UEFA Champions League - Schalke 04 vs Barcelona

Can Frank Rijkaard pull his team back from the brink of disaster to success in this live online broadcast commentary UEFA Champions League match between Schalke 04 and Barcelona, or will he suffer another humiliation at the German team's stadium known as the Arena AufSchalke? With his team experiencing one setback after another this season despite showing signs of recovery earlier in the year, this season looks like another washout for the Spanish team after another dreadful showing on Sunday when they lost inexplicably to Real Betis after having secured a comfortable lead at half time. Rijkaard spoke of his shame and humiliation over his team's shocking collapse in that game, and had difficulty finding words to explain what had happened and how they happened. He would be praying that his star players do not let him down again in this crucial first leg against a Schalke side that would be chomping at the bits to go at Barcelona.

Mirko Slomka, manager of Schalke 04, on the other hand, cannot wait to start this live online broadcast commentary and live online TV UEFA Champions League quarterfinal between Schalke 04 and Barcelona with his belief that it is now the perfect time to launch an attack on their Spanish opponents with the crisis they seem to be buried under. There cannot be a greater contrast between two teams than these two, as Schalke are enjoying a purple patch themselves with four wins out of their last five in the league which has seen them shoot up the table and getting back into the title race and breathing down the necks of leaders Bayern Munich who are stuttering themselves. With a improving domestic campaign, Slomka's team will be looking ahead with confidence and joy for this live online broadcast commentary and live online TV UEFA Champions League quarterfinal between Schalke 04 and Barcelona and hoping to not only score many goals to peg the Spanish team back, but also to achieve one of the greatest results they have ever gotten in this premier European competition.

Friday, March 28, 2008

29/3/2008 Italian Serie A - Lazio vs Inter Milan

With the title run in becoming more exciting, can Roberto Mancini get his players to keep their nerves for this live online broadcast commentary Italian Serie A match between Lazio and Inter Milan and at the same time ignore confirmed reports that he will indeed be sacked at the end of the season and with the Special One Jose Mourinho in to replace him? There might not be too many who would blame the Italian if he chose to lose motivation and not win the title at the end, but Mancini is a proud professional and would certainly want to sign off his farewells with a title win, considering how he has managed to bring Inter Milan back from years of obscurity, albeit with a little dose of luck since Juventus and AC Milan were consigned to the scandal dustbin in recent seasons and are still rebuilding. But with the funds available at Mourinho's disposal, he will not find it too difficult to repeat Mancini's feat, and perhaps the only thing left for Mourinho to prove would be that his Champions League win with Porto was no fluke.

Lazio will be determined to beat the champions in this live online broadcast commentary and live TV Italian Serie A match between Lazio and Inter Milan in order to make the whole season even more exciting, not to mention to revive their European hopes with a late rush up the table. The odds are heavily stacked against the home side with Inter Milan only suffering two defeats this season although those have come in the past month which have coincidentally jeopardised their title hopes. Inter will not be underestimating their opponents as Lazio have shown themselves capable of beating the top teams as they did to derby rivals Roma a few weeks back which momentarily gave Inter the upper hand but ironically it might now be Inter's turn to suffer a reverse of fortune and allow Roma back dangerously into the challenge after this live online broadcast commentary and live TV soccer match between Lazio and Inter Milan. With Ibrahamovic rumoured to miss this game due to injury, and with not many strikers on form left in the team, Mancini will have his work cut out for him, and for one day only, Roma fans might actually cheer on the Lazio players.

29/3/2008 English Premier League - Bolton Wanderers vs Arsenal

With internal turmoil reportedly tearing the dressing room apart, can the young Gunners rise above it all in this live online broadcast commentary soccer match between Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal and breathe new life into their title chase? Can Arsene Wenger rally his players to ignore their differences and rubbish the media reports as they rebuild their title ambitions and push Manchester United and Chelsea all the way to the end? There is suspicion that many of the media are trying to disrupt the team harmony by twisting players' words but the lukewarm response the Gunners have towards their captain William Gallas have not helped to quell the rumours, and it is hard to ignore a thirty year old man not behaving in the most professional manner on the field and with his past record of being belligerent, it might not be hard to believe that there might be some truth behind the rumours. However, after playing so well the whole season and with a crucial Champions League quarterfinal on the horizon, Wenger has to quickly bring his troops together to play for a common cause and start believing in each other again, or risk seeing their season fall into ruins.

Bolton themselves are falling fast into oblivion unless they can pick themselves up for this live online broadcast commentary and live TV English Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal, and they will not be expecting any favours from a title chasing side even if this will be at Reebok Stadium where they are strong under normal circumstances but have strangely fallen off the form that they had displayed in the early part of this year. Perhaps the European campaign was a distraction but Gary Megson had often played his second stringers in those matches and rested the first team players. The dangerous scenario of other relegation rivals picking up precious points recently have also sunk Bolton deeper into trouble and it would not be a surprise if they do end up in the English League Championship next season unless they get together and work harder and have less of the player dissent in this live online broadcast commentary and live TV soccer match between Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal, which unfortunately overshadowed their previous game when the attention should have been on a hard earned point but wasted two points in their bid to avoid relegation.

29/3/2008 English Premier League - Manchester United vs Aston Villa

Can the Old Trafford continue their march towards the league title in this live online broadcast commentary match between Manchester United and Aston Villa in the English Premier League, or will Martin O'Neill's men play spoilers again as they have done time and again for so long? With the contrasting forms both sides are in, it would seem impossible for Ferguson's men to slip up at this time, and Ronaldo has maintained his red hot form for the length of the season so far and would be seen striding down menacingly on Villa's flanks and terrorising opposing defenders which has so often been his trademark and is also why Ferguson decided to go for the winger so early in his career. It would be unlikely for any of Manchester United's players to not score everytime the Portuguese is on the pitch, as he will either create chances through his dribbles, crossing, passes or simply making space for his other teammates. Not to mention the thirty over goals that he has scored so far this season in all competitions and you will realise how important Ronaldo has been to Manchester United's title charge.

But that is also the Red Devils' weakness for this live online broadcast commentary match between Manchester United and Aston Villa as if Martin O'Neill can somehow find a way or system to get the player out of the game while not keeping their eyes off the rest of the United players, they will have a great chance of upsetting the form book and springing a surprise of their own. Villa have their own terror twins upfront with Agbonlahor and Jon Carew so capable of putting their opponents under extreme pressure and then scoring a few stunning goals which underline their potent mix of speed and power. Agbonlahor himself has come under the glowing praise and assessment of his own manager and even England national team manager Fabio Capello and was unlucky not to have played for England in midweek against France. He will look to strengthen his claim for a place in the squad with a good performance in this live online broadcast commentary and streaming TV English Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa, scoring a few goals in the process and breathe new life into the title chase.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

23/3/2008 English Premier League - Chelsea vs Arsenal

Unlike their first encounter this season at the Emirates Stadium, this time it will be Arsenal needing the points desperately in this live online radio commentary and live match between Chelsea and Arsenal, with the young Gunners team struggling for months now and without a solution in sight. Arsene Wenger has watched forlornly at the sidelines for the most part in the league, without an idea of how to stop the rot and get his charges playing the confident smooth flowing football again which had earlier seen them storm to the top of the table before finally succumbing to injuries and loss of form. The likes of Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayour have not pulled their weight and if you just play well in one game in the Champions League it does not mean you will turn on the magic easily again in the league if you do not try hard enough. The Gunners will need to work their socks off against a strong Chelsea team in this live TV match between Chelsea and Arsenal and try to get their title run back on track after a disastrous run.

Chelsea was involved in a hilarious topsy turvy match in midweek against Spurs and while it provided much entertainment to fans, this live online radio commentary and live TV match between Chelsea and Arsenal will be no laughing matter if they hope to really emerge from the shadows and challenge Arsenal and Manchester United for the title. The players were dreadful against a Spurs side that had nothing left to play for in the season, and defended like amateurs as they allowed the White Hart Lane team to pull back time and again after going in front twice. Avram Grant will have to dust this disappointing result off his back again and show that he has what it takes to make Chelsea huge again in this live online radio commentary and live TV soccer match in the English Premier League between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, or risk the wrath of owner Roman Abramovich who will not hesitate to ask the Israeli to leave because at the end of the day it is results that managers are judged on, no matter how friendly they are with the owners or club management.

23/3/2008 English Premier League - Manchester United vs Liverpool

This has been a long awaited clash between the two teams as they gear up for this live online radio commentary between Manchester United and Liverpool. Alex Ferguson's team is once again aiming to win the title and must be feeling very close to their objective now, what with Arsenal and Chelsea faltering and never making full use of their few opportunities to close the gap. Considering that Manchester United have not been in the best of form recently in the league, the top of the table should be a lot tighter compared to the few points that they are leading at the moment. Last week's win at Derby perfectly illustrated the resilience and tenacity of the Red Devils and if it were not for those qualities, Ferguson might not have been sitting in the hot seat for this long, nor would there have been so many indisciplines by the players largely ignored by media and management when they should have been punished harshly for it. Teams like Portsmouth will agree to the fact that Manchester United are not invincible, but unfortunately Arsenal and Chelsea have fallen to the illusion this season and will probably end up behind them at the end of the season.

Will Liverpool be another team that will succumb to the Red Devils in this live online radio commentary and TV telecast EPL match between Manchester United and Liverpool? Or can Benitez finally break his jinx against the Red Devils and finally get a league victory against them under his belt. No doubt the Liverpool coach has been a master in cup competitions with another evidence in the FA Cup win against their deadly rivals a few seasons ago. But in the English Premier League it has been one disappointment after another as Liverpool has either been thrashed or got the hard luck loss where they dominate but fail to make their chances count. And it has been Liverpool's story for years - not making their chances count. For a club that once had successful strikers in many of their past sides, it has taken them till this season to find another one that might potentially be their top player in years to come - Fernando Torres. But will this young Spanish sensation be able to put the Red Devils to the sword in this live online radio commentary match between Manchester United and Liverpool live on TV, or will he be another flash in the pan? So far the evidence suggests that Torres is the real thing, having scored against mediocre teams as well as established and strong opponents, but the acid test will be against the team currently dominating the English game, Manchester United.

Friday, March 21, 2008

22/3/2008 English Premier League - Newcastle United vs Fulham

Kevin Keegan has raised the stakes with this live online radio commentary match between Newcastle United and Fulham in the English Premier League by telling the media and everyone that would listen that it was worth more than a six pointer and if they were not to win the game, the season would quickly go downhill for the club. This might place a lot of pressure on his players and given their continued poor performance, it might be interesting to see what kind of effect Keegan's cries might have on his team. For the fans watching this game between Newcaste and Fulham live, it might be a nail biting affair knowing that their team really cannot afford to drop any more points at home, and in fact, have to win them all or face the dreaded drop down to the League Championship, where a club of Newcastle's stature will be loathe to spend even more time in. A lot will depend on players like Michael Owen and Mark Viduka, whether they will stand up to be counted and play their hearts out for a club which has stuck through them and paid them big pay packets despite their lack of results.

Roy Hodgson enjoyed a sweet home win last week against Everton but games like this live online radio commentary fixture between Newcastle United and Fulham are the ones that will really make the difference come the end of the season. Assuming all the relegation threatened teams win their home games, then those who get results from their away games will stand out on top and that is what Hodgson will be aiming for with Fulham today. Knowing that they face a team struggling for any sort of form will also provide them with some encouragement, but a wounded tiger becomes more dangerous than one happy with its lot. Brian McBride will once again be depended on to lead the line for Fulham in this live online radio commentary match between Newcastle United and Fulham and if the team can play as disciplined as they did last week, there will be a good chance of them getting at least a share of the spoils. Newcastle has been shaky and nervous for months now, and the key would be to put them under intense pressure at the start and try to score an early goal.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

19/3/2008 English Premier League - Manchester United vs Bolton Wanderers

Alex Ferguson has ordered his players to go for goals in this live online radio commentary English Premier League match between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers with his concern that the title might be decided on goal difference. While the Old Trafford club currently already leads Arsenal by goal difference and can go three points clear with a win today against a relegation struggler, Ferguson is aware of the Gunners' striking threats and does not want to leave anything to chance. After having 13 shots at goal and only scoring the one goal in the win over Derby, Ronaldo will be keen to correct that and end a distinct lack of goals from Manchester United in recent matches. The pair of Rooney and the Portuguese winger have continued to wreck havoc on Premier League defences all season round, but wayward finishing have led to a goals for tally that might have been bigger if not for their wastefulness.

Bolton boss Gary Megson will be turning in his sleep after hearing this and not looking forward to this live online radio commentary match between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford as being the away team against the Red Devils would be difficult enough, and now they have to deal with a forward line trying to please their manager and put things right. Bolton looked toothless in their loss to 10 men Wigan, and an untimely loss of form has seen them slip right back near into the drop zone mess. They have also had to endure a setback with news that goalkeeper Juuski will be out for the rest of the season which is a huge and major blow to the team's hopes of staying up, with the first choice keeper a big rock in defence. The main problem with Bolton is a lack of goals and their play has always depended on stout defending based on narrow leads. Without goals, you cannot win matches either, and that is something that Gary Megson has to desperately try to change in time for this live online radio commentary match between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League.

19/3/2008 English Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea

While talking about striking from the shadows, Chelsea have actually brought themselves out into the open prior to this live online radio commentary match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in the English Premier League in their efforts to reach Manchester United and Arsenal in the chase for the title. Chelsea have a strong squad and well balanced to win it again, but the problem lies with manager Avram Grant's poor selections in critical matches, although he seems to have done well enough in every other match where Chelsea is not really in the spotlight. Much of the season's focus has been on Manchester United and Arsenal in their gigantic tussle for top but as the pair have faltered of late, Chelsea has quietly crept up but now they can no longer be ignored and with the pressure now on, will they be able to continue winning the points to make up ground on the leaders? Or will Grant once again fail when the noose starts to tighten?

Spurs are playing out their season and it remains to be seen if they are motivated enough for this live online radio commentary English Premier League match between them and Chelsea. Juande Ramos will cast a keen eye over his charges in an effort to determine which players should remain in his squad for next season, and who to go. Unfortunately, amidst the economic collapse in the US, news of Spurs' chairman's investment loss resulting from Bear Stearns' fire sale has meant that there are doubts cast on the ability of Spurs to spend in the transfer market during the off season. Ramos would have expected to have funds made available in his attempts at strengthening the club and challenge for more honours next season, but the bad news prior to this live online radio commentary match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea would have made for bad preparations. The issue now would be how bad this has really affected the club, despite assurances from the top otherwise, and whether the situation could be bad enough for Ramos to actually consider leaving.

The interesting bit is that Tom Hicks is experiencing a similar problem and might lead to him selling off to DIC, whom we all know do not have the highest regard for Benitez. If that happens, and Benitez leaves, would Ramos be poached by the Anfield club?

Monday, March 17, 2008

18/3/2008 Scottish FA Cup - Celtic vs Aberdeen

Celtic is looking ahead beyond this Scottish FA Cup live online commentary and radio telecast replay between them and Aberdeen and hoping that Rangers do their part and set up an Old Firm FA Cup final at Hampden to end the season on a high. This might not be the best thing to do as they still have to overcome the Dons tonight but one cannot blame the Hoops for doing so given their record against Aberdeen, including a recent 5-1 thrashing at Parkhead. Despite needing a late goal from Hesselink to salvage a draw and earning this replay at their own ground, there is certainly enough quality in the Celtic side to beat Aberdeen and then a semi final date with Queen of the South which certainly will not worry Gordon Strachan's side too much, even if they respect the First Division side for getting this far in the competition. They certainly know that on any day, a side like Aberdeen can always experience a time when they suddenly find themselves in top gear and push top sides to their limits. That was what happened at Pittodrie where the Dons could count themselves unlucky in some aspects to not have taken the tie.

Jimmy Nicholl faces some worrying injury problems ahead of this live online commentary and radio telecast Scottish FA Cup match between Celtic and Aberdeen but has instead tried to concentrate on trying to silence the fierce Celtic support early in the game with a goal. Definitely Nicholl would like his team not to repeat the earlier 5-1 thrashing they suffered against Celtic on the same ground in the league earlier but some of the positives from that same game was that they were not exactly played off the park but Celtic made all their chances count. Aberdeen showed what they were made off in the first meeting in this competition last week and had they converted some of their earlier chances, it could have been Aberdeen in the semi finals now instead of having to face this live online commentary and radio telecast Scottish FA Cup replay between Celtic and Aberdeen. Nicholl might also use some of the Celtic players' comments to fire up his players, and is also hopeful that a large crowd will not be present at Parkhead, which might be expected due to dropping attendances for cup games in Scotland this season.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

17/3/2008 English Premier League - Birmingham vs Newcastle

Birmingham looks to pile on the pressure for Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan in this live online commentary and radio broadcast English Premier League clash between Birmingham and Newcastle and in the process put some daylight between themselves and the relegation threatened pack. What would happen if Birmingham were to win this game, as expected, is that Newcastle will then find themselves staring at a real possibility of playing their football in the League Championship next season, if they have not already woken up to that possibility. On current form, Birmingham has gotten better results and performances compared to Newcastle and Kevin Keegan appears to be out of his depth in his second managerial spell at Tyneside. The additional burden of being saddled with a bunch of under performing or just plain bad players have also not helped his cause but his lack of understanding or acceptance of modern soccer strategy has led to him trapping himself in a corner. It would be hard to imagine that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley will tolerate more of this sorry state of affairs at the club and already rumours of him abandoning Newcastle have surfaced.

Birmingham have no such problems and the whole club, manager and team are all concentrating on one goal this season and that is to avoid relegation, continuing with another three valuable points from this live online commentary and live TV English Premier League soccer match between Birmingham and Newcastle. Most of the media focus has been on Martin Taylor's horrible tackle on Eduardo which have put the Croatian striker out of action for close to a year, which might incidentally take some heat and pressure off the other players while they try to score some vital points in order to move away from the chasing pack. This live online commentary and live TV match between Birmingham and Newcastle could rightly be called a relegation six pointer as with a win, Birmingham can leapfrog over Newcastle and move nearer the mid table position, while Newcastle could get some breathing space if they win it instead. However, with Birmingham at home and Newcastle absolutely dreadful away, all signs point to the Tyneside club being asked the questions tonight and perhaps another step towards the beginning of the end for both club and manager.

16/3/2008 English Premier League - Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester City has been in dreadful form of late and they are in for another tough match in this live online commentary match against Tottenham Hotspur as they might face a backlash from Spur's exit in the UEFA Cup at the hands of PSV Eindhoven. Certainly, Manchester City has looked nothing like the free flowing outfit at the start of the season where a mercurial Elano and dazzling Martin Petrov held the hoodoo over many a team, especially that of champions Manchester United. Unfortunately, their form has dipped alarmingly and if not for the early gathering of points, they might now be caught in a relegation battle. Sven Goran Eriksson has sounded the first alarm to the management by asking for more funds to build the squad following crucial injuries to key players like Micah Richards, which has left the team short of cover and results have shown. Petrov will also sit out this late Sunday game against Spurs after picking up a suspension and Eriksson will be worried as to who will provide Manchester City's supply line now that the superb crosser of the ball is out.

Spurs endured the same terrible misfortune that befell Everton in the UEFA Cup when they fought their way back into their tie only to fall at the final hurdle of a penalty shoot out. Juande Ramos might now advise some of his players to practise penalties for this live online commentary and radio telecast match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur given how he was criticised for telling his players it was not necessary before the PSV game. However, Ramos is also his own man and it will actually be unthinkable if he was bothered by the media criticism. In his short time since arriving at White Hart Lane, he has transformed an underachieving club to potential world beaters and provided he reinforces the squad in the post season, there might be a possibility that Spurs will be a challenger in the EPL next season. Before that, they have the more immediate task of this live online commentary and radio telecast match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur to deal with and Ramos will be looking for his players to put their disappointment behind and heap the pressure on Manchester City by extending their dismal run of form.

16/3/2008 English Premier League - Fulham vs Everton

Can Everton overcome their midweek disappointment of exiting the UEFA Cup competition to come up trumps in this live online commentary English Premier League fixture between Fulham and Everton, or will they finally buckle under the pressure and concede the race for fourth spot to Liverpool? These and many more questions will be on the minds of many soccer fans except for fans of Everton themselves who have full confidence and faith in their team to continue their good play and go to London and beat Fulham for another three points which would pull them level with their Merseyside rivals again by the end of the day. David Moyes is also confident that his players will pick themselves up from their disappointment and perhaps use Fulham as a punching bag, and with midfielder Lee Carsley back from suspension there is little doubt that Everton's midfield will be strengthened, although they will still miss Tim Cahill through injury. Yakubu will also be determined to make up for one of two Everton penalty misses in the UEFA Cup loss by getting his scoring boots back on in the league for this live online commentary EPL match between Fulham and Everton, especially to repay Moyes' faith in him despite an earlier infraction.

Fulham expects to build on their draw against Blackburn last week and score maximum points from this home live online commentary and TV broadcast soccer match against Everton at Craven Cottage. Roy Hodgson seems to be slowly reaping the rewards of his tactics and management plans but whether they come in time to save Fulham from relegation is another matter. He will continue to miss Jari Litmanen and Philippe Christanval through injuries and will stick to his policy of going American by playing Kasey Keller in goal instead of Antti Niemi, who appears to be jinxed with relegation for every English club that he plays, so perhaps that could be playing on Hodgson's mind going into this live online commentary and TV broadcast soccer match between Fulham and Everton. Fulham will not have an easy time dealing with Everton's tough tackling approach which when mixed with some of their pace upfront and little Spanish flair from Arteta, have actually been a joy to watch compared to their dogs of war days. This one might be a little close to call but the truth is that it is only so because Everton will be playing away. The Blue half of Merseyside should be comfortable winners in the end as they face off against a largely impotent Fulham side.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

15/3/2008 Italian Serie A - AS Roma vs AC Milan

Could this live online commentary Italian Serie A match between AS Roma and AC Milan be a sign of a changing of the guard with Milan a fading force both in Europe and Italy while Roma continues to go from strength to strength each season and will now start this game with the knowledge that they will face Manchester United in the Champions League for a place in the semi finals. The Rossoneri have only one thing to play for left this season and that is to grab at least the fourth Champions League qualification spot in the Italian Serie A and they have Fiorentina and Juventus to fight against. Roma have much more to play for as they are still in with a chance for the Treble. Darren Fletcher of Manchester United insinuated that Roma have only got the Champions League to play for and that was quite an insult to the Giallorossi's position in both the league and the Coppa Italia. Francesco Totti and his team will want to prove him wrong and go as far as they can, and they are actually in with more than a shout for the Italian Serie A given Inter Milan's recent jitters.

AC Milan have not enjoyed the best of records against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico and they will want to change that starting with this live online commentary and streaming radio broadcast match against Roma. Their captain Maldini also paid Roma the best of compliments by claiming that they play the best soccer in Italy at the moment and have achieved great results like beating Real Madrid. AC Milan themselves have lifted themselves since getting eliminated from the Champions League by starting their campaign for fourth place in the league by beating Empoli away last week which saw them close the gap on Fiorentina and are now literally breathing down their necks. With Gattuso back from suspension, the Milan midfield will be even stronger for this live online commentary and streaming radio telecast Italian Serie A match between Roma and AC Milan. Pato and Kaka should still remain as the striking pair upfront and despite missing Ronaldo and Inzaghi, Milan still packs a lot of firepower for this game.

It would be the most logical to believe that this live online commentary match between AS Roma and AC Milan will end in a draw with both teams determined not to lose. If this were to happen, Roma will find themselves losing ground on the title race and that is something they are trying to avoid. There are still 10 games left for AC Milan to claim the fourth and last Champions League spot and while dropping points in this game might not be the end of the chase, it would certainly damage their hopes.

Friday, March 14, 2008

15/3/2008 English Premier League - Derby County vs Manchester United

Derby County manager Paul Jewell joked before his team's live online commentary match against Manchester United today by saying that he might not be turning up for the game since there was not much use in doing so and spend the afternoon watching his team receiving a hiding from a Red Devils team that will feature Ronaldo and Rooney looking to increase their personal goal tallies for the season. You wouldn't blame the Derby manager considering how, despite his best efforts in bringing in reinforcements and endless motivation, the team looks seriously out of their depth in the top flight and would probably be looking forward to their return to the League Championship where they could actually get more than two wins a season. The truth is that without serious financial backing, clubs like Derby will more often than not spend their opportunity in the English Premier League enjoying the atmosphere and nothing much else. The quality of their players are not quite good enough in this league, and it would take more time for the club to groom a better team for their next foray into the EPL.

Manchester United were grilled by their own manager Alex Ferguson in the aftermath of their FA Cup exit at the hands of Portsmouth. Ferguson now expects a response from his team in this live online commentary and streaming radio broadcast soccer match against Derby County and nothing less than a massive goal margin win will satisfy the ultra-competitive Scotsman. While the club would have been delighted with their Champions League draw with Roma, they are concentrating on retaining their league title amidst a tough challenge from Arsenal and Chelsea. Manchester United are still clear favourites after Arsenal's recent collapse and with Ronaldo and Rooney in your team, it is hard to see anything less than that. This live online commentary and streaming radio telecast game against Derby County will be a great chance for them to add to their goals for tally and increase the players' own goals scored to win the top scorer's award, most notably for Ronaldo. The media is predicting similar scorelines to that of Chelsea's achievement in midweek against the same team and why would they think of anything else.

The one thing you can count on happening in this live online commentary match between Derby County and Manchester United is that there will be a lot of goals. Unfortunately they will probably all come from just one side and it is certainly not the team that is heading straight back to the League Championship. While there is nothing to dislike about Derby, they are truly out of their depth in the top flight and Manchester United will expose their deficiencies again, unfortunately for their fans it will be another nightmare show but true to their sporting nature, they will surely applaud their team on the day their relegation is confirmed.

15/3/2008 English Premier League - Liverpool vs Reading

Liverpool are on a roll and play Reading in this live online commentary English Premier League match at Anfield, eager to build on their recent unbeaten run in a bid to beat Everton to the fourth Champions League qualification spot and at the same time win the Champions League itself. They will face a resurgent Reading team that are themselves trying to recover from a previous eight game losing streak after two wins in their last two games which have given them some breathing space in the crowded relegation battle at the bottom of the EPL. Steve Coppell has been heartened by his team's much improved performances and as the old adage goes, if you win games, you will play with confidence, and that is what Reading has started to do. Their win last week over Manchester City was all about the Reading of old - dynamic, determined, and a credit to teams in the English Premier League with smaller budgets but who go about the game the right way. While they face a tough fight with many other teams to secure their top flight status, many neutrals love what Reading has to offer, and would definitely like to see them remain.

Liverpool have now put together an impressive unbeaten run which has included huge margin victories and with star striker Fernando Torres on fire, Rafael Benitez's players will be full of confidence for their live online commentary and streaming radio broadcast English Premier League match at Anfield against Reading. The Reds have experienced the same confidence boosting results which have translated to better performances on the pitch, and the pairing of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres is gelling at the right time as the club moves into a critical period of their season which will determine their future for next season. The Champions League draw against Arsenal might not have been the most ideal, given their record against the Gunners, but their European success would raise their morale for the tie, even if they know that the game will essentially be no different from the two clubs playing each other in the league. However, Liverpool must first concentrate on the matter at hand and it is to win this live online commentary and streaming radio telecast EPL match against Reading.

With Torres on form and Reading not having the best defence in the league, Liverpool might favour themselves to win this game. The home crowd will get behind them although Reading has enough self belief to mix it up with the best of them. There will be some doubts as to whether Benitez will field his best players for this game even if he knows that every remaining match in the EPL is now equivalent to a cup final like this live online commentary and streaming broadcast match against Reading, especially given Everton's recent solid form which does not appear to be ending anytime soon.

15/3/2008 English Premier League - Arsenal vs Middlesbrough

Having dropped tons of points in their recent games, Arsenal will be desperate to get their title challenge back on track against Middlesbrough in this live online commentary English Premier League soccer match featured as the late Saturday game. It has not been that the young Gunners have played badly, in fact for many of the games, they have created their fair share of chances to walk away deserved winners. Unfortunately, their past malaise of not putting the ball in the net when it mattered most has returned to haunt them, and there is a clear lack of confidence whenever they approach the last third of the pitch, even if they continue to create chances, they do not seem to believe they will score. The other problem they continue to face is a lack of concentration at the back and conceding unnecessary goals, but that could be attributed to an unsettled backline with key injuries to Toure. The inconsistency that Senderos has shown has also meant goals being shipped when you least expect it. What cannot be faulted is the mental toughness and resilience that Arsene Wenger has instilled into his young team. They might not be getting the results they prefer, but they are not giving up easily.

Middlesbrough responded in fashion to their FA Cup howler to Cardiff City when they displayed the same sort of resilience that Arsenal has by forcing a draw with Aston Villa, and will be quietly confident of another good result going into this live online commentary and streaming radio broadcast English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Middlesbrough. Gareth Southgate had described how his guts were ripped out with the humiliating cup upset and thankfully for him, his players bounced back for a well deserved draw for Boro. In fact, they might have been unlucky not to have left Villa Park with more than just a point. Boro will try to employ the same tactics for this live online commentary and streaming radio telecast soccer match in the English Premier League between Arsenal and Middlesbrough and attempt to stifle Arsenal's midfield while hopefully catching them asleep at the back with the odd goal. They also know that attacking the Gunners might also be the best defence as shown by teams in recent matches.

Can Arsenal stop the rot and get back to winning ways? By the time this live online commentary and streaming radio broadcast English Premier League soccer match kicks off between Arsenal and Middlesbrough, they would probably be staring at the coattails of Manchester United who will play earlier in the day with an easy three points up for grabs against Derby County. Scoring a vital win in this game and putting them back on top will provide some relief and possibly restore the belief mentally in the Arsenal players, something that Wenger would have thought of already and try to achieve. They do face a Boro team that has always made life difficult for the top teams, even if they usually find themselves come unstuck against lower placed opposition, much like how a live online streaming Arsenal vs Portsmouth game will develop. The one factor that might swing it Arsenal's way for this live online commentary and streaming radio telecast soccer match between Arsenal and Middlesbrough could be the simple fact that they play at home at the Emirates Stadium where a beautiful pitch would certainly help their game unlike last week when they came unstuck on Wigan's horrible field.

15/3/2008 English Premier League - Portsmouth vs Aston Villa

Portsmouth will be in buoyant mood heading into this live online commentary English Premier League match against rivals Aston Villa for a European slot after cooly dispatching Birmingham in midweek league action. Jermaine Defoe was in red-hot form after adding another brace of goals to his increasing tally for his new club where he appears to have found a manager willing to play him consistently. Harry Redknapp has always had belief in the pint-sized quicksilver striker and he had always been monitoring Defoe's situation at Spurs. Once Redknapp realised that Defoe was caught in a situation that did not allow him much playing time, he was quick to go in to get his man. Defoe also realised that with limited playing opportunities at Spurs and strikers such as Berbatov and Keane being preferred by Juande Ramos, it would have been better were he to join another club in order to allow him more exposure and playing time. Ultimately it might also have been partly to get himself back within the radar with England manager Fabio Capello.

Martin O'Neill must be tearing his hair out with the increasing number of points dropped by Aston Villa in the run in to the end of the season as they attempt to qualify for Europe. With only one realistic European slot remaining - that of the UEFA Cup with fifth place in the English Premier League, they now face an absolutely must win situation for their remaining games in the league, starting with this live online commentary and streaming radio broadcast match between Portsmouth and Aston Villa. You would have believed that with Carew and Agbonlahor seemingly on fire, they would be able to carry a defensively sound Villa team into a better position to challenge Liverpool and Everton. Unfortunately the challenge seems to have faltered over the last few games despite creditable results against the likes of Arsenal. The midweek draw with Boro before this live online commentary and streaming radio broadcast match between Portsmouth and Aston Villa was especially damning, as they failed to take advantage of their game in hand to make much ground on the leading pair for the rest of the available European slots.

Portsmouth might have their strikers hitting form at this time, but it might be Aston Villa's strength in defence that could lead to them snatching the points on offer in this live online commentary and streaming radio telecast soccer match between Portsmouth and Aston Villa. In allowing Birmingham to level with two goals temporarily in midweek, Harry Redknapp's side exposed their defensive limitations and fortunately, they had players who knew how to score. Against a tough and stout Martin O'Neill team, that might not be sufficient if you do not also learn how to defend whatever lead your goalscorers can provide. Whether Aston Villa can get their European push back on track remains to be seen but they have a great chance to do so against a strong opponent in this live online commentary and streaming radio broadcast soccer game at Portsmouth.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

13/3/2008 - Sporting Lisbon vs Bolton UEFA Cup 2nd Leg

It is now obvious that Bolton boss Gary Megson has no intention of spending too much time on this live online commentary UEFA Cup second leg tie between Sporting Lisbon and his Bolton team with a relegation six pointer on Sunday against Wigan. The priority has to be given to the league as Bolton would have to endure less financial security and revenue if Bolton were ever to lose its top flight status. Megson has stated that chasing European success would be great if the club were in a more comfortable position at home, but given the huge potential losses of EPL money were Bolton to be relegated, it would hurt the club in the long term. To illustrate his point, Megson has decided to leave 12 of his first team players at home. This basically means that Bolton will be fielding a second string team against Sporting Lisbon tonight, which usually leads people to believe that they will not have a chance of getting through the rest of the tie.

However, analysing Bolton's performances in the previous rounds of the UEFA Cup would lead one to realise that some of their better results had been earned in similar circumstances such as the one they have walked into for this live online commentary match against Sporting Lisbon. If Sporting Lisbon coach Paulo Bento were to think this game would be a walkover after seeing the lineup, he would be well advised to think twice and have a look at Bolton's matches against Bayern Munich, Red Star Belgrade and Atletico Madrid, where they fielded decidedly weakened teams and still returned home with surprising results. This can happen if you consider that the second stringers would normally not get to play in the English Premier League and would seize the chance in Europe to shine. Not only does it put you in the reckoning for the subsequent games in the season, you can also raise your own stock in the transfer market if required. But how long this positive spin can continue for Bolton remains to be seen, and they would have to be at their very best again for this live online commentary UEFA Cup match against Sporting Lisbon in Portugal in order to have any hope to progressing further.

13/3/2008 - Werder Bremen vs Rangers 2nd Leg UEFA Cup

Rangers will be in good spirits for this live online commentary UEFA Cup 2nd leg match against Werder Bremen after shocking revelations of a bust up between two key players of the German team. Diego and Aaron Hunt had a fisticuff just moments after the first leg in their dressing room over unspecified events, leaving both players handed huge fines by the club. The issue did not end there as Hunt came out to reveal what had developed and sounded his displeasure at being slapped with the same punishment for being less culpable compared to his Brazilian teammate, who allegedly punched Hunt in the back and assaulted the striker. Diego has since then categorically denied these allegations and did not speak more about it. However, this growing unrest and animosity within the club would not be good news for Werder Bremen fans as judging from Wednesday's results, making up a 2-0 loss from the first leg is incredibly doable, especially for a team with Werder Bremen's attacking talent and home ground advantage.

While the incident would have given Rangers some boost, they would refuse to believe that Werder Bremen will be an easy picking for this live online commentary UEFA Cup 2nd leg match. What Walter Smith's men will concentrate on for this game would be their own game and strengths, with a European defensive solidarity and also growing tactical maturity developed over two seasons of growing stability in the Old Firm club. Some additional news ahead of the game might boost their morale further, with the Celtic draw with Dundee United handing them an increasing advantage in their race for the Scottish Premier League title. Rangers also go into this live online commentary UEFA Cup match against Werder Bremen with no fresh injury concerns other than Daniel Cousin with a broken jaw suffered in the first leg, and a healthy two goal lead to protect. While Celtic unfortunately left the European scene for this season last week, Rangers will attempt to remain the sole Scottish representative after tonight.

12/3/2008 - PSV Eindhoven vs Tottenham Hotspur 2nd Leg UEFA Cup

Juande Ramos has more than winning the UEFA Cup on his mind when Tottenham Hotspur faces off with PSV Eindhoven in this live online commentary match in this second leg meeting between the two sides, as he hopes to find out even more what his team lacks in order to progress to the next level of challenging more consistently at home for honours, and not rely solely on cup competitions for glory. Ironically, Ramos has molded his managerial career and reputation from a series of Cup success although when he left Sevilla, they had a short history of challenging for the Spanish Primera Liga title with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Ramos has since moved to England with Spurs and is determined not to be labelled a one trick pony and has dealt a largely ruthless hand on a squad which he deemed unfit and indisciplined when he arrived. After months of culling and sweeping the broom, a more tactically sound and fitter Spurs team has since left Chelsea trailing in its wake on the way to winning the Carling Cup, but let themselves down severely by losing the first leg of this UEFA Cup meeting with PSV at White Hart Lane.

PSV Eindhoven more than held their own in the first leg and will be confident of finishing the task at hand in this live online commentary UEFA Cup match between them and Tottenham Hotspur. One player who stood out was Farfan who tormented Spurs all night and added insult to injury by scoring the decisive winner. With an away goal in the bag, PSV can make certain of progress to the next round by adding at least one more goal to their tally in this game given their defensive strength. However, Spurs are nothing if not unpredictable despite having seen more stability under Ramos. If they were to score one goal at PSV, it might start to send the shivers down PSV's spine as they know that were Tottenham to win the game by a single goal, they would be in prime position to snatch the tie away from them. What PSV needs to do is to put Tottenham under consistent pressure as the London team's defence is not perfect and has been known to still crack under pressure despite Ramos' best efforts in shoring up the backline since his arrival. In fact, this live online commentary game might have a different result than that of the first leg in terms of the number of goals, which would be a treat for football fans.

12/3/2008 - Everton vs Fiorentina 2nd Leg UEFA Cup

Can Everton pull off a great reverse and replicate Merseyside neighbours Liverpool's European achievement from yesterday and show another Italian side the door in this live online commentary UEFA Cup second leg tie at Goodison Park? Or will it be a repeat of their tame showing against Chelsea in their other big match this season during the Carling Cup semi final? David Moyes has fashioned a side with a perfect mix of grit and determination, and no little flair at times, but despite having developed consistency against teams of poor and average quality, Everton has unfortunately not shown better form against higher quality teams so far this season. This might be about to change against Fiorentina tonight in the UEFA Cup, if they can manage to remove the bitter memory of their Carling Cup loss to Chelsea in which they failed to turn up miserably and most importantly, let themselves down. It was the same feeling Moyes and the players felt after the first leg loss to Fiorentina, when they hardly had a look in, with Moyes himself admitting that the team once again played poorly when the occasion required the opposite.

Everton will face a Fiorentina side that might be smarting from a weekend league defeat which threw the race for Champions League places in the Italian Serie A wide open but must now concentrate on finishing the task at hand in this live online commentary UEFA Cup match between Everton and Fiorentina. If the Italian side maintain their same approach from the first leg and apply it to this game, they have more than a good chance of pulling through, given the need for Everton to go all out to make up the aggregate deficit. The game will be pretty much game over if Fiorentina scores a goal at Goodison and that will be a huge factor in Moyes' approach to the game, although there have been times when the wily Scot has been known to throw all caution to the wind in order to rescue lost causes. In fact, this might be the case once again, unless Everton decides to play a patient game and hope to get the tie into extra time. If the Blue half of Merseyside does pull this off, it would add even more weight to Alex Ferguson's insistence that the English Premier League is currently the most powerful in Europe, if not the world.

12/3/2008 English Premier League - Chelsea vs Derby County

The death knell has already sounded on Derby County earlier in the season but will it now sound for Avram Grant in this live online commentary matchup between Chelsea and Derby County? While it would hardly be the case given the nature and certainty of the result in waiting, Grant is a man walking the plank along death row after being given an ultimatum of having to win either the league title or the Champions League in order to secure his job for another season. While Chelsea has sneaked back into the race in a good position on the virtue of quietly pegging away while Arsenal and Manchester United, to a lesser degree, have stuttered, the Champions League is a long shot given the overall quality of the squad compared to one like Barcelona, coupled with the failure of Grant to rise to the occasion during the 'big matches'. Undeniably, there still is a high level of quality in the Chelsea ranks and while some still argue the team lacks a cutting edge despite having top strikers like Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, the truth is that for all Ballack's probing and Lampard's persistence in midfield, they still lack a genuine playmaker. Such is the legacy from Mourinho's reign.

Derby County however, has problems of its own of far worse making and they must definitely have started looking forward to life in the English League Championship next season even if manager Paul Jewell continues to sing the indignant battle cry for the team to rise to the occasion and pitch a last ditch effort to avoid relegation. This live online commentary match between Chelsea and Derby will once again cruelly expose the deficiencies in a club of Derby's size to compete at the top level and they might forever be cast in the category of clubs good enough to ding dong between the English Premier League and English League Championship but never good enough to stay for long at the top tier of English football. This might, of course, all change if a wealthy benefactor were to fly to their rescue one day, but until that actually happens, they can only look forward to more five or six goal beatings against the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea in a league match.

12/3/2008 - Aston Villa vs Middlesbrough

Martin O'Neill will be looking for his team to build on their recent success on the pitch to a European spot for next season, whether it be the Champions League or UEFA Cup, and the final part of their season starts today from this live online commentary English Premier League match against Middlesbrough. Given their form over the last few games where they pushed Arsenal and Liverpool to their breaking point, Villa are in a strong position except for the fact that Liverpool seems to have rediscovered their early season form and Everton continues to chug along with great results all round. O'Neill acknowledged the fact that despite what they have done this season, it will all come to nought if Villa cannot sustain the momentum in their last 10 games, and that with the results that have unfolded recently in the FA Cup, they are fighting for the sole UEFA Cup spot available in the English Premier League, which can fall in the hands of any team from a group of five, including Liverpool, Everton, Portsmouth and Manchester City. The fourth Champions League slot is also a possibility but unless both Liverpool and Everton slip up, it is unlikely Aston Villa would have a good chance.

Middlesbrough aims to overcome their disappointment of being knocked out of the FA Cup by minnows Cardiff City with a positive response against Aston Villa in this live online commentary match in the English Premier League. Gareth Southgate was incensed with his team's performance and demanded a reaction, with the booing from home fans an obvious hurting case in point. Southgate as a player has always had high standards for himself and he would expect at least the same professional attitude from his players. While Boro had their share of chances against Cardiff, they seemed to lack desire and urgency on the day and the shock of conceding two early goals obviously rattled the team and set the tone for the rest of the match. With the money paid out for players like Robert Huth and Alfonso Alves, Southgate would expect more from the team and pride has been a facet of his game throughout his career. Boro will also be hoping Alfonso starts repaying the money they spent on his transfer fee and what better match to start than this live online commentary match against Aston Villa in the EPL.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Can Liverpool Sustain Their New Found Momentum?

Or will it be a rather unfamiliar sad end to their season which has constantly threaten to be derailed week to week with unending stories of boardroom disputes and ownership changes? While the team played well enough against a disinterested West Ham side that bordered on embarrassment, fans and owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks continued to bicker and one wonders if this will ever end considering that Hicks has steadfastly refused to sell the club till his own private valuation is met or he would just sit tight and pump any profits from Liverpool to his other two American sports franchises, which do not exactly do very well in any case on most occasions. Surely he must realise that if this were to continue till the end of the season, players like Gerrard and Torres might actually horror of horrors, start to consider their futures elsewhere because nobody wants to play for an unsettled club which has its trophy tilts threatened by instability within the club. It is a lose lose situation for the large Texan and if he were truly a businessman, he should realise that business in sports has a large emotional quotient tied to it and it might be better for him to take what he can now and leave.

On the field, Torres made Liverpool look good upfront despite players missing a whole boatload of chances created. The good thing is that the Anfield club continues to create lots of chances, but the bad thing is that without Torres, they continue to look toothless upfront and confidence never carries from game to game, in fact, they often have to rely on scoring first and early before the nerves are settled, even in front of their own fans. Benitez really should spend less time on his tactical selections and strategies as they are good enough and perhaps employ a decent sports psychologist to get the mental part of his team's game up to par with everything else. The real quality that separates the Manchester Uniteds and Arsenals from Liverpool is the mental edge that even mediocre players like Darren Fletcher seem to have compared to other more talented Liverpool players like Babel or Alonso, regardless of position. And it is this factor that Liverpool must brush up on in order to sustain their new found momentum on the last remaining Champions League spot in the English Premier League, or risk losing it to a 'small club' that Benitez so famously, and foolishly, branded Everton.