Standard fare with mostly mid-level clashes across the leagues this weekend, though there are a few standouts for which you should ignore all other matches and plans. We’ll keep it short and sweet (click the teams for channel info by country):
Saturday, Feb 26th
12:30 pm (2pm replay on Gol TV) Bayern München vs Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga This promises to be a wide-open match. After their complete domination of Inter mid-week, and with a squad that’s essentially full strength (yes first choice strikers Olic and Klose are out, but Gómez has something along the lines of 27 goals for his club this season…they’re just fine as-is), Bayern will be looking to earn back a few points against the league leaders. It’s unlikely they’ll actually catch them, as Die Schwarzgelben are a full 10 points clear at the top of the table, and 13 points past third place Bayern. But Dortmund are a pretty attractive attacking side themselves, and have performed better on the road this season than they have at home.
Saturday, Feb 26th
9 am (replay at 5pm on ESPND) PSV vs Ajax Eredivisie Two of the consistently best teams in the Netherlands meet, with the home side five points ahead of third place Ajax (Gooch’s Twente sits in between the pair). While this match doesn’t have the city rivalry background that makes a meeting with Feyenoord such a powderkeg of violence, the two Dutch powerhouses promise to put on an enjoyable show. Ajax need all three points, as they currently sit outside a Champions League berth.
11 am Arsenal vs Birmingham City Carling Cup Final Arsenal are without Cesc and Theo, but are still favorites to raise their first cup in five years. Of course, their manager has famously stated: “If you win the League Cup, can you honestly say you have won a trophy?” Sounds like the answer this season is, yes, yes you can. See our previous post about the history between Arsenal and Birmingham (including some not-so-awful footage of Eduardo’s hideous leg break) in our archive here! A dip in reveals: a quick historical assessment of Birmingham City vs Arsenal. The teams have met 116 times in all competitions, the first time being back in 1905. Aside for a spell in in the 1950s, Arsenal have dominated the meetings, and own a record of 54 wins and 34 draws to their 28 losses. Mostly known as a tough-tackling, defense-first side, the West Midlands club have been improving their football the past couple of seasons though they find themselves currently on the cusp of relegation.