We’re back with our picks for the weekend–as usual, culled from the SoccerInsider’s comprehensive listing of matches being televised in the US this weekend (all times ET):
Saturday (Nov 20)
England, Spurs-Arsenal 7:30 a.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes: an early kickoff the match of the weekend te heated North London derby! Check what our resident Spurs and Arsenal supporters had to say about this one, here and here.
Spain, Valencia-Villarreal noon ESPN Deportes: 3rd and 4th in the La Liga table–cf. Sid Lowe’s column devoted to Villareal after their match v Hercules a few weeks ago.
Netherlands, Ajax-PSV Eindhoven 2:45p.m. ESPN3.com: We usually don’t include streaming-only matches, but will make an exception for this battle of Dutch heavyweights. If you’re only going to watch one Eredivisie matchup all season, might as well be this game. Via FIFA’s “Classic Rivalries” feature:
While older Ajax fans may always view Feyenoord as their arch-rivals, younger supporters have just as much deep-seated rivalry with PSV, who represent not just thoroughbred sporting adversaries but advocates of another philosophy of how the game should be played. True heavyweights of the Dutch footballing landscape, PSV have fully earned the right to be considered Klassieker opponents.
Since 2000, PSV have won the league on seven occasions, putting together a run of four consecutive titles between 2005 and 2008, including a 2007 triumph that went down to the final moments in the last round of games. That run of success has not gone down particularly well at the Arena, where a series of coaches have come and gone without being able to shift the spotlight back on to Ajax. Instead, their arch-rivals have taken over as the team most successful at defending Dutch colours in Europe, having reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2005.
Indeed, it’s shaping up that way again: PSV is atop the table, while Ajax is chasing them, currently in 3rd place (with Twente in between).
Spain, Real Madrid-Bilbao 4 p.m. GolTV: Will Madrid keep rolling towards El Clasico? (Which is a week from Monday btw…yes Monday, due to some Catalonia election over that weekend) Bilbao is one of the handful of teams in the middle of the table (they’re currently 8th) that are battling to finish 3rd. Bilbao do have a dangerous striker up front in 6’5” Fernando Llorente (the Lion King, apparently: “Un ‘Rey Leon’ en el area“)–he and Capdevila of Villareal are just about the only La Liga players who are not on Barcelona or Real Madrid that are getting playing time on the nat’l team.
Germany, Bayern Munich-Bayer Leverkusen 6 p.m. ESPN Deportes: A good Bundesliga rivalry, with Munich 6th in the table, recovering from a poor start, while Leverkusen is 2nd (chasing Borussia Dortmund). Leverkusen’s fans have been confidently looking forward to taking on Munich, according to this:
The Beatles’ most oompaloompaish tune has long been staple terrace fare in the Bundesliga but it was still surprising to hear the old chestnut on Saturday at the Millerntor. Bayer Leverkusen were beating St Pauli 1‑0 when the visiting supporters started chanting that slightly rejigged, teutonified version of “Yellow Submarine”.
“Zieht den Bayern die Lederhosen aus” (take away Bayern’s lederhosen), went the ever-popular cry.
Sunday (Nov 21)
England, Fulham-Manchester City 11 a.m. FSC: Dempsey seems to be playing very well, if he is a bit dim. As for Man City, clearly Mancini should be feeling the heat for the style of play, even as they remain fourth in the table. They fired Hughes last year when he was spot on the benchmarks they set for him. Honestly, it is hard watching them play at times with no wide players and three holding midfielders.
MLS Cup, Colorado-Dallas 8:30 p.m. ESPN, Galavision Live from Toronto. We’re sure to dip in and make a comment before kickoff.
England, Everton-Sunderland 3 p.m. ESPN Deportes: How will Sunderland follow up that crushing of Chelsea? Will we see Gyan score again–so that we can see him dance again? And if so, WWBD (what will Bolo do)?