14 October 2005

Weekend TV Planner: 15-16 October

So... Internationals are done. (Looks like some interesting developments in the World Cup qualifiers; I'll comment on those soon. And other exciting news, for me anyway.) But first, I wanted to provide the weekend US soccer viewing guide. As before, I'll restrict myself to FSC and PPV.

No Arsenal on TV this weekend. I'm crushed. But I wouldn't want to watch West Brom either. Of course, now the match will be fantastic, with 7 goals and a wonderous finish or two. But for once, there's no Man Utd either. Guess it'll be time for the EPL Review then. But for the games you can watch, here you go. Note that I've started flagging games that are delayed broadcasts. It probably doesn't matter too much if you're neutral and just want to watch good soccer (though you might check the score to look for a good game). But if you're a supporter, you have some decisions to make. Avoid the score and watch it as if it were live?

Prioritized Weekend Soccer Planner, 15-16 October 2005

  1. Sunday, 10AM CDT: Manchester City vs. West Ham. (PPV) This is a worthy match. Both Man City and West Ham are having surprisingly good seasons. City are 6th on 14 points, while the Hammers are 9th on 12. And both teams have shown a willingness to go for goals. Should be an entertaining match. Verdict: Match of the Week. At least the PPV people got this one right.

  2. Saturday, 6:45AM CDT: Wigan v. Newcastle. Newcastle have been playing well since Michael Owen came along. If nothing else, he's given them a needed spark of belief. Wigan have been the real surprise so far; the Prem new boys are in 8th, four points ahead of Newcastle in 12th. Should be quite entertaining. Verdict: Watch this.

  3. Sunday, 8AM CDT: Lazio v. Fiorentina. Fiorentina are surprisingly in 3rd, while Lazio are in a disappointing 10th. But only 3 points separate the teams, so there's a lot on the line here. This could be a fun one. Finally, an interesting Serie A match on FSC. Verdict: Watch this.

  4. Saturday, 2PM CDT: Chelsea v. Bolton. (DELAY) Bolton are a suprising 5th. Chelsea... I hear they're playing well this year. Last year, Bolton drew Chelsea 2-2 in this match. Chelsea have several players coming off midweek internationals. It could be the first points dropped for Chelsea. Or it could be another 2-0 win for the Blues. Verdict: Couldn't hurt.

  5. Sunday, 2PM CDT: River Plate v. Boca Juniors. River Plate, the traditional Argentine power, are 12th in the league. Boca Juniors, the new royalty, lead the table. Could be an interesting match. Verdict: Couldn't hurt.

  6. Sunday, Noon CDT: Birmingham v. Aston Villa. (DELAY) Such desperation from an early-season match. Birmingham 15th, Villa 16th, both on 6 points. The loser here may end up in the relegation zone. You would expect the visiting team to play desperately for a point, but Villa have given up 8 goals in 4 away matches. I doubt they'll get a shutout. Honestly? I think this could be an ugly match, but a good kind of ugly. Like Plan 9 From Outer Space ugly. And we should see goals. Verdict: Couldn't hurt.

  7. Saturday, 9PM CDT: Los Angeles v. San Jose. Two of the best teams in MLS, in a season-ending clash. On the other hand, they're both qualified for the playoffs and may choose to rest a few players. Verdict: Couldn't hurt.

  8. Saturday, 10AM CDT: VfB Stuttgart v. Borussia Mönchengladbach. (30min DELAY) M'gladbach are in 6th, and Stuttgart are 10th. Four points separate the two teams. Could be interesting. Verdict: Couldn't hurt.

  9. Sunday, 4PM CDT: Lyon v. Ajaccio. (DELAY) First-place Lyon take on going-nowhere 15th-place Ajaccio. Hard to get excited for that. Verdict: Only if you're bored.

  10. Saturday, 11:15AM CDT: Middlesboro v. Portsmouth. Boro are 10th and Portsmouth 14th. This is a bit deceiving, as Pompey are only a point above the relegation zone. The two teams combined have scored 14 goals in 16 league matches. Ugh. Verdict: Only if you're bored.

  11. Sunday, 10PM CDT: Cagliari v. AC Milan. (DELAY) AC Milan: 2nd. Cagliari: 19th. Um, yeah. Verdict: Only if you're bored. Or like to watch beatings.

  12. Saturday, 9AM CDT: Liverpool v. Blackburn. (PPV) Sure, it's a crap game. Liverpool and Blackburn are both crap at the moment (although Liverpool's meager 7 points is due to two games in hand more than anything). Why the heck is this PPV? Verdict: Save your money. And spend it on something more interesting, like Womens' Erotic Wrestling VIII. I think I need more PPV time.

boca juniors, new royalty? I think not.
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