28 October 2005

Weekend TV Planner: 29-30 October

Some real interesting matches this week. Quite a few dogs, too.

  1. Saturday, 7:00AM CDT: Tottenham v. Arsenal Tottenham: 3rd on 19 pts. Arsenal: 8th on 16 pts. This game is always a huge matchup because of the derby; the teams are mortal enemies. But this year, it has additional import since both teams are so close in standings. Tottenham will want to maintain their excellent start, while Arsenal will be keen to build on last week's win. Both teams are missing key players — Edgar Davids for Spurs and Thierry Henry for the Gunners. The match itself is likely to be cagey and tense, but the atmosphere will be electric. Verdict: Match of the week. (Last week, I got burned for making Arsenal the match of the week. But at least they won! We'll see how things play out this week.

  2. Saturday, 7:00PM CDT: New England v. Metrostars First leg: Metrostars 1-0 New England. The first leg was a tense match in driving rain. The second leg should be equally interesting, with New England testing Tony Meola repeatedly. Verdict: Watch this.

  3. Saturday, 9:00PM CDT: San Jose v. Los Angeles First leg: LA 3-1 San Jose. LA did a great job in the first leg, thanks in large part to Landon Donovan. But San Jose were the best team in MLS in the regular season, and I expect they'll pull themselves back into this one. Verdict: Couldn't hurt.

  4. Sunday, 3:00PM EST*: Auxerre v. PSG 15 min delay. Auxerre: 7th on 19 pts. Paris Saint-Germain: 2nd on 23 pts. Pretty close position for the two teams. However, I'm not sure this will be a great match. PSG have had difficulty scoring on the road this season, and Auxerre have only given 2 goals at home. But still, it will be all the more interesting for that. Verdict: Couldn't hurt.

  5. Saturday, 11:15AM CDT: Middlesboro v. Man United Boro: 12th on 12 pts. Man U: 5th on 18 pts. Both teams have been rather inconsistent this year. Boro seem to bring a different team each week, winning 2-1 over Arsenal but losing 2-0 (at home) to Sunderland. Man United have been similar though better; their success seems to wane when Wayne Rooney is out. Rooney will play, but the injuries to Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane leave the midfield a bit thin. It's tough to predict how this one will turn out; it could be thrilling, could be grim. We'll see. Verdict: Couldn't hurt.

  6. Saturday, 9:00AM CDT: B. Dortmund v. B. M'gladbach Dortmund: 8th on 12 pts. M'gladbach: 5th on 18pts. The two teams are fairly close in standings, though spread a bit on points. Monchengladbach have been a bit porous away from home, so expect Dortmund to score some goals. Verdict: Couldn't hurt.

  7. Sunday, 1:00PM EST*: Charlton v. Bolton (DELAY) from Saturday. Charlton: 2nd on 19 pts. Bolton: 7th on 17 pts. This is an intriguing matchup due to the relative position of the teams. Both teams have been surprises this season. You would expect at least one of the two to return to reality soon; perhaps this is the week that begins. However, their styles would indicate a cautious match, and a draw is fairly likely. Verdict: Couldn't hurt, but only because of the potential impact to the table.

  8. Saturday, 9:00AM CDT: Liverpool v. West Ham (PPV) Liverpool: 13th on 10 pts. West Ham: 9th on 15 pts. The two teams are close in standings, but miles apart in reaction. Liverpool have been quite disappointing domestically, while West Ham have done well after winning promotion. I suppose this is PPV due to the legions of Liverpool fans, but I can't see much to reccommend it for the neutral. Verdict: Only if you're bored.

  9. Saturday, 2:00PM CDT: Chelsea v. Blackburn (DELAY) Chelsea: 1st on 28 pts. Blackburn: 10th on 14 pts. Chelsea's juggernaut has sprung a few minor leaks of late, with the draw to Everton last weekend and the loss to Charlton in the Carling Cup on Wednesday. I can't imagine Chelsea will drop any points on Saturday. (Though I've been wrong before...) Blackburn play a rather dispiriting style of soccer, and Chelsea aren't known for their scintillating play either, so I suspect it won't be a pretty game, whatever the result. Verdict: Only if you're bored.

  10. Sunday, 11:00PM EST*: Rosario Central v. River Plate (DELAY) Rosario Central: 10th on 15 pts. River Plate: 11th on 14 pts. The two teams are tightly locked in the middle of the standings. Rosario are giving up almost 2 goals a game at home. That gives the match some potential for interest. But 11PM on a Sunday? Verdict: Only if you're bored.

  11. Sunday, 5:00PM EST*: Treviso v. Siena (DELAY) Treviso: 18th on 5 pts. Siena: 14th on 11 pts. Fox Soccer Channel is not doing Italy any favors by showing these matches. Treviso is north of Venice, while Siena is in Tuscany. Verdict: Only if you're bored.

  12. Sunday, 11:00AM EST*: West Brom v. Newcastle (PPV) West Brom: 16th on 8 pts. Newcastle: 11th on 12 pts. Again, the PPV choice is made due to the Newcastle name rather than any inherent interest in the match. A West Brom win would certainly add some interest to the lower half of the table. It wouldn't surprise me if the match turns interesting, but I wouldn't gamble a $20 PPV on it. Verdict: Only if you're bored, AND have free access somewhere.

  13. Sunday, 9:00AM EST*: Lecce v. Messina Lecce: 20th on 4 pts. Messina: 17th on 5 pts. Ugh. Another bottom-table Serie A match. A real case of resistable force meets moveable object. Verdict: Stay away.

*In the US, Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday. Indiana, where I live, doesn't use DST. So I'm effectively changing time zones.

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