What’s on this weekend?
In the Premier League a bit of a slow Saturday. Crystal Palace vs Arsenal starts the day at 7:45 AM, but the only angle here is Ian Holloway not being there, which admittedly isn’t much of an angle at all.
Then Liverpool play West Brom at 10:00 AM, a team the Reds have had incredible trouble defeating over the last few fixtures. The rest? I don’t know. Take your pick.
In Spain, hello! El Clasico time already! High noon local time, Barcelona play Real Madrid. Somehow this match has been previewed by everyone to death already elsewhere for the last two weeks, so I hope you have some hype gas left in the hype gas tank.
Elsewhere in Europe on Saturday, there’s the first tier of the Bundesliga vs the second tier. We’ve got Bayern Munich (1st, 23 pts) vs Hertha BSC (4th, 15 pts) and Schalke 04 (5th 14 pts) vs Borussia Dortmund (2nd 22 pts), both 9:30 AM kickoffs.
And then in Serie A, the 5th and 4th placed Inter vs Hellas Verona, the latter of whom are a single point ahead of their opponents in the table. That should be “hella” interesting? Right guys?
Sunday features the Tyne-Wear derby at 9:30 AM (it’s fall back on Sunday, children!), Sunderland vs Newcastle. A Gus Poyet/Black Cats redemption tale in there somewhere. Then it’s Chelsea vs Man City at noon.
And elsewhere in Europe kind of a mixed bag here and there. St. Etienne vs PSG at 4:00 PM could be kind of interesting, as well as Udinese vs Roma at 10:00 AM.
Oh and throughout all this there’s the crazy final weekend of MLS to contend with. Basically the East is a confusing final scramble to the finish line.
What’s the big story?
Yaya Toure isn’t taking his alleged racial abuse by CSKA Moscow supporters lying down, and has hinted at more effective means of protest:
Black players might boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia unless the country tackles racism in football, according to Manchester City’s Yaya Toure.
“If we aren’t confident at the World Cup, coming to Russia, we don’t come,” the Ivorian midfielder said.
Uefa is investigating Toure’s complaint that he was racially abused by some CSKA fans during Wednesday’s Champions League game in Moscow.
Meanwhile Toure’s Ivorian teammate Seydou Doumbia, who plays for CSKA, believes Toure was ‘exaggerating’:
“Yes, [CSKA Moscow supporters] are always noisy in supporting the team, and try to put as much pressure as possible on our opponents, but they wouldn’t ever allow themselves to come out with racist chants. So my Ivory Coast colleague is clearly exaggerating.”
Oh. Any other news?
Fabregas loves Arsenal and wants to come back one day! Swoon! Do you really think they’ll get back together heart sign emojicon?
Brendan Rodgers continues to be cheesed off at all sorts of things in Sir Alex Ferguson’s biography, coincidentally titled My Autobiography. We also get the rather curious phenomenon of the ghost writer chiming in his newspaper to defend the book from critics.
And the UK media is quite keen on how Bale will win the Bale Clasico featuring Bale vs Bale. Though the Mail went the sensible route and used a nifty Bale training video as its front page story.
Here, let me root around here. Ah! This should do, Spurs’ Vlad Chiriches making a striker look bad:
The Guardian’s Top Ten things to look forward to this weekend is pretty snazzy.
And because other sports exist, why not get a primer on advanced stats in the NBA?