What should I watch this weekend?
Good question! On Saturday, the Premier League is a tad dry, but if you were to pick from one match, maybe…Cardiff City vs Arsenal at 10:00 AM EST?
Elsewhere on Saturday it’s pretty garbage bag. Lots of big club vs little club action in the Bundesliga, and it’s kind of the same story in La Liga. They can’t all be gang-buster weekends, you know?
On Sunday, things spice up slightly in the Premier League with Spurs vs United at 7:00 AM EST, which is the test for both managers, or so the legend says. After that, Chelsea vs Southampton at 11:10 AM EST might be cool.
In Ligue 1, PSG face Olympique Lyonnais at 3:00 PM EST. And in Serie A…oof. Juventus vs Udinese at 12:30 PM? Eredivisie at least serves an old classic, which has lost its bite considering the odd point spread in that league, Feyenoord vs PSV at 8:30 AM EST.
What’s the big story this weekend?
The match-fixing story continues as two men originally from Singapore are arrested in the UK for “plotting to defraud bookmakers.” The fraud reportedly happened between November 1st and November 26th of this year. Arsene Wenger has responded to the news of regional match-fixing by claiming, “I think that 99.9%, the English game is completely clean.”
“Once you don’t know if everyone is genuine out there any more, that is something absolutely disastrous.
“I think we absolutely have to fight against that with the strongest severity to get that out of the game. Maybe the lower divisions are a bit more under threat because it is a bit more anonymous, there is less money so it is easier to buy people, but I don’t think that exists in the Premier League at all.”
Any other news?
The Guardian says Andre Villas-Boas got a fan moved from his seat for singing “sacked in the morning” during Spurs’ Europa League match against Tromso last night. Meanwhile the Mail continues its campaign against the Portuguese manager.
AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani is resigning from the club after 25 years in the position. Good timing, bud!
And Wenger ducks the usual questions about his contract extension with Arsenal.
Any fun stuff?
This goal was disallowed, for what, being awesome? Yoann Gourcuff for Lyon against Real Betis:
Any good reads?
Yes! Football Italia quotes from Horacio Elizondo’s account of awarding Zinedine Zidane a red card for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final:
“It was all done over the headset. When Materazzi fell to the floor, the ball was up the other end of the pitch and of course I was keeping up with play over there. I whistle for a handball and give a free kick.
“Then play switches and goes back into the half of the pitch Materazzi was lying in, but on the other wing, and I remember it was at that point that I saw him lying on the floor. I wait to see whether he gets up — he doesn’t get up… doesn’t get up… doesn’t get up — and I stop the match.