Nov 222013

Giving up on the NFL season? NCAA got you down? Howabout some Thanksgiving soccer?

With World Cup qualifying finally over, leagues around the world are in full swing! We have a full slate of English Premier League, and UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues, too!

  1. ¬†Liverpool are realistically competing for the league title for the first time in many years, currently in 2nd. But if they wish to claim that title they will need to win games like this, away to their fiercest rival. Tim Howard’s Everton would love to put a dent in Liverpool’s plans, and as the 6th place team with only 1 loss in the season they have the ability to do that.
  2. Arsenal are also competing for the title, and doing well–currently in first. Can plucky Southampton, just promoted this season and sitting 3rd, disrupt their plans?
  3. Chelsea have dropped to 4th and need to win at struggling West Ham.
  4. The first leg in Houston tied 0-0. It’s all on this one; the winner goes to the final. They Dynamo have knocked KC out of the playoffs two years running; will KC get their revenge? Will Dynamo forward Will Bruin and influential midfielder Ricardo Clark be fit (they both left the game in the first leg with injuries, but that was two weeks ago)? The Dynamo have been surprisingly quiet about their health. What does that mean? This should be a tight one, with KC reminding me a lot of the Texans teams we’ve faced.
  5. 8th place City welcome 7th place Tottenham; both are feeling they’ve underachieved thus far.
  6. Man U, defending champs, have been shockingly bad for much of the season, sitting midtable. But recently they’ve begun to claw their way up the table and are now 5th. Is this the beginning of a true title defense?
  7. Catch US backup goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who’s having a great season at Villa.
  8. US midfielder Alejandro Bedoya’s Nantes have been the surprise of the French Ligue 1 season, just promoted and sitting an impressive 5th. 3rd place Monaco have spent a lot of money to compete with PSG.
  9. The Timbers fell 4-2 on the road at Salt Lake in the first leg. Can they make up the difference at home? This should be a great one.
  10. Roma are still the only undefeated team in Italy, but their last two games leave some questions. A 1-1 draw at Torino wasn’t too bad, but following that with the same scoreline at home to relegation-threatened Sassuolo is more concerning. Can they regain their form at home to Caglieri? Has Michael Bradley regained his starting position for good?
  11. Basel are still very much in the fight, with two games remaining and only 1 point away from advancing to the elimination rounds. A tie for Chelsea would be enough to guarantee advancement.
  12. Marseille’s Champions League campaign has been dreadful. Already eliminated, only a win at Arsenal can keep them still in the hunt for 3rd and its Europa league slot.
  13. Ajax are still in it, but really need points. Can they get them against all-but qualified Barca?
  14. Only 2 points separate 2nd place Milan and last-place Celtic, so everyone has a lot to fight for.
  15. Dortmund, last year’s runner-up, are 3 points out of advancing. A loss to Napoli would see them eliminated.
  16. Last year’s winner, Bayern Munich, are still flying high, already having done what they need to advance. Can CSKA take advantage and get the win they need to keep their run alive?
  17. 2nd place hosts 1st place, with 3rd breathing down their necks.
  18. Madrid have already advanced, but Galatasaray need to get points or risk being eliminated.
  19. A tie against already-eliminated Plzen, or a CSKA failure to win, sees Manchester City through.
  20. Juventus are surprisingly in 4th, but only 1 point behind Galatasaray and Copenhagen, so this game has a lot of influence.
  21. Spurs have already advanced, and Tromso are already out.
  22. 2nd vs 1st, with a win guaranteeing advancement for Swansea
  23. Don’t forget your highlight shows, including ESPN FC.

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