Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea and Edin Dzeko of Manchester City

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Less than two weeks after their tight 1-0 road win at fellow English Premier League title contenders Manchester City, Chelsea return to the Ethiad Stadium for a crucial Round of 16 tie in the FA Cup.

The Blues have defeated Man City twice this season, with each match decided by one goal. Man City will be coming into Saturday’s home match at the Ethiad, where they have scored 19 goals in their last five matches, on some additional rest from the postponement of their midweek match against Sunderland. On the other side, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea squad is unbeaten in its last five matches away from Stamford Bridge across all competitions.

In other FA Cup action on Saturday, Premier League clubs Sunderland and Southampton — who are both on impressive runs of form — will battle it out at the Stadium of Light. Elsewhere, Cardiff City will look to knock off last year’s cup champions, Wigan Athletic, at home in the midday slate of matches.

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich will take on relegation-threatened Freiburg in their last match before their Champions League Round of 16 tie against Arsenal. Also in Germany, Bayer Leverkusen face off with Schalke 04 in an important top-4 Bundesliga match. In Spain, Atletico Madrid will look to end their slide down the La Liga table with a match against Real Valladolid at the Vicente Calderon.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action. (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):

7:45am – Sunderland vs. Southampton – Fox Sports 2

7:45am – St. Mirren vs. Aberdeen – Fox Soccer Plus

9:30am – Bayern Munich vs. Freiburg – GolTV USA

10am – Atletico Madrid vs. Real Valladolid – beIN Sports USA

10am – Cardiff City vs. Wigan Athletic – Fox Sports 2

10am – Sheffield Wednesday vs. Charlton Athletic – Fox Soccer Plus

11am – Bastia vs. AS Monaco – Univision Deportes

12pm – Real Madrid II vs. Barcelona II – beIN Sports en Español

12:15pm – Manchester City vs. Chelsea – Fox Sports 2

12:30pm – Bayer Leverkusen vs. Schalke 04 – GolTV USA

12:45pm – Twente vs. Vitesse – ESPN3

2pm – Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano – beIN Sports USA/beIN Sports en Español

2pm – Nice vs. Nantes – Univision Deportes

2:45pm – Fiorentina vs. Inter Milan – beIN Sports USA

4pm – Villarreal vs. Celta de Vigo – beIN Sports en Español

6pm – Cruz Azul vs. Puebla – Univision

6pm – Veracruz vs. Toluca – Univision Deportes

8pm – Monterrey vs. Club Leon – UniMás

8pm – Pachuca vs. Atlante – Univision Deportes

10pm – Chiapas vs. Tigres UANL – Univision Deportes

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119 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Nate Dollars says:

    jozy not in the 18. everybody panic.

    • malkin says:

      Not panicking, just putting USA v Russia back on.

    • Dough Boy says:

      I do not know if this is true, but a SBI commentator wrote the other day that Poyet had said Sunderland was going to play seldom used players.

      • TomG says:

        You don’t have to believe me! Just look at any Sunderland blog or just look at the lineup which has only 2 of the regular starters on.

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        Lol

        With Fletcher out though, it makes sense that Poyet is going to rest Jozy for league games, otherwise we’d have seen him here today because poet has constantly said he plans on playing Jozy and getting him scoring

  2. Pete says:

    Good job by fox of putting these games on a channel nobody has.

  3. shawn says:

    Meg only good game today is. AZ alkmaar vs AC Utrecht

  4. Fair Observer says:

    im curious to see Scocco play, as a fan for one, and also to see Jozy’s competition in action. I still think Jozy should’ve been a sub since the City game was postponed. also Mannone should keep getting starts to stay in form but hey, u cant coach as a fan, right?

    • TomG says:

      Doesn’t seem like he’s as big a threat as we thought. Not for this season anyway. Gus said recently that he needs to adapt to the league and would likely play ten matches at most this season. Fletcher returning to health might be a bigger threat.

      • Fair Observer says:

        to be fair to Scocco, its his first game and personally i bet his talent is better than fletcher. but its his first match, still finding his feet with this team and league. but yea next season seems to be more likely for him. perhaps poyet will more to a 2 st system next season with JA and scocco up front, borini wide left, AJ wide right, some combo of birdcutt/ki/giac in middle

        • GW says:

          Mr O.

          Re Scocco:

          1. He’s never played in the EPL before
          2. He was available from Internacional because he was unsettled and not playing well
          3. He’s a striker who also plays attacking midfield
          4. He only cost about 3 million.

          He looks more like a partner for Jozy rather than a replacement. He’s more likely to cut into Fletcher’s time and as a player he more closely resembles Borini.

          SBI posts aside, Jozy has been a very important part of Sunderland’s good run of form recently and I’m sure Poyet is loath to mess up a good thing.

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        Ppl should hope Jozy finds himself real soon because rightly said, Fletcher if fit, will be all to tempting for Poyet

  5. Fair Observer says:

    and already i like what im seeing by Giac, i dont agree wit Poyet’s assessment of Giac that ” he wants to get him on the pitch but doesnt have a spot for him”. He’s your best midfielder, you HAVE to get him on the pitch in league matches!! he has the exact vision and ground passing to strikers that Sunderland need. simply put, he’s the player that can provide the simple passes a striker like jozy needs

  6. Fair Observer says:

    Im still a firm believer that if Giac can get in the regular starting 11 WITH jozy, it will help JA get goals, Giac is the type of creative player who always moves quickly that JA needs and wants. Giac’s motor is in a higher gear than all of Sunderland’s. Birdcutt, Ki, AJ, Borini, Giac and JA would be my front 6

    • Gary Page says:

      From the first of the season it seemed clear to me that Giac was the most creative player Sunderland has. Don’t understand why he has been benched so much. Not enough defense? Maybe, but their back line makes so many mistakes, that’s where their defensive improvement needs to come from.

  7. Off Topic says:

    so what does Jozy do on his time off from the club?

    USSF should bring back those “Yank ABROAD” series they had or was that Soccer 90. Would have loved to see what Dempsey did at Spurs during off days or what Bradley had in his life before his kid was born while at roma

  8. John says:

    Is Julian Green out injured?I don’t see him in the line up?

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      if willing, he should be given an auto. spot in the WC if that’s what it takes to get him on board

      He’s to talented. Donovan circa 2002 potential.

    • Dan says:

      John trolling hard. Smh. We get it, you think it’s premature to get excited about Julian Green. It’s still awesome news if it pans out.

    • malkin says:

      No injury, he hasn’t broken into the gameday squad yet. He was given the one cameo in a champions league game that didn’t matter, but week in week out he is not yet making the bench.

      • MiamiAl says:

        Uh, do you see who is on their bench? Bayern’s bench would probably beat most Bundasliga teams. Good luck cracking that lineup!

        • Kingsly Alexander says:

          I’m pretty sure he’ll be loaned inevitably to a 2. Bundesliga side. If St. Pauli aren’t promoted this would be a nice consolation prize for me

  9. Fair Observer says:

    Gardner trying to do his Balotelli impersonation….. haha

  10. Kingsly Alexander says:

    Did ppl see the way Borini just took that ball and had a go in the 71st min.?

    That is all Jozy needs to start doing

    • Fair Observer says:

      u mean that shot from 35 yards out?….. thats exactly what Sunderland needs to NOT do….. i like borini but that actual play he had Giac streaking in for an easy lay off pass

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        I’m just saying, the ability to get a shot off, even from 25 yards out, is something Jozy absolutely has to find. Not to say its the best decision, like you say there was a run coming, but just the process in 3 seconds of settling the ball taking a touch into space and firing one off, a lot like he scored his first goal.

        • Fair observer says:

          I guarantee if he took a shot from 30 yards out with an open tears he’d be critiziced. He needs shots inside the box. I do agree he needs to be a lil more selfish in terms of just takin shots instead of waiting for the perfect open net but strikers should take shots inside the box

        • GW says:

          KA,

          Jozy has scored from 25 yards out before. He has had that skill for some time.

          However in his current role at Sunderland opportunities for that shot are infrequent. And Jozy is not a selfish player, one thing everyone on Sunderland seems to be impressed by.

          On Sunderland that shot belongs to the midfielders and the defenders.

  11. Fair Observer says:

    surprise surprise, M Alonso gets beaten badly at LB….. where’s Brett?

  12. Fair Observer says:

    and once again…. M Alonso gives Southampton another chance at a goal. when he plays LB Sunderland has no LB…….

  13. Fair Observer says:

    and again. M Alonso pushes up too far on defense and makes his cdm trek back, Alonso’s defensive positioning is quite terrible, Brett

  14. malkin says:

    Fabian Johnson back in the starting lineup. Great news.

  15. Fair Observer says:

    connor wickham looks like more of a threat to JA than scocco or fletcher. JA->wickham/scocco->fletcher

  16. Dainja says:

    Makes my blood boil seeing Putin cheering in the stands after a Russian goal. Cmon Boys!

    • malkin says:

      Huge break there. 4 min left, let’s do this!

    • downintexas says:

      Keep up with the hockey updates please

      • malkin says:

        USA wins the shootout. Interesting rules, as after the initial 3 you can have the same guy take every shot, which is what USA did with TJ Oshie

        • Dainja says:

          Awesome ending! Yea imagine if they did that with soccer…after the first few shots, it’s just the same guy shooting over and over. Only disappointment for me: they didn’t show a shot of Putin’s face after we won!! He probably just had the team executed.

        • EspinDOHla says:

          Great for Oshie but Quick is getting ZERO love from the media. There would be no opportunity for Oshie without those saves.

  17. malkin says:

    Where’s Brek? Not in the 18

  18. usaalltheway says:

    Who cares about soccer when Russia is playing the USA???????

    LET’S GO USA!!!!!

  19. Kingsly Alexander says:

    For the sake of Cardiff fans, I sincerely hope Cardiff goes down and Tan sells the club. Crashing out of this competition will only out more pressure on the club. So go Wgan!

    • Joe C. says:

      That dude seems completely bonkers, definitely feel bad for the Cardiff faithful.

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        Yeah. And speaking to a smaller issue, I think it’s such an insult that after all the backlash about the clubs crest (and rightfully so) he’s like, “Ok. You want blue bird? Here. Here blue bird for you. Now you shut big pie hole on face”

    • GW says:

      Cardiff don’t like Tan? They like his money well enough.

      Why did they pimp themselves out in the first place?

      If they think getting back into the EPL is so easy then they shouldn’t sweat relegation.

  20. Kingsly Alexander says:

    Fabian Johnson is starting at LB today btw against Stuttgart. Hoffenheim up 2-0 in the 57′ min.

    Jeremy Toljan on the bench

    That one and the Gladbach/Bremen match look good for those looking for something to watch

    • John says:

      I like Fabian on the wing but I have to say I think we need him getting minutes at LB even more.

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        No doubt. We have enough midfielders to make it work effectively on the left one way or another, but if all fail during the WC to make an impact, Beasley or Castillo could come in to allow him to move up, whoever it is between the two.

        Only problem there is that because of their defensive inadequicies, he’d have to play more of a defensive winger role intead of an out and out winger. Their offensive talents when paired together (Beas or Castillo) aren’t overwhelming enough to compensate for the likely stretches of bad defense lapses we would likely see, though the one attribute they all have on their side is plenty of recovery speed.

        That’s of course only assuming they’ll be pressing high up the field

    • John says:

      and above anything else please just stay healthy haha

    • John says:

      Hoffenheim win 4-1

  21. Gerard D. says:

    Murrica!

    Putin’s face — priceless.

  22. ASA says:

    The Olympics are like the only time you can be obnoxiously patriotic. GO USA!!!! MERICA

  23. John says:

    Bedoya getting the start today at Nice

  24. steven Gerrard 100 goals for LIVERPOOL says:

    claudio pizarro just scored his 170th league goal in the Bundesliga

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      I wish he were still at Bremen. Couldn’t say they deserved to keep him though with their recent seasons

  25. big al says:

    Anybody know Alkmaar_Utrecht info.DR

  26. John says:

    US striker showdown, winner gets a ticket to Brazil !!!

  27. TomG says:

    Man, watching Chelsea lately against any decent side, it seems that if Hazard isn’t single handedly creating something with his absolute brilliance, they’ve just got absolutely nothing going on in the final third. I mean nothing. They might as well be Sunderland in the final third.

    • Gerard D. says:

      The “genius” of Mourihno. Come in, hate all Spanish players, dump creative players and buy overly expensive players.

      Wash, rinse, repeat. Lose.

      • Dave says:

        be fair, Mourinho figures he needs one creative player (Hazard, Drogba) and 10 defenders. Ugly but wins.

  28. Kingsly Alexander says:

    Aron Johannsson and Juan Agudelo both starting

    I’m sure every sports writer in America is looking for feeds right now

  29. biff says:

    I did not see any of the Hoffenheim-Stuttgart game today, but according to the Bundesliga web site Fabian Johnson started at right back and played there the full game there, which contradicts the comments above that Fabian was at left back. Team captain Andreas Beck played left back, where he has been playing the past couple of gameswith with Fabian on the bench. With Hoffenheim posting a 4-1 victory probably a good chance we see Fabian at right back again next week.

  30. shawn says:

    any1 watching az vs utrecht

  31. shawn says:

    juan almost scores sweet goal. but keeper gets fingertips to it

  32. shawn says:

    goal AJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. John says:

    one for Johannsson with a header

  34. shawn says:

    seems juan is playing as there hold up striker

  35. Adams says:

    Aaron Johannssonn and Fabian Johnson are starting against Ukraine.

  36. John says:

    Man Agudelo so close there, just could stay on his feet