World Football Update - Feb 28th 2012
USA & England in action this week!
Jon Forget
Feb 28th 2012
World Football Update - Feb 28th 2012
Feature Matches 2/28-3/4
 
      A huge lineup of International Football matches fill our midweek schedule, with the bulk of the fixtures falling on Wednesday.  The first game of the day kicks off at 11am, as the England U-21s take on the Belgium U-21 side.  This match leads directly in to Englands senior side taking on the Netherlands live from Wembley (1pm KO).  England have only beat the Netherlands once in their last eleven encounters; however, they have lost only one match in their last fourteen games.  This will be Stuart Pearces first match in charge of the Senior side, and he has yet to name a Captain to the squad.  With no Rooney and Bent up front for the Three Lions, look for young stars Welbeck and Sturridge to carry the torch.  In the back, Phil Jones will likely shoulder the responsibility of shutting down in form Dutch striker Robin Van Persie.  Steven Gerrard will take on the offensive midfield role, with Scott Parker holding down the defensive duties in the mid.  This will surely be a class battle between two of the contenders for this Summers Euro 2012 competition. 

     England v Netherlands is not the afternoons only big game, as the USMNT take on Italy in another clash of epic proportions.  These two sides have faced each other a total of eight times in their history, and the U.S. has never beaten the Italians.  The Americans will be without two key players initially named to their roster, Landon Donovan and Jermaine Jones. Jurgen Klinsmann has added Brek Shea and Sasha Kljestan to the roster as their replacements.  This U.S. side will likely benefit from two in form strikers, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey.  Both strikers are enjoying terrific seasons with their Club teams, and may be a formidable pairing to deal with for the Azzuri.  

     "We are not at the level of Italy or Germany," says Coach Klinsmann. "However, we can improve step by step.  We want to show our worth on Wednesday.  Its very important we get to play games like this one and in particular play them on the road," says the former German National team coach and player. "Thats when you really get players out of their comfort zone and they have to deal with a difficult environment on a physical and psychological level.  Our roster is highly competitive and ready to give them a real fight."

  On the Italian side, they have benched Mario Balotelli for behavioral issues, and American turncoat Guiseppe Rossi will not play due to injury.  This leaves space open up top for some new faces, as the Italians look to get off on a good foot for 2012.

     The weekend brings us two huge English Premier League clashes to look forward to.  First we have Liverpool hosting Arsenal in Saturday mornings early kickoff (5:45am).  This match is all about the fight for fourth place, and a chance at Champions League football next season.  Both sides are riding a high of sorts after securing big wins last weekend, and neither will want to lose their momentum moving forward.  (The early kickoff means breakfast will be served during the match, and our football Happy Hour kicks in at 7am)   Our second highlight match of the weekend pits Tottenham against Manchester United, in a battle for third and second in the table respectively.  A win for Spurs would put them within five points of United, while a win for United could see them top of the table (depending on Citys result).  United have shown their resiliency all season long, and despite being away here they will be tough to beat.  The Spurs need to respond to their loss at Arsenal with a result here, but without Scott Parker in the midfield, it could be tough going for them.
                
On the Horizon
 
     Next week:  We have the second leg of the Champions League round of sixteen to enjoy midweek.   On the weekend MLS football returns for the 2012 campaign.  Lets get out in force on Saturday to support our Colorado Rapids, as they host the Columbus Crew.  Buses will be running from both the Lions and the Bulldog for this kickoff to the 2012 MLS season. (follow this link to make reservations for the bus trip & tailgate:  http://www.bulldogsupporters.com/events/detail.php?eventID=172
      
This Weeks Football
  
Wednesday February 29th
England U-21 v Belgium U-21 11:00am (International Friendly)
Switzerland v Argentina 12:30pm (International Friendly)
Italy v USMNT 12:45pm (International Friendly)
England v Netherlands 1:00pm (International Friendly)
Spain v Venezuela 1:00pm (International Friendly)
Germany v France 4:00pm (International friendly Tape Delayed)
Mexico v Colombia 6:00pm (International Friendly)
USA U-23 v Mexico U-23 8:00pm (International Friendly)
 
Friday March 2nd
Blackpool v Hull City 12:45pm (Championship)
 
Saturday March 3rd
Liverpool v Arsenal 5:45am (EPL)
Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munchen 7:30am (Bundesliga)
Manchester City v Bolton 8:00am (EPL)
West Brom v Chelsea 8:00am (EPL)
Palermo v AC Milan 10:00am (Serie A)
Leeds v Southampton 10:20am (Championship)
Barcelona v Sporting Gijon 12:00pm (La Liga)
Juventus v Chievo 12:45pm (Serie A)
 
Sunday March 4th
Newcastle v Sunderland 5:00am (EPL)
Roma v Lazio 7:00am (Serie A)
Fulham v Wolves 7:00am (EPL)
Nurnberg v B. Monchengladbach 7:30am (Bundesliga)
Tottenham v Manchester United 9:00am (EPL)
Cardiff City v West Ham 11:00am (Championship Tape Delay)
Inter v Catania 12:45pm (Serie A)
Lorient v Stade Rennes 1:00pm (Ligue 1)
Real Madrid v Espanyol 1:30pm (La Liga)
 
Avalanche Hockey
Avs v Ducks 7pm Mon. Feb. 27th
Avs v Blue Jackets 7pm Thurs. Mar. 1st
Avs v Penguins 7pm Sat. Mar. 3rd
Wild v Avs 5pm Sun. Mar. 4th

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