World Football Update - May 1st 2012
2 Rapids away games this week!
Jon Forget
May 1st 2012
World Football Update - May 1st 2012
Feature Matches
     There is much to play for in Europe, as the 2011/12 season winds down across the continent.  In England, with only two matches remaining, Manchester City andManchester United are tied at the top of the table with 83 points a piece.  City hold a slight advantage on goal differential (+8), but have the tougher of the two schedules to finish the season.  This weekend City faceNewcastle away, while United take on Swansea at home.  Both matches fall Sunday morning, and should make for some enticing football. 
     The fight for the remaining Champions League spots is also raging, as Arsenal (66pts), Spurs (62pts), Newcastle (62pts), and Chelsea (61pts) are all still in the running for third and fourth.  Third is automatic promotion to the Champions League group stage, while fourth earns a chance to play in to the group stage.  Arsenals advantage is tenous at best, as each of their rivals has a game in hand.  This adds weight to Wednesdays clash between Chelsea and Newcastle.  Chelsea will be at home, but have to consider their upcoming FA Cup Final on the weekend.  The Spurs travel to Bolton for their game in hand, and will have to be wary of a Wanderers side that is desperate to remain in the Prem.  Early Saturday morning (5:45am ko) Arsenal will take on Norwich at home, with little or no margin for error if they want to keep hold of their third place spot.  This leads us in to our match of the weekend, the131st FA Cup Final Liverpool kicks off against Chelsea (10:15am) Saturday morning, live from Wembley stadium.  Neither of these two sides is a stranger to FA Cup glory, as Liverpool hold seven titles to Chelseas six.  Oddly these two teams were set to meet this weekend in the Prem, and will end up playing each other again only three days later.  This will be a great fight for one of Englands most coveted pieces of silverware.
     The 1st leg of the Npower Championship playoffs begin this Thursday and Friday at lunchtime, with Cardiff hosting West Ham andBlackpool home to Birmingham City.  At stake is promotion to the Premier League for the 2012/13 season, and all the financial perks associated with that.  Three of the four teams competing have had recent stints in the Prem, while Cardiff has not played in the top flight since the incarnation of the Premiership.
    Our Colorado Rapids have two big away matches this week, as they come off a resounding victory over Chivas last weekend.  First they face New England this Wednesday night at 6pm.  The Rapids must take points off their Eastern Conference opponents, as the bulk of their schedule is against very strong Western Conference competition.  The Revs look ripe for the taking, having had a difficult start to their campaign.  This match falls into Happy Hour at the Lions, and then leads us into our weekly trivia competition.  The Rapids second match of the week falls early Sunday evening, as they take on FC Dallas with a 5pm kick off.  The Rapids and Dallas sit tied at mid table with 12pts, and a win down south for the Burgundy Boys would be massive!  This game also falls naturally into our Happy Hour, and in addition we will be serving our delicious Sunday Roast for only $9.99. 
     There is one other match of note this week, the Milan derby kicks off Sunday afternoon at 12:45pm.  AC Milan trails Juventus at the top of the table by 3pts with only a handful of matches remaining, while Inter Milan is locked in a four way battle to earn a spot in the Champions League.  These two sides share a stadium, and tensions will certainly be heightened by the implications of the match.
On the Horizon
    The title race and the relegation battle in the EPL will be the highlight of the week, and the Npower Championship playoffs fall on Monday and Tuesday.   Our Rapids take a week off from MLS play, resuming May 16th against D.C. United.  Last but not least, dont forget about Mothers Day on the 13th!
This Weeks Football
Tuesday May 1st
Sporting Gijon v Villareal 12pm (La Liga)
Napoli v Palermo 12:45pm (Serie A)
Liverpool v Fulham 12:45pm (EPL)
Stoke v Everton 12:45pm (EPL)
Heart of Midlothian v Motherwell 12:45pm (SPL)
Wednesday May 2nd
Barcelona v Malaga 12pm (La Liga)
Chelsea v Newcastle 12:45pm (EPL)
Bolton v Tottenham 1pm (EPL)
A. Bilbao v Real Madrid 2pm (La Liga)
Montreal v Toronto 6pm (MLS)
New England v Colorado 6pm (MLS Away Game Viewing Party)
Seattle v L.A. Galaxy 8pm (MLS)
San Jose v D.C. United 8:30pm (MLS)
Thursday May 3rd
Cardiff City v West Ham 12:45pm (Npower Championship Playoffs 1st leg)
Friday May 4th
Blackpool v Birmingham City 12:45pm (Npower Championship Playoffs 1st leg)
Chivas v Chicago 9pm (MLS)
Saturday May 5th
Arsenal v Norwich City 5:45am (EPL)
Rangers v Motherwell 5:45am (SPL)
Liverpool v Chelsea 10:15am (2012 FA Cup Final)
Roma v Catania 12:45pm (Serie A)
Toronto v D.C. United 2:30pm (MLS)
Seattle v Philadelphia 2:30pm (MLS)
Vancouver v San Jose 5pm (MLS)
L.A. Galaxy v New York red Bulls 6pm (MLS)
Sporting K.C. v Montreal 6:30pm (MLS)
Sunday May 6th
Newcastle v Manchester City 6:30am (EPL)
Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City 7am (EPL)
Manchester United v Swansea 9am (EPL)
Fulham v Sunderland 9am (EPL)
Dundee United v Celtic 11am (SPL Tape Delay)
Inter Milan v AC Milan 12:45pm (Serie A)
FC Dallas v Colorado 5pm (MLS Away Game Viewing Party)
Monday May 7th
West Ham v Cardiff 9:30am  (Npower Championship Playoffs 1st leg)
Blackburn v Wigan 1pm (EPL)
Scarf Wall:  I am currently collecting soccer scarves from around the world for the Three Lions scarf wall.  If you have any old football scarves that are just sitting in a drawer, and you would like to see them displayed in the Pub, please bring them down.

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