World Football Update - Jan 8th 2013
First week back in the league after the holidays!
Jon Forget
Jan 25th 2013
World Football Update - Jan 8th 2013
Feature Matches
 
A terrific week of World Football starts this afternoon with a League Cup Semifinal from England. League Two Bradford City face Premiership side Aston Villa in the first of two Semifinal legs of the Capital One Cup. League Two is the fourth tier of English football, and a team like Bradford making the Semi's is precisely what makes these Cup competitions extraordinary! En route to their date with Villa today Bradford City has already eliminated two Premiership sides, Wigan Athletic and Arsenal. Aston Villa will be making a record 14th appearance in a League Cup Semifinal, having advanced eight times previously. Unfortunately for them their form has been atrocious in the Prem, with four straight losses and 17 goals conceded in the same span. The Villains look likely to be involved in the relegation battle for the remainder of the season, so perhaps this will be a bright spot for them in an otherwise difficult campaign.
 
Wednesday and Thursday Spain's Cup competition, the Copa Del Rey, takes center stage. Both days we have an early kick off (11:30am), followed by a late lunch fixture (1:30pm). Real Madrid features Wednesday, hosting Celta Vigo at the Bernabeau. In the first leg of this series Celta Vigo managed a 2-1 triumph at home, giving them the slightest of advantages heading into this second leg tie. This would be a massive upset if Celta can defend their one goal advantage, and find a spot in the Quarterfinals. Thursday afternoon Barcelona, last years Copa Del Rey Champions, take on Cordoba in the second leg of their series. Barca holds a 2-0 advantage after the first leg, and it would be a real surprise if they didn't do their business at home to advance.
 
Our weekend football starts early on Saturday morning (5:45am) with the Premiership returning to action from the FA Cup break. This one is a London Derby between Queens Park and Tottenham. QPR seems to be getting a foothold under new manager Harry Redknapp, who faces his former Club here. QPR's most recent results, including a stunning upset of Chelsea, are a win and a draw. This gives them a glimmer of hope after what can only be described as a pathetic start to the 2012/13 campaign. Spurs on the other hand are in fine form, having gone undefeated in their last five, and holding third in the table. The day continues with three Premiership matches at 8am, followed by La Liga, and then finishing with the pointy ended American football playoffs at 2:30 and 6pm.
 
We finish a great week of football with two massive matches in the Prem. Sunday morning (6:30am) Manchester United kicks off against Liverpool live from Old Trafford, in what is sure to be a cracker of a match. Brendan Rodger's Liverpool recently acquired some reinforcement in the form of Daniel Sturridge, who may partner up front with Luis Suarez. United, who hold a comfortable seven point advantage at the top of the table, will be difficult to beat at home. Although the Red Devils have shown a bit of weakness in the back, they have more than made up for it with their incredibly potent strike force. The goals could be plentiful in this one. Directly following this match, we have another big fixture to look forward to, with Arsenal hosting Manchester City at the Emirates. Last year this was a tightly contested battle, that was won on a late goal by Mikel Arteta. Arguably that win saved Arsenal's season and Champions League aspirations, and this match will be just as crucial for them in their fight for the top four. City sit seven points astride of United, and can not afford to slip any further behind if they want to defend their title. Expect a nervy affair here, where both sides will be desperate for the win, but careful not to lose. The day finishes with Barcelona travelling to Malaga in La Liga, and more American Football.
 
Last but not least, Congrats to Abby Wambach and Lionel Messi for winning FIFA's World Players of the Year! Two class acts that are much deserved of the prestigious Ballon d'Or.
 
On the Horizon
 
Next week FA Cup 3rd Round replays fall midweek, and the highlight matches of the weekend include Chelsea v Arsenal, Tottenham v Manchester United, and Valencia v Real Madrid.
 
This Week's Football
 
Tuesday January 8th
Bradford City v Aston Villa 12:45pm (League Cup Semifinal)
Lazio v Catania 1pm (Coppa Italia Quarterfinals)
Valencia v Osasuna 3pm (Copa Del Rey Tape Delay)
 
Wednesday January 9th
Sevilla v Mallorca 11:30am (Copa Del Rey)
Real Madrid v Celta Vigo 1:30pm (Copa Del Rey)
Chelsea v Swansea City 10pm (League Cup Semifinal Tape Delay)
 
Thursday January 10th
Getafe v Atletico Madrid 11:30am (Copa Del Rey)
Barcelona v Cordoba 1:30pm (Copa Del Rey)
 
Friday January 11th
Paris St. Germain v Ajaccio 1pm (Ligue 1)
Athletic Bilbao v Rayo Vallecano 1:30pm (La Liga)
 
Saturday January 12th
Queens Park v Tottenham 5:45am (EPL)
Everton v Swansea 8am (EPL)
Norwich v Newcastle 8am (EPL)
Stoke v Chelsea 8am (EPL)
Montpellier v Lorient 12pm (Ligue 1)
Osasuna v Real Madrid 12pm (La Liga)
Denver Broncos v Baltimore Ravens 2:30pm (American Football)
San Francisco v Green Bay 6pm (American Football)
 
Sunday January 13th
Manchester United v Liverpool 6:30am (EPL)
Arsenal v Manchester City 9am (EPL)
Atlanta v Seattle 11am (American Football)
Malaga v Barcelona 1pm (La Liga)
New England v Houston 1:30pm (American Football)
 
Monday January 14th
Getafe v Granada 12pm (La Liga)

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