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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea and Edin Dzeko of Manchester City


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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

      Wash, rinse, repeat. Lose.

  3. 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

      • 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

  4. 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!

      • 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”

    • 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.

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

    • 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

      • 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.

      • 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

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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

      • 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

    • 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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

      • 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.

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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

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