Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Matches To Watch This International Break

Being lazy and full of things to do, I wasn't able to post about this weekend's action. So many things happened at once, Ray Wilkins being forced out of Chelsea, Chelsea losing to Sunderland 3-0, Manchester United scoring two late goals to equalize against Aston Villa, Real Madrid grinding out a 1-0 win over Sporting Gijon, Barcelona and Villarreal both playing a fantastic game of football, and of course, the Milan derby. There were so many things to write about, I ended up writing about nothing. But I'll try and redeem myself with this flurry of international matches being played, so I've decided to compile some "Matches to Watch" during this international break.

04293813 date 10 02 2009 Copyright imago Ulmer Lingria Ronaldinho Brazil PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITA Vdig horizontal Close premiumd Highlight Friendly match 2009 try out trial National team National jersey London Football international match men Team Single pessimistic Action shot Highlight Human Beings Photo via Newscom
A return for Ronaldinho against Argentina
Argentina - Brazil

Is there a bigger rivalry in international football than Argentina/Brazil? Right now, I can't think of any, so that's a reason to keep your eye on the scoreline of this match being played at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. With Diego Maradona out, and Sergio Batista in, this Argentina team will be much more balanced than the wild and attacking side which El Diego tried to utilize. Meanwhile Mano Menezez's Brazil side is a much more creative and attacking side than Dunga's was at the 2010 World Cup. With Ronaldinho getting a call-up, Pato won't be playing because of a thigh problem, but Brazil still has Neymar and Robinho up front. This looks like it's going to be a very exciting match, full of attacking football, along with the usual fight which comes with the fierce rivalry between these two nations, my prediction is a 2-2 draw.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo heads the ball during a training session at the Luz stadium in Lisbon November 16, 2010. Portugal will play a friendly soccer match against Spain at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on Wednesday. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante (PORTUGAL - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)
We'll see what Ronaldo can do against Spain
Portugal - Spain

Spain are at the top of the world right now, having played beautiful football to win the 2008 European Championships, and the 2010 World Cup, it'll be interesting for how long they continue to dominate international football. While the chances are slim that Portugal manages to upset the current world champions, I still think that it'll be an entertaining match. Hopefully Portugal will manage to play as a team, not just through Cristiano Ronaldo, and hopefully Spain continue their brand of attacking football. A game which in my opinion will end with a high scoreline, I'm predicting a 4-1 victory for Spain.

England - France

Arsenal v Newcastle United (0-1) Premier League 7/11/2010 Andy Carroll (Newcastle United) rises above Fabianski to score winner Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom
Andy Carroll scoring against Arsenal
There's been a lot of media attention in England regarding Fabio Capello's side which will face France at Wembley Stadium. The Italian coach picked Newcastle striker, Andy Carroll, along with Championship player Jay Bothroyd, and some youngsters like Sunderland's Henderson, and Arsenal's Gibbs. Can Capello's relatively young side manage to do something against Laurent Blanc's France team which is rebuilding its reputation after a disastrous World Cup? Two teams which haven't been going through the best of times are going to battle it out, and in my opinion it'll be a really tight match. England's defence is a little sketchy with no John Terry, and maybe no Jagielka either, but if England manage to provide Carroll with good support, they'll certainly score goals. My prediction for the match is a 2-1 win for England, with Carroll the goalscoring hero.

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