Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

FC Barcelona has been unstoppable in La Liga this season, but their run to a title has suffered the kind of blow they couldn’t prepare for with any amount of skill.

Manager Tito Vilanova cancer relapse has forced him to step down while he recovers from surgery, and his team is coping with the emotional blow of Vilanova’s uncertain future.

Their first match without Vilanova on the sideline comes today, on the road against Real Valladolid. It is a match the Catalan club should win with ease, but how Vilanova’s squad performs will go a long way in showing how Barcelona will handle things without their manager.

In Italy, AS Roma take on red-hot AC Milan in Rome. Michael Bradley’s squad could put pressure on the top four with a victory, while Milan could leapfrog Roma with a victory.

In England, Tottenham takes on Stoke City in a match-up that could give us a battle between USMNT teammates Clint Dempsey and Geoff Cameron. Spurs need a win to maintain hold of their Top Four spot, while Stoke City will be trying to push their unbeaten streak to seven matches with a win at White Hart Lane.

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- ESPN2– Wigan Athletic vs. Arsenal

9am- beIN Sport– Siena vs. Napoli

9am- beIN SPort en Espanol– Inter Milan vs. Genoa (delay)

10am- Fox Soccer Channel– Manchester City vs. Reading

10am- Fox Soccer Plus– Tottenham vs. Stoke City

10am-– Newcastle United vs. Queens Park Rangers

10am-– Southampton vs. Sunderland– West Bromwich Albion vs. Norwich City

10am-– West Ham United vs. Everton

11am- beIN Sport– Cagliari vs. Juventus (delay)

Noon- beIN Sport– Real Valladolid vs. Barcelona

12:30pm- Fox Soccer Channel– Liverpool vs. Fulham

2pm- Univision Deportes– Ajaccio vs. Rennes

2pm- beIN Sport– Malaga vs. Real Madrid

2:45pm- RAI– Roma vs. AC Milan

4pm- beIN Sport en Espanol– Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Zaragoza

6pm- beIN Sport en Espanol– Roma vs. AC Milan (delay)

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50 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. yikes says:

    Dempsey with the brace in 12mins? Best game. How has no1 reported this?

  2. nato says:

    Wigan has the worst strikers. I bet Wondo could get a spot there

    • byrdman says:

      ONly thing worse is the the service they get. Besse Jour and Stam consistently find the perfect place to be at the perfect time, but once they receive the ball they repeatedly hit lousy cross after lousy cross. So frustrating to watch.

  3. brock says:

    According to TottenhamsTwitter Clint is not in the starting line up or listed as a sub..

  4. Nick says:

    Dempsey however isn’t in the 18.

  5. Peter says:

    Yahoo Sports UK lists Lletget on the subs bench for West Ham today

  6. Heft says:

    Go Potters.

  7. fieldsknicks says:

    No Dempsey today, hopefully he will be in the starting XI on Wednesday.

  8. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Cameron picks up a smart yellow, preventing Spurs from taking a quick free kick.

  9. baldomero123 says:

    Being Dempsey’s supporter for the sake of USMNT success I am concerned with his absence. Are there any news about the groin injury, or is it magical thinking? If the latter, than this passage from Jeff Carslile on ESPN dated August last looks prophetic in some way…

    “Whether Dempsey has lucked out in terms of where he landed is open to interpretation…
    But playing time would appear to be tougher to come by at Spurs as opposed to Liverpool. Dempsey’s biggest competitor for playing time will likely be Aaron Lennon, who currently occupies the right side of midfield in Andre Villas-Boas’ 4-2-3-1. And while the American certainly has a greater nose for goal than Lennon, the incumbent’s speed sets him apart.
    It’s possible that Dempsey could be deployed centrally now that Rafael van der Vaart has left for Hamburg, but with Moussa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson in the mix, the quest for first-team minutes will be far from easy, even if the American’s history has been such that he always has found a way to break into the starting lineup.”

    • Travis in Miami says:

      I think Agbondelor is his main competition.

    • john.q says:

      that’s from august. if you’ve watched his play recently he’s becoming a vital part of that mid-field. spurs fans who at first hated him have done a 180 on our dear Clint.

    • GW says:

      If you are a big Deuce fan then, instead of coming to SBI for second hand accounts of what is going on, watch his games or at least read the accounts on the internet.
      That way you can actually make up your own mind. It’s not that hard especially if you get on the UK sites. My opinion is he has increasingly made himself a more integral part of the team. Spurs are far deeper and overall more talented than Fulham was and it is a credit to Dempsey that he is playing as much as he is.

      You are, of course, free to panic over Deuce missing a game if you like but no one here can tell you what the future holds. Given how well he has played recently, which you should have known, missing a game here or there isn’t likely to signal the end of his time at Spurs, unless his replacements come in and completely light up the sky. That is possible but unlikely.

    • Gary Page says:

      Sigurdsson hasn’t been all that good and while Dembele is a great dribbler, Dempsey is a better passer and scorer. AVB may do a lot of shifting around since he has so many midfielders (Scott Parker is now back) and they are still in Europa League so will be playing a lot of games. The pairing of Defoe and Adebayor doesn’t seem to work for whatever reason, so they may go to 5 in the middle with “Defoe up top since Bale, Dempsey, and Lennon are all attacking mids.

  10. JD10UT says:

    Bradley starting today. Left side of the 4-3-3.

  11. Travis in Miami says:

    most exciting Serie A game I’ve seen for soemtime. I’m usually asleep by now. Roma – AC very open.

    • Nate Dolllars says:

      you should keep watching roma games. any team managed by zeman will never be boring. sloppy? sure. frustrating? sometimes. but boring? oh hell no.

      • Travis in Miami says:

        Good to know. My football watching has steeply declined the last 3 years – since my daughter was born. I’ll keep that in mind :)

        Ever since that US-Italy WC match in Germany I seem to enjoy ripping Italian football for some reason. #bitter #cantletgo

        • Nate Dolllars says:

          yeah, we’re actually in the same boat (kids getting in the way of soccer-watching), and i also feel the same way about serie a in general (borrrriiiinnngg), but zeman’s roma is fun to watch.

  12. beachbum says:

    now that the DeRossi rumors have been put down and it sounds like he is staying at Roma, watching him play out there, with MB deployed at left mid in a 4-3-3, has been a treat today.

  13. Eric says:

    Anybody know anything about Roma’s new stadium they want to build. I feel bad for their fans because they all show up but the Olimipico still looks so empty.

    • DS says:

      Roma is making progress on the stadium front. Latest announcement this week was that they’re considering a site at an old racetrack in the southwest of the city. Looks like a longer term thing – unlikely to see a new stadium before 2016 or 2017 (land in Rome isn’t easy to come by), but the ownership has certainly made it a priority.

  14. Joamiq says:

    Cameron was excellent today for Stoke. Spurs could have used Dempsey in this one – he’s one of the only players on the team who can break a deadlock against a tough defense with an individual moment of brilliance.

  15. g? says:

    Someone who watched Roma, how was mb90?

    • David M says:

      Didn’t watch it, but has the following summary: “The unassuming American was the engine that made possible Roma’s demolition job. Always present in midfield to break up play and get his side moving forward.”

    • Daniel says:

      Bradley was good enough. He didn’t shine but he also didn’t stand out for playing poorly. He got into good defensive positions and broke up a number of plays but today was all about DeRossi and Totti which is not a knock on Bradley. Announcers seemed to think that Bradley was a pretty sure thing to make the starting 11, and that today’s game didn’t do anything to change their minds.

    • Alex C says:

      “Beachbum”, from his above comment, seems to think MB did pretty well, but it would be nice to know some detail. I did not see enough of the game to make a worthwhile judgement.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      I watched about 30 minutes, and he was good positionally, with solid distribution, but he looked pretty poor when he was asked to make runs in the attacking third with the ball.

      it is promising to see him still in the first team lineup now that derossi’s back; since they’re pretty close to the same type of player, i think it’s an indication of how much zeman values him.