December 6, 2012
After helping ESPN FC make a minor correction in their preview of the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup, it’s time to take a quick glance at some games featuring Taeguk Warriors playing abroad this weekend. We’re all getting excited about Ulsan Hyundai’s first time at the FIFA Club World Cup -well, as excited as one can get at 2 am Sunday morning. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, let’s look at Friday games first.
Note: all games listed are for US Eastern Time. Internet streaming lists should be available worldwide.
Germany, Hamburg vs. Hoffenheim 2:30 p.m. GolTV Son Heung-Min is back on the starting XI, this time he’ll be on as a front right striker. He’ll be paired up with Rudnev’s up on the left. A very different 4-4-2 formation for Hamburg, as Van der Vaart and Beister are still out injured.
England, Blackburn vs. Cardiff City 2:45 pm (tape delay5 p.m. beIN Sport) While it’s not certain, Kim Bo-Kyung is a strong contender to start in the midfield for Cardiff. He’s been starting the last several matches with generally good performances. The Tavern is very excited – this will definitely be the first time witnessing Kim play for Cardiff. Friend of the Tavern and contributor, CJay (our man in Cardiff), happens to be in Washington DC and we will be catching this match and rooting for the Bluebirds.
Germany, Augsburg vs. Bayern Munich 9:30 a.m. GolTV Koo Ja-Cheol is trying to help give a lift to Augsburg in their fight to avoid relegation. And I see they are playing Bayern Munich. Well, miracles do happen…sometimes
Germany, Nurnberg vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf 9:30 a.m. TV/Internet? Cha Du-Ri‘s experiment role as forward/midfielder may be over; in his last match, Cha was brought in the 2nd half as a defender.
England, Sunderland vs. Chelsea 10 a.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com Ji Dong-Won is unlikely to be in the 18 man roster…but wait a tic, Steven Fletcher is out injured and Martin O’Neil did bring in another youngster, Conner Wickham, to help give a shot in the arm to the Blackcats. The Tavern will wait and see…meanwhile Ji scored in a 4-0 U-21 victory over Stoke City in midweek. Regardless, he is still expected to transfer to Augsburg in January.
England, Wigan vs. QPR 10 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com (tape at 2 p.m. on Fox Soccer Plus) Park Ji-Sung and QPR eventually has to get a win to start climbing out of the relegation drop. The Tavern has also been stuck on repeat concerning QPR for some time now.
England, Swansea City vs. Norwich 10 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com (tape at noon on Fox Soccer) Ki Sung-Yeung and company are riding high after their 2-0 win against Arsenal at the Emirates last weekend. Not much doubt in the Swans ability to march up the Premier league table. Note: Ki was given high props in the Guardian’s Football Weekly Program last Monday. The football talking heads are taking stock of this Taeguk Warrior midfielder. Some notable quotes from the program: “Arsene Wenger’s absolute thundering disgust on the sideline was a magnificent sight to behold…” and
“[Arsenal] were outplayed by a team who played slick, forward, focused passing football, much like Arsenal have done for generations…with Micchu, (Leon Britton), DeGuzman and also Ki, who had a great game in central midfield for Swansea, those are the sorts of players, 5 million £ level players, that used to be Arsene Wenger’s stock in trade.” In case you want to listen to the whole program, check it out here.
England, Huddersfield Town vs. Bolton 10 a.m. TV/Internet? Some good news yesterday for Bolton, Stuart Holden came back to train with the team for the first time in about a year. He’s had an awful bout with injury recovery, rehab, and more discoveries of further knee damage. He may have turned a corner -if so, it couldn’t come at a more opportune time as Bolton has been stuck in the NPower Championship lower half of the table since the beginning of the season. Lee Chung-Yong should be getting the start, having scored 3 goals for Bolton in recent games…but it’s not certain.
FIFA Club World Cup quarterfinal, Ulsan vs. Monterrey 2 a.m. Fox Soccer, Fox Deportes (tape at 1 p.m. on Fox Deportes, tape at 2 pm on Fox Soccer)
Asian Champions League winners Ulsan Hyundai Horangi are set to clash with CONCACAF winners Monterrey in the quarterfinals. Lee Keun-Ho and 2 other players for Ulsan have been granted a few days delay in reporting for active military duty, a 2 year stint in the Army’s Sangju team, which was relegated to a new 2nd division K League. It could be their last chance to shine on a world stage in quite a while. ESPN FC writer Mark Lomas believes Ulsan has some ‘upset’ quality in it, based on their dominance and plethora of goal scoring in securing the Asian Champions League. They’re going to need a lot of that quality to first get past a fast and talented Mexican side. The next gauntlet facing the winner is the UEFA Champions League title holders, Chelsea. That match is scheduled Thursday, assuming they get past Monterrey. Conventional wisdom says Chelsea or Corinthians will clean house in this tournament. However that doesn’t take into account lurking factors like the enormous travel and time differences to make up. A jet lagged Chelsea already under turmoil with the sacking of Roberto DiMatteo may give an edge to whomever their opponent might be. Note: an interesting feature in the tournament is FIFA’s testing of advanced goal line technology. While UEFA hasn’t embraced it, goal line technology is inevitable and FIFA has narrowed down 2 different systems to try out in matches. Both systems will be put into actual use during the tournament; many are waiting to see what the results of using such technology in real time will look like. Remember: if you want to watch this live in the United States, prepare a big vat of coffee and note the start time!
Spain, Athletic Bilbao vs. Celta de Vigo 11 a.m. beIN Sport Spanish Rotating some players due to a flurry of 3 games in one week, Bermejo got his chance to start last week against Levante in place of Park Chu-Young. Bermejo didn’t score and now it’s Park’s turn on the starting XI against Athletic Bilbao. Park has gradually found his scoring groove, with 3 goals to his name this season thus far. Celta has been lacking away points, so this will be a good test for the upstarts from Vigo.