The games are coming fast and thick, and this weekend is no exception. Plus some information on the CoverItLive event for the World Cup draw.
U.S. Listings (all times EST)
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*The PSV-Vitesse will air on ESPN Deportes on delay at 8AM on 12/8
Korea Listings (all times KST)
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*Yoon Suk-Young and Park Ji-Sung will miss out as they continue to recover from injury. I believe Koo Ja-Cheol will also be out.
Watching this Weekend
A few fun matches to watch this weekend:
3) Gangwon FC vs Sangju Sangmu
Last K League shout-out for awhile. The second leg of the promotion-relegation playoff between Gangwon FC (K League Classic) and Sangju Sangmu (K League Challenge). Sangju Sangmu rolled to a 4-1 win in the first leg, meaning that Gangwon certainly has an uphill battle if they want to stay in the top flight. Is there more final day action drama in store?
2) Sunderland vs Tottenham
Sunderland will look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Chelsea midweek by taking on a recovering Tottenham Hotspur. After getting thrashed 6-0 by Manchester City, Spurs and manager Andre Villas-Boas have been slowly rebuilding their confidence. Winning their Europa League match, drawing with Manchester United, and defeating Fulham. Tottenham’s performances haven’t been convincing, and Sunderland may feel like they have a chance. Sunderland remain bottom of the table, but a win (coupled with a Crystal Palace and Fulham loss) could see them take a big step towards safety. Ji Dong-Won remains on the outside looking in, although rumors of a return to the Bundesliga persist, but Ki Sung-Yueng has become a vital part of Gus Poyet’s side.
1) Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen
Huge match in Germany, as Son Heung-Min and Bayer look to keep the pressure on Bayern Munich. It will be interesting to see how Bayer manager Sami Hyypia treats this match as Bayer has a make-or-break Champions League match next week against Real Sociedad. Dortmund also have an important Champions League match against Marseille as they look to hold off Napoli’s charge. Will either “give up” the league to Bayern in order to ensure progress in the Champions League? Or will they try to balance their commitments? Neither has a particularly deep squad (and Dortmund’s is already hampered by injuries in defense), so how both Hyypia and Klopp select their teams on Sunday could be insightful in how they view the Bundesliga race and their chances in Europe.
Cover it Live Event for the World Cup Draw
As mentioned earlier, we (or rather I as Roy and Jinseok are busy) will be attempting/trialing a live blog event for the World Cup draw this Friday. Since there will be plenty of pre-draw festivities, we’ll start the event at 11:00AM EST when the draw kicks off. There will be a post containing the event here on the blog. So check back at 11:00AM EST to join in. This is the first time I’ve used CoverItLive, so expect some hiccups on my end. Hopefully everything will go fairly smoothly and we can have a nice discussion/chat as the draw unfolds. Log-ins/profiles shouldn’t be necessary, but if you have one then you can use it so people know who they’re talking to.
Korea to Host U-20 World Cup in 2017
One final news, Korea has been selected to host the U-20 World Cup in 2017. FIFA announced their decision earlier today. Korea will select 6-8 cities to serve as hosts, and places like Seoul (duh), Incheon, Suwon, and other cities will likely be host cities. The U-20 has helped launch a number of promising young players onto bigger stages, and the hope is that 2017 will be no different. For Korean fans there is an enticing prospect that Barca youth prodigies Lee Seung-Woo and Jang Gyeol-Hee could show their stuff in their home countries (I believe both would be 20).