Tag Archive | "2011"

Villarreal vs. Manchester City Preview, Picks, Tips, & Analysis 11/2/11

We always knew that Group A was going to be one of the toughest groups in the Champions League group stage schedule this year. However, we didn’t know just how difficult this group was really going to be. On Wednesday, we might be facing a bit of a de facto elimination battle between Villarreal and Manchester City, as these two teams are trying to get out of the gutter in Group A.

For Man City, a 1-1-1 start to the Champions League slate was unimaginable. The team has been just so insanely efficient in the Premier League, it isn’t even funny. It went on the road and absolutely thrashed Manchester United at Old Trafford, a feat that is never easily accomplished, and it has scored 36 goals in 10 fixtures in domestically as well. The Citizens are 9-1-0 and have a +28 goal differential, and they really are off to one of the best starts that a team has ever had in this league.

It’s clear that there are just riches and riches of talent on this team. Sergio Aguero has nine goals this year, as does Edin Dzeko. Mario Balotelli has five strikes, while David Silva has three. That doesn’t even include the power of Carlos Tevez, whose antics have seen him essentially jettisoned from the squad. Perhaps getting the Tevez drama over and done with after losing at Bayern Munich earlier in the Champions League will be just what the doctor has ordered for the Citizens if they hope to get out of Group A this year.

It’s tough to say that Villarreal really needs to get three points out of this fixture, but that unfortunately, really is the case. The team is in the gutter, and it is going to be a decided underdog in this fixture, and without any real freebee matches to come, the team can’t afford to sit here at the bottom for very long.

The truth of the matter is that the faster this team gets out of European competitions, the quicker that it can focus on La Liga. This year has been a certified disaster for the Spanish side, going 2-4-4 in its first 10 matches. Before Saturday’s win against Rayo at home, the team had lost back to back matches by 3-0 counts.

In the second of those matches against Real Madrid, the team’s top striker, Giuseppe Rossi was knocked out with an ACL injury that could cause him to miss the rest of the year. He certainly won’t be around in this match and likely will not be on the bench for support either. Without Rossi, who already has three goals domestically this year and netted two just to get the team into the Champions League this year, there is a real void that Villarreal just will not be able to fill.

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These two teams met on October 18th on English soil, a match that nearly ended in disaster for the hosts. They were behind 1-0 just four minutes in, and it took an Aguero goal in the 90th minute just to pick up the three points in that crucial tie.

Villarreal doesn’t have a point yet in the Champions League, and a loss parlayed with a win for Napoli over Bayern Munich ensures that its European campaign is finished. Even a win will still keep it in last place, though at least qualification is fathomable at that point.

For Man City, a win will most likely boost it back into the qualifying territory for the UCL knockout rounds. It is currently one point back of Napoli and three behind Bayern Munich. Goal differential could be key as well, as the Citizens are currently at a -1, and even a one goal victory could still leave them on some tenuous ground going forward for the rest of this competition.

Posted in Champions League (UCL), Featured

Soccer on TV: Live Soccer Schedule (November 2011)

We love our footy here at Total Soccer Source, and not only are we keeping up with the best soccer news on the internet, but we are providing you with the complete TV schedule for soccer, the best soccer television schedule you’ll find on the internet! We’re always updating our nationally televised soccer schedule, so be sure to Bookmark This Page (Internet Explorer Only) and check back often!

Our Complete November Soccer Television Schedule Is Below!

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Full Soccer Television Schedule for Week of Monday, October 31st (Updated 10/30/11)
Tuesday, November 1st, 3:30 PM ET: KRC Genk vs. Chelsea (UCL) (FSC)
Wednesday, November 2nd, 3:30 PM ET: Manchester United vs. FC Otelul (UCL) (FSC)
Wednesday, November 2nd, 8:00 PM ET: Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado (MLS) (FSC)
Wednesday, November 2nd, 10:00 PM ET: Seattle vs. Real Salt Lake (MLS) (ESPN2)
Thursday, November 3rd, 8:30 PM ET: Houston vs. Philadelphia (MLS) (ESPN2)
Thursday, November 3rd, 11:00 PM ET: Los Angeles vs. New York (MLS) (ESPN2)
Saturday, November 5th, 8:45 AM ET: Newcastle vs. Everton (EPL) (ESPN2)
Saturday, November 5th, 11:00 AM ET: Blackburn vs. Chelsea (EPL) (FSC)
Saturday, November 5th, 1:30 PM ET: QPR vs. Manchester City (EPL) (FSC)
Saturday, November 5th, 3:30 PM ET: Novara vs. Roma (Serie A) (FSC)
Sunday, November 6th, 2:00 AM ET: Sydney FC vs. Gold Coast Utd (A-League) (FSC)
Sunday, November 6th, 9:00 AM ET: AC Milan vs. Catania (Serie A) (FSC)
Sunday, November 6th, 11:00 AM ET: Fulham vs. Tottenham (EPL) (FSC)
Sunday, November 6th, 2:30 PM ET: Napoli vs. Juventes (Serie A) (FSC)
Sunday, November 6th, 5:30 PM ET: MLS Conference Championship (MLS) (FSC)

It’s going to be quite the interesting week on the November soccer schedule, starting off with Champions League action on FOX Soccer Channel. A pair of English teams have done well thus far in the group stages of the Champions League, and neither Chelsea nor Manchester United expect to see any difficulties whatsoever midweek when they take on KRC Genk and FC Otelul respectively, especially since both sides have already claimed three points against their foes that they are taking on in this one.

More importantly is likely the MLS Cup playoffs, which are winding down towards the championship game in just a few weeks time. On Wednesday, Seattle Sounders have a huge hill to climb, as they lost in the first fixture at Real Salt Lake 3-0. Just one away goal for Salt Lake will almost certainly put it in the Western Conference Finals, where it will be waiting for either the Los Angeles Galaxy or the New York Red Bulls. Those two teams will finish off their quarterfinal home and home series on Thursday on ESPN2. Just before that though, the Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union square off for the right to go to the Eastern Conference Finals at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Saturday’s Premier League action should be intense as always, especially with so many notables going on the road. Over the weekend, Manchester City visits QPR, Chelsea heads to Goodson Park to tangle with Blackburn, and Tottenham has to go to Craveners Cottage against Fulham. All three games are televised on either ESPN2 or FSC.

Full Soccer Television Schedule for November 2011 (Updated 10/30/11)
Saturday, November 12th, 10:00 AM ET: FA Cup TBD (FSC)
Saturday, November 12th, 12:00 PM ET: England vs. Spain (FSC)
Sunday, November 13th, 1:00 AM ET: Brisbane vs. Wellington (A-League) (FSC)
Sunday, November 13th, 10:00 AM ET: FA Cup TBD (FSC)
Saturday, November 19th, 7:45 AM ET: Norwich vs. Arsenal (EPL) (ESPN2)
Saturday, November 19th, 10:00 AM ET: Manchester City vs. Newcastle (EPL) (FSC)
Saturday, November 19th, 12:30 PM ET: Swansea City vs. Manchester United (EPL) (FSC)
Saturday, November 19th, 2:30 PM ET: Fiorentina vs. AC Milan (Serie A) (FSC)
Sunday, November 20th, 1:00 AM ET: Melbourne vs. Perth (A-League) (FSC)
Sunday, November 20th, 9:00 AM ET: Juventes vs. Palermo (Serie A) (FSC)
Sunday, November 20th, 11:00 AM ET: Chelsea vs. Liverpool (EPL) (FSC)
Sunday, November 20th, 2:30 PM ET: Roma vs. Lecce (Serie A) (FSC)
Sunday, November 20th, 9:00 PM ET: 2011 MLS Cup (ESPN)
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2:30 PM ET: UEFA Champions League TBD (FSC)
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2:30 PM ET: UEFA Champions League TBD (FSC)
Friday, November 25th, 2:30 PM ET: Udinese vs. Roma (Serie A) (FSC)
Saturday, November 26th, 10:00 AM ET: Manchester United vs. Newcastle (EPL) (ESPN2)
Saturday, November 26th, 10:00 AM ET: Premier League Match TBD (FSC)
Saturday, November 26th, 12:30 PM ET: Arsenal vs. Fulham (EPL) (FSC)
Saturday, November 26th, 2:30 PM ET: Lazio vs. Juventes (Serie A) (FSC)
Sunday, November 27th, 1:00 AM ET: Melbourne vs. Gold Coast (A-League) (FSC)
Sunday, November 27th, 9:00 AM ET: Siena vs. Inter Milan (Serie A) (FSC)
Sunday, November 27th, 11:00 AM ET: Liverpool vs. Manchester City (EPL) (FSC)
Sunday, November 27th, 2:30 PM ET: AC Milan vs. Chievo (Serie A) (FSC)

Posted in Champions League (UCL), English Premier League, Featured, MLS

2011 Champions League Predictions: Previewing the Champions League Odds

We are incredibly excited to see how the best teams in the world are all going to fare in the Champions League this year, with action in the group stages starting on Tuesday. Check out our Champions League predictions for each of the groups and how we think this tournament is going to pan out!

Group A
It’s fairly clear that this is the proverbial “Group of Death.” Manchester City got rather unlucky to be placed in this group, but the Citizens are still our choice to get through. They’re +115 favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook to win Group A, but Bayern Munich isn’t all that far behind at +165. Villarreal, which finished fourth last year in the Spanish Primera, would like to think that it has a reasonable side, and in another group, perhaps it would have better fortune. Napoli, at +1040, really has very little shot at qualifying for the next round, as the two fixtures with the Azzuri are the ones that everyone expects to get points from. Napoli does play surprisingly solid defense, but this unit really doesn’t have the offensive firepower that the rest of these clubs do. Just surviving to tell about the Europa League would be quite the accomplishment, but we don’t see a team that Napoli is finishing in front of. We tend to think that both Man City (+1025) and Bayern Munich (+2000) have chances of actually winning the Champions League, but odds have it, neither will be around to see much more than the quarterfinals. A semifinal season for either would be quite the accomplishment.

Group B
Group B is a wide open group that any of the four teams can win. The favorite, of course, is Inter Milan, the traditional Italian power. At -130, this is one of the rare odds on favorites to win a group, but we aren’t so sure that it is justified. Going into Russia and Turkey are never easy tasks, and you can bet that both CSKA Moscow (+395) and Trabzonspor (+1775) are going to do everything that they can to make life a living hell on the Italians. However, the second qualifying spot is the most interesting in this group. Lille (+385) is the second favorite to make it out of this group, but it is clear that any of these three teams could find its way into the knockout rounds, just as it wouldn’t be all that surprising if any of the three don’t qualify for even the Europa League. Inter Milan (+3000) is the only team in this group that we feel has any chance whatsoever of beating the Champions League odds, and we’re fairly convinced that it doesn’t really stand much of a chance either.

Group C

Manchester United should be counting its lucky stars that it drew this type of a group. There is no doubt that the Red Devils, at -420, are going to win this ground, likely with one or two fixtures to spare. The toughest clash is going to be this first one at Benfica this week, but even a point in that match should clearly send United into the next round. At +695, the Red Devils have just a fantastic price on the odds to win the 2011 Champions League. The Portuguese side knows that it shouldn’t have all that much problem qualifying for the second round either. With FC Basel (+1950) and Otelul Galati (+3300) showing absolutely no signs of life whatsoever, Benfica should be able to coast into the knockout stages. It would be a tremendous shock for either the Swiss side or the Romanian side to stay in the Champions League longer than six matches. This is the first time that Otelul has been in this tournament, making just six appearances in European competitions before this.

Group D
Real Madrid really got a sweetheart draw as well, and the Spanish side is at -355 to win Group D. There will be no stopping this team, and we’d be shocked if Madrid ended up with anything less than perhaps 14 points. Olympique Lyon at +440 should be a qualifier for the second round unless Ajax Amsterdam (+885) can pull off some magical moments. Don’t be totally surprised by the Dutch side though, as this team is rich in history, and it’s go-for-broke offensive mentality can be a surprise to some of the best sides in the world. Ajax would be our dark horse pick to survive into Round 2. Dinamo Zagreb is one of the worst teams in this tournament in spite of the fact that it is a powerhouse in Croatia. This team is +100000 to win the Champions League and +2800 to win Group D. Just picking up a few points would be an accomplishment.

Group E
The fifth group in the Champions League could be a remotely interesting one. FC Chelsea Football Club is at -225 to win Group E and +1135 on the Chelsea odds to win the Champions League, but we just don’t see it happening. This is clearly no better than the third best team in England in our estimation, and even though it will get through this group without that many hassles, winning in the knockout rounds could be awfully difficult. The Belgian champs, Genk (+3000) are the overwhelming underdogs and shouldn’t be a challenge in the Champions League, while both Valencia (+325) and Bayer Leverkusen (+550) have legitimate chances of getting into the knockout rounds. The loser of this duo will likely become one of the favorites in the Europa League.

Group F
There is a ton of experience in Group F, and that experience could be bad, bad news for Arsenal. Of all of the favorites to win a group, the English side is the one that we are most afraid could legitimate be knocked into the Europa League… or worse… out of European competition all together. The Gunners are +135 co-favorites, and if they play in the UCL as they have in the Premier League thus far, they won’t survive this group. Olympiakos is at +1285, a price which might be worth investing in. Borussia Dortmund is carrying the German banner this year as a +135 co-favorite in Group E, and it might be a worthy play at +3800 to win this tournament. Marseille is the Wild Card of sorts in this, the second version of the “Group of Death,” but we could definitely see the French side getting into the knockout rounds.

Group G
There are going to be some happy teams in Group G, as this is the one group that doesn’t have any representatives from the biggest leagues in Europe. Here, we feature the defending Europa League champs, FC Porto, who is -110 to win Group G, but we also have APOEL (+2075), Shakhtar (+220), and Zenit St. Petersburg (+405). Russian soccer has definitely come quite a long ways over the past few years, and there is a realistic chance that this could be a rare trip into the knockout rounds for this country. The Donetsk side is the second favorite, but we know that it is a team that is there for the taking. Either way, save for Porto at +4000, there isn’t a team that is even worth thinking about winning the Champions League.

Group H
There won’t be an easier group to handicap than this one. Neither Plzen (+4700) nor BATE Borisov (+2700) have any chances whatsoever of getting through this group, and both are merely going to be fighting to perform in the knockout rounds of the Europa League in 2012. This is a group that belongs to both Barcelona (-515) and AC Milan (+425). It is just a formality that these two teams have to play six games in the group stages, and both should be considered serious, serious threats at +195 and +2800 respectively to win the Champions League.

Posted in Champions League (UCL), Europe, Featured

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