Monday, November 23, 2009

If You're Curious About the Other Football...

Might I suggest you set the DVR for Fox Sports South to record Barca-Inter at 2:30 tomorrow (or catch the replay on Fox Soccer Channel at 7). What's at stake? Well, the defending Spanish and European champions are one point behind the three-time defending Italian champions in a group in which the four teams are separated by two points. The winner is in the driver's seat; the loser is in a world of trouble. Barca are defending their crown; Inter are trying to shake the reputation of being choke artists when they step outside of Italy.

Barca comes into the game with its two best attacking threats - Leo Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic - both nursing injuries that have their statuses up in the air. Two more Barca starters - Eric Abidal and Yaya Toure - are down with the swine flu. Abidal's absence forces Maxwell, a former Inter player, into the lineup. Former Barca hero Samuel Eto'o, he of the 108 goals in five seasons for the Blaugrana, makes his return to the Nou Camp for the first time since being sold to Inter in the summer. Also returning to Catalunya is favored whipping boy Jose Mourinho, the object of intense disdain in the region dating back to the bitter Barca-Chelsea ties in 2005 and 2006.

So, to recap: massive stakes between two of the superpowers of Europe, several players meeting their former teammates, more top class players who will be starring in South Africa than you can shake a stick at, and a little coaching morbo.

No comments: