A weekly insight into local, national, and international soccer, “Anything but Quakes” previews the best matches of the week ahead.
Game of the Week:
Manchester City vs. Manchester United, Sun. Dec. 9, 5:30 a.m. PST, Fox Soccer Channel
The Etihad Stadium will play host to the Manchester derby, headlining this week’s Barclay’s Premier League matchups. United and City sit at the one and two spots respectively atop the league summit after 15 matches played.
United’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson may be closing in on his tenure after 27 seasons at the helm but the Scotsman has once again put his team in the top spot. United’s “noisy neighbors”, though, are right on their rivals’ heels – only three points behind Manchester United – after securing 36 points.
If Wayne Rooney’s February 2011 bicycle kick was any indication, expect fireworks between the two sides. Former Arsenal hitman, Robin Van Persie, leads the Red Devils with 10 strikes on the year. Supersub Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko paces City with six goals.
Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund: Tues. Dec. 3, 11:45 a.m. PST, Champions League
Sunday’s derby aside, Manchester City face a must-win situation against Group D leaders Borussia Dortmund. With just three points from five matches, Roberto Mancini’s side are desperate to advance to the knockout stage.
Chelsea FC vs. FC Nordsjaelland: Wed. Dec. 4, 11:45 a.m. PST, Champions League
Recent managerial appointment Rafa Benitez enters Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with one goal in mind: securing his first win for his employers. After enduring two ties and a loss, Benitez needs three points to ensure that his third-place Chelsea are eligible of making the knockout round. Chelsea currently sits with seven points. Danish side FC Nordsjaelland only has one tie through five matches.
NCAA College Cup:
Division 1 Men’s Semifinals and Finals: Friday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 9
Creighton, Indiana, Maryland, and Georgetown make up the Final Four. Maryland looks to be the favorite after having earned their sixth College Cup appearance in 11 seasons. Sasho Cirovski’s Terrapins will face College Cup newcomers, Georgetown, in one semifinal while Indiana is pitted against Creighton in a Midwestern matchup. Quakes’ players Jed Zayner and Brad Ring will push for their Indiana Hoosiers as they enter their 18th College Cup. Zayner won the national championship in 2003 and 2004 and Brad Ring suited up for Indiana from 2005 to 2008.