By Kevin Koczwara
Liverpool v Burnely (ESPN 2 Sat 9:45 a.m.)
Why watch this game you are surely asking me? I have two answers for you:
1. The game is in beautiful High Definition on ESPN 2. If you have watched a game in HD on ESPN recently, then you know why I am suggesting this game. The picture is outstanding, making the game more enjoyable. The Reds jerseys glisten over the green grass of the pitch. Hopefully this year ESPN decides to spend the money and show Champions Leagues games in HD. It makes every game easier to watch, and more enjoyable.
2. This may be a stretch, but this game will be tough for Liverpool. Burnley will present a challenge for the struggling Reds. Benetiz’s crew just aren’t up to snuff, yet anyways. And the squad could be looking ahead to their Champions League match later in the week. And Zonal marking has made every set piece interesting for Liverpool, and their opponents. I see some goals being scored, but Torres and Gerrard pulling the Reds out with a win.
Outcome: 3-1 Liverpool over Burnley.
Tottenham v Manchester Utd. (FSC Sat. 12:30p.m.)
This is the Spurs chance to prove that they really are what their record says they are (unbeaten EPL play). It is also a chance for Manchester United to put the Spurs in their place, and make it known that Sir Alex and his squad plan on defending their title.
The key for Tottenham is how newly acquired Niko Kranjcar fits into the Spurs line-up, filling in for fellow Croatian international and injured center midfielder Luka Modric who was having a sensational year. Look for Robbie Keane and Aaron Lennon to make an impression for Tottenham and try and help Kranjcar adjust to the squad’s style of play.
For Man U. look for the normal culprit upfront, Wayne Rooney, to put in a big goal or make a huge play on the defensive side while tracking back. Rio Ferdinand might also make his season debut, look for him to be rusty, but a big boost to the Red Devils if he does get on the field.
The big question mark for me will be if Anderson plays. If he does, look for him to show Sir Alex what has been missing in the United midfield, an attacking option from a central midfielder in the build-up.
I can’t wait to see the result of this one.
Outcome: Manchester United 2-1 over Tottenham.
Pick Of the Week: VfL Wolfsburg VS Bayer Leverkusen (Sat. 9:30 a.m ESPN360.com)
Leverkusen is atop the German table. Wolfsburg is the reigning champs with record setting attack. This is a chance for Leverkusen to set the pace atop the Bundesliga (the most entertaining league in the world). It is also a chance for Wolfsburg to gain ground in the hunt for the Bundesliga title.
Leverkusen is +7 in goal differential. They have been playing great football to start to campaign. And this is a chance for them to make it known they are going to be in contention all year round.
Wolfsburg is a -1 in goal differential. They are looking for their record setting strikers of a year ago to pick-up the pace again and begin to blow teams away. They are coming off a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich two weeks ago, and need to prove that last year was not a fluke.
Outcome: Woflsburg 4-2 over Bayern Leverkusen.
Getafe VS Barcelona (Sat 12 p.m. GolTV Replay Sun at 7 p.m.)
Barcelona looks to continue their winning ways in week 2 of La Liga after winning easily in their first match against Sporting Gijon. The epic treble of last year is in their eyes again, and the addition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Inter looks to be a positive for the record setting club.
Barcelona’s opponent, Getafe, looks to improve upon last year’s performance,a voiding relegation by the slimmest of margins (1 goal in goal differential). Winning the first week of the season was a big step for the club, but now they have to face the Catalan giants, who have improved upon last year’s squad (if that could be done). This shouldn’t be an entertaining game in that it will be close, not it should just be a slaughter for the more powerful Barcelona, but it will be a chance for fans to maybe see some new faces in the line-up, some up and coming stars from the famous Barcelona academy.
Outcome: Barcelona 4-0 over Getafe.
Kevin Koczwara is the creator, and a contributing writer and editor for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow The Soccer Guys on twitter @TheSoccerGuys. You can follow Kevin on twitter @kkoczwara. Look out for his new blog in the coming week on all things pop-culture.