Tampa Bay and New England Heading to Wembley in 2009

Martin BentleyCorrespondent IDecember 1, 2008

The NFL have officially announced that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium in London on Oct. 25, 2009. It will be the third consecutive year that the NFL will play a regular season game at the famous stadium.

Earlier this year, the New Orleans Saints defeated the San Diego Chargers at Wembley, and last year the New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins en route to winning the Super Bowl. Next year's game is likely to be the most anticipated yet, as the Patriots are considered to be the most popular NFL team in the UK, and the Bucs will be a very difficult opposition for them.

Unlike the previous two games, which were played in Week Eight, this will be played in Week Seven of the 2009 season, so there's an extra week for both teams to shape their season after this game.

Also, the question will be answered by then as to who will be calling the signals for the Patriots. Will Tom Brady make his big return, or will Matt Cassel have kept him out? Either way, the Bucs' secondary will be in for a busy day.

Still, we're under a year away from the game, and this season's still to be decided. What's guaranteed though is that this will be a hard fought game of football, and one that will be worthy of Wembley Stadium.