World Football Weekend Viewing Guide: More Messi, Trap Games, Dutch Defense

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterMarch 15, 2012

World Football Weekend Viewing Guide: More Messi, Trap Games, Dutch Defense

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    All hail our new EPL mascot.

    His name is John Millington. He supports Manchester City. And in the short time since he came to our attention as that hilariously pitiful crying fan, Millington has become a breakout celebrity.

    In four short days, Cryin' Man has already been interviewed by every media outlet known to man (He "wasn't crying." He was merely "frustrated and tired."), has been dubbed questionably clever names like Grim Weeper and has inspired at least one list (What? No Crissi Ronaldo?) devoted to soccer sensies.

    Most significantly, though, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini dedicated his team's title run to the Cryin' Man himself.

    That's great. Really. When Sir Alex Ferguson is lifting the Premier League trophy this May for the 10 millionth time, we'll all know who to thank.

    Anyway, before Cryin' Man's 15 minutes are up, we've drafted him into B/R's service to help us with this weekend's World Football Viewing Guide.*

    Here are five of the weekend's most watchable matches, with the Cryin' Man's seal of approval on each.*

    Follow Mike on Twitter: @MikeCummings37

    *John Millington was in no way involved in the production of this article.

The Game Most Likely to Make You Shake Your Head and Mumble Quietly to Yourself

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    Who: Sevilla vs. Barcelona, La Liga

    When: Saturday, 3 p.m. Eastern, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com

    What's Up: Lionel Messi, that's what's up.

    Dude is just plain silly. Last week he hit Bayer Leverkusen for five before bagging another brace at the weekend in La Liga.

    So, yeah, like I wrote last week, Messi is must-see TV until further notice.

    Oh, and Barcelona's other players aren't too bad either.

    Watchability: 4.5 Cryin' Fans

    Prediction: Another goal for Messi, with Cristian Tello getting on the scoresheet as well.

    Sevilla 0-2 Barca

The Big Club Most Likely to Understimate Their Opponent (at Least for a While)

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    Who: Chelsea vs. Leicester City, FA Cup quarterfinals

    When: Sunday, 10:05 a.m. Eastern, Fox Soccer Plus

    What's Up: After a "historic" comeback over some fellow also-rans from Italy, the love fest between Chelsea's over-30 brigade and new manager Roberto Di Matteo threatens to explode all over everybody.

    Didier hearts Frankie. Frank and JT are BFF 4-ever. Everybody hearts RDM (take that, AVB) and Ashley Cole, well, nevermind.

    It's all a bit much, and Chelsea would do well to remember that those golden oldies put in some serious shifts Wednesday night. Drogba, Lampard and Cole played the full 120 minutes Wednesday night against Napoli, and John Terry was subbed out in extra time.

    That means there are some achy bones this evening in West London, and all those veterans aren't about to recover as quickly as they did 10 years ago.

    Fortunately, the Blues have championship side Leicester City up next in the FA Cup. So even if they do take the better part of an hour to settle in, they should be quite OK.

    Fancy the Foxes to put a scare in them, though? Even if not, Chelsea's dysfunctional roadshow has been tons of fun to watch.

    Watchability: 3.5 Cryin' Fans

    Prediction: Leicester provides the early scare, but Chelsea recovers in time.

    Chelsea 3-1 Leicester

Biggest Trap Game

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    Who: Hertha Berlin vs. Bayern Munich, Bundesliga

    When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Eastern, ESPN Deportes

    What's Up: Bayern Munich torched Basel 7-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday. Some wise guys (OK, me) immediately started asking whether Bayern can now threaten Barca and Real.

    I think they can, but that's beside the point for now. More pressing is that this weekend they've got to get pumped up for a trip to the capital to face Hertha Berlin, who are third from the bottom of the Bundesliga table.

    This has trap game written all over it, beside it, on top of it, below it and in the footnotes.

    Watchability: 3.5 Cryin' Fans

    Prediction: Trap game.

    Hertha 1-1 Bayern

The Game Least Likely to Feature Any Defense of Any Kind

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    Who: Twente vs. Feyenoord, Eredivisie

    When: Sunday, 9:30 a.m. Eastern, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com

    What's Up: In Holland they don't have trap games. That's because almost half the table is in the title race.

    No, really.

    That's made for some entertaining games lately. None have promised more fireworks than this one.

    Third-placed Twente recently beat PSV 6-2, and on the season they've scored four goals or more nine times. Nine times.

    Sixth-placed Feyenoord? They've only scored three or more goals eight times. Pfft, amateurs.

    The last time these two teams met Feyenoord won 3-2 at home. How many will they score this time?

    Watchability: 4 Cryin' Fans

    Prediction: At least five goals but probably more.

    Twente 4-3 Feyenoord

Best Acronym Game

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    Who: Real Salt Lake vs. New York Red Bulls

    When: Saturday, 10 p.m. Eastern, Direct Kick (I'd never heard of it either)

    What's Up: It's America. We love to stick catchy bowl names on games. So this is the acronym bowl.

    Real Salt Lake vs. the New York Red Bulls (or is it Red Bull New York?). RSL vs. NYRB (or RBNY).

    I knowβ€”it's MLS. Euros gonna hate. No biggie.

    Look, RSL whipped up on David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy last week. Now it's Thierry Henry's turn with NYRB (I told you about all the acronyms). Or something like that.

    Watchability: 3.5 Cryin' Fans

    Prediction: RSL makes it 2-for-2 against the MLS' glamor boys.

    RSL 2-1 NYRB

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