It’s Friday (still, barely, in some parts of the world) which means it’s time to gaze out from between the bars of your cell window and plot your escape through the football matches ahead. The chase will be fierce, but the cover will be exquisite. I’m thinking of hiding in…
- The African Cup of Nations: Cameroon-Zambia and Egypt-Sudan should both be interesting (Cameroon are in trouble after being destroyed by Egypt in the first match; Egypt look like one of the best teams in the tournament and can prove it against Sudan) but my heart is with Senegal-Angola on Sunday afternoon. Group D is wide open at the moment and a win for Angola against a favored Senegal team will go a very long way toward ensuring a pass to the next round. (Sunday at 17:00 GMT; 12PM US Eastern time)
- The FA Cup: There are some fun fourth-round matchups—will a week with Kevin Keegan enable Newcastle to compete with Arsenal? Will Derby lose to the 22nd team in the Championship table? Can Havant and Waterlooville stop the world on its axis at Anfield?—but Manchester United-Tottenham is clearly the match of the weekend. Spurs are fresh from skipping through the high grass sprinking flowers on the grave of Arsenal, and Juande Ramos is good in the cups (have you heard?) All Man Utd have is a vastly more talented squad. Anyway, this one is just behind Tottenham v. the transfer window on the list of the most potentially exciting matches of the week to come. (Sunday at 14:00 GMT; 9AM US Eastern time)
- Real Madrid v. Villareal: Villareal have tied Barcelona and badly beaten Valencia in their last two games, which puts them at third in the table, with the chance of moving within two points of Barça if they manage to win at the Bernabéu. But Real Madrid (first in the table, obviously) haven’t lost outside the Copa del Rey in a long, long, lonely, lonely time. (Sunday at 20:00 GMT, 3PM US Eastern time)
Which games are you looking forward to? I’d love to hear your reports on whatever you happen to watch, so as you skulk toward the state line, please consider the comments section a safe haven in a comfortable part of the swamp.