Each Friday I will post the top 10 or so games of the upcoming weekend (could be more or less, just depends on what is on) and give a few reasons why I am interested in the games – some will be obvious, others may not. Games will include everything from College Football, to the English Premier League, to the NHL.
- Saturday Dec. 18th
Northern Illinois (10-3) vs Fresno State (8-4) – Humanitarian Bowl (Bronco Stadium – Boise, ID) 5:30 PM ET – ESPN
Ok so this isn’t exactly the most exciting match up but it looks like the best bowl game of the weekend featuring the MAC runner-up and Pat Hill’s physical Fresno State team. Not to mention, last year’s Humanitarian Bowl produced one of the best moments of the bowl season when Idaho coach Robb Akey told viewers, “watch the second half, you’re gonna love it!” as the Vandals proceeded to win one of the more exciting bowl games of the season 43-42.
English Premier League:
- Saturday Dec. 18th
Stoke City (6-3-8 – 21 pts) @ Arsenal (10-2-5 – 32 pts) (Emirates Stadium – London, England) 10:00 AM ET – Fox Soccer Channel
Photo via sports.yahoo.com
Have struggled at home with losses to Tottenham, Newcastle, & West Brom this season. Cesc Fabreagas is expected to be back in the line up for Arsenal as he’s recovering from a hamstring injury with Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott both available after injuries themselves. Emotions could be high at the Emirates as Stoke return to the scene of where Ryan Shawcross broke Aaron Ramsey’s leg last year (pictured above). I’m interested to see how do the Gunners respond after losing at Old Trafford on Monday.
- Sunday Dec. 19th
Manchester United (9-7-0 -34 pts) @ Chelsea (9-4-4 – 31 pts) (Stamford Bridge – London, England) 11:00 AM ET – Fox Soccer Channel
The Red Devils face another of the EPL giants this week as they head to Stamford Bridge. Man U controlled the game against Arsenal last week and will look to do the same against a struggling Chelsea side this week. The Blues have just one win in their last six EPL matches but are expected to have Frank Lampard back in the line up this week. This should be a good one between two of the top clubs in Europe.
- Monday Dec. 20th
Everton (3-9-5 – 18 pts) @ Manchester City (9-5-3 – 32 pts) (City of Manchester Stadium – Manchester, England) 3:00 PM ET – ESPN2
Man City is unbeaten in their last seven EPL matches and are giving up just .43 goals per game during the streak. However, there is some uncertainty at the club as Carlos Tevez handed in a transfer request last week that the club rejected. Everton will need to play well and might need a couple big saves from Tim Howard to stay in the game. It will be interesting to see how City and Tevez perform with the recent transfer request situation.
National Football League:
- Sunday Dec. 19th
Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) @ New York Giants (9-4) (New Meadowlands Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ) 1:00 PM ET – FOX
Photo via zimbio.com
The Eagles and Giants square off on Sunday for first place in the NFC East and likely home field playoff game or two. Both teams feature balanced offenses and the ability to score points. The Giants defense appears to be slightly better than the Eagles (statistically) but the G-Men will have the task of trying to contain Mike Vick. This should be a good one between NFC East rivals on Sunday.
New York Jets (9-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3) (Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, PA) 4:15 PM ET – CBS
The Jets are coming off two straight losses and need a win Sunday to help their playoff cause but playing the Steelers at Heinz Field is never an easy task. Pittsburgh is also in need of a win to to maintain their division lead over the Ravens and solidify their playoff spot. Big Ben has proven to be one of the toughest quarterbacks in recent memory playing through a broken nose and injured toe among other ailments and could receive a pounding depending upon which Jets team shows up Sunday.
Green Bay Packers (8-5) @ New England Patriots (11-2) (Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, MA) 8:20 PM – NBC
Few teams have looked as impressive as the Patriots have the last few weeks and they’re also the only team to already have clinched a playoff spot. Tom Brady is playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play and the Patriots offense has been a scoring machine of late. The Packers will have their hands full as Aaron Rodgers is doubtful with a concussion but could play the Patriots as they try to secure an NFC playoff spot.
What games will you be watching this weekend?