BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackpool and Chelsea at Bloomfield Road on March 7, 2011 in Blackpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
win draw against FC Copenhagen yesterday that sent us through to the final eight of the Champions League, I think many of us are starting to feel a little more relaxed. While the season to date is still disappointing, we've managed to advance further in Europe's premier competition than we did last year and we seem to be in store for a summer that will see us address many of the deficincies on our squad. This weekend will be a big one though, as we have not only the draw for the remainder of the Champions League, but a huge game that will factor into whether or not we rejoin the competition next year. With that in mind, I've put together a list of several things that might be of interest to Chelsea fans this weekend along with where they can be legally found (there are always "other" streams out there, but I'm not going to list those on the site).
Chelsea have two events that they are directly involved in:
UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draw
This will be held Friday morning at 7AM EST, and can be found streaming on the UEFA website. The brackets become set after the draw, so here's hoping to see one that makes us smile.
Chelsea vs Manchester City
This is arguably the biggest game going on anywhere this weekend, regardless of what team you support. Chelsea and City are the biggest spenders in the world, both are fighting for places in the Champions League next year, and both still hold slim hopes at winning the Premier League title this season. You can catch it on FSC at 12PM EST, and you'll be able to follow the game from the game thread here. If Chelsea win the game, they move into third and really buy themselves some breathing room in regard to qualifying for the Champions League next year. A draw or a loss and we are going to be doing a lot of scoreboard watching for the remainder of the season. After the jump we'll have some other games around Europe that may be of interest to Chelsea fans.There are four Europa League games that might catch your interest today. Unfortunately I don't have legal streams for any of them, but if you have the time and can find a place to watch them here they are:
Manchester City vs Dynamo Kiev
This game starts at 2 EST, with City trailing on aggregate 0-2. An away goal by Kiev could sink City, so they won't be resting their top guys like we did yesterday. Here's hoping for a game that slips into added time...
Spartak Moscow vs Ajax
Ajax have struggled this year since selling Luis Suarez to Liverpool. They are currently sitting in 3rd in the Eredivisie, and may not qualify for the Champions League next year. Gregory Van der Weil is rumored to be a target of ours this summer, so this may be a great chance to watch him play for those of you who have't seen him. Ajax lost the home leg 1-0, so they have to score on the turf to advance. Expect to see Van der Weil marauding forward because of this. This game is at 2 EST
Paris St. Germain vs Benfica
We've already raided Benfica for David Luiz and Ramires, but in doing so we sent them promising midfielder Nemandja Matic. He may not play for them today, but it may be worth flipping on anyway. PSG lost the away leg 2-1. This game is also at 2 EST
Liverpool vs Braga
This really has no bearing on Chelsea, but Joe Cole may play and it's always fun to watch Liverpool lose games Then again, you may just like to see English teams win. They trail 0-1 on aggregate, so there is every chance they get knocked out of Europe today. The game starts at 4:05 EST.
Saturday brings us a few interesting matchups as well, here's a few that caught my eye:
Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham
This London derby will have major implications on both the relegation battle and the race for the top 4. A Spurs loss will take quite a bit of pressure off for Sunday's matchup. The game can be found on ESPN 2&3 at 8:30AM EST
Manchester United vs Bolton
This game will be on FSC at 11AM EST. United are top of the table, so their dropping points has obvious benefits. Bolton currently sit 7th, but with Birmingham winning the Carling Cup only the top 6 will go to Europe (top 5 if United or City lose the FA cup final as well). Daniel Sturridge has been on fire during his loan to Bolton, let's hope he does us a big favor by netting on Saturday.
This game will be on Fox Soccer Plus at 11EST, and Arsenal should win. United dropping points does us no good if Arsenal play well for the remainder of the year, so keep an eye on this one.
This game will be at 1:30 EST on FSC, and it's a chance to see Gael Kakuta play (hopefully). The result really has no bearing on Chelsea, so if Kakuta has the day off I'll likely pay very little attention to this one.
Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz 05
This game can be found at 1:30PM EST on ESPN 3. It has absolutely no bearing on Chelsea, but if you haven't seen them play Borussia Dortmund are worth watching. At this point they are dominating the Bundesliga. If I had to choose to play either Dortmund or Barcelona in the Champions League tomorrow, I'd probably rather draw Barca. If they manage to hold onto all of their players next year, they are going to be the team everybody wants to avoid in the group phase draw. Make it a point to check them out this year, they may be the best team in Europe.
Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid
This game will be at 5PM EST on ESPN 3. Atletico have been awful this year, while Madrid are still within reach of Barcelona. Sergio Aguero has been a long time target, and it will be interesting to see if he stays if Atletico fail to qualify for any European competition. There's also that guy coaching Real...
Santos FC vs Bragantino
I don't have a TV listing for this one, but if you can see it there are two players to watch. Ganso is a 20 year old attacking mid, and Santos have made their intention clear to sell him to the highest bidder this summer. Frankly, they likely need the money to continue to pay Neymar. You'll be seeing a player profile for him here soon, so this is a chance to watch him play. We've been very heavily linked to him, and I'd expect he ends up either here or at Inter. Neymar is a one man wrecking crew, and every chance you get to watch him do his thing is worth taking. He's far too good to still be in Brazil, and if Santos sells (they don't want to) you'll be able to count the clubs that can afford him on one hand (without your thumb). This one will start at 5:30 EST.
Brazil U17 vs Paraguay U17
This game will be on at 9PM EST on ESPN 3. It's really only of note for Chelsea fans due to Lucas Piazon whom we signed this week. Piazon is wearing #19 and has been playing as a striker and attacking center midfielder for the squad. In all likelihood, the broadcast won't be in English.
There are also three games of note on Sunday besides the Chelsea contest:
Sunderland vs Liverpool
Sunderland sit 8th, Liverpool sit 6th. This game will have a major impact in the race for the final European place, but Bolton or Stoke winning the FA cup could render the result meaningless. Liverpool still have an outside shot at finishing 5th if Spurs struggle to close the season. The game will be on Fox Soccer Plus at 9:30 EST.
Udinese vs Catania
Udinese are really of note here because of Chelsea target Alexis Sanchez. He's good. He's going to be expensive. He's going to be more expensive if Udinese remain in 4th and qualify for the Champions League next year. If you haven't seen him, here's your chance. He'll be on at 9:55AM EST on ESPN 3, so this game should finish about 10 minutes before the start of the Chelsea game.
Napoli vs Cagliari
Like Udinese, Napoli are in the hunt for the Champions League and have a player likely to draw the interest of all the big clubs in Europe. Marek Hamsik is really good, and while I doubt we end up signing him over some of our other targets, he'll certainly be worth watching if the NCAA tournament bores you.