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Thursday, May 02, 2013

OT: The Soccer Thread, May 2013

This is it, the biggest month of the year for soccer. Some key games/dates:

May 2nd: Europa League semifinals—Benfica v Fenerbahce and Chelsea v Basel

May 4th: Final day of the season in England’s second division. Wolves look done but Barnsley will attempt to escape the drop. Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest and Leicester City will try to snatch the last play off spot from Bolton while Hull needs a win to secure automatic promotion or risk losing it to Watford.

May 8th: Chelsea v Tottenham

May 9th: Dutch Cup final featuring America’s own Jozy Altidore for AZ Alkmaar

May 11th: FA Cup Final—Wigan v Manchester City

May 14th: Arsenal v Wigan

May 15th: Corinthians v Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores

May 17th: Copa del Rey final between REal Madrid and Atletico Madrid

May 18th: Last day of the Bundesliga. Possibly the 4th CL spot will be at stake while Danny Williams and Fabian Johnson will try to escape relegation with Hoffenheim.

May 19th: Last day of the EPL. Wigan v Aston Villa in a possible relegation playoff, but who knows. Also the last day for Serie A.

May 25th: CL final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich

May 26th: Italian Cup final between Lazio and Michael Bradley’s Roma. Ligue 1 also finishes up.

May 29th: La Liga finishes up. Also, USA in a friendly with mighty Belgium. Yikes!

May 31st: Mexico hosts African champs Nigeria in a friendly. Also, the last day of peace before TRANSFER MADNESS.

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 02, 2013 at 07:40 AM | 1617 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 02, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4431768)
May 15th: Corinthians v Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores


Boca took the first leg 1-0 at home last night. The first legs of the knockout phase conclude tonight with Fluminense at Emelec and Atletico MG at Sao Paulo.
   2. puck Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4431847)
Nice lead-in! A Wednesday (La Liga, May 29) seems like an odd day to have the last "week" of the season. But I guess if June 1 is the transfer window, it's a good reason to the season before that.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4431869)
Nice lead-in! A Wednesday (La Liga, May 29) seems like an odd day to have the last "week" of the season. But I guess if June 1 is the transfer window, it's a good reason to the season before that.

Yeah, I have no idea why they do that. It doesn't allow for much of a break for the players, either, having the final games so late in May. Soccer player must be incredibly envious of American athletes and their long breaks every year.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4431886)
Actually, I screwed up re: La Liga. The season actually ends June 1st. I didn't look at the June schedule as I figured everything wrapped up this month. Sorry everyone!
   5. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4432083)
Nice little play by Chelsea, Lampard hits it off the post. Moses is terrible with his left and can't hit a decent follow (has to move it to his right).
   6. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4432116)
That was a *beautiful* through-ball and the goal. Nice straight passing to set up the goal, it's 2-2 and the half is about to be over.
   7. Mefisto Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4432118)
The inability (refusal?) of players to use their weaker foot drives me nuts.
   8. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 02, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4432126)
The inability (refusal?) of players to use their weaker foot drives me nuts.


What really drives me crazy is that the announcers seem to give them a pass for that too. "Oh, you'd like to see him finish but it was on his weaker left foot." Baloney, the guy is a professional soccer player, he should be expected to be at least fairly competent with both feet.
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4432132)
Wolves' situation isn't quite as awful as it appears at first glance. They've got Brighton H&A who have nothing to play for while Peterborough have Crystal Palace and Barnsley have Huddersfield who both are at least in theory in need of some sort of result.
   10. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4432140)
The inability (refusal?) of players to use their weaker foot drives me nuts.

You and me both. That really is something coaches should stress at literally every serious level, because the marginal gain in a slight improvement on a weaker foot is pretty massive in comparison to the normal effort required for that kind of gain during practice.

EDIT: Torres scores after the goalie parries Lampard's shot, Basel back down one. That's Torres' 20th goal this season, if the announcers are correct.
   11. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4432145)
Another one, this time it's Moses. Pretty awful goal (Moses kind of bobbled it in the box for a while). Great pass from Torres (? I think) to set it up, though. 2-1, 4-2 on aggregate.
   12. DA Baracus Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4432146)
One Thing MLS Can Do to Get Better Quickly (Really long)

I post it mainly because:

I've heard rumors about at least one U.S. national team player who thinks pretty highly of his potential salary in MLS, but the teams that want to sign him don't quite agree.


I wonder who that is.
   13. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4432156)
Apparently David Luiz scores really good goals against Basel (3-1, 5-2).
   14. Swedish Chef Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4432173)
There's often a very good reason for players not using their weaker foot. Like they basically have no control at all.

I should go on a rant about French airports here, but I'm airborne now and they can't harass me anymore.

   15. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4432189)
I also get frustrated with players inability to use their weaker foot foot but then I watch someone like Mata or Silva use their stronger foot I understand.
   16. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4432190)
I should go on a rant about French airports here, but I'm airborne now and they can't harass me anymore.

I'm sorry about whatever it was; everything about French airports is terrible. I have several rants of my own on that topic.

Chelsea just replaced Luiz with Nathan Ake, apparently wanting to preserve the "large bouncy hair" quota on the field.
   17. Mefisto Posted: May 02, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4432193)
There's often a very good reason for players not using their weaker foot. Like they basically have no control at all.


Sure, if you only start from their skill set today (and even in their 20s they ought to be able to improve). But as Arjun pointed out in #10, the failure to coach this at younger ages is inexcusable.

Ditto Jose at #8.
   18. Textbook Editor Posted: May 02, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4432570)
Sure, if you only start from their skill set today (and even in their 20s they ought to be able to improve). But as Arjun pointed out in #10, the failure to coach this at younger ages is inexcusable.


Amen. TE Jr. isn't fast and isn't that good defending, but god bless him he's decent with both feet and will take shots with whatever foot the ball happens to fall to without thinking twice about it; he's the only kid that seems able to do this on his team. I wish they'd drill on this much more than they do, because at least 4-5 times a game a decent chance is wasted because kids try to move the ball to their good foot to shoot and aren't able to before the defender closes them down.

It's a mystery how you could come out of any reputable team's soccer academy and not be able to dribble and credibly shoot with both feet; it just seems like the most basic of skills to learn.
   19. Mefisto Posted: May 02, 2013 at 11:06 PM (#4432584)
I don't deserve much credit for my daughter's soccer talents, but I did teach her to use both feet at a young age. She played most of her career on the left side even though she's naturally right-footed, because she could deliver a driven cross or shot with her left foot. If I can teach it, it can't be that hard.
   20. AuntBea Posted: May 03, 2013 at 12:59 AM (#4432673)
My crowning offensive achievement in soccer (I was a decent central defender with few offensive skills) was taking a wrong-footed shot from 6 yards outside the box in a game in which we were being outplayed and were trailing 1-0. Yeah the shrimp of a goalie was backpedaling and somehow forgot how to do that and jump at the same time, but the ball did go in the net.

Then again, I've seen Seamans do worse.
   21. musial6 Posted: May 03, 2013 at 01:22 AM (#4432692)
don't forget the friendly between Chelsea and Man City at Busch Stadium on May 23rd (while the Cardinals are on the west coast), just 4 days after the conclusion of the EPL season and 8 days after the Europa League Final

seriously I don't expect many big names to make the trip - especially with critical World Cup qualifying matches in June - but I can't pass up the opportunity to attend
   22. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 03, 2013 at 07:27 AM (#4432730)
An interview with the man.

"The reaction persists and, in France, it has been predominantly negative to the point where I find it almost pretentious," he says, of the country of his birth. "To say that players should not appreciate the context in which they operate is stupid. Football is like a business now.

"In England, it's more objective. People are more cool about players earning millions. It's also not whether they agree with what I say, it's that there is a respect for the fact I was man enough to say it. I must say, as well, that I have seen quite a few Spurs players kiss the badge and then fuck off. I am still here."
   23. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 03, 2013 at 07:56 AM (#4432737)
I've played football regularly for over 20 years now... my left foot still sucks.

The one thing I have noticed is that it has very little to do with actual strength of the left leg (I can leg press equally with each leg). But for some reason I can't plant my right foot in a way that sets up a shot... my brain just won't let me.
   24. Textbook Editor Posted: May 03, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4432765)
Here's an interesting question then: Is a really good left foot in soccer more valuable than a really good left-handed throwing arm in baseball? I honestly have no idea, but it seems there'd be at least more decent-paying jobs available on a global basis if you had a really good left boot.
   25. Mefisto Posted: May 03, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4432787)
The one thing I have noticed is that it has very little to do with actual strength of the left leg (I can leg press equally with each leg). But for some reason I can't plant my right foot in a way that sets up a shot... my brain just won't let me.


I'm sure there's natural variation on this, just as there is on everything. My daughter was the most two-footed player I've ever seen at any level, but only some of that is from me urging her to use her left from the very beginning. Some of it is a brain wired to be ambidextrous. So I don't mean to say that everybody should be indifferent to which foot he uses, just that if the training starts early and persists, guys who make it as far as the EPL would be at least competent to make an occasional pass or shot with the "wrong" foot.
   26. jmurph Posted: May 03, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4432793)
Gareth Barry is the worst I can think of, as far as being unable to use his weaker foot. Watching him turn and spin and contort himself so that he can avoid making even the simplest of passes with his right foot is sort of hilarious (unless he's turning the ball over disastrously, at which time it's infuriating).
   27. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 03, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4432798)
So I don't mean to say that everybody should be indifferent to which foot he uses, just that if the training starts early and persists, guys who make it as far as the EPL would be at least competent to make an occasional pass or shot with the "wrong" foot.

It's been interesting to watch Bale get better with his right foot the last few years. He's still awkward with it but he can put in a cross now and actually shoot on goal with a bit of menace with it now. But if a guy as talented and hard working as he is can't become two-footed, then I can't really throw stones at other pros who can't manage it.
   28. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: May 03, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4432834)
I've got no anecdotal soccer experience, but basketball seems like a pretty good comparison. Despite being taught from a pretty young age the importance of being able to use both hands, I still have very little confidence in my off-hand when I play pick-up. I can dribble with it, but whenever possible -- layups, driving to the rim, passing -- I try to use my right. Further, I don't think it's self evident that working on your off-hand (or foot) is a better allocation of time than getting really, really good with your strong side.
   29. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 03, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4432847)
   30. Mefisto Posted: May 03, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4432857)
@27: I think part of it is learning early. We all learn better when we're 7 than when we're 20.

CWS raises a good point. First, I think soccer offers more opportunity for the use of both feet than basketball does for the use of both hands. Second, I agree that there are trade-offs in specializing v. ambidexterity. Given my first point, I think that no professional player should be utterly unable to use his off foot (Barry is a great example; Anderson is similar). Every goalie in the world has learned to clear a ball with his off foot, even if it's just to hit the touch line. Surely players could learn to make short passes or the occasional shot.
   31. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 03, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4432864)
I'm sure there's natural variation on this, just as there is on everything. My daughter was the most two-footed player I've ever seen at any level, but only some of that is from me urging her to use her left from the very beginning. Some of it is a brain wired to be ambidextrous.

Ambipedal. But on a related note, i also throw like a girl with my left arm, so it may not be entirely unrelated...
   32. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: May 03, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4432880)
First, I think soccer offers more opportunity for the use of both feet than basketball does for the use of both hands.

This is the big one for me; a better analogy is not just soccer-basketball, but soccer skills vs. finishing around the rim - being able to finish with both hands opens up a variety of possible shots/dribbling avenues in a similar vein that being able to pass with both feet accurately/weighted well opens up a variety of passing lanes. Obviously there are major advantages to being really good with one side (Barry and, in basketball, Jeremy Lin's one-hand driving-ability prove this), but there are also advantages to being able to work with both hands (in basketball, Carlos Boozer's entire finishing ability is based on the fact that the defender doesn't know which hand he's going to finish with), but the larger field and the greater number of players seem to me that being able to pass well with both feet is a major advantage in soccer.

Speaking as someone who has spent his entire time on the wing/coaching people on the wing, right-footers who can cross even moderately well with their left feet are infinitely more valuable than right-footers who cannot (and I spent most of high school as the latter, until I realised that defenders quickly grasp that you're pushing in and force you outside, to you left, and you don't have the pace to beat everyone, or, at least, I didn't). It takes a way a vast amount of the predictability of your point of attack to not be able to cross with both feet and, if you can, you can play on both sides, which is both beneficial to the team as a whole via roster/formation construction and allows the team, in-game, to rotate/play around with methods of attack, which is extraordinarily beneficial to messing with a defence.

Of course, the best is to be really, really good with both feet, but I don't know if anyone is that :p
   33. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: May 03, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4432883)
It's been interesting to watch Bale get better with his right foot the last few years. He's still awkward with it but he can put in a cross now and actually shoot on goal with a bit of menace with it now.

@27: I think part of it is learning early. We all learn better when we're 7 than when we're 20.

I wonder if, when he was coached, there just wasn't any need, in his coaches' minds, for him to learn the right. I remember playing in middle school and being able to curve a shot the "other way" with the outside of my right (something Bale does a lot), and, as a result, never really needing to "learn to shoot" with my left because I could already shoot "like that". Bale must have been tremendous at this at a young age. Of course, this only becomes a major issue when the level of competition ramps up and, if you're as single-footed as Bale, it can be difficult to "learn the other foot" at that point. So maybe for someone who is really, really good with one foot, the marginal gains to this kind of development at the lowest level are zero? Not sure, just came to me (remembering that the few times I actually scored goals from the right wing, they were with with the outside of my right, not my left :p).

(sorry for not condensing into one post! Totally forgot that that was an option!)
   34. puck Posted: May 03, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4432888)
If you only have one hand in basketball, you better be damn amazing with it. The other 99.99% of the population needs to do what they can to improve their off-hand so they can at least dribble enough to keep defenders honest and make layups with it. I don't know if it's the same with soccer, but I assume it is.
   35. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 03, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4432893)
I remember playing in middle school and being able to curve a shot the "other way" with the outside of my right (something Bale does a lot), and, as a result, never really needing to "learn to shoot" with my left because I could already shoot "like that". Bale must have been tremendous at this at a young age. Of course, this only becomes a major issue when the level of competition ramps up and, if you're as single-footed as Bale, it can be difficult to "learn the other foot" at that point.

Supposedly when he was in grade school (or the British equivalent) he was so good the teachers made him play with his right foot to keep things sort of fair. I imagine that if Bale were to play with his right foot in a pick up game, all the other players would be amazed by how good he was with it. It's only in the context of his competition that he looks clumsy with it, I think. It's like how we make fun of Johnny Damon throwing like a girl when, in actuality, he probably throws a lot harder than any of us do. (Then again, maybe Johnny Damon isn't such a good example!)
   36. Mefisto Posted: May 03, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4432904)
I wonder if, when he was coached, there just wasn't any need, in his coaches' minds, for him to learn the right.


I think that this definitely plays into it, though the coaches are short-sighted in thinking this way. I'm probably more sensitive to it because I work with girls. They often lack the leg strength to use the outside of the foot the way men players do, so they really need the off foot.

Of course, the best is to be really, really good with both feet, but I don't know if anyone is that


Santi Cazorla is excellent with both feet. Of the great players, CR7 takes a mean left-footed shot. Messi and RVP are both very left-footed, but I've seen both take good shots with the right when they needed to.
   37. jmurph Posted: May 03, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4432911)
RVP are both very left-footed, but I've seen both take good shots with the right when they needed to.


Which is funny, because he once referred to his right as his "chocolate leg."
   38. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: May 03, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4432915)
In the basketball comparison, I'm taking it as a given that there's a baseline level of competency with the weak hand for professionals. I guess what I'm referring to is being able to perform certain moves with the weak hand that will actually be useful at the highest level. Take, for example, a post-man making a rather simple drop-step baby-hook into the lane from the block. I could be wrong on this, but I can't immediately think of any NBA players who can make that move comfortably with both their left and their right(*). Heck, it's a hard enough move to master on your strong hand, given the level of NBA defenders' athleticism. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't disagree that it's nice to be able to use both feet/hands comfortably, but rather that it's a bit more complicated than, "just practice with it some more".

(*)In a game situation, in case that's a necessary addition.
   39. Ron J2 Posted: May 03, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4432950)
#8 I feel the same way about this as I feel about the way oh so many people say that anybody who makes the majors should be able to get a bunt down.

Reflex plays on the weaker leg are tricky.
   40. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 03, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4433072)
   41. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 03, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4433095)
One Thing MLS Can Do to Get Better Quickly (Really long)

I read most of it. I generally agree that MLS is being overly restrictive on Americans from abroad coming home. They should be making the league MORE attractive to those guys.

Also, just because...

Ryan Howard: Spurs fan
   42. Mefisto Posted: May 03, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4433117)
Stu Holden will back in USNT camp. That's three very long years, but he made it.
   43. J. Sosa Posted: May 03, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4433147)
I enjoyed the discussion regarding pro players being unable to use their off foot. It has always driven me crazy like Mefisto says. In my opinion, there isn't any excuse for it. It amazes me how many players even our U18 squad can reduce to a fraction of their normal effectiveness by simply making the opposing player use his off foot. From my limited, anecdotal experience, will and coachability is a part of it. There is a kid on our U12 that just will not work on his left foot. Chips, crosses, etc. he will work on to exhaustion with his right foot. But not his left foot. He's like a reverse Arjen Robben, always cuts in on his right foot to shoot. And the thing is the kid is not lazy. He works extremely hard. Just not on his left foot.

As for my sons, by U8 level not being able to use your left foot is not acceptable. Again, speaking anecdotally a lot of players seem to blow off a coach that starts telling them their off foot should be as good as their dominant foot. I don't teach that. I teach the kids that your off foot just has to be a threat so the opposition has to play you straight up and the off foot just has to be able to hit an open shot. With practice most kids can do better than that, but it is a good objective to start with.

Kids seem to do better if they get it out of their heads that they have to be some type of ambidextrous freak of nature, just in my experience. Some of the kids do have more of a knack for it, but it’s something that can be taught provided the player makes an honest effort.
   44. Mefisto Posted: May 03, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4433164)
I've used Ali Riley as an example before. She learned to make a left-footed cross when she got to college. Believe me, she was a very right-sided player all through high school. She worked damn hard at it and now she makes a competent left-footed cross. It can be done.
   45. J. Sosa Posted: May 03, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4433168)
Another post to add:

What FPH says is true. It is hard to explain but it is for lack of a better term painful to force yourself to use the off foot. Something with the way the brain is wired. Also, to echo Mefisto the older kids are harder to teach. Whether that is because they are more bull headed or less able to adapt I don't know. Probably both.
   46. Ron J2 Posted: May 03, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4433211)
#44 (and others) Sorry, but to me what you're saying is equivalent to why aren't players as effective as Pirlo on a dead ball. Or something similar.

If it's easily teachable and as obviously useful as you folks seem to think it is, acadaemdy trained players would have the skill.
   47. J. Sosa Posted: May 03, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4433272)
re:46

That is not was I was getting at in #44. No, not everyone can be Ronaldo with each boot as I thought I made clear by referencing a basic level of competency. But I didn't think Ronaldo or Pirlo was the bar we were using. I'm talking about PL players that can't make a simple pass or hit an open net in the box with their off peg. That is inexcusable.

Mefisto and I never said it was easy or easily teachable. It involves a lot of hard work and patience. But yes, with work even a U8 player should be able to one time a grounded pass into the net from the box, hit a pass, and make basic dribbles with their off foot.

As for academy players, if they are a net positive to their team or (eventually) employer they play flaws and all. Whether they are a well-rounded player or as finished as they should be is up to the will and effort of the player. I am purely speaking from a coaching perspective. Whether Mark McGwire could bunt or run or field wasn't an issue because his strengths were so good. But that doesn't mean he should never work on his base running, fielding, etc. to get better. That's the issue to me; it shows a lack of effort and professionalism. It’s no different than a pro player failing a fitness test.

I take no offense at your comments. I can only tell you what I see working as a coach. I don't claim to know what is required for pro players. Our best players are only D 1 quality and are not up to the standard of the national team.
   48. Mefisto Posted: May 03, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4433307)
Completely agree.
   49. Ron J2 Posted: May 03, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4433322)
#47 Disagree as to the work ethic issue. My point in bringing up academy trained players was that if it's teachable and a cost-effective use of a player's development time they will get it taught to them.

I think the basic point is that anybody who gets to any kind of proficiency at soccer is likely an outlier on their dominant side. And it's just flat a lot harder than you and Mefisto and others make it out to be to reach an acceptable level on the other side.

Which isn't to say that I don't find it annoying when somebody can't execute a simple play on his non-dominant foot. I'm just not surprised and don't think it's something fixable with minimal effort.
   50. Swedish Chef Posted: May 03, 2013 at 06:17 PM (#4433374)
Mourinho's agent: 80% chance that Jose will manage Chelsea next season

It looks certain he won't be at Real in any case.
   51. Swedish Chef Posted: May 04, 2013 at 07:21 AM (#4433770)
Bolton v Blackpool: a win for Bolton secures their play-off spot
Brighton v Wolves: Wolves need to win this to retain any hope of staying up, but even then they'll need Barnsley and Peterborough to both lose, and make up a four-goal deficit on the latter.
Crystal Palace v Peterborough: Both desperately need the points. A draw will probably be enough to secure Palace a play-off spot, unless Bolton and Forest both win, the latter heavily, while Boro need a win to be (pretty much) certain of retaining their divisional status.
Derby v Millwall: The Lions will be certain of staying up with a win, almost certain with a draw, but will be looking over their shoulders at what Barnsley, Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday do if they lose.
Huddersfield v Barnsley: Barnsley are in the drop zone. A point might do, but they'll require Peterborough to lose if that's going to suffice. The Terriers are safe, unless they lose this, Peterborough and Wednesday win, and Millwall get a draw. Then they'll be going down (unless Blackburn lose by at least 14 goals at Birmingham, which really would put the tin lid on a season of indignities).
Hull v Cardiff: A home win against the champs will see Hull promoted.
Forest v Leicester: Both could snatch a play-off place. A draw will do for Forest should Bolton lose, and yet a win might not be enough if Bolton win and Palace get a point. They'd need to make a few goals up on the pair if that's how it pans out. It's win or bust for the Foxes, meantime, but if they manage it they'll grab that last play-off spot should Bolton fail to win.
Wednesday v Boro: The home side need to win against Tony Mowbray's poor, confused outfit. Everyone wins against Tony Mowbray's poor, confused outfit.
Watford v Leeds: A point will be enough to win promotion for the Hornets should Hull lose. A win will be enough should Hull draw. But if Hull win, it's the play-offs for Zola's lads.
   52. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 07:58 AM (#4433773)
As of this minute, Barnsley and Wolves are relegated, Forest takes Bolton playoff spot.
   53. Swedish Chef Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:03 AM (#4433774)
And now Peterborough is relegated instead.
   54. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:04 AM (#4433775)
Update: Now Barnsley are safe at the expense of Peterborough.
   55. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:07 AM (#4433776)
Bolton are down a goal so their playoff hopes on life support as of now.
   56. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:11 AM (#4433777)
And just as I say that Forest are equalized by Leicester City so Bolton only a point back with the GD advantage.
   57. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:16 AM (#4433778)
Peterborough take the lead on Palace so Palace's playoff spot in now in jeopardy and Huddersfield takes a relegation spot.
   58. Swedish Chef Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:19 AM (#4433780)
Relegation spot at 57 points, play-off spot at 68. Sick!
   59. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:20 AM (#4433781)
Relegation spot at 57 points, play-off spot at 68. Sick!

It's like the NFL!
   60. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:21 AM (#4433782)
Middlesbrough really lucky the season is ending today.
   61. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:23 AM (#4433783)
Bolton are up to their necks now--down 2-0 to Blackpool.
   62. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:29 AM (#4433784)
The good news is Wolves should be the early favorites in League 1. Just incredible they are getting relegated again.
   63. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:30 AM (#4433785)
This mess in the Championship is a ton of fun. I added BeIN sport to my cable package recently and I can see myself becoming a big fan of this league next year. It seems like right now the lower team in the standings is winning all the games.

And now Leeds score!
   64. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:31 AM (#4433786)
Leicester City with a goal and are now in the 4th playoff spot.

So, as of now:

Promoted

Cardiff
Hull

Playoffs

Watford
Brighton
Crystal Palace
Leicester

Relegated

Huddersfield Town
Wolves
Bristol City
   65. Swedish Chef Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:33 AM (#4433788)
I've been in Leicester, pretty dreary place, they deserve a bit Premier League football.
   66. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:33 AM (#4433789)
OK, so 16 minutes of injury time is the most I've ever heard of.
   67. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:34 AM (#4433790)
Jebus, *16* minutes of injury time @ Watford/Leeds???

Had to be a potential neck/spinal injury to the keeper ...

Yikes.
   68. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:34 AM (#4433791)
OK, so 16 minutes of injury time is the most I've ever heard of.

That Watford game has had two serious injuries. Do they delay all the second half restarts?
   69. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:35 AM (#4433792)
Bolton with a goal! Hope flickers...
   70. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:35 AM (#4433793)
Bolton equalize! Holy ####!
   71. Swedish Chef Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:36 AM (#4433794)
And Peterborough is down.
   72. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:37 AM (#4433795)
Things are changing too fast for me to keep up!
   73. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:38 AM (#4433796)
All who Wanderers are not lost!!!
   74. Swedish Chef Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:38 AM (#4433797)
Do they delay all the second half restarts?

No.
   75. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:41 AM (#4433798)
Watford with a goal. They still have a chance for that last promotion spot.
   76. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:47 AM (#4433799)
Ravel Morrison scored for Brum. I was wondering where that guy went.
   77. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:52 AM (#4433800)
Wish BeIN did a better job of showing highlights from all the day's CH action, although I imagine that means they only have cameras at a couple of the high profile matches ....
   78. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:55 AM (#4433801)
Oh crushing for Hull!!!
   79. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:57 AM (#4433802)
Bolton back in the playoffs...for now.
   80. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:57 AM (#4433803)
Through ball!

Cool Shot!!

Goal Cardiff City!!!
   81. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4433804)
How does he miss that????
   82. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4433805)
Double crushing for Hull with that missed shot ...
   83. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4433806)
Are we rooting for Hull or Watford?
   84. Swedish Chef Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4433807)
And now Bolton is in and Barnsley is out.
   85. Swedish Chef Posted: May 04, 2013 at 08:59 AM (#4433808)
Are we rooting for Hull or Watford?

watford is more fun.
   86. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:02 AM (#4433810)
I'd like to see Hull advance just because I enjoy watching celebrations and I'd like to see them go crazy at the end of the game.
   87. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:03 AM (#4433811)
If Watford go up, will they just be full of loanees from Udinese again next season?
   88. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4433812)
There it is!!!
   89. Swedish Chef Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:05 AM (#4433813)
I'd like to see Watford advance, for their injured keeper, and for that poor kid they have in goal now.
   90. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4433814)
Hull really need that second goal, though.
   91. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:08 AM (#4433815)
watford is more fun.


Watford has a moose!

[edit] Why is their mascot a hornet, if they've got a moose?!?!?!?
   92. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:09 AM (#4433816)
Today really needed "First Round of March Madness" type of coverage from BeIN ...

HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!
   93. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:09 AM (#4433817)
And Hull have that second goal!
   94. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4433818)
Looks like Peterborough will be safe.
   95. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4433819)
Crystal Palace take the lead!
   96. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:11 AM (#4433820)
And Hull have that second goal!

Wow. Time to park the ####### bus.
   97. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:11 AM (#4433821)
Dammit, I'm wrong, it's Peterborough!!,
   98. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4433823)
As of now it's Brighton and Palace facing each other in the playoffs. Don't they hate each other for some reason?
   99. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:15 AM (#4433824)
Those free kicks either on corners or fouls from the right are deadly for Hull. Cardiff are struggling there.
   100. Swedish Chef Posted: May 04, 2013 at 09:19 AM (#4433825)
It's Huddersfield's turn to go down.
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