You were good when you wore this shirt. What happened?
[Ed. Note: I'm still in a daze over Beckham joining Milan after Christmas, so forgive the light, well, non-existent posting this morning. Thoughts on that at some point.]
See, I told you there'd be barely any goals in the CL yesterday. Tuesday stole them all, dammit!
Considering we have Villa and Spurs fans reading along, today is their day. All the big clubs are tucked up in bed after their big, important European adventures, and today, it's the kids' turn in Little Cup. To which exotic destinations will these brave clubs travel? What languages might they need to speak? Will we have heard of any of the teams they're playing?
(I could keep going, but I won't)
In light of David Bentley's "bit shit" comments last night, which surely served as the perfect digestif to Juande's long lunch spent staring into the abyss and drooling, we will have some fun watching just how Spurs manage to corral their flabby, directionless collective into a coherent 90 minutes in Italy. Or maybe Ramos will just use the opportunity to check out Serie A "wanted" ads.
After the jumps, lineups, fun, and your colourful comments. It's a good day to be alive.
Udinese v. Spurs
Udinese: Handanovic, Motta, Coda, Domizzi, Lukovic, Inler, D'Agostino, Isla, Sanchez, Quagliarella, Di Natale.
Subs: Koprivec, Sala, Ferronetti, Pasquale, Obodo, Pepe, Floro Flores.
The Serie A club known as the "Little Zebras" are at virtually full-strength, anchored by an alarming number of Chileans. Alexis Sanchez and Mauricio Isla anchor the midfield, and the strike partnership of Italian National side fringe players Antonio Di Natale and Fabio Quagliarella should thrive against the visibly-aloof Spurs back 4.
According to his wikipedia page, Di Natale is "well known known for scoring impressive goals." Considering the form of Spurs at the back this season, any goals he scores tonight will seem rather ordinary and run-of-the-mill by comparison to previous tallies.
Spurs: Gomes, Hutton, King, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Zokora, Jenas, O'Hara, Bale, Bent.
Subs: Cesar, Dawson, Gilberto, Gunter, Modric, Campbell, Giovani.
Gomes has been warned to not injure any of his own tonight, and we see rare starts for Assou-Ekotto and Jamie O'Hara. The center-back pairing of Samson-esque Woodgate and Samsonite-esque Ledley King should provide some comedy this evening. And yes, Ramos looks to be employing UF's favourite formation, the 4-5-1.
Other games tonight:
Aston Villa v. Ajax (kick off: 3.15pm ET)
Braga v. Portsmouth (kick off: 3.15pm ET)
Spurs are still losing 1-0 from a 1st half penalty given up by Gomes, which is a shame as he's been superb since. Jamie O'Hara did manage a rather Barton-esque feat of greatness in getting 2 yellows within a minute and taking an early bath. Close to the end there. 1-0 Udinese still.
Aston Villa v. Ajax
Aston Villa: Friedel, Luke Young, Cuellar, Laursen, Shorey, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Barry, Milner, Agbonlahor, Ashley Young.
Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Harewood, Davies, Knight, Salifou, Gardner.
Expected line-up, right? O/U on number of misplayed passes for Reo-Coker currently set at 102.
Ajax: Vermeer, Silva, Oleguer, Vermaelen, Emanuelson, Lindgren, Sarpong, Vertonghen, Suarez, Huntelaar, Gabri.
Subs: Vonk, Van Der Wiel, Cvitanich, Leonardo, Sno, Anita, Schilder.
Braga v. Portsmouth
Braga: Eduardo, Frechaut, Moises, Alberto Rodriguez, Evaldo, Vandinho, Alan, Matheus, Aguiar, Renteria, Meyong.
Subs: Mario Felgueiras, Mossoro, Paulo Cesar, Jorginho, Stelvio Cruz, Cesar Peixoto, Joao Pereira.
4-5-1, probably? No clue. I hear Renteria is good.
Portsmouth: James, Campbell, Pamarot, Armand Traore, Distin, Davis, Diop, Hreidarsson, Little, Defoe, Crouch.
Subs: Ashdown, Utaka, Mvuemba, Hughes, Kanu, Belhadj, Wilson.
Nothing outrageous here either. Seeing a Traore in the starting XI is instant cause for concern. The Traores don't make things easy for their teammates, oh no sir. Little and Large continue to spearhead a decent Pompey attack.