International friendlies tonight, Premier League managers complaining tomorrow
Everyone rejoice! Pointless international football is back! OK, so the managers don’t quite see the point of an international friendly less than four days before the start of the Premier League season and the fans seem largely apathetic about the whole thing, but rejoice nonetheless.
August 10th, 2011
Of course, the Met Police have decided that they can’t guarantee the safety of fans or players at Wembley tonight so England’s pointless friendly with the Netherlands is off. We did consider that, had the Met dug out a tape of the World Cup final, they’d have seen that the Dutch players are more than capable of looking after themselves, but we digress. On the plus side, Adrian Chiles won’t be on our TV sets and the likes of Sir Alex and Harry Redknapp will have to find something else to moan about.
So if you are looking for a football fix tonight, where do you look? Well, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland all have a pointless friendly tonight whilst Northern Ireland have actually have a proper game to play in Belfast – a real humdinger of a Euro 2012 qualifier against the Faroe Islands.
The problem for Nigel Worthington’s men, aside from players defecting to play for the Republic, is the fact that they just can’t score goals. NI haven’t won a match in their last eight, have just a win in Slovenia to their name from the last 19 games and they’ve scored just once in the last five games. In the aforementioned 19 match run, they’ve failed to hit the net in 13.
With Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty both ruled out, their cause in front of goal isn’t exactly helped so rather than watching this match in the hope of being entertained, you should watch it in the hope of making a few quid and by nibbling on the 8/11 on under 2.5 goals.
Over in Scotland, Craig Levin will be without Kris Commons, Alan Hutton and Steven Whittaker as he prepares for a pointless friendly against Denmark, although Leeds midfielder Robert Snodgrass will make his first start for the Scots at Hampden.
And down at the Cardiff City Stadium, Gary Speed is apparently “delighted” that he’ll be able to watch Gareth Bale for the first time as Wales prepare for defeat against Australia.
The Socceroos, who are unbeaten in 2011, with a win in Germany amongst their list of scalps, and their predominantly European-based squad could be worth backing at 8/5.
Over in Dublin, the Republic of Ireland face a tricky tie against Croatia as the look to make it five wins on the spin.