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2010-2011 Fixture List and a Win for Argentina

Hit the jump for the full list of matches for the season...

Kind of the Premier League site to lead with "Managerless Liverpool." Thanks for the reminder.

14 Arsenal (H)
21 Man City (A)
28 West Brom (H)

11 Birmingham (A)
18 Man Utd (A)
25 Sunderland (H)

2 Blackpool (H)
16 Everton (A)
23 Blackburn (H)
30 Bolton (A)

6 Chelsea (H)
9 Wigan (A)
13 Stoke (A)
20 West Ham (H)
27 Tottenham (A)

4 Aston Villa (H)
11 Newcastle (A)
18 Fulham (H)
26 Blackpool (A)
28 Wolverhampton (H)

1 Bolton (H)
5 Blackburn (A)
15 Everton (H)
22 Wolverhampton (A)

2 Stoke (H)
5 Chelsea (A)
12 Wigan (H)
26 West Ham (A)

5 Man Utd (H)
19 Sunderland (A)

2 West Brom (A)
9 Man City (H)
16 Arsenal (A)
23 Birmingham (H)
30 Newcastle (H)

7 Fulham (A)
14 Tottenham (H)
22 Aston Villa (A)

Obviously this is pending revisions due to any cup competitions, TV deals, etc. etc., but as it stands I'd say things are spread out relatively well. There's no true gauntlet here---there's at least a few weeks in between most of the big boys, aside from Arsenal-Manchester City to start the season and again in April 2011.

And the winter months, notoriously difficult for Liverpool in the past few seasons, may present a bit of respite, at least on paper. Granted, the problem has been with Liverpool's performances during those months and not necessarily the opposition, but for the entire months of December and January there's not a fixture on the list that has me entirely concerned.

But again, this is all contingent on Liverpool's ability to get their shit together in the next few months, and that's far from guaranteed. The aforementioned winter months, in addition to the fall and spring ones, have plenty of potential to be just as miserable as they are promising. It'd be blasphemy to wish the World Cup away, but part of me is anxiously counting down the days until we start to get something concrete out of Anfield.

As for said World Cup and the 4-1 victory from Argentina, it was a much better performance from Diego Maradona's men. Gonzalo Higuain made up for all the missed chances from the first match with Nigeria and netted a hat trick, but you'd be forgiven for still placing most of the focus on Lionel Messi. He was, once again, brilliant despite not being able to break through the anti-Lilliputian force-field that's apparently taken over the goal mouth in South Africa. He's got to score sooner or later.

Both Maxi Rodriguez and Javier Mascherano put in solid shifts for the winners---Maxi was responsible for the initial cross that led to Higuain's first after a flick-on from Nicolas Burdisso. And the captain was decent if not unspectacular, managing to get himself booked in the 55th minute and keeping things steady in the midfield. Not the best when he tried to get forward, but that's not his job.

Argentina are on top looking down now and have to be a lock to qualify. Their +4 goal differential doesn't look like it'll be overcome by any of the other sides in the group, and given Greece's struggles in the first round I can't imagine there'll be much of a shake-up in the last round. South Korea really should be the second team out of the group, but they'll need to win their last match against Nigeria to ensure it.

That does it for me today and the next few---I'm cashing in my global citizenship to become, once again, embarrassingly American for the weekend. Got my birthday and a gifted trip to Omaha for the College World Series (I know, there's no "world" involved), meaning I'll be out of touch until Sunday.

In the meantime, here's who to follow at the World Cup:

Greece v. Nigeria, 06.17.10:

Liverpool's Greek didn't show his braided head in the last match v. South Korea, but he's starting against Nigeria in a match Greece need to win. Of course, they'll need to score their first-ever goal in the World Cup, which is sort of a big deal. Down 1-0 at the time of writing after a free kick from Kalu Uche fooled everyone, including Alexandros Tzorvas in the Greek goal. Gulp.

England v. Algeria, 06.18.10:

We saw all three of Liverpool's English internationals against the United States last Saturday, and tomorrow's match with Algeria will have at least two in the starting eleven. Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson are no-doubters, while Jamie Carragher had a bit of a difficult time after coming on in the second half. After the shared points with the US, this is one England need to win.

Netherlands v. Japan, 06.19.10:

The Dutch are back in action on Saturday against Japan, one of the surprise teams of the first round. Dirk Kuyt managed to score a vintage Kuyt special against Denmark, tapping home from a few feet after Eljero Elia had hit the post. Kuyt's likely going to be in the starting eleven again, but no word on Ryan Babel's place in the side. Except getting banned from Twitter.

Denmark v. Cameroon, 06.19.10:

Hard luck for Daniel Agger in the match against the Dutch, as he was credited with the own goal after Simon Poulsen's failed clearance ricocheted off Agger's back and past Thomas Sorensen. The Danes weren't entirely terrible, but they'll need more in the way of attack against an underwhelming Cameroon side.

Slovakia v. Paraguay, 06.20.10:

The Slovaks and Marek Hamsik's hair will need to rebound from the late heartbreak against New Zealand to get something from a well-organized Paraguay, who managed to share points with favorites Italy. As I mentioned yesterday, Skrtel was up-and-down against the All Whites, but his place is never in jeopardy.

Back on Sunday evening, so have a nice weekend and enjoy the World Cup. Or the College World Series if you're so inclined. But yeah, the World Cup.

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