September is a great month for football with all the European leagues in action and World Cup Qualifying. The Champions League groups have not been drawn yet, so we cannot include any of these games, but these are the ten best domestic and international games on the calendar for September 2008.
Saturday 06th September 2008: Cuba v USA and Jamaica v Mexico
We start off with a 2-1 deal. These are very tough road games for Mexico and the U.S. The U.S playing in Havana is full of political overtones and I am sure it will not be a pro-US crowd. The U.S. is better than Cuba and anything less than a win will be viewed as a disappointment.
Mexico travels to Kingston to play Jamaica which is never an easy place to play. This will be former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson first introduction to CONCACAF road games and he will quickly realize that this is not Europe! If he can leave Jamaica with a tie, I think Mexico and Eriksson will be happy.
Saturday 06th September: FYR Macedonia v Scotland – Buy Scotland – Macedonia Tickets
Scotland historically play much better when they are the underdogs and don’t have a lot of expectations on them. After playing so well in the Euro 2008 qualifying, many Scots expect then to finish second in their group and qualify for South Africa in 2010. If Scotland are to live up to expectations then anything less than a victory against Macedonia will be viewed as a major disappointment.
Wednesday 10th September 2008: Croatia v England – Buy England – Croatia Tickets
On Croatia’s last visit to Wembley they knocked England out of World Cup qualifying, This is the first big game for England coach Fabio Capello and he will be looking for nothing less than a win here against a very good Croatian side. I still have questions about who will score the goals for England and I expect that this game will end up a draw.
Saturday 13th September 2008: Liverpool v Man United -Buy Liverpool – Manchester United Tickets
One of the big games in the English calendar comes only four days after International games, making it a very short week for both mangers. Rafa Benitez has never beaten Sir Alex and if Liverpool are to be viewed as serious title contenders then they need to win this game.
Monday 15th September 2008: Tottenham v Aston Villa – Buy Tottenham Hotspur – Aston Villa Tickets
An early season battle between two teams that are just outside the big four and will be battling each other for European spots this season. Both teams play attractive football and like to score goals and I expect this to be a exciting high-scoring affair.
Sunday 21st September 2008: Chelsea v Man United – Buy Chelsea – Manchester United Tickets
This game comes after the first round of Champions League games, which could be tricky depending on where the midweek game is played. Chelsea and United are the best two teams in England and this will be an good early test for both sides. With Liverpool and Chelsea away on back to back weeks, United cannot afford to drop points to both rivals so they might be playing this one with a little more desperation than Chelsea.
Saturday 20th September 2008: Bayern Munich v Werder – Buy Bayern Munich – Werder Bremen Tickets
The Bundesliga did a survey of the 18 coaches in the league and 16 of them picked Bayern Munich will become German champions for the 21st time next May. Only Werder Bremen’s Thomas Schaaf believes his side are equipped to compete with Bayern and this will be a good early season test to see whether he is right.
Sunday 28th September 2008: AC Milan v Inter – Buy AC Milan – Inter Milan Tickets
There is something special about derby matches, especially the ones between these two Milan giants. AC Milan have revamped their team this year with new signings Flamini and Ronaldinho and it will be really interesting to see how this season goes for them with Champions League football. This Milan derby is José Mourinho first, and I am sure the Special One will be full of entertaining quotes leading up to the game.
Sunday 21st September 2008: Real Betis v Sevilla
The cross-town rivalry is considered one of the most violent and the most important derbies in Spain. During a quarterfinal match of the Copa del Rey on February 28, 2007, the game had to be suspended in the 60th minute due to a Betis fan throwing an object at former Sevilla manager Juande Ramos’ head, subsequently knocking him out!
What games are you looking forward to in September?