Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Canadian Terrace Talk Episode 11

Be sure to join Sam & I as we talk Premier League, FIFA U20, Francophone games, and TFC. Listen as we discuss the managerial similarities between Phil Brown & Diego Maradona, plus laud Peter Storrie & Ryan Giggs.

and if you haven't already you can subscribe via itunes, just search for Canadian Terrace Talk,

Canadian Terrace Talk Episode 11

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Portsmouth lose 1-0 again

7 played. 7 lost. This has happened in the top flight before in 1930 - 1931, that team Manchester United. Though United were relegated that year, Portsmouth were fourth that season by the way. I am going to keep saying what I have said already. We are not amongst the three worst teams in the premier league. I think that we will stay up. Here are some of my thoughts on the match against Everton.

Both keepers played amazing. David James gave a performance that would have caught the attention of Fabio Capello. While Tim Howard showed some of the form that helped the US make the Confederations' Cup final. They were helped out by solid defensive play around them. Both teams managed to clear balls off the line.

I thought that both teams played well, there were very few moments that we dull in the match. As I mentioned in my previous post looking at the first five matches, we haven't seem able to catch any breaks. The main incident here that easily could have gone our way was when Heitinga pushed over Boateng when the cross was coming into the box. The only reason that I can think of as to why the referee didn't award the penalty was that the cross was a little high, but it likely looked higher than it was because Boateng was on the ground. Penalties have certainly been given for less. Then Mokoena headed onto the bar, it made for painful viewing. The header from Ben Haim was almost directly at Howard, who made a fantastic shoulder save.

This is our fourth 1-0 loss this season and our fifth 1 goal loss. We are not playing poorly we are just not getting results. The way that we are playing we will get points, and finally we get some help from the schedule too. Our next matches are @Wolves, Home to Harry, Defoe, Crouch, & Kranjcar, @Hull, and Home to Wigan. Three of those are quite winnable and one is a match that everyone has circled on the calender. October is going to be a great month for Pompey.

League Cup - The actual draw

In my previous post - I put forward a potential draw that I would like to see, unfortunately none of the matches that I put forward were drawn. The closest that I came was with Barnsley who I put against Man City, but they got a home tie against Man United. Here is the full draw:

Barnsley - Manchester United
Arsenal - Liverpool
Portsmouth - Stoke
Tottenham Hotspur - Everton
Manchester City - Scunthorpe
Chelsea - Bolton
Sunderland - Aston Villa
Blackburn - Peterborough

The matches will be played on the 27th & 28th of October. I think that Spurs - Everton will be the best match with the Arsenal kids hosting Liverpool the next best. Here are my predictions:

Manchester United
Manchester City

Let me know your predictions in the comments.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

League Cup - Final 16

The third round of the League Cup has finished and we are left with 16 teams battling it out for the third most prestigious trophy in England. Here they are according to their current league rankings:

1. Chelsea
2. Manchester United
3. Liverpool
4. Manchester City
5. Aston Villa
6. Tottenham Hotspur
7. Arsenal
8. Sunderland
9. Stoke
10. Everton
11. Bolton
12. Blackburn
13. Portsmouth
14. Scunthorpe
15. Peterborough
16. Barnsley

Canadian Content in the Carling Cup

There is one Canadian & two possible Canadians remaining in the tournament. Iain Hume of Barnsley is the Canadian International, while Porstsmouth's keeper (for this tournament anyway) is Asmir Begovic who represented Canada at the U20, but has shown a desire to represent Bosnia at the Senior level, though they have yet to cap him. The other possible Canadian is David Hoilett who plays at Blackburn. He has the opportunity to play for us, but it looks likely that he will represent Jamaica instead.

The Next Round

The draw for the next round is random and will take place on Saturday. Here are the match ups that I am hoping for:

1. Manchester United - Peterborough aka the Battle of the Fergies. If you are unaware Peterborough are managed by Sir Alex's son Darren.

2. Arsenal - Spurs. A North London derby always a good match.

3. Liverpool - Everton. A Merseyside derby always a good match.

4. Barnsley - City. A big draw for the Tykes and a potential Cupset too.

5. Scunthorpe - Chelsea. A big draw for the Iron and a potential Cupset too.

6. Aston Villa - Blackburn. I think this would be a great game. Blackburn tend to play more open attacking football in the Cup, should be a lot of goals.

7. Portstmouth - Bolton. A chance for Pompey to make up for their blown points last week.

8. Stoke - Sunderland. Will Sunderland's new high power offense be able to break down Stoke at the Brittainia?

So there are my ideal matches for the round of 16. What do you think of them? Which matches would you like to see?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Canadian Terrace Talk Episode 10

Join Sam & I as we look back at the weekend's Premier League action, preview the U20 World Cup, and talk TFC. Also we are now properly available on itunes.

Canadian Terrace Talk Episode 10

Here is the link to the CBC U20 World Cup Preview that I mentioned on the podcast.

Sam & I mention our predicted final, we are certainly interested to hear yours, so leave them in a comment.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Aston Villa 2 - Portsmouth 0

It is going to be a long year. Pompey's defense made two huge mistakes and Villa got two goals, coincidence? I think not. For large parts of the game Pompey controlled the play, but lacked the finishing edge. Villa were by no means perfect at the back but Pompey were unable to exploit their mistakes. Cuellar was definitely the weak link at the back, he didn't look comfortable in the right back role. Pompey were able to create a lot of opportunities, but a lot of those ended in a toothless shot at Friedel. We need to be able to convert opportunities if we are ever going to get a share of the points. Portsmouth were helped by the referee in this one, as I was surprised that Brown stayed out of the book, when he easily could have been sent off for two bookable offenses. I think that given how we played in the second half we had a chance to grab a draw, but like our other matches this season our defense errors & lack of finishing undid us.

Up next for us Everton, who we did the double over last year. Hopefully we can grab all three points at home. We also have a possibly moral boosting match in the league cup at Carlisle on Tuesday. Hopefully a few of our players can discover their scoring touch.

A look at Aston Villa from the Crow's Nest

Yaarrr - It be talk like a Pirate Day today, an' Portsmouth set sail t' Birmingham t' take on th' Aston Villa. (English version located below the pirate)

Villa be havin' seemed inconsistent t' me, as I mentioned on Canadian Terrace talk. Howereexaminin' the'r record they ben able t' grind ou' results without concedin' any goals. Which be a slightly worryin' aspect when Portsmouth be havin' only scored 3 times in 5 matches. Also worryin' be that after Kristian Jack at Th' Score told Agbonlahor t' decide if he be goin' t' be a goal scorer he has scored in aft t' aft matches.

Villa an' Pompey be havin' played two o' th' same teams so far, Birmingham & Fulham. Villa be havin' two wins & Portsmouth two losses. Villa didna be havin' too many problems wi' Fulham, beatin' them 2-0. Portsmouth & Fulham looked pretty evenly matched tho Pompey lost 1-0 t' a Clint Dempsey shot that tookst a deflection off o' Bobby Zamora`s aft. With Birmingham, 't Villa`s heated local Derby, so 't be a tight match, 'tis hard t' make many comparisons t' th' match that Portsmouth played against them. 'ere we lost 1-0 on an injury time penalty.

Gi'en Pompey`s track record this season ye would say that th' likely result be a 1-0 win fer Villa. Howere Portsmouth be playin' a lot better than the'r results indicate, so if Villa hade into t' this thinkin' they be goin' t' be havin' an easy match against a team wi' 0 points they be in fer a bit o' a surprise. Villa be havin' nay scored this season when an opponent scores first, so 't could be a Pompey victory if we be able t' get th' first goal.

Realistically this be as good a chance fer us t' get a point as anytime else, Pompey would be ecstatic wi' a victory an' would gladly settle fer a draw. I think that if Pompey come ou' an' play a solid match Villa would be happy wi' a draw as well. So me official prediction be a draw, tho I would love t' be seein' Pompey leave Villa Park wi' all three points, Play Up Pompey!

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day and Portsmouth travel to Birmingham to take on the Aston Villa. (Pirate Version above)

Villa have seemed inconsistent to me, as I mentioned on Canadian Terrace talk. However examining their record they have been able to grind out results without conceding any goals. Which is a slightly worrying aspect when Portsmouth have only scored 3 times in 5 matches. Also worrying is that after Kristian Jack at The Score told Agbonlahor to decide if he was going to be a goal scorer he has scored in back to back matches.

Villa and Pompey have played two of the same teams so far, Birmingham & Fulham. Villa have two wins & Portsmouth two losses. Villa didn't have too many problems with Fulham, beating them 2-0. Portsmouth & Fulham looked pretty evenly matched though Pompey lost 1-0 to a Clint Dempsey shot that took a deflection off of Bobby Zamora's back. With Birmingham, it Villa's heated local Derby, so it was a tight match, it is hard to make many comparisons to the match that Portsmouth played against them. Where we lost 1-0 on an injury time penalty.

Given Pompey's track record this season you would say that the likely result is a 1-0 win for Villa. However Portsmouth has been playing a lot better than their results indicate, so if Villa head into to this thinking they are going to have an easy match against a team with 0 points they will be in for a bit of a surprise. Villa have not scored this season when an opponent scores first, so it could be a Pompey victory if we are able to get the first goal.

Realistically this is as good a chance for us to get a point as anytime else, Pompey would be ecstatic with a victory and would gladly settle for a draw. I think that if Pompey come out and play a solid match Villa would be happy with a draw as well. So my official prediction is a draw, though I would love to see Pompey leave Villa Park with all three points, Play Up Pompey!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Canadian Terrace Talk returns - aka Episode 9

Canadian Terrace Talk has finally returned after numerous technical difficulties. Sam & I talk about the Premier League, World Cup Qualifiers, and a little bit of TFC.

Canadian Terrace Talk - Episode 9

As always you can subscribe to the podcast with itunes etc by clicking a link on the right side of the page. Once you have clicked the link to the Podcast, of course.

I hope that you enjoy the podcast. Don't forget to join my Champions League pool.

Champions League Pool

Greetings everyone!

The Champions League Group stage is upon us, and for those that are interested I am running a pool.

To join go to the SuperBru website

If you are not already a member (it is free) you have to register first. If you are select join tournament,

and enter the code landpace

it is as easy as that. You will need to act quickly as the first round of group matches is tomorrow.

Good Luck!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It is going to be a long season

We played a well and didn't deserve to lose. This phrase could easily become Portsmouth's new motto. Five matches played, five matches lost. In four of those matches we played well, in all of them we have been unlucky.

In our season opener we lost 1-0 on a deflected Clint Dempsey shot that went off the back back of Bobby Zamora. In our next match away to Birmingham we were set to record a draw until there was a penalty call in injury time. The commentary that I have read is pretty evenly split but whether it was actually a penalty or not. Both the Fulham match & the Birmingham match were otherwise pretty even affairs.

We then travelled to Arsenal, this is the match that I would say we didn't play well. I wasn't able to watch all of this match (I was with the other four) and in the part that I watched we were giving Arsenal too much space and inviting them on to us. In other words a recipe for disaster. However this match wasn't without it's talking points as well. The main one being John Utaka either being brought down down by William Gallas or tripping over his own feet. If he was brought down by Gallas then Gallas should have been red carded. At the time the score was 2-1 for Arsenal, so a sending off would have changed the complexion of the match, especially since Gallas scored the 3rd goal. Unfortunately I haven't been able to see the incident so I can't offer my opinion, only to say form the parts of the match I was able to watch we didn't deserve anything from it.

The Premier League's first Abu Derby was our next match as we hosted Manchester City. Much like the first two matches this was quite an even contest. However we fell asleep on a corner and let Adebayor head home the winner. This one we can't have any complaints about, we played well and didn't deserve to lose, but the result didn't go our way.

After the International break we hosted Bolton in a match between the only teams with 0 points. This was quite an exciting match. Our defense looked shaky at times , allowing Bolton to get behind which resulted in their first goal. Pompey then came roaring back and equalised through Kaboul. Kaboul & Piquionne both missed great opportunities a few minutes later. It looked like it would go to the half 1-1, with Pompey regretting missed chances. Then Bolton got in behind and if not for a last ditch tackle from Ben Haim would have had a scoring opportunity. Oh wait referee Chris Foy somehow missed seeing the ball go sideways after Ben Haim's tackle and decided to award Bolton a penalty. Former Pompey player (and still fan favourite) clinically struck it to give Bolton an undeserved half time lead. Over the half time break I was telling myself if we want to get anything from this we are going to need to overcome bad calls like the penalty. So I was pleased to see us come out roaring again after the break. Debutant Kevin Prince Boateng netting the tieing goal in the 63rd minute. Pompey had a few more chances that we should have converted, but looked on course for the draw. That is until Bolton got a long throw that was headed on to Cahill who scored. Of course the linesman chose not to raise his flag even though Bolton players ran from offside positions to contest the header. So Pompey played well and didn't deserve to lose or even draw really.

The match this morning against Bolton was the match that I enjoyed watching the most and also the most crushing defeat. There is nothing we can do now except wait for the inevitable apology from Keith Hackett and smile when Chris Foy & his crew are demoted to the lower leagues. Oh and hope that Paul Hart doesn't get suspended for saying how poor the ref was.

Looking ahead to the upcoming matches we are away to Villa and home to Everton. Both are going to be tough matches, it would be great to nick a draw at Villa Park but I wouldn't be surprised if we came back from the Midlands with six played and six lost. We need to get something from the Everton match, hopefully we can continue last year's form as we did the double over the Toffees last season.

But you get the idea it is going to be a long season, we are going to be involved in the relegation battle. I don't think that we will take the drop, but we need to start getting some points before the media starts to get in the minds of the fans and the players. Play Up Pompey!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Latest CONCACAF standings for the 2011 WCQ

El Salvador's win saw them make up some ground but if they lose their next two matches(@ Mexico & v. Honduras) they will fall back to nearly 100 points behind us. Trinidad & Tobago continue to lose meaning that Jack Warner will have extremely limited options if he is going to manipulate the way that the group is drawn to help them. The only way that T & T could gain a lot of points if they move the date back to include the Gold Cup. Which I believe would benefit Canada as much or more than Trinidad & Tobago. Speaking of which T & T were eliminated from the World Cup yesterday as well. If you would like to know the process that I used or my advice for what Canada should do I suggest you read the post I put up on Monday.

Without further delay here are the latest standings after the midweek International matches:

1. USA - 549.33
2. Mexico - 500.94
3. Honduras - 433.39
4. Costa Rica - 393.13
5. CANADA - 355.60
6. El Salvador - 284.76
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7. Panama - 242.75
8. Jamaica - 211.52
9. Trinidad & Tobago - 178.98
10. Haiti - 174.21
11. Antigua & Barbuda - 148.41
12. Grenada - 114.54
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13. Guatemala - 111.88
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14. Cuba - 82.96
15. Bermuda - 79.89
16. Barbados - 72.12
17. Suriname - 63.11
18. Nicaragua - 52.66
19. St. Kitts & Nevis - 50.63
20. Guyana - 50.30
21. Netherlands Antilles - 50.18
22. Puerto Rico - 44.24
23. Belize - 22.31
24. St. Vincent & the Grenadines - 21.54
25. Cayman Islands - 19.00
26. St. Lucia - 12.75
26. Turks & Caicos Islands - 12.75
28. British Virgin Islands - 11.90
29. Bahamas - 8.50
30. Aruba - 6.50
31. Dominica - 4.93
32. Dominican Republic - 4.25
33. US Virgin Islands - 3.40
34. Anguilla - 0.00
34. Montserrat - 0.00

Monday, September 7, 2009

Looking ahead to World Cup 2014 Qualifying - Version 2.0

Here we go again. Earlier this year, in July to be exact, I published a post about what Canada needed to do in order to be in the best possible place for the qualifying draw for Brasil 2014. I got some things correct in that post, but I got a lot of things wrong too. Luckily Edgar at Football Rankings noticed my post and decided to help me out. Rather than go over the mistakes I made before, I will lay out the way things should be done correctly and go from there.

First off there are four phases involved in the accumulation of points that will impact the rankings when the qualifying draw is made. For the purposes of this post I have based the phases on the way in which the draw was conducted for 2010 qualifying.

Phase 1 May 17 2007 - May 7 2008
Phase 2 May 8 2008 - May 6 2009
Phase 3 May 7 2009 - May ? 2010
Phase 4 May ? 2010 - May ? 2011

As a quick aside, there was a comment on Edgar's website that suggested the draw could be made in August instead of May 2011. This would mean the Gold Cup 2011 would be included. The commenter suggested the change could be made to benefit Trinidad & Tobago, but this would also be a big help to Canada, as we tend to do well at the Gold Cup. Therefore I will continue under the assumption that things will be done the same way they were in the 2010 qualifying draw. A change from May to August would benefit Canada and place a large importance on the Gold Cup 2011.

Points are accumulated in each phase by winning or drawing a match. The totalled points from the phase are then divided by the number of matches played. For example, if a team had won two matches, drawn one, and lost five, their point total would be divided by eight. However, if a team plays fewer than five matches their total is still divided by five, so it is important to play at least five matches in each phase.

The points from each phase are also weighted differently: you are only able to count 20% of the points from Phase 1, 30% from Phase 2, and 50% from Phase 3. Teams are able to count 100% percent of the points from Phase 4.

Now that you have got all of that, here are the current standings for the points accumulated towards May 2011.

1. USA - 540.79
2. Mexico - 482.03
3. Honduras - 457.00
4. Costa Rica - 412.68
5. CANADA - 355.60
6. El Salvador - 251.68
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7. Panama - 242.75
8. Jamaica - 211.52
9. Trinidad & Tobago - 193.96
10. Haiti - 174.21
11. Antigua & Barbuda - 148.41
12. Grenada - 114.54
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13. Guatemala - 111.88
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14. Cuba - 82.96
15. Bermuda - 79.89
16. Barbados - 72.12
17. Suriname - 63.11
18. Nicaragua - 52.66
19. St. Kitts & Nevis - 50.63
20. Guyana - 50.30
21. Netherlands Antilles - 50.18
22. Puerto Rico - 44.24
23. Belize - 22.31
24. St. Vincent & the Grenadines - 21.54
25. Cayman Islands - 19.00
26. St. Lucia - 12.75
26. Turks & Caicos Islands - 12.75
28. British Virgin Islands - 11.90
29. Bahamas - 8.50
30. Aruba - 6.50
31. Dominica - 4.93
32. Dominican Republic - 4.25
33. US Virgin Islands - 3.40
34. Anguilla - 0.00
34. Montserrat - 0.00

The draw is made and teams ranked 1-13 receive a bye to the Second Round. Teams 14 -35 play each other, with the eleven winners advancing to Round Two. The eleven winners from the first round plus the 13th ranked team then face the top twelve sides for a place in Round Three. Round three is a group stage that consists of three groups of four. When the draw is made the top six ranked teams are placed in such a way that should they advance from Round Two, there will be two members of the top six in each group. The top two teams from Round Three then advance to the final round known as "The Hex". The Hex contains six teams in one group. The top three teams qualify for the World Cup, the fourth place team enters into a playoff against the fifth place South American team.

At the moment we are sitting in fifth, which isn't bad news. The bad news is that USA, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Trinidad & Tobago are still playing in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. This means they each have a minimun of three more matches in Phase 3. Playing lots of matches isn't necessarily a good thing, but as these matches are worth two & a half more than a friendly in points value, these teams can get a lot of points. I think at this point Canada can give up trying to catch any of the teams above us in the standings and should focus on staying in fifth or sixth place. The bonus is El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago are last in the group. It would be ideal for Canada if they lost all of their remaining qualifying matches, which is possible since they have already played both games against each other. Matches at the World Cup will be a part of Phase 4 and count 100% towards the qualification rankings for 2014. Not only will matches at the World Cup be a part of Phase 4 when it is crucial to gain points, they also count four times as much as friendlies - meaning any results gained there will put those teams out of reach, so we need to have El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago miss out on the World Cup in order to give ourselves the best chance at making the next one.

The next piece of bad news is most countries that are chasing are likely to participate in four or five qualifying matches for the Gold Cup 2011. These matches will be in crucial Phase 4 and count two and a half times what a friendly does. This will give an advantage to the countries that are chasing Canada for a place in the top six.

Now for some almost good news. The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) has said there are no plans for any friendly matches for the next 18 months. I am fine with the decision not to play any more friendlies in Phase 3, which ends at yet to be determined date in May 2010. This is eight months from now. However we should start planning to play matches after the FIFA rankings come out in May 2010. We need to target countries that have higher than average rankings so we can get as many points as possible. The earliest opportunity is to play a country that was a part of the African Cup of Nations (ACN). This is the regional tournament of Africa; similar to CONCACAF's Gold Cup, it is played every two years. The matches in this tournament will count three times as much as a friendly. So we will see African teams fly up the rankings ahead of the World Cup, much the same way that CONCACAF teams flew up the rankings in August. Remember Canada jumped up 26 places. It won't matter that the tournament will affect rankings starting in March - as there will be no other competitive matches, the rankings shouldn't change drastically. The benefits are easy to see: if we play a team that is normally ranked in the seventies, but has moved into the forties or fifties, then we could get more than 60 extra points. We should also try to play matches against sides from Europe and South America, as these regions have a higher regional value. This means playing a team ranked 75 in the world from Europe or South America will get you more points than playing a team ranked 75 in the world from another region.

I am trying as much as I can to be realistic about the way this could play out. We had a disastrous Phase 4 in 2006-2007 and gained only 100 points and ended up finishing 11th. I am aware that the CSA is trying to expand the game in Canada, which I am in favour of; this will likely mean a friendly against a team with a big reputation. An example would be our match against Brasil a few years ago. However it would be more beneficial to save that match until after the qualifying draw for 2014 is made. With this in mind, here is my suggested Phase 4 friendly schedule for Canada.

Late May - before World Cup: Play an artificially high ranked African team. This would be a team that did well at the ACN, but did not make the World Cup and should be a side that Canada could beat. Ideally a team with only one star player. Togo is a side that may meet these criteria.

Any time - Play a friendly against Bolivia at sea level - either in Canada or at a neutral venue, but make sure it is at sea level. Bolivia are very, very difficult to beat at high alititude, but they are beatable at sea level.

November or February - Play a highly ranked warm weather team outside in Edmonton. Bolivia & other countries use their altitude to their advantage; we should take advantage of our cold.

Anytime - Play a European country, preferably ranked in the top 100. The match against Cyprus was a good example. How does taking on Bosnia-Herzegovina sound at BMO sound?

After the World Cup - Play a nation we can beat that was at the World Cup. If they managed to get some points there, their ranking will increase dramatically. That means more points if we are able to beat them.

If we follow this plan and win all five friendlies, we should double our points total which would be great. Even if we are able to add 200 more points, this would put us in good stead for claiming a top six place. Here are the points totals for the top six when the 2010 qualifying draw was made in 2007:

1. Mexico - 891
2. USA - 785
3. Costa Rica - 575
4. Honduras - 542
5. Panama - 514
6. Trinidad & Tobago - 463
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11. CANADA - 342

You can see, as Canada are already at 355, we are already doing better than last time. We need to continue to build on our good form by playing at least five matches in Phase 4. In the 2006-2007 we only played four (Jamaica twice, Hungary, and Bermuda). As I mentioned above, the total points of a team are divided by a minimum of five, so only playing four is like losing a match. I should mention that staying at 355 is contingent on us not playing any more matches before Phase 3 ends and the May 2010 rankings come out. Even if we were to win, it would probably lower our points unless we beat a team in the top 40.

The way forward is simple: do not play any more matches until late May 2010. Then play at least five matches we can win before the May 2011 rankings are released and we should be in a strong position for the draw for qualifying. This should ideally put us through to The Hex, at which point we need to play our socks off, and hopefully in fours years' time Canada playing in the 2014 World Cup in Brasil will look like a reality.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No club football no problem - here is what to watch

Greetings Football fans,

With the International break upon us, there is no club football this week. There is no need to fret though, there are some great matches coming this weekend. Here is a list of the matches that caught my eye, I have put the ones that I am going to try to watch in bold.

Saturday September 5 (all times Eastern time)
Cote d'Ivoire - Burkina Faso (13:00)
Denmark - Portugal (14:00)
Poland - Northern Ireland (14:30)
Bahrain - Saudi Arabia (15:00)
France - Romania (15:00)
Argentina - Brasil (20:30)
Costa Rica - Mexico (22:00)

Sunday September 6
Nigeria - Tunisia (12:00)
Algeria - Zambia (17:00)

All things being equal I would probably watch the Asian Playoff first leg between Bahrain & Saudi Arabia, however I have lunch riding on the outcome of the Northern Ireland match. Before you ask I have no idea if any of the matches are on TV in Canada or anywhere else for that matter, I am going to try to find them on an Internet stream and sit in front of my computer with a beer.