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This Day in AFCON with Mikel & Moses / Tuesday Premier League Open Thread

Today is Tuesday, January 29. This is your open thread.

Robert Cianflone

Wait, Premier League on a Tuesday? Is it still Christmas? How odd. In fact, there's so much football action on tap today, I'm surprised Sky hasn't come up with a gimmicky name yet like Terrifically Tremendous Trufflebuttery Tuesday Transcendent. Or maybe they have; who knows. Could they fit all of that into an on-screen graphic though?

First, it's AFCON 2013 time with John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses and Kenneth Omeruo! It's Matchday 3 in the group stage, which means concurrent matches just like in the World Cup (12 P.M. EST; ESPN3). So as Nigeria (2 pts) take on Ethiopia (1 pt), Zambia (2 pts) battle with group leaders Burkina Faso (4 pts). No, that was not a typo, Burkina Faso are top of Group C although it's still all quite open and each of the four teams has a mathematical chance to advance. Should Nigeria & Zambia both finally find their expected forms and win, they will both move on. It gets a bit complicated after that, but keep in mind that head-to-head matches are the first tiebreakers.

Nigeria failing to move on would definitely count as a blessing in disguise, especially in light of the news regarding Victor Moses and his worrying hamstring problem. Above all, I hope John Obi Mikel gets a chance to redeem himself for that penalty miss in the previous match.

One hour later (1 P.M. EST), it'll be NextGen Series time! Which, despite all the hype, has received very little coverage, at least from where I'm standing. The Ajax Amsterdam vs. Chelsea clash will be the last group match of what is essentially a U19 Champions League. It doesn't really affect who qualifies - 15 of the 16 teams have already been determined for the next round - unless Chelsea somehow manage to lose by 12 goals, in which case Marseille grabs the last available spot.

The first match between these two ended 0-0 at Cobham, but most experts are predicting goals, goals, and more goals this time around. Chelsea's NextGen Series leading scorer is most unsurprisingly Islam Feruz (2), with Patrick Bamford, Jeremie Boga, Alex Kiwomya, Lucas Piazon, George Saville, Reece Mitchell, and Isak Ssewankambo chipping in with one each. I hope Isak makes it to the first team at some point because that's quite a tremendous name to have on a shirt! No idea about TV coverage on this one unfortunately.

Lastly, there are four Premier League contests to choose from; all four kicking off at 2:45 P.M. EST: Aston Villa vs. Newcastle - may essentially be an early relegation six-pointer; Queens Park Rangers vs. Manchester City - a bit conflicting which one to root for in this one; Stoke City vs. Wigan Athletic - yawn; Sunderland vs. Swansea City - meh.

And if that's not enough, if things just couldn't possibly get any more exciting, and you're still around, there's even a titanic USA vs. Canada friendly to close out this Terrifically Tremendous Trufflebuttery Tuesday Transcendent.


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