After a brief hiatus, The Weekend Special returns to bring you certain fixtures that we football fans should keep our eyes on with the upcoming weekend, whether it will be televised, or via some sort of online means, because if you can read this article, I can pretty much assume you can find your way to a means of watching something.
Here are my five choices for the week, by order of chronological appearances (dates are in Manila).
1. Celtic vs Aberdeen. August 4, 7:45 PM at Celtic Park (Scottish Premier League)
Considering how much press and pub Scottish football has gotten over the past weeks and months for all the wrong reasons (mainly due the collapse of Glasgow Rangers), Scottish fans cannot wait for the start of the season. For Celtic fans, they look forward to unfurling their latest championship banner, knowing that they will be the clear and prohibitive favorite to successfully defend their crown.
2. Paris Saint-Germain vs FC Barcelona. August 5, 2:00 AM at Parc de Princes (club friendly)
The Ligue 1 runner-up's Qatari ownership decided to flex their financial muscles for Carlo Ancelotti and beef up their roster, poaching Serie A talent in AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi. What way to better gauge how well they are by going up against the Catalan giants. Although Alphonse Areola is with PSG, the team has decided to not include the keeper with Filipino ancestry as among the eligibles for this particular friendly.
3. Great Britain vs South Korea. August 5, 2:30 AM at Millennium Stadium (2012 London Olympics)
Quarterfinal action in the 2012 London Games begins and arguably this is the best matchup in men's football. The hosts desperately want to win the gold medal of this particular event, and the plan has gone well, winning Group A in the process. They face a heady South Korean team that comes into this fixture not having tasted a defeat.
4. Houston Dynamo vs New York Red Bulls. August 5, 8:00 AM at BBVA Compass Stadium (Major League Soccer)
The top two teams in the Eastern Conference tangle and only one point separates both teams. This might also serve Tim Cahill's debut in MLS. The Australian midfielder, formerly of Everton, played 45 minutes against Premiership side Tottenham in a friendly and NYRB head man Hans Backe is looking at him to be the final piece of a possible run for the MLS Cup.
5. PSV Eindhoven vs Ajax Amsterdam. August 6, 12:00 AM at Amsterdam Arena (Netherlands Super Cup)
Ajax was denied of the chance to hold the Johan Cruijff Plate last year, losing 2-1 to FC Twente. The reigning Eredivisie champions get their chance this year against rivals and KNVB Cup winners PSV. If Ajax wins, they will equal PSV's feat of winning 8 Super Cups. In fact, teams not named PSV or Ajax have combined to win the Super Cup 7 times.