Mondays, Noob’s guidance through the ten most important soccer matches for us – the newish American fans – to follow takes dark, beautiful turns.
With league scheds lighter all around after the weekend, we celebrate clubs about to get Relegated. Let’s get to know them before they’re sent away.
First, a few matches of import involving more successful teams.
Everton vs. Newcastle United – English Premier
Neither of these teams is going to Champions or Europa League. 9th vs. 10th. But every match matters. Why? Moolah!
Noob recently learned that each and every spot in the table is awarded a different amount of prize pool money at season’s end. The amounts range from nearly 40 million pounds down to about 2M. The prize goes up about 2M per spot.
Also, Newcastle are excited to be fighting for a top-half finish after having just been promoted this year. Catch it on NBCSN at 3:00 PM Eastern.
RESULT: Everton 1-0
Dan the Intern-o Inferno, check your reading skillz.
Noob wanted funny moolah image. Not mullah.
B. FC Porto vs. Vitoria de Setubal – Primeira Liga (Portugal)
Noob has taken to calling these sorts of matches “Hiccup Watch”. Not exactly setting the interwebs on fire, but that’s fine. Function over fashion, Noobites.
#B Porto should make mulch of #14 VdS. But since they’re only two points out of 1st and have two other clubs breathing right down their necks, the drama is still high. They can’t afford a Hiccup. (3:00 PM, GOL TV)
RESULT: Porto 5-1
Ok, Dan, now you’re just messing with Noob.
I guess Number B gets a day off.
Mineros de Guayana vs. Carabobo – Venezuela Premier
It’s not one of the smexier leagues in South America, but it is still a premium matchup. These two are 4th and 1st in the Apertura (first half-season) table. They’re only separated by four points. But with just a few games to go, still is a must-win for MdG.
Hapoel Tel Aviv vs. Hapoel Hedera Eran – Israeli Liga Leumit
#1 versus #B always catches Noob’s wandering footyball gaze. Even second-tier Israeli soccer!
HTA is so far ahead they’’re already guaranteed promotion to Premier. HHE is five points up on the 3rd place club, also in line to move up to Ligat Haal.
Now we’re ready for the Relegation fun. And Noob rips off a classic tune.
Genoa vs. Hellas Verona – Serie A
Noob likes football in Italia/ Gonna make my way to Stadio Bentegod-a/ B-e—n—t—a-goaad-ah./
Genoa’s climbed up to 12th place/ While the visitors find themselves in Relegation Zone-ah/ Hellas Verona.
Hellas Veroohh-nahhhh! Duhn duhduh dah duhnduhn…. *guitar riff*
RESULT: Genoa 3-1
Cibalia vs. Slaven – Croatia First League
Last place Cibalia are only two points from safety. Slaven is #7 in this ten-team league, the 16th-ranked one in Europe.
Fun Fact: Cibalia is named for the ancient Roman settlement Colonia Aurelia Cibalae.
RESULT: Slaven 1-3
7. Olympiakos Nicosia vs. Alki Oroklinis – Cyprus First Division
Three more spots down the UEFA rankings is the on-the-rapid rise Cypriot league. Speaking of down, that’s exactly where the hosts are headed today.
Cyprus has already Relegated its bottom two teams in the table. The next several have been battling in a Playout subdivision to see which one other also gets The Boot. O.N. have to win all four of their matches and make-up 22 goals in goal differential to save themselves, while the next team up loses all of theirs. Not happening.
RESULT: Oroklini 0-3 And so it goes for Olympiakos Nicosia. Second division. Noob feels so empty inside…
Fun Fact: Black and green club colors for O.N.
Not sure what’s up with the tent-house thingie though.
Deportivo Pasto vs. Chico FC – Colombia Premier A
Colombia Relegates two teams using results over three seasons. Chico’s sucked in all of them. Still, Pasto is only one spot above them in the table this season, so this might be Chico’s best shot at a road win for a while.
Fun Fact: Chico are from Boyaca, a snooty, rich neighborhood of Bogota.
RESULT: Pasto 3-0
Had to go so fast, ghosted right out of his lame hoodie.
Rapide Oued Zem vs. Ittihad Tanger – Morocco Botola Pro
Second-to-last hosts 1st in Africa’s 6th-ranked league.
Fun Fact: Oued Zem isn’t really the name of the club. My cat walked across the keyboard and Noob just doesn’t care.
The Management here: Noob is allergic to cats. He owns no cat. Thank you for your endurance. — The Management.
RESULT: RCOZ 2-0 It’s a Relegation Monday miracle!
10. Heartland Owerri vs. Plateau United – Nigeria Pro League
Nigeria’s top league is ranked 12th on the continent, the lowest one to still receive multiple bids to its Champions League. And they must be frustrated about it, because they Relegate four of their 20 teams each year.
Heartland are tied for last, hosting a disappointing 12th-place Plateau team that fared a lot better in 2016-17.
Fun Fact: One of Heartland’s nicknames is “The Soccer Scientists”.
RESULT: 1-1 So close! Plateau get the equalizer at 90′.
If Soccer Scientists want to be cooler, they should at least get some Beats by Dre.