Today is ‘Good’ Friday, the day that intelligent, grown adults across the Western world commemorate the fact that their god sacrificed himself to himself to allow himself to forgive humanity for a sin made up by himself.
If you’d rather pray at the church of football, here are three must-see games today:
1) English Premier League: Swansea City vs Newcastle Utd., 17.30 CET/11.30 EST
Swansea, transforming the traditional cliché uttered about promoted clubs into a ‘breath of Welsh air’, look to be pretty safe from the drop now, while Newcastle are playing well, possess one of the most in-form strikers in Papiss Cissé, and aren’t quite yet out of the hunt for Champions League football, such has been the level of
crapness inconsistency shown by Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea. It should be an Easter Egg of a match – tempting, enjoyable and horribly addictive.
2) Belgian Pro League, play-offs: Standard Liege vs Anderlecht, 20.30 CET/14.30 EST
Anderlecht’s draw with Kortrijk in the first week of the much-maligned play-off format was a big shock, and it cut their lead over Club Brugge to just one point. The Brussels-based club really need a win in Liege, as otherwise they may be looking at Brugge’s swaggering behinds by the time the final whistle of their rivals’ own match with Kortrijk sounds on Sunday.
3) French League 2: Monaco vs Nantes, 20.20 CET/14.20 EST
Ten years ago, this match would have paired the reigning French champions with the champions of the preceding year. As recently as 2004, Monaco were playing in the flippin’ Champions League final, for goodness sake. It’s not been the best time to be a fan of Les Canaris or Les Rouge et Blanc, but things are looking up – the once-rich-but-now-not-so-much-Monegasques have moved up the table to put to bed nightmares of a second successive relegation, and Nantes have finally put themselves in with a shout of escaping the Ligue 2 quicksand. For that reason alone, we’re taking the away side to sneak it in front of a bumper crowd of, um, 4,000 hardy souls at Stade Louis II.