#5ToFollow

by | April 16, 2014 at 2:00 AM | #5ToFollow, Barclays Premier League, ESPN, Golf, NBC Sports, NBC Sports Network, NHL, Soccer

Vance McCullough, the voice of @XFINITYSports, delivers his analysis of the five key games to watch online, paired with five Twitter follows to give you insider information on the matchup. Have a matchup that you’d like Vance to feature? Tweet @XFINITYSports with the hashtag #5ToFollow.

1. Crystal Palace vs. Everton

Details: Wednesday, April 16 @ 2:45 PM ET – Goodison Park – Liverpool, England, U.K.

Watch Here: PL Extra Time on XFINITY

Why Watch? There are many races in this year’s Premier League, the title chase, the relegation escape, and now we’ve got the fight for fourth! Yesterday, Arsenal reclaimed the final Champions League qualifying position with a 3-1 victory over West Ham. Look for Everton to return the favor this afternoon against a surging Crystal Palace club. The Eagles are riding a streak, winners of their last three matches in the Premiership, and has climbed out from the depths of the relegation zone. It will take a masterful effort from Palace, as the Toffees are on a win streak of their own, 6-0 in their last six. We may see a draw, but we hope for the maximum as two of the BPL’s hottest teams get things started Wednesday on Extra Time.

#5ToFollow Insider: Roger Bennett
He is an Everton supporter, a soccer scholar, and one-half of the Men in Blazers. All GFOPs click follow and see if the fight for fourth adds another round to this race when the Toffees and the Eagles go to work on Wednesday.

Up-to-the-Second Coverage:

2. Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona

Details: Wednesday, April 16 @ 3:30 PM ET – Mestalla Stadium – Valencia, Spain

Watch Here: ESPN on XFINITY

Why Watch? The Copa Del Rey Final will have the two titans of La Liga facing off in Mestalla for the first time since 2011’s marathon match. The stadium will be packed with 55,000 fans, one side red for Barcelona, the other in white for Madrid. Cristiano was the hero on that day in 2011, but now Real Madrid will look for a Bale out, as Garreth Bale will look to takeover for the injured Ballon d’Or winner. Barca will have their super strikers in good form, as Messi and Neymar are set to go in Wednesday’s title tilt. Get set for another exciting edition of El Clásico on ESPN as this one ends in trophy hoisting!

#5ToFollow Insider: Kevin McCauley
He’s the mastermind behind SB Nation’s Soccer team on Twitter and will have all the highlights and insights to this Copa Del Rey classic rivalry match.

Up-to-the-Second Coverage:

3. Blue Jackets vs. Penguins

Details: Wednesday, April 16 @ 7:30 PM ET – CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA

Watch Here: NBCSN on XFINITY

Why Watch? Separated by only 185 miles of highway and one state – these two teams are a regional rivalry in the making, and it could all start here! The regular season stats seem overwhelmingly in the positive for Wednesday night’s home team, as the Pens outscored the Jackets 16-8 and won all five of their contests. But why is this one to watch? Because it’s the Cup! Keep an eye on the man between the pipes for C-Bus, Sergei Bobrovsky who had a .945 save percentage in April and was a major reason they secured the top wild-card spot. Tweet me who you’re taking tonight, the #Pens or #CBJ, before it drops in Pittsburgh!

#5ToFollow Insider: Rob Rossi
Rossi has covered the Pens since the 2006-07 season. He’s been there for eight playoff runs, one Stanley Cup trophy, and so much Sid. Follow Rossi as he’s live from the CONSOL Center Wednesday night.

Up-to-the-Second Coverage:

4. Ducks vs. Stars

Details: Wednesday, April 16 @ 10:00 PM ET – Honda Center – Anaheim, CA

Watch Here: NBCSN on XFINITY

Why Watch? It’s the trade that paid off for both sides. When the Ducks sent Stephane Robidas to the Stars, the defenseman was set to square off with his former team. He’ll be giving all the scouting reports and secrets on his former teammates, as Dallas travels to Anaheim for the first game of the series. We will see how this will impact the game, but both sides bring an offensive punch to the power play. Which side will have the larger advantage: the Ducks with Getzlaf (87 points) and Perry (82 points), or Seguin (84 points) and Benn (79 points)? Get ready for a full night on the ice as the second game of the Wednesday night #NHLplayoffs doubleheader on NBCSN is going to be a battle worth watching.

#5ToFollow Insider: Ryan Dadoun
Ryan Dadoun has predicted that the Ducks will be the team to hoist Sir Stanley’s Cup when it’s all said and done. The Pro Hockey Talk scribe will be live tweeting their opener. See if he’s right by watching and following Wednesday night.

Up-to-the-Second Coverage:

5. RBC Heritage Open

Details: Tuesday, April 15 @ 10:30 PM ET – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA

Watch: Golf Channel on XFINITY

Why Watch? With pairings like Jordan Spieth, Davis Love III, and Tom Watson (12:40) Zach Johnson, Harris English, and Luke Donald (12:50), this one’s going to get real interesting, really quick. Three early favorites for the course are Kuchar (who has placed top five in three straight), Luke Donald (he’s finished top three in his last five here), and Jim Furyk (who won this tournament in 2010). Another contender is Jordan Spieth, who you know is ready to claim his first victory in 2014. Could it happen in Hilton Head? Tune in to see Spieth and the rest of the field tee it up Thursday afternoon on the Golf Channel.

#5ToFollow Insider: Rob Bolton
Bolton is a Fantasy Golf Writer for PGATour.com and has highlighted the field for this weekend’s Heritage Open. He’s big on Furyk and Na, tweet him if you like another before they get it started Thursday.

Up-to-the-Second Coverage: