Club managers are holding their collective breaths this week, as the FIFA international break comes to a close. The hot-seat occupants are nervous about the condition of their star players, as they return from national team duty.
Liverpool has no chance to gradually work its way into peak form following the break. Its mid-term examinations begin Sunday with a game at Chelsea (and Manchester City) looming. Arsenal, Manchester United and the other English Premier League teams look to consolidate their squads ahead of the winter months.
Over here, Major League Soccer crowns its 2011 champion on Sunday. The Los Angeles Galaxy is heavily favored against the Houston Dynamo. But Los Angeles has been in this position before only to come away empty handed.
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