Monday, August 23, 2010

Midweek TV Preview: 23 - 26 August 2010

Monday 23 August

20.00 Man City v Liverpool, Premier League, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
It’s nearly five years since City last beat the ‘Pool. Kiki Musampa was the scorer of the winning goal at the City of Manchester Stadium back in April 2005, however Roberto Mancini’s 2010 vintage should feature James Milner making his debut and, if you’re lucky, Mario Balotelli. Actually, make that ‘if City are lucky’ – they’ll need him after their decidedly average opening day performance against Spurs.

Tuesday 24 August

19.30 Sevilla v Sporting Braga, UEFA Champions League, Sky Sports 2 / HD2
Sevilla are in something of a tailspin at the moment. They lost the first leg of this tie 1-0 last week and lost 4-0 to Barcelona in the Super Cup 2nd Leg on Saturday having won the first leg 3-1. While they wait for the new season to start in the Primera Division, Braga find themselves unbeaten two games into their own domestic campaign and can already claim Celtic as a scalp in this competition. The Portuguese look favourites to take their place in the Group Stage over the shaky Spaniards and with some justification.

Wednesday 25 August

19.45 Accrington Stanley v Newcastle United, Carling Cup 2nd Round, Sky Sports 3 / HD3
Boardroom unrest for Stanley and a resurgent Magpies side can only mean one outcome here as far as we’re concerned, although the home team are in good form at the moment.

19.45 Ajax v Dynamo Kiev, UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play Off 2nd Leg (1-1), Sky Sports 2 / HD2
Martin Jol’s main concern will be preventing the Ukrainians from scoring an away goal after the first leg of this tie ended 1-1. Luckily for him, he’s got Luis Suarez back and on form having scored at the weekend in the Eredivisie. Let’s hope it prompts Andriy Shevchenko into showing us he can do the same too.

19.45 Tottenham Hotspur v Young Boys, Champions League Qualifying Play Off 2nd Leg (2-3), ITV1
Shoot me down in flames if you like. Yes, it was me that stated on last week’s Sound of Football podcast that Tottenham would probably win the first leg of this tie by four or five goals, but what can I tell you – it was a plastic pitch, right?

19.45 Auxerre v Zenit St Petersburg, Champions League Qualifying Play Off 2nd Leg (0-1), Sky Sports 2 Red Button
Still anyone's after Zenit failed to capitalise on the Alexander Kerzhakov's third minute tame header that left the french goalkeeper scrambling. Auxerre had plenty of opportunities to get something from opening leg and should do better here.

19.45 Copenhagen v Rosenborg, Champions League Qualifying Play Off 2nd Leg (1-2), Sky Sports 2 Red Button
A late Jesper Gronkjaer away goal in Trondheim last week has put this tie on a knife-edge after having looked comfortable for the Norwegians. Could be another upset.

19.45 Zilina v Sparta Prague, Champions League Qualifying Play Off 2nd Leg (2-0), Sky Sports 2 Red Button
The battle of the old Czechoslovakian rivals picks up with the Slovak underdogs in the driving seat. Zilina will probably park the bus, while Sparta throw everything forward.

Thursday 26 August

18.30 Trabzonspor v Liverpool, UEFA Europa League Play Off 2nd Leg (0-1), ESPN
Liverpool lead 1-0 from the first leg and should win this one on account of the fact that the one-man disaster zone Joe Cole isn't available to play.

19.45 Birmingham City v Rochdale, Carling Cup 2nd Round, Sky Sports 3/HD3
Rochdale might be distracted by the perpetual nosebleeds gained from reaching the giddy heights of League One at long last, but we fear Alex McLeish’s men might give them an even more bloody nose in this match.

19.45 Aston Villa v Rapid Vienna, UEFA Europa League Play Off 2nd Leg (1-1), ITV4
After beating West Ham 3-0 in the Premier League last weekend, we thought the first leg 1-1 draw against the Austrians was further proof that Villa were on the road to recovery. Shows how much we know.

19.45 Manchester City v Timisoara, UEFA Europa League Play Off 2nd Leg (1-0), British Eurosport
A rare chance to see an English club side on Eurosport, and a wise choice indeed. City look like they’ve got the taste for European action following their 1-0 win in Romania last week. The question is, will British Eurosport send a commentator to the match or will they resolutely stick to the sanctity of their studios in Middlesex? Come on Eurosport – you can’t stay in their forever, you know...

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