Friday, January 28, 2011

Weekend TV Preview: 28 - 30 January 2011

Friday 28 January

15.00 South Korea v Uzbekistan, AFC Asian Cup Third Place Play Off, British Eurosport 2
After a promising tournament, the Uzbeks imploded in their semi-final losing 6(олти)-0 to Australia. South Korea ran Japan close in their semi, scoring a last gasp equaliser in extra time, but failed to convert any of their penalties in the shoot-out.

19.30 Bayer Leverkusen v Hannover 96, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
Dortmund's nearest rivals for the title come head to head. Both sides have dropped points since the winter restart and with the usual suspects Bayern, Hamburg and even Schalke finding form, they'll do well to hold on to their positions come the end of the season.

19.45 Bury v Shrewsbury, League Two, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Two teams almost devoid of any form at the moment. Bury haven't won in two months and the Shrews have managed just one win in that time. Bury have slipped out of the play-off spots and Shrewbury will soon follow if they don't improve soon.

19.45 Gateshead v AFC Wimbledon, Blue Square Premier League, Premier Sports
A string of draws for AFC has given Crawley the opportunity to pull away at the top. Gateshead have improved recently and are unbeaten in five including a 2-2 draw last time out with the other title contenders Luton.

Saturday 29 January

12.30 Everton v Chelsea, FA Cup 4th Round, ESPN/ESPN HD
The first of five all Premiership ties in the 4th round. Everton have to get used to life without Steven Pienaar while Chelsea have to get used to life without Fernando Torres.

12.50 Swansea City v Leyton Orient, FA Cup 4th Round, S4C
Both teams experience an near identical prospect to the last round: promotion chasing Championship side at home to mid-table League one side. Orient will hope they can reproduce a similar performance to the one that knocked Norwich out in the last round while the Swans breezed past Colchester 4-0. Despite their unimpressive league placing, the Os have lost only once in their last 14 games.

15.00 Japan v Australia, AFC Asian Cup Final, British Eurosport 2
Football on TV at 3pm on a Saturday, don't mind if I do. Tough call this one, Japan's only convincing result in this tournament being their destruction of the frankly woeful Saudis but are unbeaten in eleven games.

17.00 Lazio v Fiorentina, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
An interesting rather than tantalising collection of Serie A fixtures on offer this weekend. While still in the Champions League spots, Lazio have struggled against so called lesser teams recently losing to Bologna last time out and losing to lowly Lecce at home. Fiorentina seem comfortable in mid-table.

17.15 Southampton v Man Utd, FA Cup 4th Round, ITV1/ITV1 HD
Here's hoping Southampton fans have another chance to sing "Premier League? You're having a laugh!" - I doubt whether it would get under the skin of Alex Ferguson as it did Ian Holloway.

19.00 Hercules v Barcelona, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Can lightning strike twice? Hercules stunned the world with their 2-0 win at the Camp Nou in week 2 and they're in fantastic home form winning their last four scoring 13 goals in the process. Worth a watch.

19.45 Catania v AC Milan, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Catania are being slowly sucked into the relegation scrap. Milan have won their last two visits here 2-0 and they're a better side this time around.

21.00 Deportivo La Coruna v Sevilla, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Sevilla have turned things around a bit but are now too far off the top four places to mount a serious challenge for a Champions League place. Depor are just being Depor.

Sunday 30 January

11.30 Brescia v Chievo, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
A north Italian derby with two teams from either side of Lake Garda. After coming up in the play-offs Brescia made a lively start to the season winning three of their first four games including a 1-0 win over today's opponents - unfortunately they've only won two more since then. Chievo sit just a few places above them in the bottom half.

12.00 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town, FA Cup 4th Round, ESPN/ESPN HD
Probably picked in case Leeds pulled off a win against Arsenal. Arsenal's fifth cup tie in January, they've scored three goals in each of their four games since losing to Ipswich.

13.15 Dundee United v Hibernian, SPL, Sky Sports 4/HD4
United's top scorer David Goodwillie has failed to find the net in his three games since his arrest on rape charges. A small crumb of comfort for an awful Hibs side who have managed just just two points in their last nine games.

14.00 Notts County v Man City, FA Cup 4th Round, ITV1/ITV1 HD
Two of Sven's exes come head to head with hilarious consequences.

14.30 Stuttgart v Freiburg, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
A good restart for Stuttgart with a win against early season pace-setters Mainz and and a hard fought draw away to runaway leaders Dortmund. A win here against a useful Freiburg side could see them climb out of the relegation zone.

15.00 Rangers v Motherwell, Cooperative Insurance Cup Semi Final, BBC1 Scotland
The numbers don't favour Motherwell: Rangers looking to reach their 34th final compared to Motherwell's fourth. The last time Motherwell got to the final was 2005 where they faced today's opponents and lost 5-1. The winner here will face either Celtic or Aberdeen in the final.

16.30 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur, FA Cup 4th Round, ESPN/ESPN HD
Spurs have already beaten Fulham twice in the League this season - both times by the odd goal. With the push for a top four finish still their priority and the Champions League starting again soon, Harry may wish to get the FA Cup behind him. But with a dip in league form a good win could be just what they need to get back on track.

18.00 Osasuna v Real Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Real visit a side that haven't won in eight games. You can see where this is going.

20.00 Espanyol v Villarreal, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Fifth plays third, in a far more entertaining offering from La Liga.

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