Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend TV Preview: 18 - 20 February 2011

Friday 18 February

19.45 Port Vale v Bradford City, League Two, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Last Saturday's home win over Wycombe Wanderers ended a six-game winless run for Peter Taylor's Bradford that has left The Bantams looking over their shoulders. Jim Gannon's men are far closer to the right end of the table, but have won only twice in nine games in the league since the turn of the year.

19.45 Cambridge United v Kidderminster Harriers, Blue Square Bet Premier, Premier Sports
Times are tough at Kidderminster, but three consecutive league wins might have slightly lifted the mood. Tonight they travel to Cambridge United, who haven't won a league match at home since November.

Saturday 19 February

12.30 Chelsea v Everton, FA Cup, ESPN/ESPN HD
The first attempt at this Fourth Round tie ended one apiece at Goodison Park thanks to goals from Louis Saha and Salomon Kalou, so Everton head to Stamford Bridge for the replay knowing that Carlo Ancelotti's side haven't been beaten in the FA Cup since they were beaten by Barnsley in March 2008.

17.15 Manchester United v Crawley Town, FA Cup, ITV1/ITV1 HD
It's Glaswegian v Glaswegian in the dugout at Old Trafford as Crawley's supposed fairytale Fifth Round match against Manchester United is finally upon us. Crawley's controversial boss Steve Evans adorned the front of a local paper a couple of weeks ago alongside the headline "We're going to Old Trafford to win." Course you are.

17.30 Mainz v Bayern Munich, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
After collapsing against Koln, Bayern dished out the punishment to Hoffenheim thanks to goals from Mario Gomez and Thomas Mueller and a brace by Arjen Robben. If Mainz can shrug off their wobbly form and secure an unlikely win, they'll leapfrog their opponents on Saturday.

19.00 Real Madrid v Levante, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Despite two teams running away with it, this remains a fascinating Spanish season because of the sheer quality of Real and Barcelona. The former face Levante on Saturday with a five-point gap above them to the champions. Good luck with that.

19.45 Internazionale v Cagliari, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Giampaolo Pazzini's winner against Fiorentina on Wednesday put Inter into third, five points behind city rivals Milan. Cagliari, meanwhile, remain resolutely mid-table, and lost 1-0 in the reverse fixture thanks to a first half strike by Samuel Eto'o.

21.00 Real Zaragoza v Atletico Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Zaragoza sit just one point and one place above La Liga's relegation zone, and won't be looking forward to the visit of Atleti. Perhaps they can spring a surprise, though - the boys in red and white have lost their last five and won only once in 2011.

Sunday 20 February

11.30 Lecce v Juventus, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Brescia's win over Bari recently pulled Lecce back towards them and the gap either side of the relegation threshold is now down to just two points. Luigi Di Canio's Giallorossi face a stern test in the lunchtime kick-off on Sunday with the visit of sixth-placed Juve.

12.30 Celtic v Rangers, Scottish Premier League, Sky Sports 4/HD4
This is the third SPL Old Firm derby of the season and with the title on the line it could be the most tense yet. The spoils are even so far, with Rangers winning on enemy territory in October and Celtic returning the favour thanks to a brace from Georgos Samaras in January.

14.00 Manchester City v Notts County, FA Cup, ITV1/ITV1 HD
Another Fourth Round replay this weekend and this time it's Manchester City versus Notts County after a 1-1 draw back in January. Edin Dzeko's equaliser cancelled out Neal Bishop's opener at Meadow Lane, so they go again with the lure of a Fifth Round clash with Aston Villa no doubt egging them on.

14.45 St Mirren v Hibernian, Scottish Premier League, Sky Sports 4/HD4
This basement battle sees St Mirren hunting for their first league win since Boxing Day, a run that stretches back for eight SPL matches. They face a disappointing Hibs side, but one that ended a 10-game run without a win on 2nd February - against St Mirren. They followed up with another home win, but haven't won on the road since stunning Ibrox in November.

16.30 Leyton Orient v Arsenal, FA Cup, ESPN/ESPN HD
Drawing Arsenal in the Fifth Round of the Cup is a welcome boost at a difficult time for Orient, on top of whom West Ham United will move in 2014. They had to work for it: two games against Dagenham, two against Droylsden (including an extra time six-goal glut in the replay) and wins over Norwich City and Swansea City makes Orient's FA Cup run already remarkable.

18.00 Sevilla v Hercules, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
We all know only
one team
two teams can beat Barcelona, and their first conquerors this season have had some travails of their own of late. Hercules defeated Zaragoza with a stunning turnaround at the death on Sunday and in doing so ended their run of four consecutive defeats. David Trezeguet got the winner - standard.

19.45 Napoli v Catania, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Napoli are brilliant: brilliant to watch, brilliantly unpredictable... just brilliant. But Vesuviani bias aside, the title-chasers will need to be on their game to secure three points after their European tie against Villarreal in midweek.

20.00 Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
After defeat to Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League tie, Barcelona face the not inconsiderable task of inflicting their redirected revenge on Athletic Bilbao. The Basque side had been in great nick before losing to Mallorca last weekend and gave Barca a real test in the Copa del Rey either side of Christmas.

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