Thursday, May 26, 2011

TV Preview 27 May - 2 June

Friday 27 May

19.45 Wales v Northern Ireland, Carling Nations Cup, Sky Sports 1 / HD1 / 3D
After the farce of the Northern Ireland fans boycotting the game against Ireland over ticketing and "player poaching", the Aviva Stadium faces the embarrassment of a third-place play-off between two teams who would rather be somewhere else and a group of fans who will be.

Saturday 28 May

15.00 Torquay Utd v Stevenage, League Two Play-Off Final, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
Neither team were in sparkling form going into the post-season but you know what they say about play-offs: They keep the riff raff in. Only kidding.
19.45 Barcelona v Man Utd, Champions League Final, ITV1 / ITV1 HD / Sky Sports 1 / HD1 / 3D
Finally. The season ends and we can all get some rest. You're probably up to your necks in previews for this one. Suffice to say that a Final on a Saturday evening at Wembley should be something else and you'll struggle to find two worthier contestants.

Sunday 29 May

11.30 FC Gronigen v ADO Den Haag, Dutch Eredivisie Europa League Play-Off Final 2nd Leg, ESPN / ESPN HD
What's this? More football? Oh Christ there's loads of it. Cancel the holiday, put away the sun cream and see how pointless play-off fixtures are really done.
15.00 Huddersfield Town v Peterborough United, League One Play-Off Final, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
On paper, Huddersfield are favourites but you know what they say about the play-offs: They're not as good as they used to be.
18.30 Republic of Ireland v Scotland, Carling Nations Cup, Sky Sports 1 / HD1 / 3D
Not that I have a particular issue with the Nations Cup. In fact I think it's a shame that England chose to cry off. However, it is fair to say that the tournament is not exactly catching the teams at their best.
18.00 Tigre v Velez Sarsfield, Argentine Primera Division, Premier Sports
OK, so I'm not from the Argentina Clausura but I'm assuming that Velez Sarsfield are surprising table toppers. Tigre are mid-table. Six o'clock's a pretty decent time to be watching footbal from South America and this could be a nice preview before...
19.45 Inter Milan v Palermo, Coppa Italia Final, ESPN / ESPN HD
Palermo wrecked the other Milano club of the chance of a domestic double. Now they bid to wreck Inter's chance of salvaging what has been a fairly anti-claimactic season. That and win a big fancy trophy.
20.00 Cruzeiro v Palmeiras, Brazilian Serie A, Premier Sports
Early days in the Brazilian national championship. The home side have yet to get off the mark while Palmeiras have a win under their belt.

Monday 30 May

15.00 Swansea City v Reading, Championship Play Off Final, Sky Sports 1 / HD1 / 3D
And finally the English domestic season waves goodbye as The Swans bid to return to the top flight for the first time since 1982. Standing in their way is the uber-effective Reading. Romantic neutrals like me will be routing for The Swans. But you know what they say about the play-offs... oh never mind.
19.45 Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians, Airtricity League, Premier Sports
Just 3 points split the top 7 (SEVEN) in a league of just 12 (twelve). Rovers are top by two points while Bohs are sixth.

Wednesday 1 June

19.00 Nigeria v Argentina, International Friendly, ESPN / ESPN HD
The Copa America is not far away and what better way to prepare than with a trip to Abuja. Looking forward to this as it's a rare chance to sample the atmosphere of a Super Eagles home game.

Thursday 2 June

18.30 Italy v Portugal, Toulon Tournament, British Eurosport HD
And so the tournament synonymous with the gloom of a summer free of football gets underway. These days, however, the gloom is not so deep. This is mainly because football never stops these days and that I for one am pleased for a break.

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