Monday, October 17, 2011

Midweek TV Preview: 17 - 20 October 2011

Monday 17 October

19.45 Glentoran v Linfield, Irish League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Linfield have the chance to go top after Portadown drew with Coleraine at the weekend, which should add even more excitement to an often fractious Belfast derby. Glentoran have finally got into their stride this season and have scored 25 goals in their last six wins.

Tuesday 18 October

17.00 CSKA Moscow v Trabzonspor, UEFA Champions League Group B, Sky Sports 2/HD2
CSKA are looking for their first win against the side that sits at the top of the table two games in. The Moscow side in their domestic league at the moment have just one win in their last eight games. Trabzonspor are taking full advantage having been promoted from the Europa League following Fenerbahce's expulsion
19.45 Manchester City v Villarreal, UEFA Champions League Group A, Sky Sports 2/HD2/3D
Defeat could mean an untimely end for either side's campaign in this tough group. City should have enough to hold off the Yellow Submarine and get back into the mix for the qualification to the last 16.
19.45 Napoli v Bayern Munich, UEFA Champions League Group A, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
It's 1,108 minutes since Bayern conceded a goal. Manuel Neuer beat Olly Khan's previous club record in their home win against Hertha at the weekend but is still 282 minutes short of the European record and a massive 708 minutes away from the world record. Easily the pick of tonight's games. (I see a Friday List coming up).
19.45 Lille v Inter, UEFA Champions League Group B, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
When Inter won away in Moscow on Matchday 2 it was thought they'd turned a corner on their awful start to the season. Since then, though, they've been mauled at home by Napoli and at the weekend lost to Catania thanks to a controversial second half penalty. Lille's performances have improved in that time, winning both games, so it's theirs to lose.
19.45 Otelul Galati v Manchester Utd, UEFA Champions League Group C, Sky Sports 4/HD4
While Galati have lost both their group games so far they certainly haven't embarrassed themselves. That, of course, might change tonight with United still looking for their first win. Galati won their first ever league title last season under Dorinel Munteanu - Romania's most capped international player.
19.45 Basel v Benfica, UEFA Champions League Group C, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
This always looked likely to be the decider as to who would join Manchester United in the next round from this group. It still does. That pressure could make this fixture less a spectacle than it should be.
19.45 Real Madrid v Lyon, UEFA Champions League Group D, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
This fixture has been a Round of Sixteen knock-out encounter in the last two seasons - with Lyon having the upper hand in 2010 and Madrid going through earlier this year. Neither side have conceded so far in the group stage and you'd be safe in saying that all this decides is who finishes top in the group.
19.45 Dinamo Zagreb v Ajax, UEFA Champions League Group D, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
Zagreb should go into this with reasonable expectation of taking the win. Ajax are in poor form at the moment, having failed to register a win in the their four domestic league games.

Wednesday 19 October

19.45 Chelsea v Genk, UEFA Champions League Group E, Sky Sports 2/HD2
The Genk manager is called Mr Been, which is something that will no doubt amuse Chelsea fans.
19.45 Bayer Leverkusen v Valencia, UEFA Champions League Group E, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
A must win for Leverkusen, you'd feel. Unfortunately they haven't stood up to any real test this season. That said, Valencia aren't exactly in the best of form. Could be knock-about fun here.
19.45 Marseille v Arsenal, UEFA Champions League Group F, ITV1/ITV1 HD
Marseille have saved their best performances for this competition and domestically they've just one win from ten. Arsenal need all the points they can get in this tricky group and will hope that Marseille won't put together the sort of performance that saw them tear apart Dortmund on Matchday 2.
19.45 Olympiakos v Borussia Dortmund, UEFA Champions League Group F, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
Dortmund's defeat to Marseille should really have woken them up to life in the Champions League. It's certainly improved their domestic campaign, seeing them return to the sort of form that led them to the German title last season.
19.45 Shakhtar Donetsk v Zenit St Petersburg, UEFA Champions League Group G, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
2009 UEFA Cup winners play the 2008 UEFA Cup winners - an intriguing encounter for those fans of Eastern European football...
19.45 FC Porto v APOEL, UEFA Champions League Group G, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
...while the 2011 Europa League winners host the side that leads them all in the group.
19.45 Barcelona v Viktoria Plzen, UEFA Champions League Group H, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Easy win and more goals for Messi and co. You only need to watch this while you wait for the red button to warm up.
19.45 AC Milan v Bate Borisov, UEFA Champions League Group H, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
I reckon Milan will top this group. There, I've said it.
23.50 Sao Paulo v Libertad, Copa Sudamerican Round of 16 1st Leg, Premier Sports
Arsenal fans might be interested to know that their on-loan midfielder Denilson has been sent off in THREE of his ten games so far for Sao Paulo.

Thursday 20 October

18.00 Club Bruges v Birmingham City, UEFA Europa League Group H, ESPN Classic
Bruges must be favourites to top this group after a 2-1 win away to Braga on Matchday 2. Defeat for Birmingham will allow them to concentrate on the league.
18.00 Stade Rennes v Celtic, UEFA Europa League Group I, ESPN/ESPN HD
Celtic really need to find a performance here. Hopefully their three goal comeback against Kilmarnock at the weekend hasn't taken too much out of them. It's a shame the other game in this group, Atletico v Udinese, hasn't been picked up. I know, I'm greedy.
18.00 Wisla Krakow v Fulham, UEFA Europa League Group K, ITV4/ITV4 HD
Wisla are yet to register a point so far in the group and face a Fulham side starting their eleventh game in the competition. While they'll be happy coming back with a point, Martin Jol's men should be pushing for all three.
20.05 Stoke City v Maccabi Tel Aviv, UEFA Europa League Group E, ITV4/ITV4 HD
Should be another comfortable home win for Stoke. Maccabi's away record in Europe is pretty weak.
20.05 PAOK Salonika v Shamrock Rovers, UEFA Europa League Group A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Hopefully Tottenham's comeback against them in the last round of fixtures won't have knocked the confidence out a side that has brought huge attention to the competition.
20.05 Tottenham Hotspur v Rubin Kazan, UEFA Europa League Group A, Channel 5/Channel 5 HD
A much tougher proposition for Spurs than Shamrock but they should still have enough to win this. If they want to.

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