Monday, December 12, 2011

Midweek TV Preview: 12 - 16 December

Monday 12 December

19.45 Roma v Juventus, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Udinese's win over Chievo on Sunday sent them to the top of table, a position Juve should retake here against an out of sorts Roma side that haven't managed to get fully into their stride this season under rookie coach Luis Enrique.
20.00 Chelsea v Manchester City, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D
Roman Abramovich's Invitation XI take on Sheikh Mansour's Invitation XI. They've spent over £1.5 billion in total so far. I'm sure it's well worth it.
00.15 Tigre v Velez Sarsfield, Argentinian Apertura, Premier Sports
Boca completed an undefeated Apertura with a win over All Boys. Tigre can leapfrog today's opponents and finish as high as fourth with a home win.

Tuesday 13 December

19.30 Yeovil Town v Fleetwood Town, FA Cup 2nd Round Replay, ESPN/ESPN HD
A dramatic ending in previous game saw Fleetwood snatch a late draw coming back from 2-0 down; player-coach Jamie Milligan keeping his composure to score an equalising 89th minute penalty to keep the Conference side in the competition. A home tie against Blackpool in the Third Round awaits the winners.
19.45 St Johnstone v Aberdeen, SPL, Sky Sports 1/HD1
A chance for St Johnstone to regroup after being beaten 3-0 at home by third spot rivals Motherwell at the weekend. Aberdeen have gone almost two months since their win in the SPL.

Wednesday 14 December

10.30 Santos v Kashiwa Reysol, FIFA World Club Cup 2011 Semi Final, ESPN/ESPN HD
Yay! Midweek daytime football! Kashiwa Reysol were only crowned J-League Champions on 3 December and entered this tournament as representatives of the host nation five days later. They've already knocked out the Oceania Champions, Auckland and the CONCACAF Champions Monterrey to take on the Copa Libertadores winners. The other semi-final is the same time tomorrow with the final on Sunday.
18.00 Besiktas v Stoke City, UEFA Europa League Group E, ESPN/ESPN HD
Stoke need only a draw to finish top of their group. While the home side only need a draw to make sure they go through, they know a win will see them go through top leaving Stoke to face a seeded team in Friday's draw for the next round.
20.05 Macclesfield Town v Chelmsford City, FA Cup 2nd Round Replay, ESPN/ESPN HD
The guarantee of a home tie against Premier League opposition for the winners here adds even more to this fixture. While Bolton may not be the make for the most spectacular draw it almost certainly makes sure the cameras will be along too.
20.05 Fulham v Odense BK, UEFA Europa League Group K, Channel 5/Channel 5 HD
Match 14 in the tournament so far for Fulham sees them take on the bottom club in the group. They need to match whatever Wisla Krakow manage against Twente to secure their second spot and place in the last 32 - so just the nine more games to go then after this
00.15 Universidad de Chile v Liga de Quito, Copa Sudamericana Final 2nd Leg (1-0), Premier Sports
Difficult to see past Universidad for this one - they've steam-rollered their way to the final and their domestic title. They currently on a run of 34 games undefeated in all competitions. The side almost went bust in 2007 but was rescued when the club ownership moved from the University into private hands.

Thursday 15 December

10.30 Barcelona v Al Sadd, FIFA World Club Cup 2011 Semi Final, ESPN/ESPN HD
Pep's superstars, still basking in their weekend Clasico victory, enter the tournament and take on the Qatar side that won the AFC Champions League on penalties last month. Al Sadd beat the CAF Champions, Esperance of Tunisia, 2-1 in their quarter final at the weekend.
18.00 PAOK v Rubin Kazan, UEFA Europa League Group A, ESPN/ESPN HD
PAOK are through and only need a draw to finish top. Rubin know a draw will be good enough for them to go through. Draw it is then.
18.00 Shamrock Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur, UEFA Europa League Group A, ITV4/ITV4 HD
Last week, people got themselves in a right old tizz when Lyon managed to overturn a huge goal difference deficit against a frankly hopeless Zagreb side while Ajax got spanked at home to a Real Madrid side who were wearing flip-flops. The entirely unsubstantiated cries of "fix" went out across Twitter and other outlets - could the same thing happen two weeks in a row?
20.05 Birmingham City v NK Maribor, UEFA Europa League Group H, ITV4/ITV4 HD
A win for Birmingham leaves them looking at the other fixture in the group to see if they scrape through as runners up. If Brugge win or draw at home to Braga both of them go through with Brugge finishing top. If Braga win they finish top and are joined by Birmingham - but only if they beat Maribor, of course.
20.05 Udinese v Celtic, UEFA Europa League Group I, ESPN/ESPN HD
Simple equation for the Bhoys, they have to beat Udinese to finish second in the group and progress through to the next stage - though they'll need to do what no other Celtic side has done before and win in Italy. The travelling support should have no trouble making themselves heard in a largely empty Stadio Friuli: the attendence only just passed 10,000 when they played Atletico.

Friday 16 December 2011

11.00 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Draw, British Eurosport
Live from Nyon, it's what we've all been waiting for - the end of the group stage nonsense and the return of the away goals rule. Arsenal and Chelsea are seeded as group winners and will be looking to avoid Milan, Napoli or the mighty Basel. Match dates: 14/15 and 21/22 February 2012.
12.00 UEFA Europa League Round of 32 Draw, British Eurosport
Manchester United and Manchester City enter the draw as seeds, with Olympiakos, Valencia and the 12 group winners and will play their first leg away. The current holders, Porto, join the remaining Champions League third placed teams and the 12 group runners-up as unseeded teams. As with the Champions League, for this stage, teams from the same association or who played each other in the group stage can't be drawn against each other. Match dates: 16 and 23 February 2012.

No comments :