Monday, January 30, 2012

Midweek TV Preview: 30 January - 2 February 2012

Monday 30 January

18.00 Sudan v Burkina Faso, 2012 African Cup of Nations Group B, British Eurosport/HD
Nothing grows under the heavy roller as Clement Atlee once said and with the heavy rollers of Nigeria, Cameroon and African Champions, Egypt removed from this tournament, the Africa Cup of Nations has flourished. Sudan have yet to win in their two games but have their best hope for three points against bottom of the group Burkina Faso.
18.00 Ivory Coast v Angola, 2012 African Cup of Nations Group B, British Eurosport 2
The Ivorians will fear no one in the Quarter Finals but could lose top spot in their group so are unlikely to relax for this game. Angola could still miss out if they lose and Sudan win.
19.45 Oldham Athletic v Chesterfield, Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area Final 2nd Leg, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
If you're still hungry for some football after the excitement of the Africa Cup Of Nations then a lower division clash with a place at Wembley at stake may take your fancy. It's 2-1 to Chesterfield on aggregate so things are nicely poised at Boundary Park. We'll be keeping an eye on this while we record the Sound Of Football.

Tuesday 31 January

18.00 Gabon v Tunisia, 2012 African Cup of Nations Group C, British Eurosport/HD
I missed the Gabon v Morocco game which sounded like a doozy. Bruno Zita Mbanangoye’s 97th (ninety seventh) minute free kick saw the hosts take maximum points and are through to the Quarter Finals making this game a play off for top spot.
18.00 Niger v Morocco, 2012 African Cup of Nations Group C, British Eurosport 2
Hard to imagine a team as capable as Morocco with no points. Goodness knows what controversy reigned last Thursday after conceding that last last gasp goal to Gabon which dumped them out of the Cup. Niger's achievement has been in their attendance but would really add some salt into Moroccan wounds if they produce a win. It's not unlikely too if Niger's performance against Tunisia was anything to go by.
19.45 Parma v Juventus, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Unbeaten Juve look to extend their lead at the top of the table. An away defeat would constitute a shock under most circumstances but particularly against a mediocre Parma.
20.00 Everton v Man City, Premier League, Sky Sports 2/HD2/3D
Time was that this was a well matched and tasty sort-of-derby between two clubs with similar resources and ambitions. City may have lost their soul since becoming monied but I'm sure that will be scant consolation to the Everton fans who are watching their status diminish before their very eyes. Romantics will be hoping for a home win but should not bet on one.
20.00 Mirandes v Athletic Bilbao, Copa Del Rey Semi Final 1st Leg, Sky Sports 3/HD3
On paper this should be a straightforward path to the final for tactics poster-boy Bielsa and his Bilbao boys. However, Mirandes are top of their Segunda B division and unbeaten at home. While an upset is unlikely over two legs against an Athletic team who have yet to concede in the Cup this season, a home win may provide some value on your coupon.

Wednesday 1 February

17.00 Atalanta v Genoa, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Just the seventeen goals conceded by Genoa in the last five games then. Atalanta have lost their last three but they were against Juve, Lazio and Milan so will be looking to improve on the paltry eleven goals scored at home this season.
18.00 Botswana v Mali, 2012 African Cup of Nations Group D, British Eurosport/HD
There are a few permutations involved in qualifying from Group D. More on that later. First, hats off to Botswana for qualifying, although they must be disappointed to have been thrashed by Guinea 6-1 on Saturday. Despite that they can still progress if Ghana beat Guinea and they win this match by nine goals.
18.00 Ghana v Guinea, 2012 African Cup of Nations Group D, British Eurosport 2
A Guinea and Mali win would put them and Ghana on six points. The group stages are determined by the head-to-head results and then by head-to-head goal difference. The most straightforward thing would be for Ghana to not lose. They will then go through and be joined by either Mali or Guinea depending on what happens in the other game.
19.45 Lazio v AC Milan, Serie A, ESPN / ESPN HD
Assuming Juve do the business at Parma on Tuesday, Milan will still be playing catch up. Their trip is tougher as it is against a highly placed Lazio.
20.00 Sunderland v Norwich City, Premier League, Sky Sports 2/HD2
On the surface this is a mid table clash between two ordinary sides. However, Sunderland are the most improved team in England right now and everyone is rightly full of praise for Norwich's achievements. Of course whether that makes for a good game or not remains to be seen.
20.00 Valencia v Barcelona, Copa Del Rey Semi Final 1st Leg, Sky Sports 3/HD3
Hard to call this game since much depends on how hungry Barca are to win the Cup. In terms of the league there are ten points between the Catalans in second and Valencia in third which tells you all you need to know about football in Spain.
00.00 Flamengo v Real Potosi, Copa Libertadores, Premier Sports
The Bolivian Clausura is barely underway but Potosi still managed an impressive first leg 2-1 win against Flamengo. Nevertheless, you would make the Brazilians favourites to enter the group stages with the second leg in Rio.

Thursday 2 February

19.45 Novara v Chievo, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Bottom club Novara can take heart from Chievo's indifferent away record. However, there is very little interest here for the neutral unless you like to watch bad Italian football.

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