Monday, February 6, 2012

Midweek TV Preview: 6 - 9 February 2012

Monday 6 February

20.00 Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D
Monday night's visit to Anfield gives Spurs the chance not only to consolidate in third but take a step closer to a Champions League spot by effectively knocking Liverpool out of the battle for fourth. The Reds remain inconsistent and only Manchester City have beaten Spurs in the league since early December.

Tuesday 7 February

19.45 Sheffield Wednesday v Blackpool, FA Cup Fourth Round Replay, ESPN/ESPN HD
The Owls came close to upsetting Championship high-flyers Blackpool in their Fourth Round tie on 28th January, but Clinton Morrison's first half goal was cancelled out in the last minute by a penalty kick from another former Birmingham City striker, Kevin Phillips. They go again at Hillsborough on Tuesday and this time there will be a winner.

19.45 Swindon Town v Barnet, JP Trophy Area Final Second Leg, Sky Sports 1/HD1
The Football League Trophy's at its pointy end, and the Southern Area Final is finely poised at 1-1 after the first leg at Underhill. Barnet have joined in with the trend for bringing back retired or ageing players; their equaliser was scored by Mark Hughes. I know, I know.

21.00 Athletic Bilbao v Mirandes, Copa del Rey Semi-Final Second Leg, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Third-tier Mirandes gave themselves an unexpected lifeline at the very end of their first leg match against Athletic Bilbao. Fernando Llorente's brace had given the visitors a healthy lead but a last minute Ander Lambarri strike keeps the underdogs in the tie with 90 minutes to go.

Wednesday 8 February

16.00 Zambia v Ghana, Africa Cup of Nations Semi-Final, British Eurosport/HD / ITV4/ITV4 HD
Ghana needed extra time to see off Tunisia in Franceville in the quarter-finals. After John Mensah's opener, Saber Khelifa equalised for Tunisia before the break. One of the brightest of Ghana's Black Stars secured the extra time winner, Andre Ayew striking ten minutes into the first period.

19.00 Mali v Ivory Coast, Africa Cup of Nations Semi-Final, British Eurosport/HD
Mali's passage to the last four was somewhat rougher than that of their semi-final opponents. Pierre Aubameyang's missed penalty for co-hosts Gabon was punished by Bakary Traore and Seydou Keita to send Mali into a clash with favourites Ivory Coast, who beat Equatorial Guinea 3-0 the previous evening.

19.45 AC Milan v Juventus, Coppa Italia Semi-Final First Leg, ESPN/ESPN HD
In-form Juventus had no problem disposing of Roma in the previous round. Simon Kjaer's late own goal added insult to injury, capping a 3-0 Juventus win built upon first half goals from Emanuele Giaccherini and Alessandro del Piero. Their semi-final opponents came from behind to beat Lazio 3-1 in the last eight.

19.45 Middlesbrough v Sunderland, FA Cup Fourth Round Replay, ITV1/ITV1 HD
As if once weren't boring enough, the FA Cup cruelly serves up another north-east derby. ITV snapped it up, perhaps sensing their chance to show some long lingering shots of St Martin O'Neill, he who is incapable of doing wrong and must be judged a genius after just five minutes in the job. To put it another way, come on Boro.

19.45 Hearts v Celtic, Scottish Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Celtic haven't dropped a point since early November, a run of twelve matches that's impressive even in a league so lacking in competition. They've hauled in Rangers in the process and a win at Hearts on Wednesday evening will take them four points clear blah blah.

20.00 Barcelona v Valencia, Copa del Rey Semi-Final Second Leg, Sky Sports 2/HD2
After seeing off Real Madrid in the quarters, Barcelona still have work to do in the semis of the Copa del Rey. After conceding an early Jonas goal in the first leg, Carles Puyol led by example and scored the equaliser that puts Barca in the driving seat for a place in the final.

00.00 (Thu) Vasco da Gama v Nacional, Copa Libertadores, Premier Sports
The Copa Libertadores group stage begins this week, and Premier Sports' coverage begins with an attractive tie in Rio between Brazil's Vasco and Nacional of Uruguay. Nacional have the historical Libertadores advantage, with three triumphs compared to Vasco's solitary 1998 win.

Thursday 9 February

19.45 Siena v Napoli, Coppa Italia Semi-Final First Leg, ESPN/ESPN HD
Two goals from Edinson Cavani, one a scintillating solo effort, eased Napoli past Inter Milan in the last round. Up next, a first leg semi-final clash against Siena, who reached this stage by winning at Chievo despite playing a third of the game with only ten men.

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