Friday, February 24, 2012

Weekend TV Preview: 25 - 26 February 2012

Saturday 25 February

12.00 St Mirren v Aberdeen, SPL, ESPN/ESPN HD
It's perhaps still too soon to say if Craig Brown has turned things around at Aberdeen, but there does seem to be some stability though. They haven't lost a game in two months and, along with today's opponents, have a good chance of sneaking into the top half before the League splits in March.
12.45 West Ham v Crystal Palace, Championship, Sky Sports 2/HD2
It used to be true that if you put a good run together in the Championshsip around now-ish you have a fair chance of making it into the play-offs. Palace, while hard to beat, have been drawing too many games of late and will probably find that gap of ten points between them and sixth too much. This season anyway.
17.30 Man City v Blackburn Rovers, Premier League, Sky Sports 2/HD2
United fans will be hoping to see Blackburn put on a similar display to the one they put on at Old Trafford. However, it's more likely here they'll put on a similar display to the one they put on at the Emirates.
19.00 Malaga v Real Zaragoza, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
As with other uncompetitive leagues, you have to scratch around for the battle for the last Champions League slot to find the excitement in La Liga. Seven teams are scraping for it in Spain, with only two points separating them all. Malaga are one of those teams in the mix but are slipping down thanks to a woeful run away from home. A nice home tie against the bottom club should give them a morale boost.
21.00 Espanyol v Levante, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Two other teams in the battle for fourth spot, but Levante could be the first to drop from the chase. It looks like they've been completely found out after their early season surprises - which included a 3-1 over Espanyol, a game which saw the side from Barcelona finish with nine men. Might get a bit niggly this one.

Sunday 26 February

11.30 Excelsior v Ajax, Dutch Eredivisie, ESPN/ESPN HD
Ajax this week became the fourth team to beat Manchester United at home this season joining Man City, Blackburn and Palace. Of course being in such good company you'd think they were running away with the Dutch title - they're not. They're sixth but only a handful of points off the pace. A win here against the team second from bottom will keep them in the running.
12.45 Inverness CT v Rangers, Sky Sports 4/HD4
I was reading in the Wall Street Journal, of all places, how Rangers situation might be a good thing for Scottish football in general. They're certainly a moving target now, one even a team as lowly as ICT might hope to score points off.
13.30 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D
Fourth plays third in a tense local derby.
14.00 Bayern Munich v FC Schalke, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
Every time Bayern draw, Dortmund pull two points away. As the run-in approaches, anything short of a win against the fourth placed side could signal the end of their title chances.
16.00 Liverpool v Cardiff City, Carling Cup Final, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D/BBC1/BBC1 HD
Hopefully Craig Bellamy will be the centre of attention here rather than one of the other Liverpool strikers. Do Cardiff have a chance? Well if any team can stuff it up like Arsenal did last year, it's Liverpool.
16.30 Borussia Dortmund v Hannover 96, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
Three points clear at the top, BVB look in devastating form but come up against a Hannover side well placed for a Europa League spot and unbeaten since November.
19.45 Napoli v Inter Milan, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Edinson Cavani not only showed the British public exactly what all the fuss is about on Wednesday, if you looked closely he also showed why the Chelsea boss was right to start with Ashley Cole on the bench. Expect more misery to be heaped on a previous recipient of the Abramovitch axe here.
20.30 Atletico Madrid v Barcelona, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
I don't usually quote the odds on games, but you can get 13/2 on Atletico getting a win here. Seeing as Barcelona haven't won any of their last three away games domestically, it might be worth a sniff at.

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