Thursday, March 22, 2012

Weekend TV Preview: 23 - 25 March 2012

Friday 23 March

19.30 Wolfsburg v Hamburg, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
Felix Magath's Wolfsburg side host the club where he made his name as a player and started his managerial career, and finds Hamburg in serious danger of falling into the relegation zone. Hamburg have just one point from the last five games and are just two points above Freiburg in the play-off position.

Saturday 24 March

12.45 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Sky Sports 2/HD2/3D
Both teams suffered mid-week; Chelsea losing after being ahead at the Etihad and Spurs snatching a late draw at home to Stoke. Spurs, now fourth, need a boost to put them back on track after a month that's seen them lose a 10 point lead over Arsenal. Chelsea can close the gap to fourth place to just two points with a win.
17.00 Mallorca v Barcelona, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Real Madrid had to come from a goal down to get a win earlier in the season. Luckily goals for a certain Barcelona striker haven't been too hard to come by: 17 (DIECISIETE) in the last 8 games for Messi as they slowly chip away at Real's lead.
17.20 Portadown v Coleraine, Irish League, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Both teams are comfortably in the top half as the North Irish Aperatura has its final week of fixtures. Both suffered surprise 3-1 defeats to sides at the bottom of the table last time out, pretty much ending any hopes Portadown had of catching Linfield.
17.30 Stoke City v Manchester City, Premier League, ESPN/ESPN HD
It doesn't get any easier for Man City in their chase for the Premier League title. Stoke will feel they did enough to come back from White Hart Lane with all three points. It wouldn't be surprising if they got all the points here.
19.00 Real Madrid v Real Sociedad, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Back-to-back draws have seen Madrid's lead over Barcelona drop to six points. They should take all the points here against a Sociedad side that travels about as well as a toddler with a belly full of jelly and ice-cream.
19.45 Palermo v Udinese, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Lazio's surprise defeat in Catania last week left the door open to Udinese and Napoli who shared the points in their game last weekend. While the battle for the title is seemingly swinging in just one direction the other issues at the top of the table are impossible to call.
21.00 Getafe v Valencia, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
A midweek home defeat to bottom placed Zaragoza (who played most of the game with just ten men and finished with nine) has put Valencia's comfortable third place in jeopardy. Getafe should have done enough to secure yet another season in the top flight.

Sunday 25 March

11.30 Atalanta v Bologna, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Two sides are comfortably mid-table - Bologna started the season very poorly, losing five of their first seven fixtures. They've recovered admirably since then and have shown the sort of form that would have seen them challenging for European places had the season started in October. Atalanta have gone the other way, after having a fantastic start their recent form has seen them drop from the surprise challengers they were in December.
13.00 Rangers v Celtic, SPL, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D
After losing the League Cup Final to a late goal for Kilmarnock, Celtic will be even more motivated to heap even more misery on their city rivals.
14.00 Chesterfield v Swindon Town, Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Just one league place separates the two teams with Chesterfield at the very bottom of League 1 and Paolo Di Canio's Swindon seven points clear at the top of League 2. Chesterfield manager John Sheridan will hope the new Wembley is kinder to him than the old one - he lost a League Cup Final and an FA Cup Final there in 1993 playing for Sheffield Wednesday.
15.45 Bohemian's v St Patricks, Airtricity League, Premier Sports
This early season Dublin derby finds Bohemians still looking for their first point and first goal after three games. St Patricks are at the top of the table with three other teams on seven points.
16.00 West Brom v Newcastle United, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
A chance for Newcastle to snatch fifth spot should Chelsea lose to Spurs on Saturday. Sixth won't be good enough for Europe should Bolton, Everton or Sunderland make it to the FA Cup final. The Baggies are pretty much already in their flip-flops but have thrown in some impressive performances recently.
19.45 Juventus v Inter, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
The Derby d'Italia is always one of the high points of the Serie A calendar and finds both teams desperate for the win. Juve need wins and lots of them to hang on to Milan's coat tails. The Old Lady's is the much tougher run-in, having to play four of the sides chasing the third Champions League slot starting here; though Inter look the most unlikely to achieve that lofty position.

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