Thursday, March 8, 2012

Weekend TV Preview 9 - 11 March 2012

Friday 9 March

19.30 Kidderminster Harriers v Luton Town, Blue Square Premier League, Premier Sports
The Harriers are four points away from a play off zone that is occupied only by former Football League clubs, one of which is Luton. The Hatters have no chance of winning the title so must experience the purgatory of staying where they are and keeping sharp until the post-season.
19.45 Napoli v Cagliari, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Cagliari's two-game losing streak may well be extended against a Napoli side who have won their last four Serie A matches. Presumably the Naples club have had their game moved to Friday evening to give them more preparation for the Chelsea game. They will need to win if they want to stay in with a chance of a return to the Champions League next season.

Saturday 10 March

12.30 Hearts v St Mirren, Scottish Cup Quarter Final, BBC1 Scotland
Not difficult to figure out which of the two Scottish Cup broadcasters gets first pick. This is not an ideal start to a weekend of Cup action in what is turning into an intriguing Scottish season. Hearts victory at Rangers last week, doesn't have the same meaning at present and prior to that the Edinburgh club had lost four from their last five. St Mirren are, if anything, even more dull. Keep your powder dry for some tastier Scottish Cup fixtures later in the weekend.
12.45 Bolton Wanderers v QPR, Premier League, Sky Sports 2/HD2
One goal in five versus the west London freak show. Avoid.
17.20 Bristol City v Cardiff City, Championship, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Cardiff's season is in danger of ending in April unless they get over their post-League Cup funk. Bristol City are pretty awful but did manage a rare win against Leicester City last week.
17.30 Everton v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, ESPN/ESPN HD
Everton are one of the few teams in the Premier League I enjoy watching. Good footballers who are well coached and not a hint of financial doping. Tottenham need to regain some confidence after two wins that have damaged their championship chances and their manager's credibility.
19.00 Sporting Gijon v Sevilla, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
It's tenth versus nineteenth is the La Liga clash. Try to contain your excitement.
19.45 Palermo v Roma, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Having recovered from an unpleasant start to the season, Roma have had three players sent off in the last two matches and lost them both. The latter was to the hated Lazio. Ouch! Palermo are not in very good shape themselves and have conceded ten goals in the last three away games.
21.00 Real Betis v Real Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
I won't be watching this as I will be standing outside East Croydon Station in case Jose Mourinho phones this game in so he can go house hunting in the cheery London suburb. It's the last thing anyone will expect.

Sunday 11 March

11.30 Novara v Udinese, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Udinese are contributing to the slightly unfamiliar look to the top five places in the Serie A table and should find few worries at the bottom club Novara.
12.15 Middlesbrough v Leeds United, Championship, BBC 1/BBC HD
Nelly Warnock has unpack his trunk at Cuddly Ken's fun-house just as the Chairman/owner/whatever is attempting a purge of those supporters who have the nerve to criticise him. But the Leeds United Supporters Trust are made of strong stuff and there is talk of boycotting matches. Middlesbrough look to be bedding down a play-off spot and have won four from their last five games.
13.15 Dundee United v Celtic, Scottish Cup Quarter Final, Sky Sports 1/HD1
United manager, Peter Houston has put together an impressive young side by all accounts and the Arabs are said to be good value for their fourth place in the SPL. A pity, then, that they should encounter a Celtic side, in the Cup, that is easily the best team in the League. Neil Lennon's players failed to win a League match for the first time since November last week against Aberdeen, so there is a little hope for a Cup upset but the odds will be long.
14.00 Genoa v Juventus, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Juve don't lose much but only have one win from their last six games. Consequently they have lost top spot to Milan. Genoa are looking for their first win since their narrow victory against Lazio one month ago.
15.45 Motherwell v Aberdeen, Scottish Cup Quarter Final, Sky Sports TBC
Stiflers of Celtic, last week, Aberdeen travel to Motherwell who are chasing down the vulnerable Rangers in the League. While Rangers' demise is no cause for celebration it does give the other teams near the top the chance to grab the spotlight.
16.00 Norwich City v Wigan Athletic, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
The Canaries should be more than happy with a mid-table moniker but need to arrest their slide after losing two games in a row. Despite their awfulness, Wigan are only two point away from safety.
16.15 FC Schalke V Hamburg, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
Two successive defeats have pretty much derailed Schalke's title hopes. They will tell you that this season is all about qualifying for the Champions League and they would be right. Hamburg have steadily improved under coach Torsten Fink who replaced Michael Oenning after a disastrous start to the season. However, they have have some serious defensive issues in the last few games and last their last home game 5-0 to Stuttgart.
19.45 Lazio v Bologna, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Champions League football is the target for Lazio and they took a big stride towards that after beating hated rivals, Roma. Thirty-three year old Miroslav Klose is your main man for the home side. The German international is averaging a goal a game.
20.30 Osasuna v Athletic Club, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
A tough encounter for Bilbao given that they had to go to Old Trafford last Thursday. Osasuna are two points off a Europa League spot and may hinder the visitors realistic ambitions for Champions League football next season.

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