Weekend TV Preview: 20 - 22 August 2010



(All times UK)

Friday

19:30 Bayern Munich v VFL Wolfsburg, Bundesliga, ESPN/HD
The Bundesliga kicks off with the 2010 champions against the 2009 Champions. And of course there will be huge interest in how Steve McClaren will fair as new manager of Wolves. FC Bayern are firm favorites to retain their title in May with Wolfsburg tipped to challenge for a European spot. Both teams are pretty much guaranteed to go for it so a cracking game is in store.

Saturday

12:00 Hamilton Academicals v Heart Of Midlothian, SPL , ESPN/HD
The Accies were thrashed 4-0 by Aberdeen last season. Either the Dons have seriously moved on from last season or the Hamilton club are in deep trouble. Hearts had to settle for a point against St Johnstone so will be looking to pluck a pigeon at New Douglas Park.

12:15 Coventry City v Derby County, Championship, Sky Sports 2/HD2
The Sky Blues are unbeaten in the League but their players will still have the sound of manager Aidy Boothroyd's bollocking ringing in their ears after getting dumped out of the League Cup by Morcambe. Derby also sampled the sour taste of Carling Cup defeat at the hands of Crewe but were unable to bounce back last weekend at home when they lost to (soon to be know as) Craig Bellamy's Cardiff.

17:15 Wigan Athletic v Chelsea, Premier League, Sky Sports 2/HD2/3D
You've got to be a blue blooded Chelsea fan or have a serious gambling problem to want to watch this game. It's true that Wigan have a history of bouncing back from thrashings by finding the nearest Big Four team and beating them but does anyone really think that this is going to happen again? Watch the first ten minutes to see if an upset in on the cards before turning over to...

17:30 Hamburg SV v Schalke 04 Bundesliga, ESPN/HD
... Raul's Bundesliga debut for Schalke. Felix Magath has brought in a couple of experienced players in the Summer while slashing is overall wage bill. They will, once again, be challengers for the title this season. Hamburg will be looking for Champions or Europa League football after disappointing last season.

19:45 Ajax v Roda JC Dutch Eredivisie, ESPN
This is the third game of the League season for these two and neither of them have lost yet. Presumably the fixture is just keeping this time slot warm for when Serie A returns to ESPN next week.

Sunday

12:15 Hibernian v Rangers SPL, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Nether team were entirely convincing in their respective wins last week. Rangers gave a debut to James Beattie and will be looking to him to break his duck since they've actually spent some cash on him. I'm determined to make more of an effort with Scottish Football this season.

13:15 Middlesbrough v Sheffield United Championship, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Gary Speed's managerial debut for Sheffield United is in front of the cameras against the pre-season favorites. No pressure there then. 'Boro manager Gordon Strachan may feel his collar tightening if he can't produce a result against a team that conceded three at home to QPR last week.

13:30 Newcastle United v Aston Villa, Premier League, ESPN/HD
Attention will be very much fixed on the, post Milner, Villa and on their new signing Stephen Ireland. I'm more interested in seeing young Marc Albrighton who looked impressive against West Ham last week.

16:00 Fulham v Man Utd, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Have to worry for post Hodgson Fulham. Their goalkeeper is sidelined pending a move to Arsenal and the Reds are coming for dinner. They don't even sell those German Sausages at Craven Cottage anymore.

16:30 Borussia Dortmund v Bayer Leverkusen, Bundesliga, ESPN/HD
A cracking local derby between two European challengers to round of the first weekend of the season. Look out for Michael Ballack who is back in Germany from his sojourn in west London. Also keep an eye out for striker Patrick Helmes, the German international looks good after a full pre season following a knee ligament injury.

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