Weekend TV Preview: 8 - 10 October 2010



Friday 8 October

19:00 Northern Ireland v Italy, Euro 2012 Qualifying, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Nigel Worthington will be hoping his team can build on their morale-boosting 1-0 win over Slovenia last month, but they'll find it tough against an Italy side scoring goals 'per divertimento', so to speak. The Italians haven't lost a competitive qualifier for four years, so you won't need us to tell you which way this one will probably go.

19:00 England v Romania, UEFA U21 European Championship Play-Off 1st leg, ESPN
And now... from Norwich... it's... *not* the quiz of the week, and for that we must all be grateful. Stuart Pearce's young charges are looking to qualify for a third straight finals, but here they'll have to do so without Micah Richards and Kieran Gibbs who are both injured. Romania will be tough opponents having lost only one of their ten group games prior to the play-off stage.





19:15 Czech Republic v Scotland, UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifier, BBC1 Scotland
Czech coach Michal Bilek has been pretty scathing of the Scots' style of play recently. Having suffered a 1-0 defeat to Craig Levein's side back in March, Bilek claimed Scotland played an aggressive, 'unpleasant' brand of football. Worse than that, he said they played in a similar fashion to Lithuania. Nasty piece of work, that Michal Bilek.

19:30 Republic Of Ireland v Russia, Euro 2012 Qualifying, Sky Sports 2/HD2
The Russians have already lost to Slovakia in this group and will be smarting something rotten as they travel to Dublin. That said, Dick Advocaat is complaining about a lack of decent players to pick for his squad, so maybe Ireland stand as good a chance as any of picking up all three points.

19:30 Wales v Bulgaria, Euro 2012 Qualifying, Sky Sports 3/HD3
To describe the state of the Welsh side as 'changeable' is something of an understatement. Under caretaker boss Brian Flynn, there are players withdrawing through injury (Joe Allen and Ched Evans), players withdrawing through retirement (Danny Gabbidon), players being tempted back into the squad from retirement (Danny Collins), and that's before we even get onto the subject of who will become the new coach on a permanent basis. Just the sort of unsettled team Bulgaria need to play if they're to snatch a rare win.

Saturday 9 October

12:00 Brighton & Hove Albion v Bournemouth, Npower League One, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Say what you like about Gus Poyet - he's got Brighton firing on all cylinders at the moment. A highly productive September earned the Seagulls' boss the Manager of the Month award, all of which has to be one in the eye for his opponents. (Geddit?!? Seagulls? One in the eye? Oh never mind...)

15:00 Shamrock Rovers v Sporting Fingal, Airtricity League, Premier Sport
The pressure's now on for Shamrock. Having been beaten by second-placed Bohemians on Tuesday night, Rovers' lead is now down to two points, so a return to form would be timely against an unthreatening Fingal side.

17:15 Rushden & Diamonds v Mansfield Town, Blue Square Premier, Premier Sport
Mansfield were topping the table not so long ago, but a recent run of three games without a win seems them down to seventh spot - just two points ahead of Rushden. A fascinating tie between two teams that need to up their game if they're to see their promotion hopes realised.

20:00 France v Romania, Euro 2012 Qualifying, ESPN
Having earned a creditable win in Bosnia-Herzegovina last time out, Laurent Blanc now has the job of maintaining momentum with an experienced side reeling from the withdrawal of several injured players. Fortunately for Les Bleus, Romania are without a win after two games and could very well make it three draws out of three once this game's put to bed.

Sunday 10 October

15:00 Ross County v Partick Thistle, Alba Challenge Cup Semi-Final, BBC Alba
Partick are looking to avenge their defeat at the same stage of this competition two years ago to Airdrie United, and they'll be taking inspiration from a 2-0 win from their dry-run in the league last Sunday.

16:00 Fleetwood Town v Cambridge Utd, Blue Square Premier, Premier Sport
Third-placed Fleetwood play 21st-placed Cambridge. It's not all gloom and doom for The U's, though - Cambridge chairman Paul Barry has just given manager Martin Ling his personal vote of confidence. Ah, er...

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