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Midweek TV Preview: 28 February - 3 March 2011



Monday 28 February

19.45 AC Milan v Napoli, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
In the second half of the 1980s, Milan and Napoli fought out some of the most exciting title races in modern memory. The Vesuviani have brought all that back Mazzarri style this season, and Inter will be keeping a close eye on this crucial clash at San Siro. Napoli will be without the suspended livewire Ezequiel Lavezzi.

20.00 Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
One win in the last five Premier League games has seen Stoke City, while apparently sitting pretty in 11th, being pulled closer and closer to the vortex that is the bottom half of the table. They're now just five points clear of the drop zone and will be desperate to keep Albion at bay with a win at the Britannia.

Tuesday 1 March

19.30 Everton v Reading, FA Cup, ESPN/ESPN HD
With Everton squeaking past Chelsea in their fourth round replay, this belated fifth round clash pits them against Bryan "Eddie Hitler" McDermott's Reading at Goodison. Shane Long's winner saw the Royals past Stevenage in their fourth round meeting back in January. The winner here plays Manchester City or Aston Villa in the quarter final.

19.45 Chelsea v Manchester United, Premier League, Sky Sports 2/HD2/3D
15 points separate the two early season title favourites and Chelsea currently sit outside the Champions League places without a win in two Premier League matches. A win for United would take them seven points clear of Arsenal, and Chelsea have already been beaten at Stamford Bridge in 2011. The days of Jose Mourinho must feel like a distant memory.

Wednesday 2 March

19.00 Villarreal v Hercules, La Liga, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Both of these sides drew at the weekend, Villarreal with Racing Santander (2-2) and Hercules with Getafe (0-0). Villarreal, who defeated Napoli to remain in the Europa League last Thursday, haven't won in four league games, while Hercules have won just two of their last ten.

19.30 Bayern Munich v Schalke, German Cup DFB Pokal, ESPN/ESPN HD
Bayern's title challenge is all but over after their home defeat to Dortmund, so it's cups in Louis van Gaal's crosshairs from now on. They lead at the halfway stage in Europe, and on Wednesday they host Schalke in the semi-final of the DFB Pokal. Die Knappen have won just once in all competitions in the last six.

19.45 Manchester City v Aston Villa, FA Cup, ITV1/ITV1 HD
Manchester City's somewhat flattering 5-0 victory over Notts County in their replay on 20th February set up this fifth round tie with Aston Villa, who defeated Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers to reach the last sixteen. As mentioned, the winner of this game will face Everton or Reading in the next round.

19.45 Arsenal v Leyton Orient, FA Cup, ESPN/ESPN HD
They might have beaten Barcelona, but things haven't gone so well for Arsenal in cup football since that win. Yesterday, Obafemi Martins scored the goal that beat them in the Carling Cup final. And on 20th February, Jonathan Tehoue's last-gasp equaliser set up an unwanted replay against Leyton Orient. Not that O's fans had any complaints.

19.45 Celtic v Rangers, Scottish Cup, Sky Sports 1/HD1
The Old Firm sides couldn't be separated in a feisty fifth round meeting in early February, with Fraser Forster and Steven Naismith both given their marching orders during a 2-2 draw. Celtic seem to have the upper hand this time out: as well as gaining home advantage, they also have the psychological edge of their 3-0 mauling of the Gers on 20th February.

21.00 Valencia v Barcelona, La Liga, Sky Sports 2/HD2
It was business as usual for Pep Guardiola's Barcelona on Saturday, with goals either side of half time from Lionel Messi and David Villa sweeping aside Mallorca before Pedro added a third. That win took them 20 points clear of Valencia in third, so Los Che are simply looking to hold position rather than make up ground on the duo above.

22.00 Santos v Cerro Porteno, Copa Libertadores, Premier Sports
Group 5 of the Libertadores continues with the meeting of Brazilian giants Santos and Cerro Porteno of Asuncion in Paraguay. The exciting teenager Juan Manuel Iturbe scored two second half goals as Cerro Porteno got the group underway with a 5-2 win over Colo Colo. Santos had to settle for a goalless draw in Venezuela with Deportivo Tachira.

Thursday 3 March

21.00 Real Madrid v Malaga, La Liga, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Barcelona's 3-0 win over Malaga on Saturday leaves them seven points ahead of Real Madrid and possibly ten ahead by the time Malaga visit the Bernabeu. That's because Real dropped points for the first time in four games when they drew with Deportivo la Coruna at the weekend.

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