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Weekend TV Preview: 18 - 20 March 2011



Friday 18 March

19.30 Kaiserslautern v Borussia Moenchengladbach, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
Friday night's Bundesliga match pits (slightly) resurgent Gladbach against (utterly) free-falling Kaiserslautern. The hosts' win over Freiburg last Saturday ended an eight-match winless run that stretched back to the last game before the winter break. Gladbach have won four times since the start of the year.

19.45 Crawley Town v AFC Wimbledon, Blue Square Bet Premier, Premier Sports
I made my first visit to Kingsmeadow in its blue and yellow guise on Saturday, and Wimbledon were outplayed and out-battled by Kidderminster Harriers. That defeat helped to send Crawley clear and one has to think that a win for Steve Evans' side tonight would all but secure promotion to the Football League.

19.45 Chesterfield v Rotherham, League Two, Sky Sports 2/HD2
In League Two, it's runaway leaders Chesterfield against playoff hopefuls Rotherham. The Spireites were promoted from the fourth division to the third ten years ago, after a season in which they were deducted nine points for financial irregularities, and are looking to confirm the same achievement in their new stadium this year.

Saturday 19 March

12.00 Kilmarnock v Motherwell, Scottish Premier League, ESPN/ESPN HD
Killie were just three minutes away from a draw with Rangers last Sunday, but Tim Clancy's own goal put the Gers within striking distance of the top. Before that, the hosts had won two consecutive games. Motherwell come to town on the back of a league defeat by Inverness Caledonian Thistle and a cup draw at Dundee United.

12.45 Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, Premier League, Sky Sports 2/HD2/3D
The Premier League returns with a lunchtime London derby on Saturday. Harry Redknapp's Spurs will be well-rested after their Champions League heroics against AC Milan, while the Hammers had to battle Stoke City in the FA Cup during Tottenham's weekend off. A win for the visitors would create genuine hope of a revival.

17.20 Southampton v Sheffield Wednesday, League One, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Two of tier three's giants meet in the late afternoon kick off in League One, and it's Southampton who are having the better of things at present. Saints are in great form, highlighted by last weekend's victory over fellow promotion chasers Bournemouth. Wednesday's season, meanwhile, is beginning to drift into nothingness.

17.30 Everton v Fulham, Premier League, ESPN/ESPN HD
In any other season, this match would be seen as a mid-table meeting of little real consequence. However, even Everton in ninth are just six points clear of the drop zone ahead of the weekend's matches. Fulham are four points from the dreaded dashed line, but have lost in the league only twice in 2011.

19.00 Barcelona v Getafe, La Liga, Sky Sports 4
Athletic Bilbao's last-minute equaliser on Monday cruelly took away what Getafe thought was their first win in five, and they won't be getting that elusive victory in their next game either. Barcelona settled for just the three goals when these sides met at the Alfonso Perez in November.

19.45 Palermo v AC Milan, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Sunday was a bad day at the office and Milan will be looking to bounce back against Palermo. They needed a late equaliser from Bari native Antonio Cassano to win a point against the southern side in a match that saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off for striking Marco Rossi. Mid-table Palermo lost at Genoa later that afternoon.

21.00 Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/3D
It's the Madrid derby on Saturday evening, and Real won't necessarily have it all their own way as they continue their epic pursuit of Barcelona. They almost threw away a 3-0 lead on their last league visit to the Vicente Calderon, but haven't lost there since 2004.

21.30 Bragantino v Santos, Paulista Championship, Premier Sports
For those of you lucky enough to have Premier Sports, there's a chance to indulge in some action involving one of Brazil's giants, Santos, in the Paulistao. Bragantino are minnows by comparison but do appear on Carlos Alberto Parreira's CV. Mauro Silva's too.

Sunday 20 March

11.30 Fiorentina v Roma, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
The Rome derby last weekend was settled in the most traditional fashion: two goals from the iconic Francesco Totti. Juventus lost points and therefore ground on the Giallorossi, who travel to Florence to face a side just beginning to find its feet again.

13.30 Sunderland v Liverpool, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D
In the league, Liverpool have won two and lost two of their away matches since Kenny Dalglish returned to lead his wandering subjects back to some undefined and unattainable promised land. His predecessor watched on as Steven Gerrard's equaliser earned a point against the Black Cats at Anfield in September.

14.00 Inter Milan v Lecce, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Inter are matching leaders Milan stride for stride at the moment, right down to dropping points on the same weekends. They'll need to take advantage of every opportunity in order to catch them - the Rossoneri are five points clear. The derby will take place on 2nd April.

15.00 Celtic v Rangers, CIS Insurance Cup Final, BBC1 Scotland
Scotland's footballing BFFs meet in the League Cup final on Sunday and will no doubt be on the very best of behaviour. Traditionally, this is Gers territory - they've won this competition no fewer than 26 times compared to Celtic's 14. They're also defending champions, but these two met at Hampden in the final two years ago and it was the Bhoys who triumphed.

16.00 Chelsea v Manchester City, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D
Chelsea have won five Premier League games out of nine so far this year, but are beginning to show occasional signs of life. A home win over Manchester City would take them past Roberto Mancini's side into third, but they couldn't manage it in a heated encounter last season.

16.30 Stuttgart v Wolfsburg, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
It's been a wretched season for Stuttgart and Wolfsburg, but while the Wolves sit second from bottom Stuttgart have won three on the spin, beating Eintracht Frankfurt, Schalke and St Pauli - not a bad mini-turnaround by Bruno Labbadia, Die Roten's third coach of the campaign.

18.00 Athletic Bilbao v Villarreal, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
If watching parts of football matches is your bag, you're in luck with this one. Sky Sports will join this match after just 30 minutes. I doubt they'll put up a false score of 5-3 when they switch, but maybe they should.

19.45 Napoli v Cagliari, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Ezequiel Lavezzi's suspension is spent, and the Vesuviani are back in business. A scintillating comeback against Parma last weekend revitalised Napoli's Champions League hopes and Cagliari will be fearful after a thrashing from Udinese last weekend.

20.00 Valencia v Sevilla, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Third-placed Valencia are fully 16 points behind Real Madrid in second. They last met Sevilla in November, when Mehmet Topal's early sending off set up a win for Los Rojiblancos.

21.30 Sao Caetano v Palmeiras, Paulista Championship, Premier Sports
More action from the Paulistao as 2004 winners Sao Caetano host Luiz Felipe Scolari's Palmeiras. The Alviverde have won the regional championship 22 times, second only to Corinthians.

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