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TV Preview: 1 - 7 July 2011



Friday 1 July

01.45 (Saturday) Argentina v Bolivia, Copa America Group A, ESPN / ESPN HD
It's Copa America time once again, and here's the opening fixture from La Plata. Had we been any kind of decent blogsite, we'd have written you a guide to the tournament. As it is, we'll be nicking bits off the guides that other people have written because (a) it's easy, and (b) we intend to ridicule their judgement. Should be a by-the-numbers win for Sergio Batista’s men.

Saturday 2 July

19.30 Colombia v Costa Rica, Copa America Group A, ESPN / ESPN HD
There's always a guest team in every Copa America (two if you count Mexico), and this year it was supposed to be Japan. Unfortunately they dropped out twice - once in the aftermath of the earthquake in March and once because European clubs wouldn't release Japan's best players. As Colombia are a team that finds goals hard to come by, this could be a low-scoring affair.

Sunday 3 July

20.00 Brazil v Venezuela, Copa America Group B, ESPN / ESPN HD
Three Match Ban tells us that Brazil "should be fascinating to watch, especially if the young guns upfront gel and deliver the sort of football the Brazilian public craves after the Dunga era." Never a truer word said, and with no World Cup qualifiers on the horizon, now would be a good time for that attacking partnership to take shape.
21.00 Uruguay v Uzbekistan, FIFA U17 World Cup Quarter Final, British Eurosport / HD
The South Americans were runners-up to England in Group C and have since ended Congo's hopes of progressing. A win for them here could set up a tasty tie with Brazil in the semi-finals.
22.30 Paraguay v Ecuador, Copa America Group B, ESPN / ESPN HD
An ever-improving Ecuador side may be no match for Paraguay who matched the achievements of Brazil and Argentina by reaching the quarter finals at the World Cup last year. Sambafoot are right to give us a heads up about Lucas Barrios (Borussia Dortmund) and Hernan Perez (Villareal) among the Paraguayan ranks while Ecuador can boast Man City's Caicedo and Man United's Valencia.

Monday 4 July

21.00 Germany v England, FIFA U17 World Cup Quarter Final, British Eurosport
Having dumped one old enemy out of the competition in Argentina, England now face Jerry for a place in the last four. The progress by John Peacock's side thus far has been wonderful, but Germany are looking ruthlessly clinical. A record of 15 scored and 1 conceded tells you everything you need to know, and few would argue that England will probably be favourites to win the competition outright if they can prevail here.
23.15 Uruguay v Peru, Copa America Group C, ESPN / ESPN HD
Over at Just Football, Christopher Atkins reminds us of that great Uruguay team of last year's World Cup at the mere mention of the name Nicolás Lodeiro. "Ajax's 22-year old attacking midfielder... can change his status from promising youngster to international star with a good performance in this tournament." Against a Peru side that lost all nine of their away qualifiers for South Africa last year, he'll have every chance.

Tuesday 5 July

01.45 (Wednesday) Chile v Mexico, Copa America Group C, ESPN / ESPN HD
Ed Malyon writes on GibFootballShow: "The [Mexico] squad is largely made up of under-22s, and further affected by the drug suspensions handed out to several Mexican internationals in early June." Crumbs... A chance for Chile to shine again as they did last year, perhaps?

Thursday 7 July

21.00 TBC, FIFA U17 World Cup Semi Final, British Eurosport / HD
At the time of writing, it's too early to know who will feature in this first semi-final, but our money's on Uruguay v Brazil. Throw in a Guadalajara setting and some baking hot sunshine and you've got all the ingredients for a classic encounter. That said, if it's Uzbekistan v Japan and it's pissing down, don't blame us.
23.15 Bolivia v Costa Rica, Copa America Group A, ESPN / ESPN HD
Calling all MLS fans: Costa Rica's side features Roy Miller of the NY Red Bulls, Alvaro Saborio of Real Salt Lake and Rodney Wallace of Portland. Bolivia's team may contain Colon's Ronaldo Raldes, and not the other way around, in case you're wondering.
01.45 (Friday) Argentina v Colombia, Copa America Group A, ESPN / ESPN HD
A battle between the two teams who are favourites to occupy 1st and 2nd spot in the group. It's conceivable that they may settle for a draw ahead of weaker opposition in their respective last group games, but let's hope for a shining performance from Messi, Aguero and co. instead. Unless you're a Colombian fan, that is.

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