Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Midweek TV Preview: 9 - 11 August

Tuesday 9 August

19.45 Leeds United v Bradford City, Carling Cup 1st Round, Sky Sports 2 / HD2
As the years pass, I've become more cynical about mainstream attitudes to unpopular cup competitions. As unwelcome a distraction as it may be to the suits at the Premier League, England's second domestic knockout competition has thrown up some great matches and exciting finals in recent years. So the campaign to rehabilitate the League Cup starts here with a cracking Yorkshire derby. Game on!
22.45 FIFA U20 World Cup Last 16, British Eurosport / British Eurosport HD
According to FIFA's website, the kick-off times for these games don't start at 45 minutes past so I would take all times as approximate. Usually Eurosport cover matches on both of their channels so you'll probably have a choice between Portugal v Guatemala and Argentina v Egypt.

Wednesday 10 August

19.45 Germany v Brazil, International Friendly, ESPN / ESPN HD
UK-based German football fans have something of a bone to pick with ESPN after they bumped Friday's Bundesliga season opener between Dortmund and Hamburg for pre-season egg chasing. They missed a virtuoso performance by Mario Götze of Dortmund who may well feature tonight against Brazil. One of many reasons to watch this game.
19.45 Scotland v Denmark, International Friendly, Sky Sports 2 / HD2
International friendlies are a waste of time, right? Wrong, as Norway's top seeding in the qualifiers will testify. Wins mean ranking points which FIFA partly use to determine qualification seeding. So while Scotland's chances of qualifying for Euro 2012 are slim, there's still an opportunity to climb further up the ladder and have improved prospects for future qualifiers.
19.45 Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands, Euro 2012 Qualifier, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
Northern Ireland have played two fewer games than second-place Slovenia in Group C, so qualification is not as remote as it looks. Traditionally, the Faroes are no great shakes although Ireland have failed to beat them on two of their last three meetings.
19.45 Republic of Ireland v Croatia, International Friendly, Sky Sports 3 / HD3
Neither team are quite what they were but should find in each other ample preparation for the Euro 2012 qualification end game.
19.45 Wales v Australia, International Friendly, Sky Sports 4 / HD4
A chance for the Socceroos to get together in Europe. The Asian Cup runners-up meet a Welsh team for which transition seems to be an ongoing state.
20.00 England v Holland, International Friendly, ITV1 / ITV HD
A blue ribbon fixture which could be tasty if the players are up for it. The Premier League season is almost upon us although all the English players plus a few English-based Dutchmen may have Saturday on their minds. I wonder if Wesley Sneijder will be one of them.
22.45 FIFA U20 World Cup Last 16, British Eurosport / British Eurosport HD
Nigeria v England or Spain v South Korea with the other on British Eurosport 2.

Thursday 11 August

19.45 Sheffield Wednesday v Blackpool, Carling Cup 1st Round, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
The reduced circumstances of the home side serves as a cautionary tale for newly-relegated Premier League clubs like Blackpool. The Tangerines were so frugal with their wages, last season that they didn’t need a relegation fire sale. Wednesday, on the other hand, are financially borked.


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