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

Midweek TV Preview: 26 - 29 September 2011



Monday 26 September

20.00 Norwich City v Sunderland, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
To the football aficionado, this fixture immediately recalls memories of the 1985 Milk Cup Final, the only major Cup Final in England where both teams got relegated in the league at the end of the season. Thanks to the improbably named David Corner failing to boot the ball out for a corner, Norwich ended up scoring the only goal of the game to win the Cup. And to think Norwich would have been in the UEFA Cup the following season...

Tuesday 27 September

17.00 CSKA Moscow v Inter Milan, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Claudio Ranieri made a winning start at Inter over the weekend with a 3-1 win at Bologna. Now for the big challenge - getting his side’s Champions League campaign back on track after the defeat at home to Trabzonspor a fortnight ago. Sadly he’ll have to make do without Wesley Sneijder, Diego Forlan, Maicon and Dejan Stankovic for this match. Looks like some tinkering will be called for...
19.45 Kidderminster Harriers v Grimsby Town, Blue Square Premier League, Premier Sports
A great 3-0 win for The Harriers at Mansfield on Saturday should put them in an ideal frame of mind to do a job on The Mariners here. Current form for the visitors suggests they’ll be going home with no points.
19.45 Bayern Munich v Man City, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Bayern’s record from their last nine games reads: Won 9, Lost 0. Scored 26, Conceded 0. Man City, on the other hand, have lost only one game since May 7th, and that was the Community Shield match against Man United. Tough one to call.
19.45 Man Utd v Basel, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Even though they’re playing well in the Swiss Super League at the moment and knowing Rooney will be missing through injury, Basel still won’t have the wherewithal to even polish United’s boots here. ‘Home Win’ somehow seems too short a phrase to describe the likely outcome of this one.
19.45 Real Madrid v Ajax, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
When these two met in the Group Stage of the same competition last year, the aggregate score in their two meetings was 6-0 to Real. Given that Jose Mourinho’s side banged in six against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, there could be more frustration on the cards for Ajax here.
19.45 Napoli v Villarreal, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
Villareal may well have to do without Giuseppe Rossi after he picked up a knock against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend. Napoli, meanwhile, earned a creditable 0-0 draw against Fiorentina to stay third in the Serie A table.
19.45 Lyon v Dynamo Zagreb, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
Both teams are leading their respective domestic leagues at the moment, but while Zagreb have a 7-point lead over Split, Lyon are level on points with PSG and Toulouse. Crucially the visitors have lost only two of their last 25 games, and one of those was against Real. Impressive stuff.
19.45 O?elul Gala?i v Benfica, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
Look, how was I supposed to know the home side was Romanian, not Belgian? It was a dodgy ink cartridge, OK?
19.45 Trabzonspor v Lille, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
It’s four draws on the trot now for Lille. Wouldn’t mind betting this could be a fifth against an inconsistent and unpredictable Trab side.

Wednesday 28 September

17.00 Zenit St Petersburg v FC Porto, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Porto threw away the lead twice against Benfica in the first Classico of the Primeira Liga season. No such worries for their hosts: Zenit enjoyed a 4-0 win at the weekend over Tom Tomsk - not, as you may think, a Russian sat-nav manufacturer.
19.45 Valencia v Chelsea, Champions League Group Stage, ITV1/ITV1 HD
One wonders how Torres will hit the self-destruct button in this match. Our money’s on the Spaniard scoring a hat-trick before defecating in the Valencia dug-out.
19.45 Arsenal v Olympiakos, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 2/HD2
If RVP continues the form he showed against Bolton, this should be a comfortable win for The Gunners. That said, the visitors did inflict a 1-0 defeat on Arsenal in Decemeber 2009, so let’s not count our chickens or anything.
19.45 FC BATE v Barcelona, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Barcelona put five (CINCO) past Atl├ętico Madrid at the weekend, thereby giving us the statistic that they’ve now scored five goals or more in four of their last eight games. BATE, meanwhile, got a 1-1 draw at Belshina - not, as you may think, a popular brand of metal polish for campanologists.
19.45 AC Milan v Viktoria Plzen, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
To answer the question everyone’s been asking, you pronounce that word ‘PULL-ZINE.’ Got it? Viktoria PULL-ZINE...
19.45 Marseille v Borussia Dortmund, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
Two teams that have been distinctly slow getting out of the traps this season, but both are back to better form, we’re pleased to report. BVB grabbed a 2-1 win at Mainz on Saturday while Marseille let slip their lead only in the 90th minute against lowly Valenciennes to draw 1-1.
19.45 Bayer Leverkusen v Genk, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt was only too happy to admit his side were beaten by better opponents in the 3-0 defeat to Bayern at the weekend. It’s doubtful he’ll need to use that excuse after this match.
19.45 Shakhtar Donetsk v APOEL, Champions League Group Stage, Sky Sports 4 Interactive
The current leaders of the Ukrainian and Cypriot leagues meet, but its APOEL who have three points in the bag from their first UCL match following a great 2-1 win over Zenit. Shakhtar will be hoping to bounce back from their 2-1 reverse at Porto.
01.45 (Thursday) Brazil v Argentina, Superclasico de las Americas, ESPN/ESPN HD
A resurrected excuse to see who the best team is in South America, even though on current form it’s Uruguay. This is a two-legged load of puff; the first leg finished 0-0. Watch if you feel you must.

Thursday 29 September

18.00 Maribor v Birmingham City, UEFA Europa League Group Stage, ESPN Classic
Both teams lost their first game in Group H (Birmingham 3-1 to Braga and Maribor 2-0 to Club Brugge) but the home side must start as favourites here. Maribor currently lead the Slovenian top division while Birmingham drew 1-1 to Barnsley last weekend.
18.00 Celtic v Udinese, UEFA Europa League Group Stage, ESPN/ESPN HD
Group I is a tough one for Celtic and it’s difficult to know where their best chance may lie to grab some points. Even a point at home to the current Serie A leaders would be a fair achievement, one would think.
18.00 Odense v Fulham, UEFA Europa League Group Stage, ITV4/ITV4 HD
Looks like a good time for Fulham to be playing OB. Five defeats in their last seven games is nothing to write home about, yet Martin Jol’s men are hardly putting out the bunting themselves at the moment. A win for Odense could see them go four points clear at the top of Group K, so an avoidance of that outcome will be vital for The Cottagers.
20.05 Stoke City v Besiktas, UEFA Europa League Group Stage, ITV4/ITV4 HD
Much admiration for Stoke after they fought back so determinedly against Man United last time out. That same spirit, coupled with Peter Crouch’s height advantage may well be the key to unlock a mean Besiktas defence.
20.05 Tottenham Hotspur v Shamrock Rovers, UEFA Europa League Group Stage, Channel 5/Channel 5 HD
Shamrock had a torrid introduction to the Europa League Group Stage last time around, losing 3-0 to the ever-impressive Rubin Kazan. A morale-boosting 5-2 win over Bray Wanderers in the league, however, might just give them hope of taking a point home from the Lane.
20.05 Athletic Bilbao v Paris St Germain, UEFA Europa League Group Stage, ESPN/ESPN HD
The clock must surely be ticking now for Marcelo Bielsa. His Bilbao side has now failed to win in its first five league games for only the fifth time in its history and are currently floundering third from bottom in La Liga. PSG, meanwhile, are level on points with the leaders in Ligue 1 and are showing that wealthy investors really can make a difference.

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