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.

Weekend TV Preview: 16 - 18 December 2011



Friday 16 December

11.00 UEFA Champions League and Europa League draws, British Eurosport
The two Manchester clubs have found their way into the draw for the last 32 of the Europa League, and the world will focus on their fate just as much as it will on the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League.

19.30 Bayern Munich v FC Cologne, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
Koln icon Lukas Podolski returns to Munich again, and he does so in decent goalscoring form. His two trips to his old club since he re-signed for Koln have been goalless affairs; Poldi was substituted in his last home games against Koln for Bayern.

Saturday 17 December

12.30 Aberdeen v Hibernian, Scottish Premier League, ESPN/ESPN HD
Aberdeen are rubbish, but at least they got the week off to a good start with a 2-1 win at St Johnstone, Scott Vernon and Ryan Jack on the scoresheet for the Dons. Hibernian are even more rubbish and have won just three times all season.

17.20 MK Dons v Preston North End, League One, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Two teams with hopes of promotion meet wherever it is Franchise play. The hosts are pushing for an automatic promotion place but are in third place and eight points off the top. Preston have halted a bad run of form and dragged themselves back up to tenth.

17.30 Wigan Athletic v Chelsea, Premier League, ESPN/ESPN HD
Wigan hosted Chelsea in their first ever Premier League game, back in 2005. They put in a fantastic performance and looked set to hold the Blues to a point, but Hernan Crespo popped up with a delicious winner deep into stoppage time.

19.00 Athletic Bilbao v Real Zaragoza, La Liga, Sky Sports 3/HD3
Basement club Real Zaragoza have lost four consecutive league games ahead of their trip to the Basque region to face mid-table Athletic. They sit rock bottom in La Liga and are already three points and a whole lot of goal difference behind the club directly above them.

19.45 AC Milan v Siena, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
There's something on the line for each side in this stripy little Christmas party season number. The Rossoneri go into the weekend two points behind leaders Juventus, while a defeat at San Siro could leave Siena in the bottom three.

21.00 Sevilla v Real Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 3/HD3
Sevilla look to make up ground on Levante but it's unlikely they'll be doing so on Saturday. Real Madrid put in a mighty first half showing in last weekend's Clasico, but had to stomach defeat against Barcelona. They won't be enjoying the taste.

Sunday 18 December

07.30 Kashiwa Reysol v Al Sadd, Club World Cup Third-Place Playoff, ESPN/ESPN HD
Japanese champions Kashiwa have been a bright spot of the tournament just days after snaring the J.League title, but lost out to Santos in the semi-finals after seeing off both Auckland City and Monterrey. Momentum, eh?

10.30 Santos v Barcelona, Club World Cup Final, ESPN/ESPN HD
So, the pundits got the final they wanted and what a final it could be. We will witness the meeting of Leo Messi and Neymar, the prodigious Brazilian whose superb goal got Santos on their way against Kashiwa. Barcelona will be without David Villa, who's a bit broken.

12.00 Queens Park Rangers v Manchester United, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
QPR are the very picture of inconsistency, which is a lot better than just being rubbish. They've won four, drawn four and lost seven since returning to the top flight, and sit reasonably comfortably in mid-table. United, meanwhile, have lost just once in the league.

13.00 Portsmouth v Southampton, Championship, BBC1/BBC1 HD
An enjoyable afternoon is in store for Southampton fans, who will be kettled all the way to Portsmouth on a so-called "bubble trip" to this Hampshire derby. Quite how turning buses into sitting ducks makes anyone safer is anyone's guess.

14.00 Juventus v Novara, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Juve top the table and should have little difficulty staying there on Sunday. Novara picked up a good result earlier in the week but are second from bottom as they visit Juventus' beautiful new stadium, where they are yet to taste competitive defeat.

14.05 Aston Villa v Liverpool, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
On Sunday I will be heading to Birmingham, leaving London early to enjoy the famous Birmingham German Christmas market and stuff my face with Bavarian goodies and warm alcoholic things. Oh, and there's a football match afterwards to - if it can be called football when Alex McLeish is involved.

16.10 Manchester City v Arsenal, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D
No bitterness here, oh no. With City hoovering up players like there's no tomorrow, Arsenal seem to think they're the biggest victims. They have a case: Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Kolo Toure paved the way for Samir Nasri to slime his way north in a protracted and nauseating transfer in the summer.

16.30 Borussia Moenchengladbach v Mainz, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
Mainz picked up two draws in a busy long weekend, settling for a 0-0 with Hamburg on Saturday and a 1-1 with Koln on Tuesday. Next up, high-flying Gladbach, who begin the weekend in fourth place but have failed to win in their last two matches.

19.45 Napoli v Roma, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
A rivalry that asks and gives no quarter, Napoli v Roma always promises blood-and-thunder derby matches. This fixture was settled by two late goals for Napoli last season to give them a 2-0 win, a repeat of the trick that earned them a late 2-2 draw the season before.

20.00 Valencia v Malaga, La Liga, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Valencia are in third place and sit six points clear of ambitious moneybags club Malaga. The visitors have a chance to halve that deficit on Sunday evening, but don't bank on it: Valencia don't lose many at home.

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