Weekend TV Preview: 9 - 11 December



Friday 9 December

19:30 Hertha BSC Berlin v FC Schalke, Bundesliga, ESPN/HD
Hertha lie in ninth place in their first season back in the First Bundesliga. However, their last win was at Wolfsburg in October. Schalke are a poor fourth, in my opinion and may be vulnerable to Hertha's pacy attackers. Look out for Pierre-Michel Lassoga up front for the home side. The 19 year old has six goals this season.

Saturday 10 December

12:30 Hibernian v Rangers, Scottish Premier League, ESPN/HD
Hibs have only mustered two points from the last five games. Their dismal season could use a shot in the arm against the Champions. Unlikely, despite Rangers only having won one league match in three.
12:45 Southampton v Blackpool, Championship, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Dropped points against Leicester, Birmingham and Middlesbrough have derailed the Tangerines slightly. Nevertheless, this remains a tantalising fixture involving two top teams in the Championship.
17:20 Barnsley v Ipswich, Championship, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Oooh, get Burnley with their four game winning streak. Ricardo Vaz Te and Graig Davies are you men to watch if your looking for first goalscorer. Ipswich are trying to avoid an 8th (eighth) straight defeat and another paid off manager.
17:30 Hannover 96 v Bayer Leverkusen, Bundesliga, ESPN/HD
Eren Derdiyok and Sidney Sam for the away side are Youtube specialists at the moment. Leverkusen stuttered at the start of the season but have their mojo working both domestically and in Europe. Hannover are tough bastards but haven't won a League game since 23rd October!!
19:45 Inter Milan v Fiorentina, Serie A, ESPN/HD
Hard to believe that Inter are fifteenth in the Serie A table. Clearly there is some restructuring required but in the meantime it's more headaches for Ranieri.
21:00 Real Madrid v Barcelona, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
The Big One. Victory for Real will establish the psychological advantage for Jose Mourinho in his quest to wrestle the title away from his former guvnors. He might just do it too.

Sunday 11 December

13:00 Sunderland v Blackburn, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Martin O'Neill returns to management in a fixture that only a mother could love.
14:00 Bologna v AC Milan, Serie A, ESPN/HD
The Serie A title is shaping up nicely, thank you. Milan will be disappointed in themselves if they have not put some heat on the leaders, Juventus.
15:30 Stoke v Tottenham, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Just when both sets fans thoughts they'd get a Sunday off, Sky drag them away from the Snooker in what is a less than inspiring fixture. Tottenham's great league run continues and look every inch a Champions League team. Their record at the Brit is pretty good to boot.
16:30 VfB Stuttgart v FC Bayern Munich, Bundesliga, ESPN/HD
The away side have been struggling without Bastian Schweinsteiger. This fixture, last season finished 6-3 to Bayern. In fairness, Stuttgart were hopeless and are much improved, if not inspiring to watch. To be honest, I'm giving this one a miss.
18:30 Athletic Bilbao v Racing, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Just the one defeat in weeks for Bielsa's boys but not enough wins.Muniain is having a breakthrough season under the Argentine Bielsa's tutelage. If you're a student of the game then you'd do well to check this out.
19:45 Novara v Napoli, Serie A, ESPN/HD
Job done in Europe in Napoli. Now to concentrate on getting back in for next season. Novara are not very good.
20:00 Velaz v Racing, Argentine Apertura, Premier Sports
The last knockings of the Apetura are played out between to upper mid table sides. Not much to see here.
21:00 Espanyol v Atletico Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
It's Barcelona v Madrid part two only without the unbearable shrillness from Sky Sports.

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