Weekend TV Preview: 3 - 5 February 2012



Friday 3 February

19.45 Nürnberg v Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
BVB managed to get through another transfer window safe in the knowledge that Lucas Barrios isn't going anywhere. Good news for Dortmund as they attempt to break free of the three-way tie for top spot in the Bundesliga - bad news for Nürnberg as they try desperately to scramble clear of the relegation zone.

Saturday 4 February

12.30 West Ham v Millwall, Championship, Sky Sports 2/HD2
The Hammers' 5-1 spanking at Portman Road this week will come as a stern wake-up call if they thought they could simply coast back to the Premier League. A home tie against the team on the worst form of any in the Championship could be just the tonic to maintain their place at the top of the table.
12.45 Inverness CT v Celtic, Scottish Cup 5th Round, Sky Sports 3/HD3
ICT's current unbeaten run of seven games would ordinarily be good enough to unnerve most opponents but Celtic are bulldozing their way through all comers at the moment and have the scent of a treble in their nostrils. It's a shame to say it, but Terry Butcher's men will almost certainly see their Cup run end here. Should be a good match, though.
15.45 Bangor City v Prestatyn Town, Welsh Premier League, S4C
If you've not yet checked out S4C's Saturday afternoon live match coverage, you really should. Not only do you get to see some cracking football but you're also gifted with the added bonus of a live videprinter showing all the latest scores in-vision from across the UK. 'Ardderchog,' as they say over the Severn Bridge.
16.00 Zambia v Sudan, 2012 African Cup of Nations Quarter Final, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD
Sudan have done remarkably well to reach the last eight, but they only got here on goal difference and will almost certainly find a super Zambia team too much to get the better of.
17.20 Birmingham City v Southampton, Championship, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Twenty goals scored and only two conceded - that's the sparkling record Chris Hughton's Birmingham have earned over the last six games. Southampton, meanwhile, could be down to third in the table by the end of the day. Only one league win in the last five shows an urgent and dire need to return to their pre-Christmas form.
17.30 Man City v Fulham, Premier League, ESPN/ESPN HD
Fulham were the last team to deny a Premier League win at home thanks to a 1-1 draw almost a year ago to the day. A repeat performance might be unlikely as Fulham have won only one of their last eleven away games in the league although they can at least take heart from the absence of Balotelli due to *that* red card.
19.00 Ivory Coast v Equatorial Guinea, 2012 African Cup of Nations Quarter Final, ITV4/ITV4 HD/British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD
With a forward line consisting of Drogba, Kalou and Gervinho, it won't come as any surprise to learn that Ivory Coast reached the knockout stages with consummate ease. As predicted in a previous TV Preview, co-hosts Equatorial Guinea qualified for the quarter finals - largely on the back of an impressive win over Senegal - but they'll be without captain Bodipo through injury just when they need him most.
19.00 Getafe v Real Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
If Real's squad is currently divided in its loyalties towards Jose Mourinho, it's hardly showing. Seven points clear of Barcelona, they hardly need rush to boot out the manager as their closest rivals might be doing if things carry on the way they are.
19.45 Roma v Inter Milan, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Despite scoring all four of his side's goals on Wednesday, Inter still only managed to draw 4-4 at home to Palermo. Roma also conceded four, this time losing 4-2 at Cagliari. A case of 'could do better' for both sides here.
21.00 Barcelona v Real Sociedad, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
What's there to see? The title's all wrapped up. Nothing to see here.

Sunday 5 February

11.30 Genoa v Lazio, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Genoa earned a rare win over Lazio last time they played in September. Another three points would come in handy for a campaign that's rather lost its way of late for I Rossoblu.
12.15 Rangers v Dundee United, Scottish Cup 5th Round, BBC1 Scotland
A 6-2 win for United over Airdrie in the last round will provide a feint glimmer of optimism but there won't be many people betting on Peter Houston's men to do a job on Rangers. The Terrors have won only two of their last 20 games against The Gers.
12.15 Derby County v Nottingham Forest, Championship, BBC1/BBC1 HD
As long as I don't mention it, no-one will know I tipped Forest to win the Championship title this season. Mum's the word, etc...
13.30 Newcastle United v Aston Villa, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Few of you will be shocked to hear the Scotsman in charge of Villa failed to get his wallet out during the transfer window, but if Villa are to replicate The Magpies' success so far this season, perhaps he should have done. Villa could be down to 15th by the end of the day if results conspire against them.
14.00 Fiorentina v Udinese, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
The Little Zebras kept up the pressure on the top two midweek with a 2-1 win over relegation strugglers Lecce while La Viola had to sit out their match in Bologna due to snow. Providing the awful weather conditions across Europe don't scupper this match too, Udinese look a decent bet to edge the win here.
14.15 Hearts v St Johnstone, Scottish Cup 5th Round, Sky Sports 3/HD3
Both teams were relieved to see their squads left virtually intact after the shutting of the transfer window but of more concern to Hearts will be the fact that St. Johnstone have won three of the last four meetings between the two. Form-wise, there's little to chose between the two and both teams are level on points in the SPL.
16.00 Chelsea v Man Utd, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D
Will Rio Ferdinand shake hands with John Terry? Will the two men ever play side-by-side in a future England side? Will either side stop insulting our intelligence and actually play like a genuine title-winning side? Some or none of these questions will be answered today...
16.00 Gabon v Mali, 2012 African Cup of Nations Quarter Final, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD
Mali's place in the last eight looked in doubt early in the second half of their final group game against Botswana. A goal down, they eventually came back to win 2-1, but they'll have to up the ante by quite a margin if they're to knock out a Gabon team that beat Morocco and Tunisia in their group games.
16.30 Kaiserslautern v Cologne, Bundesliga, ESPN/ESPN HD
Frankly it's a toss-up as to whether ESPN bother to show any given live Bundesliga fixture these days, but if this one's on, expect to see one team currently in the bottom three and another that could be in it by the end of the weekend.
19.00 Ghana v Tunisia, 2012 African Cup of Nations Quarter Final, British Eurosport/British Eurosport HD
Arguably the pick of the quarter-finals. Remarkably, it's been 30 years since The Black Stars last won this competition and they'll have their work cut out against the 2004 champions who should be back to full strength after various players were rested or suspended for their last match.
19.00 Real Zaragoza v Rayo Vallecano, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Zaragoza have notched up the princely total of 12 points from a possible 60 so far. They're bottom of the table and aren't going anywhere for the foreseeable future, even if they win this one.
19.45 Milan v Napoli, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
One league win in the last eight tells you that Napoli are sliding down the table in no uncertain terms. Milan's midweek defeat to Lazio means they failed to return to the top spot and with Juve's game postponed, it means The Old Lady now has the advantage going into this weekend's games.
21.00 Atletico Madrid v Valencia, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Former Argentinean captain Diego Simeone continues to work his magic at Atleti. Ten points from the last twelve and none conceded have seen his team rise to seventh in the table and a place in the top four is a distinct possibility if they can beat third-placed Valencia in this tough encounter.

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