Weekend TV Preview: 30 March - 1 April 2012



Friday 30 March

19.30 Luton Town v York City, Blue Square Premier League, Premier Sports
Fifth plays fourth. Two teams in the running for a play-off place but neither are in consistent form. Both could easily be usurped by a growing pack of challengers come season's end.

Saturday 31 March

12.00 Motherwell v Rangers, SPL, ESPN/ESPN HD
Unprecedented scenes at Ibrox last weekend as Rangers beat Celtic 3-2, but you get the impression that a return to the comparitive mediocrity of Motherwell will also bring about a return to The Gers' previous poor form. Home win.
12.45 Sheffield Wednesday v Preston North End, League One, Sky Sports 2/HD2
Wednesday remain on top of the form table with four wins and two draws from their last six games, but rivals United leapfrogged them into second spot in the league table midweek. This should be a chance for The Owls to restore order (if only temporarily) against a struggling North End side.
17.25 Blackpool v Southampton, Championship, BBC 2/BBC HD
Despite a post-Christmas lull, fortune has swung back in favour of The Saints. Whether they can extend their 5-point lead over second placed Reading here is a matter for some debate, but suffice to say Blackpool's own bid for promotion has recently hit a rocky patch. Should be a good game.
19.00 Osasuna v Real Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Real's 5-1 spanking of Sociedad last weekend well and truly got them back to winning ways after a couple of draws, but they remain six points ahead of Barcelona. Osasuna are pulling up a few trees of their own at the moment and a repeat of their 1-0 home win over Real back in January 2011 can't be entirely written off.
19.45 Parma v Lazio, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Poor Parma have had just two wins in all competitions since November 20th last year. If Lazio (3rd in the table) can't beat Parma, (in the words of Brian Clough) 'they want bloody shooting'.
21.00 Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao, La Liga, Sky Sports 4/HD4
As amazing as Barcelona are, there can be no doubt that the big story here is Bilbao. Though Messi and Co trot out the same silky skills every week, you can't help but be excited that Athletic are on a journey to reach such heights and that, for the purists, is where the real interest lies.

Sunday 1 April

11.30 Roma v Novara, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
A win for Novara will seal the Serie A title for the northern Italian side. APRIL FOOL!
12.45 Celtic v St Johnstone. SPL, Sky Sports 4/HD4
Steve Lomas continues to work his magic for The Saints, as shown in a spirited 1-0 win over Inverness CT on Wednesday. They're certainly on a par with Celtic form-wise although more pressing is the need to close the 5-point gap with Motherwell in third place. Not sure they'll do it this week.
13.30 Newcastle United v Liverpool, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D
Theoretically, at least, Liverpool could find themselves down in ninth if they lose this match. Not wishing to infer anything but only Wolves are on worse form than Kenny Dalglish's side at the moment.
15.00 Inverness CT v Hibernian, SPL, ESPN/ESPN HD
Super Sunday on ESPN. Not.
16.05 Falkirk v Hamilton, Scottish Challenge Cup Final, BBC ALBA
The competition for SFL clubs reaches its climax as the 2005 winners play the 2006 runners-up. On current league form, the Accies should win comfortably despite both teams being separated by just two points in the First Division table.
16.00 Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Two goals scored in the last four league games. Ten goals conceded in the last five. Two points gained from the last fifteen... We thought you were minding the gap, Tottenham?
19.45 Juventus v Napoli, Serie A, ESPN/ESPN HD
Match of the Weekend. Juve, unbeaten since May last year, take on Walter Mazzarri's side who let slip a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 against Catania last weekend. A vital test of Napoli's determination to return to the Champions League next season, or a chance for the home side to extend their lead at the top of Serie A (depending on your viewpoint).
20.30 Villarreal v Espanyol, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Espanyol's recent wobble has allowed Osasuna overtake them in the race for a Champions League spot. Villareal, meanwhile, need a win to fend off the threat of relegation

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