Weekend TV Preview 6 - 9 April 2012



Friday 6 April 

14:00 Reading v Leeds United, Championship, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
With the  league leaders, Southampton, embroiled in a south coast derby against Portsmouth, there is a whiff of a chance of Reading taking top spot if they beat the Championship's very own rogue state and Pompey cause an upset. Either way a win stretches the gap between themselves in second and West Ham in third who play later in the day.
16:30 Swansea City v Newcastle United, Premier League, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
M'colleague on the Sound Of Football, Graham, believes Swansalona will be "found out" next season and cites both Reading and Ipswich of Premier Leagues passim who wowed us with their football and got tonked the following year. So we'd better enjoy Swansea while we can and this game promises to be an entertaining fracas between this season's two surprise packages.
17:15 Barnsley v West Ham, Championship, BBC 1 / BBC1 HD
By common consent, West Ham are pretty unwatchable yet broadcasters persist in putting them on the telly. I can understand Sky chasing ratings, after all the happy hammers enjoy a wide support base but Auntie Beeb should be a little more discerning, no?

Saturday 7 April 

12:00 Kilmarnock v Celtic, SPL, ESPN / ESPN HD
Celtic can win the title and exact a modicum of revenge over the team that beat them in the League Cup Final a few weeks ago.
12:45 Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Sky Sports 2 / HD2
The Martin O'Neil honeymoon period continues at the Estadio Illuminata and Harry's men travel north to build on their win against Swansea which broke a run of three games without a win.
17:20 Nottingham Forest v Bristol City, Championship, Sky Sports 2 / HD2
Forest are only six points away from their opponents who are third from bottom. So it's a sort of six pointer but again, are there not more interesting fixtures worth watching?
17:30 Stoke City v Wolves, Premier League, ESPN / ESPN HD
The Terry Connor freak show continues as the Wolves board consider conceding the season early and giving everyone 3-0 wins. Stoke are thirteenth and have nothing left to play for except pride and money. Barely worth your time.
19:00 Zaragoza v Barcelona, La Liga, Sky Sports 3 / HD3
The home side are mounting a convincing survival bid after winning their last threes games and are four points off the fourth from bottom place. Unfortunately, for them, Barca have not dropped points in the league since February.
20:00 Lazio v Napoli, Serie A, ESPN / ESPN HD
Third plays fourth with three points between them and a Champions League spot up for grabs. Why not watch?
21:00 Real Betis v Villarreal, La Liga, Sky Sports 3 / HD3
An away win should establish some more distance between themselves and third from bottom Zaragoza who are probably losing to Barcelona.

Sunday 8 April 

12:30 Hibernian v Motherwell, SPL, ESPN / ESPN HD
Tasty fixture this. Hibernian may be awful but will put up a strong fight against a more than decent Motherwell side who may yet overhaul Rangers for second place.
13:30 Man Utd v QPR, Premier League, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
Apparently, Manchester United won the league against Blackburn, last Monday, which make this the start of a very long lap of honour. Earlier today, United issued a statement denying that they have swapped their team coach for an open top bus.
16:00 Arsenal v Man City, Premier League, Sky Sports 1 / HD1 / 3D
The Gunners are currently duking it our with their London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea for those two remaining Champions League spots. City, meanwhile are losing ground. Both teams have reasons to win and a bevvy of superb talent that should keep us entertained, royally. Oh yes.
16:30 Hamburg v Bayer Leverkusen, Bundesliga, ESPN / ESPN HD
Hamburg have never been relegated from the Bundesliga in its 49 (nuenundvierzig) year history yet they sit one place above the drop zone. Leverkusen were abject in their defeat against Freiburg last week and sacked their coach, Robin Dutt shortly afterwards. Former Liverpool player Sami Hyypia is temporarily in charge.
21:00 Real Madrid v Valencia, La Liga, Sky Sports 3 / HD3
Twenty points separate these two teams so it would be a slight exaggeration to suggest that this first versus third match was a top of the table clash. Valencia have the least wiggle room of the two as Malaga are only a  single point behind.

Monday 9 April

12:45 Sheffield Wednesday v Oldham Athletic, League One, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
The Owls and the Latics kick off a full round of fixtures with The Wednesday looking to usurp their city rivals for that second place spot in the table. They've got a chance as well against an Oldham side who have lost the last three games.
17:20 West Ham v Birmingham City, Championship, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
Oh look everybody, West Ham are on the telly against. Please, I beg you, contain your excitement.
20:00 Fulham v Chelsea, Premier League, Sky Sports 1 / HD1
One of the more curious London derbies. Geographically they are within spitting distance of each other but if you were caught spitting in west London you're liable to find yourself the subject of an angry letter to The Telegraph. This rivalry doesn't have too much of a history and you suspect that Chelsea have other fish to fry. Still, a nice way to round off the bank holiday weekend.

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