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Weekend Boxset: Buster City


Seven great matches to take you from Friday to Sunday, it's the Sound of Football Weekend Boxset.

All times are GMT

Friday



Ligue 1: Bordeaux v PSG


19.45 on BT Sport Extra 2

Bordeaux had a good start to the season, but a worrying dip in home form since the start of December has seen them win just one of their last five at the Matmut Atlantique. They can’t even blame the recent African Cup of Nations for their performances - the tournament taking more players from the French League than any other but none from Les Girondins. PSG stole a late win against Lille midweek, thanks to a clearly offside Lucas Moura goal, and remain just three points behind table toppers Monaco.   
 

Saturday



Premier League: Arsenal v Hull City


12.30 on Sky Sports 1 & Sky Sports Mix

Last weekend’s fixtures gave armchair analysts plenty to pontificate about on Twitter. For many, the Gunners’ defeat at Stamford Bridge, on top of other disappointing results, proved that Arsene Wenger’s club don’t have “the mentality” or “the strength” to compete. For others, the transformation of Hull under Marco Silva, beating a fragile Liverpool side allowed them to post that clip of Paul Merson and Phil Thompson with the message “Just leaving this here”. If bargain basement narrative isn’t your cup of tea, BBC Scotland has Cup action as Celtic attempt to stop Inverness CT going ballistic again, as they did back in 2000 (KO 12.15).
 
Premier League: Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur


17.30 on BT Sport 1

Perhaps much of the criticism weighed against Arsene Wenger for his side’s defeat to Chelsea was to do with the fact that it rendered the title race over not just for Arsenal but for everyone else too. Tottenham are now the closest to Conte’s men but still a yawning 9 points behind and they have already played them twice. Liverpool’s own title ambitions now seem a distant memory and Klopp needs to find some way of getting his side’s season back on track. Spurs are undefeated in 10 in all competitions, for Liverpool that same number of games has yielded just one win. Expect a fractious atmosphere at Anfield.  
 
Serie A: Fiorentina v Udinese


19.45 on BT Sport 2

For those who only watch the Premier League, Nikola Kalinic is a name they may vaguely recall as being an unremarkable striker from Sam Allardyce’s stint as Blackburn manager, just before they exited the English top flight. The Croatian, who turned 29 last month, now leads the line at Fiorentina and is enjoying the best form of his career. Enjoying it so much he’s reportedly turned down a £8.5million a year contract from Tianjin Quanjian. He missed Tuesday’s mauling at the hands of Roma but should return for this encounter against a mid-table Udinese side. 



Sunday



Scottish FA Cup 5th Round: Hearts v Hibernian


12.30 on Sky Sports 2

An Edinburgh derby would be competitive at the best of times but this one will carry a bit more pressure for both sides. This is a repeat of last year’s 5th round tie that saw Hibs turn around a 2-0 deficit at Tynecastle to force a replay. Hibs went on to lift the trophy in a final in which they also trailed. The holders are six points clear in the Scottish Championship but guaranteeing promotion must be their primary objective for this season. That said without league meetings between these sides for the last two seasons, the focus on cup meetings becomes sharper.
 
Premier League: Swansea City v Leicester City


16.00 on Sky Sports 1

Anyone who followed sport at the start of the 1990s will recognise the name James “Buster” Douglas. The boxer from Columbus, Ohio shocked the world when he defeated the seemingly unstoppable Mike Tyson to become the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. In what was basically a warm-up fight for more credible challengers, the 42-1 outsider caused one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport. Douglas’s only defence of his titles came against Evander Holyfield; it lasted just three rounds, with the challenger barely breaking a sweat. If Leicester’s own title defence up to this point is the equivalent to Douglas’s first two rounds against Holyfield, this match could signify the start of the third. Seconds out.
 
La Liga: Atletico Madrid v Celta Vigo


19.45 on Sky Sports 1 & Sky Sports Mix

At the start of the week, there was still a chance that this fixture could have been a taster for the Copa Del Rey final. As it turned out, Celta went out to Alaves with a goal from Edgar Mendez eight minutes before the end of an up to then goalless two legged encounter. Atli went into their second leg at the Camp Nou trailing Barcelona by a goal. Things got worse for Diego Simeone’s side when Luis Suarez scored just before half time. After the break, both sides lost a player to second yellows and Kevin Gameiro missed a penalty. He made amends by scoring three minutes later but Barcelona saw the game out, despite losing Suarez to a red card near the end. He will now miss the final in May.

Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.

Graham (@grahamsibley)
 

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