Weekend Boxset: FA Cup 1st Round and London v Manchester



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

All times are GMT


Friday



FA Cup 1st Round: Hyde United v MK Dons


19.55 on BBC 2


As recently as 2013/14 Hyde Untied were a Conference side; that season however they won just one game, and then won just three as they were relegated again the following season. A third consecutive relegation followed in 2015/16. Now in football's eighth tier, things have stabilised for the Greater Manchester side and they're currently enjoying an unbeaten start to the season. A trip up the M6 might suit Milton Keynes as they have had more success on the road than at home so far and currently sit in the bottom half of League 1. At this stage of last season's FA Cup, MK Dons had just parted company with Karl Robinson. Richie Barker was in temporary charge and steered them through the first round against Spennymoor. Robbie Nielson was confirmed as manager before their second round match against Robinson's new side, Charlton Athletic - which they won after a replay. The last time Hyde got this far in the Cup was 1995, they've never gone further.
 



Saturday



FA Cup 1st Round: Shaw Lane v Mansfield Town


12.30 on BT Sport 1


You can be forgiven if you've never heard of Shaw Lane AFC, they are a young club very much on an upward trajectory. Formed in Barnsley in 2012, they have never finished lower than second in any league season, rising from Step 7 of non-league up to Step 3. Just three points from the top of the Evostik Premier with two games in hand, they could be a National League North side come the start of next season. Buoyed by investment from local businessman Craig Wood the club carried the name of his plumbing company before rising high enough in the league to have to swap "Aquaforce" for a capital A. Of course it wouldn't be the 1st round of the FA Cup without a side managed by Steve Evans being on TV. His Mansfield side sit mid-table in League 2 having won just one of their last seven. While their form has been poor, their one away win of this season did come against the quarter finalists of 2016/17, Lincoln City. This has all the makings of an upset.
 



Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich


17.30 on BT Sport 2


For a Bundesliga season that was shaping up to be the most competitive for a long while, there is a very real prospect that Bayern will go into the final international break of 2017 with a six point cushion at the top of the table. Although he enjoyed a promising start, Dortmund's head coach Peter Bosz is feeling the pressure after a terrible October and then watching his side fail to beat APOEL, effectively eliminating themselves from the Champions League. Defeat to Bayern could be enough to see him kicked out of the job after just five months in charge. If they do decide to dispense with his services, you would expect his replacement to have a more familiar name. Bayern are hitting their straps as Bayern do, and with nearest rivals Leipzig and Hannover playing each other this weekend, they have the potential to open a big lead with a win at the Westfalen.
 



Serie A: Genoa v Sampdoria


19.45 on BT Sport 2


While the Bundesliga might be settling into a familiar groove, Serie A is providing a stack of entertainment. While neither of these sides are going to be challenging for the Scudetto, the Derby della Lanterna is always worth a watch. Sampdoria sit sixth though are a little off the pace of the leading pack. Genoa are stuck near the foot of the table in a group of sides struggling to get their seasons started. Both teams call the Stadio Luigi Ferraris home but Genoa have only won this derby in recent years as the "away" team - their last four home derby matches have all been won by their city rivals. If you're not heading to an organised fireworks display for Bonfire night, this should provide a fizzing alternative.





Sunday



Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace


12.00 on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event


On paper, you would imagine that the only thing Palace can hope for is that Spurs will have a massive hangover from their midweek demolition of Real Madrid. That would be small hope as their last two Champions League matches have been followed by putting four past their next Premier League opponents. Palace's last-minute equaliser on Saturday, broke West Ham's hearts but it was no less than Roy Hodgson's side deserved from the game. If they can recreate the fight they've shown in their recent London derbies they might well make a game of this. Both league games between these sides last season were late 1-0 wins for Spurs, so don't be surprised if this is a similarly tight affair. If it does come down to just one goal, it could be anyone's.
 



Premier League: Manchester City v Arsenal


14.15 on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event


A horror month of October, where City went six games without a win in all competitions gave the advantage to Chelsea on their way to the title last season. Pep Guardiola's side seem to have got over that little hoodoo this season and are on a run of 14 straight wins. Who, if anyone, can stop them? Well, probably not this Arsenal side who continue to fail to see out games on their travels. The Gunners only away point this season came at Stamford Bridge in an uncharacteristically measured display. With Tottenham to come on the other side of the international break, a similarly measured performance here is essential for Arsene Wenger's side. One ray of hope for the Gunners is that they were the last team to beat City, in their extra time Wembley victory in the FA Cup semi final. 
 



Premier League: Chelsea v Manchester United


16.30 on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event


The great thing about watching Chelsea this season is you have absolutely no idea what you're going get. The worst thing about watching United this season is that you know exactly what you're going to get. Mourinho will take his side to Stamford Bridge with the same game plan as he did against Liverpool and Spurs. The fact is though his side were lucky to come out of those two games with any points let alone four. I don't know how much store you put into xG ratings, but for the last three games United have trailed their opponents in that particular statistic. The other match was their defeat against Huddersfield - an excellent example of what happens when you start relying too much on luck to see you through games. 
 



Whatever you watch, have a great weekend



Graham (@grahamsibley)



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