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Weekend Boxset: FA Cup 2nd Round and Derby Sunday

Plenty FA Cup 2nd round action and a Sunday with three local derbies in the Premier League.

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

All times are GMT


FA Cup 2nd Round: Solihull Moors v Blackpool
19.55 on BBC Two
692 sides have been whittled down to 40 for one final round before the sides from the top two flights of English football enter the competition. Solihull Moors were formed by merger in 2007 and have never been beyond this stage of the Cup either as they are now or as the two teams they were before (Moor Green and Solihull Borough). Under former Southampton and England goalkeeper Tim Flowers are near the foot of the National League in only their second season at that level. Blackpool won the FA Cup in 1953, Stanley Matthews and all that, and are one of eight former winners in this second round. Despite a promising return to League One, many Blackpool fans continue to stay away from the club while Owen Oyston is owner. GS


FA Cup 2nd Round: Halifax Town v AFC Wimbledon
12.30 on BT Sport 1
Go back 25 years and you’d have two very different teams contesting this match. AFC Wimbledon and FC Halifax Town are both phoenix clubs, but while Wimbledon’s rise to the Football League was relatively rapid, Halifax are still very much ensconced in non-league, bouncing between the Conference National and Conference North in recent seasons. And yet, this game is one of those FA Cup ties where both teams go into the match in poor form, making it hard to call. Or as the pundits would say: ripe for an upset. Halifax come into this game off the back of a 4-0 loss to Ebbsfleet and sit 15th in the Conference, and it’d be understandable if Jamie Fullarton’s men had one eye towards the Cup. For Wimbledon, this match couldn’t come at a more inconvenient time. After only just squeezing past Haringey Borough in the first round, manager Neal Ardley departed the club. The Dons now sit managerless, one place from bottom in League One. Sure, a cup run could give the team a boost, but equally survival has to be the priority for the South Londoners. Halifax will seriously fancy their chances. GA

Bundesliga: Hoffenheim v Schalke
17.30 on BT Sport 2
Two of the youngest coaches in the business pit their wits in one of the more intriguing games of the Bundesliga weekend. If Domenico Todesco gets the chance to finish his project at Schalke, the Gelsenkirchen club will be the German version of Atlético Madrid. Rock solid defense, low possession, hard pressing and with laser sharp finishers that take the few opportunities that they create. At the moment they are nowhere near this goal. In fact, after a terrible five game losing streak at the start of the season, it did looked like the 33 year old coach would lose his job. However, to their credit, the club held its nerve and kept their thumb off the ejector seat button. The Royal Blues are still in the bottom half of the table but their direction of travel is in the right way. Moreover, Schalke have qualified for the next round of the Champions League. A win at Hoffenheim would do wonders for their self esteem but will be far from easy. TSG have a leaky defence but have not failed to score all season. In fact they’ve scored 16 goals in their last five league games, none of which have been defeats. Shakhtar Donetsk showed on Tuesday that Julian Nagelsmann’s team can be beaten but that does not mean they can be contained. TD

FA Cup 2nd: Wrexham v Newport County
20.00 on BT Sport 1
An all Welsh cup tie between two great clubs with a rich history that have both risen from the ashes. Since their reformation in 1989 Newport County were a non-league club and even had to endure two seasons playing their home games in England because the FAW were upset with them for not joining the League of Wales. The Exiles finally ascended to League 2 in 2013 and have been there ever since. Wrexham meanwhile have suffered from negligent owners who at one point tried to evict them from their own ground. After a series of financial problems the Dragons dropped out of the Football League in 2007. But despite their reduced status they are now 100% supporter owned and will no doubt relish the chance of causing an upset. That won’t be a straightforward task. The home side are currently fourth in League 2 and have only lost once this season at Rodney Parade.TD


Premier League: Chelsea v Fulham
12.00 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event
One of London’s less celebrated local derbies, Chelsea owe their existence to a decision made by Fulham not to move to Stamford Bridge at the start of the 20th century, leaving the owners of the ground to create their own side to play there. For both sides, their results last weekend may signal something of a sea-change for their seasons so far. Fulham’s 3-2 win over Southampton under new boss Claudio Ranieri was there first since in the league since match day 3 but the Craven Cottage faithful will know that their side will have to succeed in much sterner tests if they are to remain in the top flight. While one win doesn’t make a turnaround, one defeat doesn’t make a crisis, though the manner of Chelsea’s first defeat under Mauirizio Sarri against a rampant Spurs at Wembley has left more than a few observers wondering if Chelsea have been found out, defensively. A return to Stamford Bridge for Ranieri that should have plenty of goals. GS

Premier League: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
14.05 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event
Having crushed Chelsea’s largely untested unbeaten run last weekend, Spurs get the opportunity to do the same to their local rivals. Having overtaken Chelsea last weekend they can open up a six point gap against the Gunners with a win here. Last season’s 2-0 defeat here is his only loss in eight league derbies but he is still to his first win at the Emirates. It’s crunch week for Arsenal, having enjoyed their first unbeaten November since 2005 they have this game followed by a trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday. Emery is likely to start with a completely overhauled line-up from Thursday’s easy Europa League win, so travel and preparation time won’t be an excuse for his side. For many Arsenal fans, the decision to have Mike Dean officiating will already signal a home defeat. GS

Premier League: Liverpool v Everton
16.15 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event
It’s hard to say which Liverpool will run out in this the 232nd Merseyside derby. They were run ragged by Neymar and Co at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday evening, so the prospect of a Sunday afternoon up against Marco Silva’s highly competent Everton side can’t be something that Klopp’s men will be relishing. That said, the Reds haven’t lost to their local rivals at Anfield since 1999 and boast one of the most miserly defences in the league, not to mention their start-studded forward line. That’s quite a challenge for the Toffees who are progressing well this season under their Portuguese coach. The talented duo of Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson are their main attacking threat, but they’re going to need to be on the form of their lives to overcome this impressive, if not a little tired, Liverpool side. JB

Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.

Terry, Graham, Jan and Gary (@gafootbl)

Gary is author of the fantastic football newsletter Can We Read You Every Week , which you should also subscribe to.

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