Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Weekend Boxset: Copa Libertadores Final

Derbies in Sheffield, Birmingham, London, Genoa and Buenos Aires - as well as two Big Blues.

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

All times are GMT


Championship: Ipswich Town v West Bromwich Albion
19.45 on Sky Sports Football
With all the recent chat about a Championship breakaway, we thought we’d pick a few tasty treats from England’s second tier for this weekend’s choices. Can former Norwich head coach Paul Lambert turn around Ipswich’s fortunes and stop them slipping to the third tier for the first time since it stopped being divided into north and south sections. Already five points adrift at the foot of the table, the choice of Shrewsbury Town’s Paul Hurst to replace Mick McCarthy at the end of last season now looks to have been a poor decision by both parties. The two draws in Lambert’s first two games in charge were against side they should be looking to get points off but this is game is a much tougher prospect. While West Brom have had a poor run of results recently they went into the international break with a convincing 4-1 win over promotion rivals Leeds and will be confident of taking three more points here. GS


Championship: Rotherham United v Sheffield United
12.30 on Sky Sports Football
A packed New York Stadium is anticipated for this second Steel City derby or mini-Sheffield derby if you want to be patronising. Rotherham, while a proud town with its own identity does sit with the boundaries of suburban Sheffield (although I imagine this is a contested issue). Anyway, Rotherham being the historically smaller club, the sides have only met thirty times in the league, with the Blades winning just over half. The Millers are looking for an 8th league win but might struggle given the respective league positions of the clubs. That said, the home side have not lost a game in five while Blades form is a little patchier. If however, Chris Wilder’s players can get three points they will draw level with leaders Norwich, at least until the Canaries beat Swansea a few hours later. There should be a lively derby atmosphere which is presumably why Sky have dragged everyone out early to watch it. TD

Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea
17.30 on BT Sport 1
Spurs host their London rivals at Wembley (still). It may be growing colder outside, but this one should fire up your weekend. For the hosts, this marks the beginning of a trio of challenging encounters, with Inter in the Champions League and a North London derby against Arsenal to follow. That said, they go into the first of these off the back of four straight wins and main man, Harry Kane, in fine form. For Chelsea, only a point above their hosts, this fixture represents a material threat to their fine run of form which has kept them in the exclusive club of unbeaten Premier League sides. However, with Hazard’s injury now well behind him, Morata’s resurgence and Barkley’s impressive form, Chelsea clearly have the resources to get a result. JB

Copa Libertadores Final 2nd leg: River Plate v Boca Juniors
20.00 on FreeSports & Bt Sport 2
When we recommended this match to our readers it was more on the basis of the significance of the match rather than the anticipated quality. After all this is the great Buenos Aires Superclasico writ large on the biggest possible stage. Given what’s at stake neither team would be blamed for playing a cautious game. Indeed at the start it was pretty cagey but in the end we were treated to a 2-2 thriller. Making an intriguing cameo for Boca was Carlos Tevez. At 34, the former West Ham and Manchester City forward returned to La Bombonera where he enjoys legendary status. By that I mean he doesn’t really do much. However, his coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, has managed to galvanize his former teammate and utilised him as an impact sub later in the first leg. I imagine that many fans and not a few of the club’s marketers would love to see the great man holding the trophy aloft at the Monumental. If they do then get set for the lukest of lukewarm receptions as there will be no Boca fans in the stadium. Away fans are banned for the derby game on account of all the trouble and stuff. TD


W-League & A-League: Sydney v Melbourne Victory
03.30 (Women’s game) 06.00 (Men’s game) on BT Sport
Big Blues between Sydney and Melbourne are always a highlight of the calendar but this one promises to have a little extra spice to it. Not only will it be the first time these two have met since last season’s thrilling semi-final that saw Victory unexpectedly see off Sydney in extra time, but it will also be in the slightly more intimate surroundings of Kogarah’s Jubilee Stadium rather than the soon-to-be demolished Allianz Stadium. Australian football is often criticised for playing in cavernous stadiums, but this should ensure a tight, tense electric atmosphere. Both sides are much changed since last season, and all eyes will be on marquees Keisuke Honda and Adam Le Fondre, the latter of whom has adapted to the A League with aplomb and could be on course for the golden boot. Sydney have carried on where they left off last season, while champions Victory have taken a little longer to get going. Expect sparks.Before that, though, comes a double header with the two respective women’s teams taking to the field. If it’s a challenge for the A League to draw new converts, there’s no such issues with the women’s game, which has seen attendances continue to rise. The Matildas may have had an unexpected hiccup in one of their matches against Chile recently, but they still remain contenders for the 2019 World Cup, and this is an opportunity to see some of the internationals in action. Sydney FC may have some of the established names in Chloe Lozargo, Lisa De Vanna and Caitlin Foord, but Melbourne Victory, led by England veteran Natasha Dowie in attack, have led the pack this season. A win would see Victory pull away from nearest challengers Adelaide, while Sydney need a win to keep up with the pack. Like the men’s match that follows, this could be a tense, entertaining affair. GA

Championship: Aston Villa v Birmingham City
12.00 on Sky Sports Football
Form can be fleeting for any side in the Championship but Villa seem to be more Jekyll and Hyde than anyone. The impressive 3-0 win at Derby last time out for the new coach Dean Smith and his assistant John Terry was the side’s first away win since the opening day of the season. In contrast, while level in the table Birmingham’s season so far has been marked largely by its lack of ups and downs. Having drawn more than half their games, four straight wins in October have made Garry Monk’s side outside challengers for the play-offs. This will be the first Second City Derby for both managers but that shouldn’t make this match any less fraught. GS

Serie A: Genoa v Sampdoria
19.30 on Eleven Sports 2
Expect a fiery atmosphere in the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, a stadium shared by these local rivals. Both sides are looking to get their seasons back on track having each lost their last three games. For Genoa those defeats were closely run against the Milan sides and Napoli but Sampdoria conceded 11 goals in that mini run. Though what can encourage the visitors is they are enjoying a run of five wins in a row as the away team in the Derby della Lanterna. Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek got off to a lightning start to the season, reaching double figures before the end of September, but now is in a mini-drought having gone the last five without scoring. GS

Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.

Terry, Graham, Jan and Gary (@gafootbl)

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