Weekend Boxset: Busy on M62 between junctions 4 & 12

Manchester meets Merseyside this weekend though viewers in the UK might want to grab as much of Eleven Sports' content while they still can.

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

All times are GMT


Friday



Championship: Sheffield United v West Bromwich Albion


19.45 on Sky Sports Football & Main Event


If it's Friday it must be West Brom as the Baggies start the weekend off for the third Friday of the last four. They were particularly fortunate to come away with a point last Friday in the big local derby with Aston Villa. Jay Rodriguez's injury time equaliser deflected into the goal off his arm but was allowed to stand. It was another vital point for Darren Moore's side still recovering from a run of dismal results that have allowed Leeds and Norwich to pull away from them at the top. The Blades' lead that chasing pack but their own patchy form of late makes this match impossible to call. An impossible one to call, this has all the makings of yet another Friday night thriller for the Baggies. GS
 



Saturday



A-League: Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney


08.50 on BT Sport 3


Under normal circumstances, the third (yes third) meeting of the two Sydney sides this season may have evoked more fatigue than excitement. After all, Sydney FC hold a considerable hoodoo over their cross-town rivals, with the Wanderers winning just once since 2014 and Sydney triumphing 2-0 at the SCG at the start of this season, with a little help from the VAR. However, there's a real sense that this could be the Wanderers' opportunity to get one over on the Harbour City's self-proclaimed "glamour" club. The Sky Blues are coming off their first back-to-back home defeats since April 2016 and Steve Corica's side have look flat and error prone in recent weeks. Sure, Markus Babbel's Wanderers are a work in progress and sit outside the top six, but they bounced back from a 4-0 mauling against Melbourne Victory with a tricky win over the Mariners last weekend, and German imports Patrick Zielger and Alexander Baumjohann starting to settle. You have a sense this is the West's best opportunity in several seasons to take home bragging rights. GA
 



Premier League: Manchester City v Everton


12.30 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


The despicable scenes at Chelsea last weekend took much of the attention away from City's first league defeat of the season. If Pep Guardiola's side are to get back to winning ways they'll need to do something they haven't managed in the previous three seasons and beat Everton in the league at the Etihad. While Marco Silva's side are without a win in three they have, in recent trips to Stamford Bridge and Anfield, shown that they can contain the big sides on their own turf - only losing that match against Liverpool to a freakish goal deep into injury time of injury time. The likelihood of City being shut out for two weeks in a row is slim but with several big names still missing from their starting line up this will be anything but straightforward for the champions. GS
 



Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen


17.30 on BT Sport Extra 2


After a hard working and emotional win against Schalke in the Revierderby and qualification for the Champions League in the bag, Borussia Dortmund are ready for the winter break. However, there are three more games left and despite the results, those of us who watch BVB closely know that recent games have been something of a struggle. This won’t be lost on Werder coach Florian Kohfeldt who’s team broke a five game winless streak last weekend with a 3-1 win against Fortuna Düsseldorf. US fans will be particularly interested to see if Josh Sargent features at the Westfalenstadion. The 19 year old US international was so impressive for Werder’s Under 23s that he was bumped up to the first team earlier than expected. He made his debut as a sub against Fortuna and scored with his first touch. The Missouri native could prove to be an effective joker in Bremen’s pack. TD
 





Sunday



La Liga: Sevilla v Girona


11.00 on Eleven Sports 1


Or not. The latest reports indicate that Eleven Sports may go out of business after just four months. The Internet streaming service is blaming, among other things, “rampant piracy” which can be translated into: “people like our content but not enough to pay for it”. In fact the catalyst is Eleven’s failure to secure the carriage deals with the big pay UK TV platforms. This led to the popular Mixed Martial Arts organisation, UFC, cancelling their contract which was due to start from January. Moreover, without the guaranteed income that comes with the carriage deals, the company seems to have a funding gap and may not be able to pay to keep the rights to Spanish and Italian football. Frankly, this chain of events could and should have been foreseen and contingencies to keep the company going should have been made. In broader terms, fans of the English and Scottish Leagues unhappy with their respective new TV deals should reflect on what is happening with Eleven Sports. This is not the time to be taking risks. The last thing either of these league needs is a repeat of the ITV Digital fiasco. Anyway, if it’s on, this should be a decent game, especially for an 11am kick off time. TD
 



Premier League: Southampton v Arsenal


13.30 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


If an away defeat to Spurs could be considered a pass for freshly installed manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, the following defeat against fellow strugglers Cardiff can't. The job of keeping Southampton in the Premier League was always going to be tough task for the former RB Leipzig head coach, especially as big games like this against Unai Emery's increasingly convincing Arsenal side are never that far away. St Mary's has proved a tricky place for the Gunners; they've only managed one league win there since the Invincibles season. Avoiding defeat would extend Arsenal's unbeaten run to 23 games heading into their midweek Caraboa Cup Quarter Final against Spurs on Wednesday. GS
 



Premier League: Liverpool v Manchester United


16.00 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


An impressive win against Bournemouth, and City slipping up against Chelsea saw Liverpool top the Premier League last weekend. Klopp’s men deserve all of their plaudits: they remain unbeaten in the league, have been breathtaking going forward and formidable in defence. This, with Mo Salah exploding back into form, should mean that Anfield will witness the home side overcome their rivals along the M62 and remain in pole position. However, spoiling the party this Sunday would be the most Mourinho thing to do.  United thought their season had finally started when they came back against struggling Newcastle back in October only for them to stumble again a month later. Beating lowly Fulham last week may have given them cause for optimism, but it could be another false dawn. JB
 



Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.



Terry (@terryduffelen), Graham (@grahamsibley), Jan (@janbilton) and Gary (@gafootbl)



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