Weekend Boxset: The home stretch

It's the last round of fixtures in the Championship, the A-League reaches the knock out phase, and a there's solemn anniversary in Turin.

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

All times are BST (GMT+1)


Friday



Serie A: Juventus v Torino


19.30 on Premier 2


Two second half goals in Torino's last match against Milan (previewed in the last Weekend Boxset) saw them climb above Gattuso's side and remain just three points short of a Champions League place. With another scudetto safely in the bag, Juve have nothing really to play for, but local bragging rights in the Derby delle Mole should be enough to see them try to put a dent into Walter Mazzarri's European hopes. I Granata have managed to avoid defeat just once inside Juventus's new stadium since they moved there in 2011. The fixture was moved from Saturday so that it wouldn't be on the 70th anniversary of the Superga disaster. Local passions are sure to run high but hopefully Juventus fans will behave themselves on this occasion having as recently as 2012 put up offensive banners about the disaster. GS
 



Saturday



Premier League: Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur


12.30 on Sky Sports Premier League


Christian Eriksen has played in 63 games in the last 12 months, playing over 5000 minutes of football. Spurs reliance on a small group of key players in their domestic and European campaigns, now looks to be showing the effects of two transfer windows without strengthening the squad. Their performance in the home defeat against a young and exciting Ajax seemed to show a side eagerly wanting the season to end rather than one fighting to get into the Champions League Final. To get to the final Spurs will have to do what they've only managed to do once since beating Fulham in January - win away from home. In all competitions, they've lost eight of their last nine games on the road and that solitary win was their second leg defeat of Dortmund in a tie that became a foregone conclusion once they scored early in the second half. A rare away win shouldn't be too much of a proposition today as Bournemouth have allowed their season to trail off since achieving safety and securing a fifth season in the top flight. To put that achievement into perspective, that's as many seasons as twice European Cup winner's Nottingham Forest have had the Premier League. GS
 



Premier League: Cardiff City v Crystal Palace


17.30 on BT Sport 1


"I do think there is some sort of moral obligation to keep playing, keep doing the job as it should be done," said Roy Hodgson in the build up to this game. The Eagles, unlike the Bluebirds have found a safe perch on which to see out the rest of the season and it's possible that the South Londoners may well take their foot off the gas. Moreover, I imagine that more than a few Palace fans would not shed too many tears if their former manager, Neil Warnock were to be relegated. But then again, if Cardiff do prevail, it will be at the expense of hated rivals, Brighton. The gap between third and fourth bottom is four points so if Palace win then Cardiff will be down and the Seaweed can relax ahead of their potentially awkward encounter with Arsenal on Sunday. That said, given Arsenal’s recent league form, even if the Welsh win in front of a passionate home crowd it may prove not to be enough. Cardiff might have a better chance if this game was at Selhurst. Palace are the second worst home team in the league this season and the sixth best on the road. TD

Alternative viewing: If Cardiff's Premier League demise isn't your cup of tea you might want to tune into the League One climax on Sky Sports Football. Only relegation to play for, now that automatic promotion has been secured. Sky have selected Southend's attempt to avoid slipping into the relegation zone at home to Sunderland. Lose and their fate is dependent on the result of Plymouth v Scunthorpe. Or you could watch the Women's FA Cup Final between Manchester City and West Ham, which will probably get a lot more viewers than these other games because it's on BBC One as well as BT Sport 2.
 



Premier League: Newcastle United v Liverpool


19.45 Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


This really isn’t a good time to play Liverpool. That said, there’s never really a good time to play them, but this really isn’t a good time to play Liverpool. Sitting only a point behind City in the race for the title, and with a mountain to climb against Barca on Tuesday, the Reds know they have to get a result against the Mags. Not that we make predictions on The Sound of Football, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Klopp’s men come out swinging at the O3 Arena. Killing the game off early would be desirable, but I don’t think it’s inevitable. The Barcodes have picked up a couple of decent results of late which, annoyingly, has guaranteed them Premier League status for another season. Add to that the form of Ayoze Perez, who has five goals in his last three games, and it’s not unreasonable to suggest that the visitors won’t have it all their own way. If this one ends nil-nil, I’ll eat my hat, and yours. JB

Jan made an unprecedented shift on to a non-football podcast this week when he made a guest appearance on the Betamax Video Club to talk about the classic Brat Pack vehicle Youngs Guns. Give it a listen.
 





Sunday



A-League Elimination Final: Adelaide United v Melbourne City


10.00 on BT Sport 3


We are now what’s officially known as the business end of the Australian season, which means the curiosity of the post-season finals and the right to be beaten by Perth Glory in the semi-finals (assuming Wellington don’t beat Melbourne Victory). Both Adelaide United and Melbourne City have been solid mid-table sides, capable of brilliance one week and mediocrity the next. As such, it makes this game quite hard to call. If Adelaide had a clinical striker, they would have undoubtedly been challenging at the top of the table, while Melbourne City’s tactic has been to bore sides into submission. Fringe Socceroos Craig Goodwin and Jamie Maclaren will bring the attacking threat to United and City respectively, but the fact that this game finished goalless when the sides met in April gives a good indication that this will be a tight, cagey, tense affair. Extra time would not be a surprise. GA

You can keep up with Gary's view of the world of football from down under in his monthly newsletter Can We Read Every Week?
 



Championship: Derby County v West Bromwich Albion


12.30 on Sky Sports Football


The final round of fixtures in the Championship sees just the final play-off place up for grabs. Derby, Middlesbrough and Bristol City are the side left in but it's the Rams who currently occupy sixth place. Bristol City need to win and require Boro not to win and Derby to lose. If Derby draw, the Robins would need to beat Hull 8-0, and while the Tigers are in their flip-flops that's not going to happen. Boro need to win their game away to already relegated Rotherham, a draw would see them require Derby to suffer a simlarly freakish defeat. All that said, Derby have it all in their hands. Win here and they will go on to play Leeds in the play-off semi-finals - a fine achievement in Frank Lampard's rookie year as a coach. Given his side's performance in knockout competitions this season they should have nothing to fear in the play-offs. If West Brom can get past a rampant Villa, these sides could be meeting again at Wembley at the end of the month. GS
 



Bundesliga: Freiburg v Fortuna Dusseldorf


14.30 on BT Sport 3


This decidedly mid-table clash has been selected by our Preview Computer, no doubt taking into account The Sound of Football’s recent visit to Fortuna’s stadium where we saw them play some of the best football possibly for years. Best player of the match was Dodi Lukebakio who started on the wing but did his best work cutting inside. Watford fans may remember the 21 year old DR Congo international for his solitary appearance for the Hornets two seasons ago. The Belgian-born attacker is on loan from the Hertfordshire club but has caught the eye and may not make a return to Vicarage Road. If Fortuna want to be regulars in the Bundesliga then they would do well to follow Freiburg’s example. Die Breisgauer, under the stewardship of their excellent coach and all round great human being Christian Streich, are adept at picking up bargains in the transfer market while bringing the youngsters through. And it’s all good football too. This game may have nothing riding on it but will make for a diversion from all the high intensity hoopla going on throughout the weekend. TD
 



Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.



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



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