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: Klassic Kane

There are no Premier League games in this week’s selection. Newcastle v Arsenal would have made it were it not directly up against Harry Kane’s first experience of Der Klassiker. There’s also a rare free-to-air double-header on BBC Two on Sunday with WSL and FA Cup first round action.

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

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All times are UK


Championship: Leicester City v Leeds United
20.00 on Sky Sports Football, Main Event & Ultra
If Spurs’ head coach Ange Postecoglou is making life look easy as a manager in England then what about Enzo Maresca? The Italian, probably best known for his man of the match performance for Sevilla against Middlesbrough in the 2006 Europa League final, has so far made a very successful step up from being one of Pep’s assistants. His only previous experience as a head coach was an unremarkable four months in charge of Parma in Italy’s second tier, but a win today will be the Foxes’ tenth league victory in a row, a new club record. Keiron Dewsbury Hall, stepping into the hole left by James Maddison, has been one of the key players in Leicester’s success. His eleven goal contributions have helped his side build a 14 point gap between themselves and today’s visitors, who occupy the highest play-off place. Would he be higher on Premier League January shopping lists than Leeds’ Crysencio Summerville? The Dutch winger turned 22 on Monday and is in blistering form with eight goal contributions last month. GS


La Liga: Osasuna v Girona
13.00 on LaLigaTV and Viaplay Sports 1
Girona’s sophomore season back in la Liga continues to defy expectations. This small club, currently second in the table, may have some powerful backers but has built a squad with prudent use of the City Group’s recruitment network. The brand of football under Michel continues to entertain and their last-minute winner (a spectacular long-range strike from Yangell Herrera) to beat Celta 1-0 demonstrates their persistence. Only Jude Bellingham’s Real Madrid have beaten the Gironistes this campaign. With the season well into its second reel you have to think that the Catalans are not a flash in the pan. Last time I previewed them I speculated that a minor European place would be on the cards. But with Villarreal, Sevilla and Betis struggling, perhaps that target should be upgraded to Champions League. Osasuna are suffering from a touch of brain fever following the good times of last season when they qualified for the Conference League only to be kicked out and reinstated. But their European campaign was so brief that it barely seemed worth the trouble and the team have just four wins this season. They were denied a point last week against Betis by a lovely goal, again late in the game, by Isco. Ante Budimir scored a double in this fixture last season and the Croatian international is this season’s top scorer with four. He’ll be needing to replicate his performance if Osasuna are to get very far at the El Sadar. TD

Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich
17.30 on Sky Sports Football
As if Der Klassiker was not exciting enough, the events of the last week are just piling on the narrative. Last Saturday, Harry Kane’s Bayern Munich smashed Darmstadt 8-0 in a game that included a hat-trick from Kane which included the most ludicrous Beckham-style goal scored from inside the Bayern half, and saw three players sent off, two for Darmstadt. Then on Wednesday, Harry Kane’s Bayern Munich became Just Plain Bayern Munich when they travelled to third division Saarbrucken in the German Cup and LOST 2-1 in the 94th minute with Harry still warming the bench. This is the third consecutive season that Bayern have been knocked out at this stage of the cup, and it is probably the worst result they have suffered in decades. As Harry trudged his unused self off the pitch, a number of senior Bayern players, including Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane, went over to apologise to the travelling fans and promise a response against Dortmund on Saturday evening. And given their record against BVB there’s a good chance they’ll make good on their commitment, especially since Harry Kane will be back in the starting lineup. It’s five years to the week when Dortmund last beat Bayern in the Bundesliga. But die Schwarzgelben are quietly confident. If you listened to this week’s podcast, you’ll know about their superb 3-3 draw at Frankfurt. Then, on Wednesday, they beat Hoffenheim 1-0 in the cup, a game that drew plaudits as being one of their best displays of the season. By common consent, Borussia have succeeded despite themselves but in my observation have slowly improved as the season develops. Even if they can’t keep Kane quiet, I reckon they’re worth a goal or two. A score draw would go on my coupon, if I had one. TD

Ligue 1: Marseille v Lille
20.00 on TNT Sports 2
Lille’s president Olivier Létang has written to the prefect of Bouches-du Rhone demanding assurances for the safety of his team and supporters following the violent incident that saw the cancellation of last weekend’s Choc des Olympiques. Lyon’s team bus was attacked on its way to the Stade Velodrome, it’s windows smashed and a projectile hitting head coach Fabio Grosso requiring him to have thirteen stitches around his eye. According to LFP rules, OM cannot be sanctioned for the incident, as it happened on the way to the ground. However, politically there will be pressure on the French league to take meaningful measures, especially in the light of another incident in October which saw the match between Montpellier and Clermont abandoned after goalkeeper Mory Diaw was hit by a firework thrown from the stands. Should the game go ahead, Marseille will need to get a result or they could find themselves adrift in mid-table. They’ve lost three of their last four games, a run only partially mitigated by the fact that those defeats were away to the sides that currently make up the top three. Lille come into this fresh from beating Monaco and dislodging the principality from top spot. Kosovan international Edon Zhegrova is in top form for the Dogues with a goal and four assists in October, two of which provided the goals that beat Monaco. GS


FA Women’s Super League: Arsenal v Manchester City
12.30 on BBC Two & iPlayer
City’s Alex Greenwood came off worse in a painful-looking clash of heads that saw her stretchered off in the first half of England’s Nations League defeat to Belgium in midweek. Though she was given the all-clear to travel back to England, the defender will be unavailable for this game with concussion protocols requiring at least six days of recovery before returning to play. City have yet to concede a goal this season while Greenwood has been on the pitch, her absense will most likely mean a rare start for Steph Houghton. The former England captain has barely featured for City this season having lost her starting place in central defence to Allana Kennedy, who had a strong World Cup for co-hosts Australia. Arsenal have failed to convince so far this season, especially in defence where they haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their four WSL games. Returning from long term injuries, Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema are being eased back into the side but have already shown glimpses of the attacking threat Arsenal have been missing. GS

FA Cup first round: Charlton Athletic v Cray Valley Paper Mills
17.30 on BBC Two & iPlayer
This is the sixth free-to-air FA Cup tie you can see across ITV, S4C and the BBC this weekend, and for me it’s the pick of the round (though if you’re looking for a Cupset you might have better luck with BBC Two’s other match, Bromley v Blackpool, on Saturday at 17.45). With the last two names drawn out of the bag, the Magic of the Cup has given us a local derby in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Now playing in non-league’s fourth tier, Cray Valley reached the FA Vase final in 2019 and were promoted to the Isthmian League in the same season. This is the second time they’ve made it as far as the first round proper of the FA Cup, though the experience this time will be much different to their behind closed doors defeat to Havant & Waterlooville in 2020/21. So far this season they’ve played more FA Cup ties than league games, starting in the Preliminary round. The draws have been reasonably kind to them as none of the five opponents they’ve faced before today came from more than one level above them. Charlton play five levels above them in League One. Relegated from the Championship in 2020 this is the longest time they’ve spent in the third tier since they joined the Football League back in the 1920s, and on their current indifferent form they’re likely to stay there. The second round draw will follow this match. GS

Serie A: Fiorentina v Juventus
19.45 on TNT Sports 1
Fiorentina finished six points behind Juventus last season but the latter’s European ban meant I Violi took the place of the Old Lady in the Europa Conference League - giving them another crack at the competition they lost out to West Ham in last season’s final. Fiorentina had a strong start to this campaign but have suffered back-to-back league defeats. Juve are in ominous form: they’ve won four of their last five and have not conceded a goal in that run, lifting them to second spot just two points behind Inter. Last weekend, both sides found themselves involved in games in which the only goal came from almost the last kick. Juventus left it to the seventh of six minutes of injury time to get their winner against Verona. It would have been a more straightforward win had VAR not taken exception to Moise Kean scoring great-looking goals. The video official ruled one out because the heel of Kean’s shoe was in an offside position, and disallowed another because he’d embarrassed Verona’s Davide Faroni - well that’s how it looked anyway. VAR also played a big part in Fiorentina’s defeat at Lazio. Lucas Beltran, who joined in the summer from River Plate, was denied his first Serie A goal after it was judged that he’d controlled the ball with his arm in the build up. In the last minute of injury time Nikola Milenkovic conceded a handball penalty that was converted by second half substitute Ciro Immobile. GS

Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.

Terry and Graham

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